As we await confirmation of the final supporting line ups for May’s Sound City festival, a series of emerging talent showcases have been lined up to whet our appetites as to the possible flavour of this year’s different festival stages.
The first instalment took place on Friday at District, a former industrial unit deep in the heart of Liverpool’s Baltic Quarter.
Local band, Shrinking Minds opened up proceedings. Punk musicians minus the punk vestments. Instead a comedy wardrobe in the form of half mast cords and open sandals with white socks, topped off with a baseball cap with propeller. The serious business began when they unleashed the fuzzy guitars, distortion and sneering vocals. It did take a few songs to appreciate their raw, edgy quality, but the already critically acclaimed, energetic, new single, ‘Something better’ was a sign of things to come.
Next to step up were Cut Glass Kings, preparing to go out on tour in April and May in support of Wirral band, The Sundowners. With only a drummer and guitarist/vocalist on stage, they filled the room with an echo of a Kasabian tapping drum and throwbacks to early Oasis. ‘Only a daydream’ was reminiscent of the Coral’s ‘Chasing the tail of a dream’ which makes sense when you realise this band are on the Skelly brothers’ label, Skeleton Key Records. An ever increasing audience showed their appreciation, warmed up for the next course.
Alt rockers, Red Rum Club aka the Tarantino Scousers, hurtled through their tracks like a runaway Amtrak train, starting in New York, heading mid west and then finally stopping off in El Paso and Tijuana. From ‘Drive’ through to ‘Lonely’, it was a slick, precision driven performance, with band members even supping their lagers in perfect coordination on stage. The audience at this point was at its height, amid much whistling, cheering and swaying. As they left the stage, a sizeable proportion of the audience departed also, some chanting the band’s anthem “Would you rather be lonely?” as they went on their merry way.
Wicked Whispers, the headliners, perhaps felt a little lonely as they took control of the stage, turning down the pace a fair few notches to a slower, swirly psychedelic beat. We witnessed yet another fashion statement, this time from their lead singer, reminiscent of actor John Thompson as the Fast Show’s Jazz club host, all bowl head hair cut and polo neck. Heavily steeped in nostalgia, we were transported back to the 1960s and chilled out to a mellow vibe, in direct contrast to the evening’s more raucous proceedings.
UNESCO’s city of music had dished up yet again a real feast of entertainment for less than the price of a burger. We eagerly await the final ingredients in the Sound City mix and the second instalment of these emerging talent performances.
If you wish to go and see Shrinking Minds and Cut Glass Kings, here are the details of some imminent gigs:
4 March 2017 – Edge Hill University Arts Centre, Ormskirk, part of The Label Recordings Showcase event.
Cut Glass Kings
April – May 2017
Support on tour with The Sundowners.