Live Review: Colour – Liverpool

Colour

The Well Space, Liverpool, 7th August 2015

Words: Gary Lambert

colourDo not abandon hope all ye who enter here, but prepare yourselves for what may seem like a negative review but is far from it. I have just finished a cracking night watching music at The Well Space in Liverpool city centre. For any virgins to the venue, as I was until this evening, it is a daytime café and artist studio turned into a fairly blank canvas for music to be played in. I think you could make a great low budget music video in there too. That is getting sidetracked though. This review is intended for music fans obviously, but it is also intended for the bands I saw, as there were some intriguing building blocks there hinting at the target  without having a completed product. Please do go to see these bands again. Do not think “Gary Lambert said they’re no good”. Just remember what you were like in Year Seven compared with Sixth Form.

 

The Year of The Fiery Horse sounds like something you’d get warned about on Facebook for which earthshaking catastrophe could only be stopped by tagging six friends who are equally gullible and sharing so everybody knows you’re an idiot. The band of that name though sound like an indie band who are currently at the point in their career where they are third from the top of the bill in a former warehouse in a side street. That is not to be disparaging as everybody comes from somewhere but these guys are not yet the finished article. They have in their arsenal some great ideas and moments in songs, but I can see improvements being made. The most obvious for me would be to remove the seemingly deliberately awkward backing vocals as they unfairly give the music a comedic effect. And it is obvious that it isn’t a joke – although the between song patter suggests they are comfortable with a joke too. I would say three vocalists are too much because the high points come when the band are down to one person singing. In fact, the guitarist has a very good lo-fi indie voice. You don’t need perfect pitch to work, you need a vocal that fits the music. His does.

 

Next up here at 22 Roscoe Street was The Roscoes. I was quite pleased with that quirk and the band seemed to be too. Opening up with new song The Wall , which sounded a curious mix of blues and eighties rock, before moving to the more blues skewed Do Me Wrong. This was more to my taste, but I couldn’t shake the feeling with some of the lead guitar work exploding like a firework in the mix that the band need to cry havoc and let loose the dogs of war. The song was perfectly serviceable, but had that frustration brought along by an Ocean Colour Scene album track where it was more about staying true to your influences than being your biggest influence. Grace was playing drums for them and for a one-off it was quite surprising how tight the band sounded. I was thoroughly impressed by them musically. They were tight, well rehearsed and regimented. I think that is the trade off with the safe element to the music. By having well structured, slightly sensible music, it allows The Roscoes to perform and play at a top notch level. If only to emphasise the safe nature of their music, they performed a quirky cover of Hot Chocolate’s You Sexy Thing, which showed off their ability with their instruments and a tune, but it reminded me of a pub band. Finishing off with a song called Closer definitely brings a smile to my face even if it is the synonym for nearer rather than finisher. It looks good on setlists. I know this probably reads as a negative review, but it shouldn’t be like that, however that is my frustration with this performance. I want more Led Zep than The Commitments.

 

Topping the bill was Colour. Starting with an instrumental track to get them ready after a intro tape suggested a step up in quality and I was not wrong. This is a band who are on the next step on the career ladder with a sound they are comfortable, confident and practised with. If you have not listened to Colour and want to know how they sound I would suggest you imagine an indie band soundtracking a low budget film through a tense city centre drive (if it was big budget they would go for Gimme Shelter). There is strong quality in how the band work together that suggests a lot of time in rehearsal, helped no doubt by their success with the BBC. To be political for a second, how many non-talent show acts have come through the ranks of commercial TV? Don’t complain about your licence fee. Complain it isn’t enough!! Anyway, my high horse decided it didn’t like loud music so I got off it and went back to the gig. Colour dropped a couple of new songs into the set and to be fair they sounded standard parts of the set rather than tracks feeling their way into the world. “She don’t talk to me any more than she talks to God” is a great line by the way, a great line. For wherever they are on their own career arch, in my opinion Colour have a sound which is a few steps on from where they’re at. Now it is the show to work on and make it difficult for people to take their eye off you. Musically they could already be getting late morning / early afternoon mud thrown at them by the metal kids at Reading / Leeds but as a live act they would drown in the vastness of the bigger stages. You don’t need to run around like lunatics, just add a dash of intensity and drama. Ask everybody you know for freebie tickets to gigs and watch a variety of live acts and see who connects with you most and think about why. Then use it. Now for anybody who isn’t in the band, my advice to you would be to listen to Colour and then buy tickets to go to see them, make them sweat and earn your money. Everybody will benefit.

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