Live Review: Liverpool Music Week Closing Party

Liverpool Music Week Closing Party

lmw 15 posterCamp and Furnace/Blade Factory, Liverpool, October 31st 2015
Words: Gary Lambert

Photos: Gaz Jones

There ain’t no party like a Liverpool Music Week Closing Party. It doesn’t roll off the tongue as well as an S Club Party, but whereas S Club would be a McDonald’s Birthday Party where the Ronald McDonald fails to show up this was like getting an invite to a Royal Garden Party but with tunes, booze and magic in the air. As well as celebrating the Liverpool Music Scene’s survival of a week long intense assault on the ears by a diverse selection of acts, we were also celebrating music in its finest forms.

Across the three stages, we had some classic guitar work from the likes of Deerhunter and Gang of Four; cutting edge sets from LA Priest and Mercury-nominated SOAK; and for those who listen for the future the exciting talents of Sugarmen, Spring King and Liverpool’s Clean Cut Kid.

deerhunter copyright gaz jonesDeerhunter took to the stage and immediately set upon mesmerising their numerous fans in the crowd with a set that showed how special and challenging rock music can be brilliant and enjoyable. With a live performance that pulled no punches, everybody who was in attendance was served genius in aural form. If, like this particular writer, Deerhunter had never struck a chord with you before then afterwards you were searching for them on Spotify. Lead singer, Bradford Cox, had earlier been wandering around Camp and Furnace and sharing in the excitement of the event and getting involved in discussions with fans.

LA Priest had earlier in the evening been indulging in the more avant-garde side of music with a set of processed beats and headshrinking tunes that challenged the music fans to dissect his performance. For me personally I didn’t quite get it as the music occupied that awkward space between chill out and rave which I find so uncomfortable to watch live as I cannot decide whether to dance or stand there. Unfortunately I ultimately decided that it was dinner party music and not for me.

O9xiFQprSk_jCQvpV6g6zpX-r1szKKvm2OHYzSx5OKg,kM7QJALSYBBeG6ufQZEmDcw-1x_I10mUN2eJa7hapFIFresh on the heels of her Mercury Award nomination for debut album Before We Forgot How To Dream, SOAK performed in front of a packed audience in a set that showcased the finest elements of Bridie Monds-Watson’s voice. Ethereal and heavenly, her words sounded not those of a teenager but of a seasoned pro a good few years in the game. Whilst her live performance was not the most thrilling in terms of action, this meant that the whole responsibility for enjoyment was on the basis of sound. Which was thrilling and sounded a lot bigger than you would expect compared to record.

clean cut kid copyright gaz jonesWith at various points in the night young contenders such as Spring King, Sugarmen and Clean Cut Kid playing we had the chance to make a first hand comparison. All three on this showing are deserving of their high regard and the potential they have. Spring King and Sugarmen were both playing in the free entry gig in Blade Factory and suited being on the same bill with edgy, tuneful playing which showed a confidence and swagger in their live performance. These guys are showing on a regular basis what they can do and nobody is being left disappointed as they put every effort in on stage. Clean Cut Kid are less raucous live than this pair, but with their wonderful songwriting and grown up pop music you would think they had been playing forever rather than this being only their twentieth gig. Their sound is smooth and easy rather than visceral and dangerous, but we love them for it. You don’t need to jump around at every gig. They also had a lovely CCK pumpkin on stage with them for Halloween vibes (courtesy of Popped Music!)

My only complaint about the event would be that it felt too squeezed, as Camp and Furnace were also having one of their famed Food Slam events on at the same time. This meant that there was nowhere to escape from the blasts of music and to chill out, which on a long event like this you do need. The foyer was very packed too so it wasn’t easy to get from Camp where they had two stages in the one room down to Blade Factory.

Overall though it was a great end to a brilliant Liverpool Music Week.

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