Live Review: Clean Cut Kid – Liverpool

Clean Cut Kid

FLY ON WALL 1Fly On The Wall Records Presents, Leaf, Liverpool, 8th January 2016

Words: Elena Katrina

Photos: Gaz Jones

It was our first foray back into the live music scene after what felt like an eternity off over Christmas and New Year. The line up was looking solid and this was the first night for Fly On The Wall to have an event on. They managed to team up with local BBC Introducing presenter Dave Monks and  BBC Radio 2 legend Janice Long. Of course this drew everyone a flocking: bands, press, audience. It was a sell out show – no mean feat for a new kid on the block in terms of putting on a show. While I’m on the subject of how many people were there I think the photographers were slightly over eager – particularly during The Vryll Society – in fact the photographers pretty much ruined their entire set for me – they were in front of me the side of me, behind me poking their lenses in my peripheral vision. Three songs for a reason guys. Three songs for a reason.

But on to the show! First act up was a very new act on the scene by the name of Lumen. He played a full band set, alone. By that I mean, somewhere, somehow, he had a bunch of invisible musicians playing his backing track. I spent most of his set with my eyes darting around when my attention was drawn to a drum sound which simply wasn’t there. I’m used to solo artists producing loops or something visible but I can’t remember the last time I saw this. That aside, I really found the songs compelling and although the performance was a little shy – and who wouldn’t be intimidated as a last minute addition to an almost sold out show – but there is great promise here, really great. Might be an idea to gather a band, give it even more gravitas.

I must say I wasn’t surprised by the line up but more the running order. OK so two of the acts are on the label so you’d kind of expect them to get a little extra help but I found the order of the bands a little out of sorts. Anyone going on after The Vryll Society had better have their shit together and had better be… well… better. Unfortunately Polar States, who in the past have impressed, didn’t quite so much. Simply because they were put on after a band who stunned with their effortlessness and skill. They’re a decent band but I think their placement on this bill didn’t really do them too much justice though didn’t dampen the frizzling atmosphere in Leaf. I didn’t watch The Bad Habits. I had to temporarily leave the venue but reports from our Gary Lambert was that their friends and family were in and trying to get the crowd to dance and clap along. Not the ideal way to win fans sadly but a young band can learn a lot from being a part of a show such as this.

CLEAN CUT KID PHOTOS GAZ JONESClean Cut Kid. Well we all know that they’re one of our Blog Crushes of 2015/16 and this only carried on through this show. This is when you can really separate the wheat from the chaff. Still a band who have played less than 40 live shows but turn up as though they’ve played 400. They’ve played a sum total of 3 shows in Liverpool (and yes we’ve been to all 3). I’ve seen the growth in their live set as well as the growth of their crowd. This is a band full of characters, and character. It spills from their being let alone from their songs which have emotion as well as ludicrously infectious hooks, melodies and full on 80s classic rock guitar solos. The band interact with each other – something that Vryll didn’t, and I love it. In fact it’s not just with each other but with the crowd. Even baying to our demands – Someone wanted Jean (Runaway B-Side) and of course they obliged. Then I joined in heckling for 20 Years From Now (Vitamin C B-Side) and well… you got it!.. they played it! The way Mike looks across to band member (and wife) Evelyn is so adorable. I hope I’m not wrong in thinking it’s because he’s checking she’s enjoying every second as much as he is. Drummer, Ross, is one of the happiest people on earth when he plays, tight and faultless, and … happy. The only thing is that bassist Saul gives everyone a run for their money in the smiles steaks. There’s not been a single person I’ve met who knows him who hasn’t said that there isn’t anyone more deserving of success than Saul. This is the kind of band we are dealing with here: humble, happy, friendly, deserving and quite frankly, brilliant!

A huge congratulations to Fly On The Wall for this their first venture, while I might not have loved all of the bands, the atmosphere was electric and it felt like something exciting could happen. May it be the first of many successful events!




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    Popped Music has been going since Feb 2010.

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