Live Review: Too Many Poets,

Too Many Poets, Duke Mercury,Pocket Apocalypse, SPQR

Maguires, Liverpool, 9th January 2015

Words: Gary Lambert

Apparently January is the worst time to put on any events as everybody is still hungover literally and financially from Christmas, but for the second day in a row Popped Music attended a packed house for a record label showcase in Liverpool. The venue for the debut showcase of Elevant Music Limited was the pizza bar with a back room for gigs that is Maguire’s. Fresh pizza, cold beer and loud music. This is what Saturday night is made for.


Elevant Music Limited is the brainchild of Michael Edwards, the singer and songwriter for Elevant who we last met back in June. Instead of using his degree in Economics working in the financial industry, Michael decided that he would put together his two fields of expertise to create a new record label that was not genre-specific but was rather a stable for music creativea inspired by Converge’s Deathwish Inc and Fugazi’s Dischord. With the DIY ethos of the label, the night was perfectly situated.


This first showcase was to celebrate the first signings to EML, Duke Mercury and Too Many Poets; and to provide the opportunity to perform to two bands who whilst not signed by the label are definite favourites of those connected to it, SPQR and Pocket Apocalypse.


It was SPQR who started off the event which was pretty full from the moment the doors opened. Although all the bands in the night were fairly heavy rock bands, it was noticeable that each band was a more musical offering than loud, low and heavy. SPQR provided rhythms which conjured up images of North African souks and deserts to go with the pounding energy. I even went outside into the pizza parlour to listen through the walls (not with my ear against them) just so I could experience more of the rhythm section with less of the accompanying sounds. It was a surprising but welcome addition to the entertainments.


Following up from that was the topless twosome that is Duke Mercury. With a smile and simplicity this pair rocked like their lives depended on it and gave the night it’s most memorable moment with their set finishing on chants of “one-two-three-four I declare a thumb war”. You could not help but grin and join in.


The most accessible band of the night were Pocket Apocalypse. Whilst as hard as any band you’d care to listen to, with their bassist providing a funk underscore to their sound it meant that as well as jump around the option of dancing was definitely there too. Dedicating Circles to Michael saw them gain brownie points with the organiser, but there was no need for it. They had the audience eating out of the palm of their hand. Pocket Apocalypse have been on the scene for quite a while now, but if performances of this level of vigour, volume and verve are the norm (and they are two for two when I have watched them) you will be seeing them on your scene too.


It was a very hard act to follow and when you start off with five minutes of technical difficulties then Too Many Poets had their backs to the wall. The opening number of screams and shouts left me disappointed that it was just another grindcore band and that is a scene I really struggle with. Fortunately Too Many Poets have a great range of skills and after shouting around a lot, they gave a set of almost every key rock style from brooding gothic to the poppier elements of punk. I think long term the band need to find out what they actually want to produce as it seems a homage to their heroes at present, but the talent and foundations are there. Hopefully this link up with Elevant Music Limited will give them the additional focus and coverage to get them where they obviously want to be.


The last word goes to Michael Edwards though. As well as being an intelligent and thoughtful guy who will do all he can for these bands, if you were watching him dance, cheer, encourage and mingle you know that he has that key element of passion. If you’re a passionate fan of intelligent rock music then EML might just be what you have been waiting for.

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  • About Popped Music

    Popped Music has been going since Feb 2010.

    All articles written by Elena Katrina unless otherwise stated.

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