Live Review: The Shimmer Band – Liverpool

The Shimmer Band

Buyers Club, Liverpool, October 13th 2016

Words: Gary Lambert

Photos: Gaz Jones

the shimmer band gaz jonesThis time two years ago, Liverpool’s Evol put on a £5 entry, low capacity gig of some young lads from Stockport who released their debut album this summer. The events at Buyers Club as the promoter put on Bristolian hopefuls The Shimmer Band supported by Bribes and Red Rum Club. It was a night of very loud music, enjoyment and that amphetamine brightness brought on by seeing a band who make you feel like they could shake up your world.


Opening up the event was Red Rum Club. Now I will admit that I am a man in turmoil regarding this act. From one act I think they have the look and sound of a potentially wonderful band; but I also find that as they get further away from their opening gigs they are losing more and more of the sharpness and buzzsaw edge that made them so exciting. For me their songs are safe and derivative, heavily influenced by Echo and The Bunnymen and The Coral, minus the fun.


Red Rum Club took to the stage wearing non-identical all black clothing. It might not be a new thing, but there is a reason bands dress like that. They look cool as a result. And there we come to the crux of the matter. Red Rum Club perform and sound studious and controlled, and there were a number of females with eyes set for swoon at the front. I am never going to criticise a band for being over-rehearsed, but I do think there is more room for spontaneity and living on the edge in their performance. It makes me wonder how they would perform in front of an audience that did not contain friends and family who knew when to stomp as one song segues into another.


shimmer1I really want Red Rum Club to succeed, but in comparison The Shimmer Band seemed light years beyond them not just a couple of singles further down the line. The Shimmer Band undoubtedly have presence, and not just on stage. Wandering around the venue they stand out. Deliberately of course. But when you have that natural charisma and confidence, it is no good trying to hide. For me the swagger of The Shimmer Band is that of a band who are not begging for your attention, but waiting for you to realize where your attention needs to be.


But it is not just about the swagger with this bad. They can back up everything in the quality of their live show – and more importantly the quality of the musical material they have to work with. It is easy to run around a stage and get the crowd going, but if you do not have the songs to back it up then you will be a circus clown forever. The energy and power that The Shimmer Band propel from on stage is dwarfed even at this early stage in their career by songs such as Sunkick. I cannot wait for a couple of years down the line when we know the songs to heart and can blast them out with great abandon.


With considerably less hype on social media the middle band of the night, Bribes, were a great surprise. I had never heard of them before, but I don’t think this is going to be the last I do hear of them. The mixture of blues, indie and heavy rock music provided a fantastic intermission between the young pretenders. The best thing about their sound as well was how smooth the different styles flowed, sometimes within the same songs. It created from the off a Bribes sound.


All in all, this was a splendid night. Well played to all involved. It’s going to stick in the front of my memory for quite some time.

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