Live Review: Dream Wife – Liverpool Music Week

Dream Wife

Arts Club, Liverpool Music Week, 1st November 2016

Words: Cath Bore

Photos: Elena Katrina

dreamwife elena katrinaIt’s a curious line up for the penultimate Breaking Out night for this year’s Liverpool Music Week. I’m not sure the bands matched each other or should be playing the same show. It made for an interesting combination anyway.

First up are Whitecliff. There’s a definite appeal to a band who happily play to a shallow dribble of people as if they’re performing to a full house in a stadium or arena, and tonight Whitecliff do exactly that. Singer Oliver Nagy is a true showman, silk shirt open a few strategic buttons yet not too many, and their set is chocker with tunes and choruses, but it’s odd to have indie pop-rock on before we dive headlong in the dark delicious depths provided by SeaWitches.

It’s a sudden leap to something so much more adult and grown up, and to me Seawitches are a cut above anyone else performing before or afterwards. They have long songs you can get lost in, so I do, psychedelic and trippy and gothic and wonderful. Singer Jo Herring has me entranced, mermaid leggings and heavy Juliette Greco fringe. Apparently SeaWitches are taking a bit of time off now to record new material and develop a new sound. Not too different, I hope.

Another switch and musical twist again and it’s time for Pink Kink. Twelve months on from their first show at The Kazimier, all glitter and fun and good times, still no recordings are available as yet, and I’m starting to wonder where they are going, exactly. Pink Kink are full of energy and pep tonight, that’s for sure, and enjoying themselves. The B52s-60s girl group cartoony feel is great, with an infectious energy, and the harmonies are good. The kazoos add a quirky touch, but Pink Kink have lots of quirkiness already, surely?

dreamwife elena katrinaDream Wife are headlining, and seem to me to be life imitating art, or the other way around. Originally – or so the story goes – the band is a spoof art project at college that took a turn a turn for the good, and true to the two year-long legend, humour and mischief is very much in evidence tonight. Dream Wife are all sunshine and squeaky clean hair, singer Rakel Mjöll wearing an omnipresent beatific smile makes you want to flash your teeth back, just to be polite. It hurts the jaw after a bit, though, and her expression, juxtaposed with the lyric ““gonna fuck you up, gonna cut you up, gonna fuck you up” from the song FUU, is not contrived as such, but falls short of weird or supplying the intended discomfort.

The deviation into The Spice Girl’s Wannabe is clever and funny and brings more smiles, though a couple of the songs drag a bit – Somebody, in particular. With Hey Heartbreaker, we’re in handclap and Hey! Hey! Hey! heaven, and get extra Mjöll smiles for our handclaps and hey!s. Great fun, but there’s something about Dream Wife which makes me feel like that the university experiment is still running, and we’re all part of it.

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