Live Review: Estrons – Liverpool


Studio 2, Liverpool, 15th February 2017

Words: Gary Lambert
Photos: Elena Katrina

estrons-elena katrinaA gig is not just about the performance of the artist. The very best gigs require a mix of venue, audience and performance. When all three are right together it pushes each of them higher and higher. When one is off, it doesn’t matter what happens with the other two factors. Studio 2 in Parr Street, Liverpool, is nominally a jazz club in a converted recording studio which offers clinical acoustics, odd lighting and no dirty scuzziness whatsoever. It all feels very formal in there at times, despite the ace selection behind the bar and the lack of bouncers or security staff (the promoter on the door does not count).


Husky Loops have a very strange sound. I will be honest for the first half of the set I was nonplussed by them completely apart from some quite futuristic noises made by effecting the lead guitar. It sounded all very interesting, but nothing that was going to stay with me once the notes had left the soundscape. Even the singer’s multiple attempts to get people to step closer toward the stage did not bring a reaction from the gig goers. However, in the middle of the set something happened which was not an about turn from the experimentalism of their performance, but rather the experimentalism being used to do more than just experiment. With a series of mixed soundbites reminiscent of Loaded, the audience were brought to attention for recent release Fighting Myself. It had more strange noises than a three piece should make as well as a rock-pop hook and lyrics you wanted to grab hold of as they took you beyond Studio 2.


The moderate reaction to that absolute monster of a tune should have prepared me for what was to come next. Estrons are a fine, fine punk band, but they should not have been playing in Studio 2. They needed to be in a venue with a low ceiling that would encourage people to get sweaty and intimate (not that way you smutty types). Instead they thrashed and trashed their way through a set that was powered by anger at being compared to Hole, and fuelled by Taliesyn Kallstrom’s medicine as she told as all that her throat wasn’t good when asking a fan to avoid putting the video they were recording on YouTube. Taliesyn is a wonder in the female punk tradition like Isis Queen of Barb Wire Dolls. Angry and soulful, and definitely cooler than everybody in the room, she dominates the stage performance of Estrons like a frontwoman should. It leaves the band to play loudly, unencumbered by the need to entertain as no matter what they did it would not have taken eyes off the prowling, petrifying punk singing. And Make A Man is still an absolute beauty of a track. Oh my!


Unfortunately throughout this set I felt sorry for Estrons. The limitations of Studio 2 really hit home as the crowd naturally settled in to head bobbing, even though the head bobbing came in raucous format from some original punks who had come in, and polite applause. I saw a similar set at this venue from Black Honey a while back which was the day after a stage invasion in Manchester. Maybe it isn’t the ghost of Phil Collins in Studio 2, but that scouse punks don’t want to get their shoes scuffed. Whatever it is, it needs to change. Bands deserve better.  Estrons definitely did.

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