Live Review: Sophie and The Giants – Liverpool

Sophie and The Giants

Sound, Liverpool, 30 September 2019

Words and Photos by Gary Lambert

Sophie and The Giants are a band that come with a great reputation, and I was feeling pretty left out on the hype that is building around them purely because I had missed watching them at so many festivals. Fortune favours the brave, or rather those willing to go out to a basement on a Monday night when the conditions could only be described as torrential, so I was able to take in the Sheffield four-piece for the first time at Sound in Liverpool.

Opening up the night were local support band The Nineteens. For a young band they performed admirably with effort and positivity. Strangely, the singer reminded me of Tracy Chapman in his ability to get a feeling of gentle hope in every lyric he sung. Even now, I’m confused as to why a lad from northern England reminded me so much of a woman from Cleveland, Ohio, but he did. I hope the band persist with what they are doing at the moment because I think experience could improve them tenfold as there were a few moments of awkwardness which I think would have been avoided with a bit more self-belief and confidence. And regardless how any singer who thinks he’s Jim Morrison acts before going on stage, the only way that those levels can be reached is by playing consistently and hitting your marks. I was impressed too by the fact that even though they were cheered on by a number of friends, The Nineteens played for all the audience rather than focused on just the attendees who they knew.

I’m going to be honest with you, don’t believe the hype over Sophie and The Giants. The hype does not do them justice. This was a great performance by a fantastic band from opening track Waste My Air onwards. The gig left me adding pointless swear words every time I spoke to someone in the bar afterwards in a mindless attempt to add further enhancement to my proclamations of their wonder. And a lot of that goes to Sophie and the vocal weapon she wields like a Valkyrie heading into battle, but the titular Giants are a musical tornado of energy. There is so much to the sound that the foursome have together. It’s soulful, funky, punky, and poppy in such a grand fashion that it seems wrong that they are only at the start of their career. The songs are crafted so beautifully that I would swear on all things that I consider holy that I knew every inch of each song despite it being the first time I had seen them play.

Whilst the songs are superb, this is not a band who stand there and focus on their art. No, no, no! The amount of movement that took place on the small stage defied logic. It was balletic and like watching a live action version of The Matrix but with Neo playing guitar and bass. Breathless, beautiful, bold, and brilliant. Even when Sophie moved out into the audience singing Bulldog, the audience took a step back such was the radiating dominance of the players. Finishing on recent single, Break The Silence, the set felt complete and so satisfactory even if it finished early at about half nine. I wouldn’t have complained if they played until midnight.

Sophie and The Giants, fucking hell.

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