Live Review: Rats – Liverpool

Rats

Invisible Wind Factory, Liverpool, 21st February 2020

Words and Photos by Gary Lambert

Outside may have been howling a gale as the latest sensibly-named storm hit town, but inside Invisible Wind Factory over one thousand primarily young music fans had just had one of the best nights of their lives by cheering on Rats‘ massive hometown This Feeling show.  With the balcony of Invisible Wind Factory available for supportive family members who would not usually be seen at a sweaty gig, you did not get the awkward vibe in the audience as Uncle Terry gets annoyed by energetic gig goers high on life and an entire bottle of aftershave.  This meant the night turned into a true big hitter of a gig with massive singalongs, mosh pits, and Saturday morning hangovers.

The SonderThe Sonder were a band I had not seen before, but I was definitely left impressed by the end of the set.

Beforehand I had been told that their music was very like The La’s, but with the blues and country guitar sound (which definitely seems to be having a revival in young Liverpool bands) I was more thinking of The Zutons slow numbers like Railroad in how The Sonder brought a warm, thick texture to their simply constructed sound.  Given their early start time, it was heartening to see hundreds of people in to watch them too.Stone

Following them was a band I have seen far more often.  Stone have gone through lime up, sound and name changes to reach this point; and I have to say that this was the finest I’ve ever seen them play.  They were definitely a band who thrived on the big stage with all those new faces in front of them.  In fact, frontman Finn Power bounced out into the audience to get closer to all of those face.  It was a moment that gave everybody in attendance something to talk about.  If Stone continue this progress then they might give people even more to talk about.

The Kairos have been growing bigger and bigger on the Liverpool scene and beyond, and in recent release Teetotal they have upped their game.  Musically they have quickly matured from a band looking to ape their idols to now having their own sound but with their inspirations providing the thread with which the tapestry is weaved.The Kairos  It is a big, confident sonic wall put together by the four-piece, and the next step for them is to work to make their live performance look a bit more exciting.  This will be especially important for festival season because on performances with this intensity along with powerful tunes they will be able to keep an audience once they’ve caught their attention.

Despite the massive cheers for everybody who played there was no doubt that this was Rats‘ night.  Before they took to the stage, the four lads were calm and ready to do the business.  When they took to the stage, they owned it.  Each band member seemed to thrive on the atmosphere and responsibility to entertain everybody who had turned up.  There were singalongs, laughs, and the room felt like one big party.  Even Dreams, released only a day earlier saw everybody singing along with them which must have felt amazing from the stage.

RatsAs the streamers and confetti floated through the former warehouse as Rats finished off with a stratospheric Weekend, it felt like summer had come early.  This was the end of a headline set in a big top tent where you make friends for the night but it feels like for life with a random stranger.  It felt the perfect celebration for young lads who look, sound and act exactly like the people who are watching them.

Now the task for Rats is to make sure that this is only a stepping stone in their career not a highlight.  Go ‘ead lads!

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