Augustines bring widescreen ambition without descending into U2-like dross, Geintothis’ Alan O’Hare witnesses a band who try to capture lightning in a bottle every night.
Energy and excitement are hard things to bottle. It happens a little easier though, when you’re riding upon the crest of a wave.
Augustines (the ‘We Are‘ moniker in the rear view mirror) are one of the bands of 2014. Great gigs have followed great reviews and their self-titled second album has captured hearts and minds. Especially if the crowd at East Village Arts Club are anything to go by.
Augustines live at East Village Arts Club
This was a belter of a gig. Main man Billy McCarthy carried his band on his shoulders and got a sweat on down Seel Street. It was a breathtaking performance – and a tour-de-force from a proper old school frontman.
Songs like Headlong Into The Abyss and Juarez are U2-esque in their ambition – but the band never lose sight of grace and subtlety. The tunes are infectious and the group aren’t embarrassed to get stuck in.
American guitar slingers like Kurt Vile and The War On Drugs are setting the standards this year – but in the slipstream are Simone Felice, John Murry, and Augustines: all a little less psychedelic in scope and (perhaps) more melodious in delivery.
Remember Mona? Augustines are exactly what they wanted to be: an American band with a European sense of lyric and groove. This isn’t bar room music – songs like Book Of James and Philadelphia (City of Brotherly Love) are stripped back and delicious – almost Springsteen-esque in their quest for rock ballad status.
Nothing To Lose But Your Head closed the main set and sent me home happy – with ten great new songs ringing in my ears. Job done.
Support Neon Waltz live at east Village Arts Club
Pictures by Getintothis‘ Simon Lewis
Further reading on Getintothis
LIMF 2014: By The Sea, Baltic Fleet & more set for Getintothis & Bido Lito! stage in Sefton Park.
LightNight Liverpool 2014: Cathedral, Black-E, FACT, St Luke’s Church – picture gallery.
Liverpool Sound City 2014: Review round up and top 10 bands of the festival.
Liverpool Sound City 2014: Picture gallery from all three days of the festival.
Liverpool Sound City 2014 – all the bands reviewed from the three days.
Soho Riots: Mariello.
Getintothis on The Label Recordings: Hooton Tennis Club and The Inkhearts.