A hat-trick of hard-hitters are brought to Liverpool by Harvest Sun, Getintothis‘ Michael Fowler revels in this heavy-duty freakshow.
It’s been more than two years since Getintothis bore witness to a gig that assaulted the senses to such an extent as when Thee Oh Sees ripped a new one at the Kazimier during Liverpool Sound City. Yet, this triple-header lived up to its billing; berserk, rammed full and raucous to the end.
Before it even began, it was a near packed house, there was an anticipation. The expectation was evident – the crowd knew this would be some gig; a night you’d really remember.
The Wytches appeared first, doing a bit of prep before they headline the same venue in October. They’re the kind of band with no eyes and a whole lot of hair – guitars hung so low they’re scraping the floor and they’re pretty loud. Singer and guitarist, Kristian Bell, stands two feet away from the mic as he howls out his lyrics, and he’s still noisier, than their thumping bass guitar and crashing cymbals.
Their single, Digsaw, stands out and has the crowd throbbing, while slow, waltz-at-a funeral sort of song, Weights and Ties, had us gripped. The fact that they can make you nod your head voraciously then make you sway real slow is what makes Wytches stand out.
Supposedly the headliner tonight was decided by coin toss. We at Getintothis like this idea, as by the time it was 9pm the venue was packed, late comers can’t risk missing their favourite act of the night, so fans were there for both bands nice and early. Can we introduce this on a regular basis?
I guess The Growlers lost the toss, as they were on next.
Within about two seconds of vocalist, Brooks Nielsen, being on stage it is apparent that this guy has charisma. Nielsen’s vocals are how we imagine a cowboy sings. He charms the crowd with a cool and calm, yet inherently wild and raucous delivery that we can only compare to the likes of Adam Green – not his sound but his presence, he’s funny and seductive, and all eyes are on him.
The crowd that was doing a swampy sway at the beginning of the gig soon loosened and became as wavy as The Growlers’ tunes. The band’s surfy, Cali-guitars have some real bone shaking riffs like on What It Is and Gay Thoughts.
When playing Wet Dreams, Nielsen noticed a lad singing along pretty well with the band so he gave him the mic and the kid milked it for all it’s worth. So impressed with the lines, Nielsen gave him the mic for the last line of the song before telling the band, “If I ever get too obnoxious, you know who to get.”
There was a short lull toward the last three quarters of their set, but I Met You In The Past worked the crowd up and Someday convulsed them to a climax. They close by giving the kid who helped sing Wet Dreams the very last line – and with that they disappeared backstage, but not before saying, “Liverpool, you better believe we’re coming back.”
Shortly after, Fat White Family fell onto the stage, one member short, kicking straight into Auto Neutron, a robotic chant of a track that builds and booms as the guitars and organs lose control.
Lias Saudi, FWF’s singer, has his shirt off within thirty seconds. He’s another frontman who’s incredibly adept at stealing your focus. He’s filthy, wiry, sexy and maniacal, everything he screams seems to take everything out of him. He throws his head around, thrusts, fits and turns, and the crowd swarm to be near him.
They dedicate the second song to their guitarist and founding FWF member, Saul Adamczewski, who wasn’t playing tonight. His presence was missed – the band didn’t sound as full as they did back in May when they played at The Black-E for Sound City, but like hell were they going to let that stop them tearing this gig up.
As Is It Raining In Your Mouth? starts so does a mass of crowd surfing and stage invasions that barely quit for the rest of the gig. The invincible looking crowd surfers somersault, twist and land hard. The band didn’t seem to mind the occasional fan falling onto the stage, until one booted Lias in the face, and only then did he playfully retaliate by kicking the fan back into the crowd.
During Touch the Leather, a severe, twisted parlour number, the girl in front of us says, “They’re insane, they’re insane!” and she had it so right, as their sallow, ill faces, grin terrifyingly at the crowd and to the latter part of the tune, Saudi started chewing at the mouth of guitarist Adam J. Harmer.
Fat White’s end the set with their most upbeat track, Bomb Disneyland, ironically the upbeat song is about as sick as it gets, and it spirals and sends the crowd into a frenzy. You could call the night a lot of things – a glorious mess, a chaotic riot of noise, a freak show maybe – but it was also one of the most exciting gigs of the year.