In a night of experimental eclecticism topped by Nashville’s The Paperhead, Getintothis’ Adam Lowerson witnessed the arrival of two of Liverpool’s hottest new acts.
Psychedelia is becoming a much overused word in music, with any band using slightly unconventional guitar tones labelled with the term. It’s now thrown around just as much as ‘indie’ is to describe any four-piece guitar band, a word which has pretty much lost all meaning.
Therefore, when a band come along who genuinely are psychedelic, it’s hard to know how to describe them without sounding lazy. Tonight was one of those nights, where it’s hard to avoid using the ‘P’ word, as Harvest Sun put together a line up of music from all ends of the freaky spectrum, including some of Liverpool’s hottest new prospects.
Topping the bill were Nashville four piece The Paperhead, who were returning to the city for the first time since appearing at Liverpool Psych Fest in 2013. Playing tracks from their 2014 album Africa Avenue, released on Trouble In Mind Records, the set was a real 60s throwback, with a sound deeply rooted in English acid-tinged rock and roll bands.
The opening track from the LP Africa was a real standout, with a meandering electric organ weaving in an out of the acoustic guitar shuffle. This combination along with the catchy chorus and Kinks harmonies are symbolic of the sound of Africa Avenue. If there is one criticism of the Paperhead it’s that they wear their influences on their sleeve, and their music is a real pastiche of late 60s/early 70s British psychedelia. However, their knack for writing pop chorus’ and energetic performance make it an enjoyable set.
The biggest story of the night however is that of two relative newcomers to the Liverpool music scene, both of whom are drumming up a huge amount of interest. First of all, Holy Thursday proved exactly why there is so much buzz around them, including being featured in NME’s Radar section, with a swaggering confidence which left the Shipping Forecast crowd all talking about them. Their Beach Boys meets Tame Impala sound and brilliant musicianship made for a stunning set, culminating in the Eastern wig-out of She – a cosmic juggernaut of a track with a killer sitar aping riff. It is rare for a new band to appear on the scene so fully formed, it’s sure to be a matter of time before Holy Thursday are mesmerising much bigger venues.
Equally impressive were the Floormen who provided a set of kaleidoscopic rock epics, layered with krautrock rhythms and textured vocals harmonies. The balance between Buddy Keenan and Jess Gowing’s vocals give an eerie quality, contrasting nicely with the pummelling drums and mighty guitar hooks. With a small handful of long tracks making up the set, we were left wanting more having only had a taster of what the band are about, but from what we did see we were left again sure of a band deserving of much bigger slots.
First up were fellow Merseysiders Shrinking Minds, who warmed the psych-seekers in attendance up with a short set of raw, fuzz smothered rock and roll. Their noise filled, shoegaze inspired racket was packed with intensity, making for a great start to a night of mind expanding music.
Pictures by Getintothis’ Vicky Pea.