With Independent Venue Week in full swing, Getintothis Lewis Ridley was in among the action as we took over EBGBs with a little help from some friends.
On the second night of Independent Venue Week 2018 in Liverpool EBGBs was the place to be.
Getintothis hand-picked four artists to play the heaving basement, and so it was Vain Male, Silent K, Pale Rider and Stealing Sheep who were tasked with the mission of delivering guaranteed swell times in the tunnels below Seel Street. And that’s precisely what they did.
Liam Evans is Vain Male, and regular readers of these pages know how highly we regard this prodigious young talent.
He was first up, and now armed with a recently released self-titled EP, tonight he comes assisted by Bill Nickson, who features on the track Emotion(less) plus a further three musicians fresh from January’s Getintothis’ Deep Cuts gig at Buyers Club.
Until I heard You Speak is the track best placed to illustrate the cool vibe running through the brickwork tonight. Evans himself is comfortable centre stage on keyboard, but at times pulls away to cut an incredibly mature figure playing ballads which wouldn’t be out of place on the end credits of Twin Peaks. A set-closing curve ball in the form of This Isn’t Getting Any Better is an example of his versatility as its motorik groove allows the band to expand their sound and take us off to a faraway place.
Silent K claim to bring “new music for a silent generation”. This is former Zuton, and larger than life character, Dave McCabe’s new project but it’s front man Chris Taylor clearly at the helm and steering this ship. This time around, McCabe dons a captains armband on his left arm, and was up to his old and much-loved, “this one’s for yer Ma” tricks.
Front and centre, Taylor’s powerful vocals project to the back wall of EBGBs, and probably Duke Street too. This is a band who via Facebook claim to be based at Knowsley Safari Park, members including Vincent Valentine and ‘Pat Phelan (the horrible get)’. That’s the Silent K vibe, and those down the front couldn’t get enough.
Pale Rider were last seen at January’s Deep Cuts birthday bash and just like in Buyers Club, it was a set that, without even the palest shadow of a doubt, will have collected another set of fans.
Big debut single I Run On Rain is a popular one but it is surrounded by huge guitar tracks as part of a set which transcends anywhere between Richard Ashcroft-style chilled-out psychedelic moments of reflection to transcendental billowing chaos led by an outstanding rhythm section of Sophie Thompson and Louis Dutton.
They open with a trio of songs which meld into one another; there’s no pausing for breath as the noise whips around the basement to ear-shattering levels before One Beat picks up the pace with dueling guitars and Ben Russell‘s howling vocal. It’s quite sensational.
At the end of the set, lead guitarist Fran Codman leans over the barrier, presses his guitar against the ceiling to create a scene that perhaps epitomises IVW – you can’t do that in the Echo Arena! It was a stunning finale, Pale Rider blew out EBGBs.
All that remained was for Stealing Sheep to supply the tunes as the night ended with a fierce set of disco pop classics. Becky and Emily, complete with fluorescent leggings, dropped the lights and ascended the chimes.
Electro-pop favourites, there’s a new album soon, they opted to dazzle with a DJ set incorporating their instrumental skills and vocals through a range of genres.
While there may be a lot to compete with across Independent Venue Week, it is a platform on which new artists can create incredible live performances to people who may not previously have been fans. And if Tuesday night was anything to go by, they will be fans in the future.
Photos by Getintothis’ Keith Ainsworth