Liverpool Calling 2018: eight bands to watch at this year’s festival

Pale Rider

Pale Rider

Ahead of this year’s Liverpool Calling Festival, Getintothis’ Matthew Wood tucks into eight of the best acts to catch across the city. 

Having played host to some heavy hitters acts down the years including British Sea Power, Reverend and the Makers and Space, Liverpool Calling is back with another sterling line up.

Leading the bill on Friday we have Mint and the Sound City conquering False Heads, while storming into Saturday we have grave-dwelling grunge merchants The Wytches, and the ever-riotous Pulled Apart By Horses.

Liverpool Calling takes place across the city in venues including EBGBsBrick Street and Constellations‘ main room as well as outside in the garden.

There’s also the added extra of an all-day Alan Patridge screening in Baltic Social.

Amid the obvious crowd-pulling bigger acts you’ll find a solid array of rising new bands that may have slipped under your radar, here are our pick of the finest selections to keep you busy over the weekend.



SPILTBrick Street, Saturday @ 17:50

The energy of this act will knock you sideways; just three very young lads with a love for grunge and psychedelia, throwing every ounce of their being into their live performances.

They work frighteningly well as a unit and each possess a talent beyond their years with slick fills and magnificent guitar work that will numb your face, shredded atop a bass-drum, of course.

Expect riotous antics, crowd surfing and buckets of sweat as SPLIT are equipped to pulverise Brick Street in the early evening.

Pale RiderConstellations, Saturday @ 18:10

Ubiquitous on the current Liverpool scene, Pale Rider are surfing a wave of momentum and climbing line ups across the UK – deservedly so.

Their take on gloomy psychedelia is finely balanced by each member’s input, and unlike many psych acts, they’ve tactfully avoided falling into the over-saturated pool of 60’s and 70’s influence, existing in a bracket of their own.

Brooding poetry arrives fist in fist with thunderous drums, a bludgeoning bass and guitar work that is skillful, powerful, but far from imperious. Eyeliner at the ready.

Eyesore & The JinxConstellations, Saturday @ 14:50

Their debut single Gated Community was born a short while back featuring the trio in a terrifying cyber-world where Donald Trump and Theresa May reign supreme, can you imagine..?

David Byrne, Laura Mvula: Apollo, Manchester

Brewing politically charged, angular ditties on the reg, Eyesore & The Jinx embody all that’s grand about the likes of The Fall, The Birthday Party and Parquet Courts with a super tight live-set to boot.

Sweet Deals On SurgeryThe Jacaranda, Friday @ 22:45

Exhibiting wares from their debut record, The Snake and the Snoozer, Manchester trio Sweet Deals On Surgery score the late slot in the Jacarandaand they’ll go down a treat for anyone who fancies tumbling into the early hours in style.

Cast your minds back to when the likes of Tubelord and Dananananaykroyd ruled the roost of underground alt-pop with their fighting-fit, jangly noise punk and you’ll unveil some of their origins; simultaneously twee and rowdy, expect a schizophrenic set full of tumbling fills, gritty licks and honey-sweet harmonies.

Dead Naked HippiesMaguire’s Pizza Bar, Friday @ 21:00

Splicing influence from Nirvana, Savages and The Kills, this Leeds three-piece are razor-sharp and superbly polished with lead vocalist Lucy Jowett already sounding like a seasoned professional with her befitting, rock & roll falsetto.

This promises to be a special performance in the intimate Maguire’s Pizza Bar so get there ahead of schedule if you want to squeeze yourself to the front; Dead Naked Hippies will make you feel alive with a sinister energy and bring out your leather-clad, clove-smoking dark side.

Demob HappyConstellations, Saturday @ 19:50

Formed in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne and later relocating to Brighton in pursuit of a more rewarding music scene, Demob Happy are a supremely creative outfit with one eye peering through a kaleidoscope while the other ponders Sanskrit texts, searching for the meaning of life.

Africa Oyé 2018 review and photo gallery: Sefton Park, Liverpool

Their psychedelic blues is explosive and mighty with hair-raising yelps, tapping into the more discordant sectors of rock, while at times they wander more serene paths with Ray/Dave Davies style harmonies and well-tempered delivery.

Psycho ComedyBrick Street, Saturday @ 21:10

Were Psycho Comedy formed during the 60’s & 70’s, with their talent and work ethic, they’d probably have knocked up as many records as The Stones by now. However, while their creative flare is most prevalent in their tunes, that doesn’t satiate their addiction to the experimental and they operate via every possible creative outlet.

Producing visual art, poetry and film (with a documentary set for release) the sonic sextet prove themselves as an exemplary rock & roll band of the modern age, going that extra mile to ensure we’re front and center, cackling manically for the next crazed, waggish and darkly humorous performance.

Psych yourself up for an all-encompassing set from one of of Liverpool’s finest on a Saturday night… can we get you anything else?

SPQRConstellations, Saturday @ 16:30

The heart wrenching songwriting project of Peter Harrison explores the darkest depths of the human condition, ablaze with an intense flame that seeks to light the path to an understanding of our very existence.

Harrison’s vocal is a fluid instrument, at times recalling the distilled folk of Jeff Buckley and Born Ruffians, delivering rich, dark poetics over simply struck chords, while he has the ability to transform his vocal, and simultaneously his band, into stadium-worthy rockers with a soaring falsetto that would get a nod from Matt Bellamy.

Their debut The House That Doubt Built is a fantastic record: troubled, poignant and deeply honest, and all emotions aside: they’re absolutely belting tracks.

  • Liverpool Calling 2018 will take place across venues in the city centre (Friday) and the Baltic Triangle (Saturday), Friday 22 – Saturday 23 June.
  • Get your Clashfinder here.
Liverpool Calling Line Up

Liverpool Calling Line Up

UPDATE: Pulled Apart By Horses will be doing an in-store signing and DJ set at the new Jacaranda Records: Phase One shop and bar on Seel Street on Saturday.

Welcoming the Leeds rock foursome to the brand new venue, manager Conor Doherty said: “We’re delighted to be an intrinsic part of the Liverpool Calling festival and to have staff favourites Pulled Apart By Horses at Jacaranda Records is amazing.

This weekend, guest caterers at the venue are Fritto, famous for their ‘Panzerotti’, a deep fried calzone. Also on the menu is pizza, calamari, rainbow fries and giant vegan friendly donuts. Tremendous.

Pulled Apart By Horses DJ set

Pulled Apart By Horses DJ set





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