Rolling Balckouts Coastal Fever brought one of the most anticipated gigs of the summer, Getintothis’ Howard Doupé heads out to suss out the hype.
Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever seem to be riding the high wave of success of late.
Not content on the mass radio airplay of Talking Straight from their debut album Hope Downs released last year, which featured in too many best of year lists to mention.
They now have a new single to plug called In the Capital.
Their jingly, radio-friendly brand of ‘hard-pop’ is such an easy ride to jump on board and tonight’s the first time Liverpool gets to climb on board.
Opening up tonight Our Girl feels like the perfect choice.
Relentlessly on the road, it’s been a couple of months since we caught their last gig in town at Phase One – a rather subdued Monday evening.
With sunlight streaming in from the river side through the huge frosted windows, it’s the perfect vibe.
There’s a far more determined and purposeful swagger to their set tonight.
Each blissed-out ebb and flow of the songs hit harder and work in a way a live band should. The crunch guitar sounds louder than before, Josh Tyler lost in the bass that underpins each outburst.
They’re clearly enjoying themselves, as smiles are all round- even Soph Nathan is breaking the usual too cool stance. ‘This is the best named venue we’ve played’, confirms drummer Lauren Wilson. ‘It’s what I call my boyfriend, but don’t tell him’ she adds right before launching into album highlight, I Really Like It.
As a live band they’ve certainly grown into these songs, the live presentation oozes of road-worn splendor. By the time In My Head lands the crowd have doubled in size and are duly obliged to show their appreciation.
With the middle of the venue seemingly full but with ample room to breathe down the front Rolling Blackouts C.F. arrive to a warm reception. With what seems like too little stage equipment to create their sound they plough into it.
Singer Fran Keaney brandishing an acoustic guitar underpins the melodic structure of the set whilst vocal duties ping from center, left and right of stage as guitarists Tom Russo and Joe White take it in turns to deliver.
On such a large stage and the lack of equipment around which to navigate the whole thing becomes their dancefloor.
Numerous times throughout their locked-in groove, they are shake their hips as if the hypnotic tempo created by Marcel Tussie, delivering just what’s needed to drive this Antipodean dolewave ride.
Although most of tonight’s set comes from their debut album, Julie’s Place particularly on point. EP French Press gets a nod along with the new single. There’s no surprise that when Talking Straight hits, the dangers of a pit-less venue throws up its potential.
One well-oiled eager fan manages to invade the stage, and bust out the worst case of dad-dancing ever seen. The band tolerate in good spirits, although its fair to say the line was overstepped when he thought reaching the chorus was an open invitation to steal the mic from Keaney.
No sir, this is not how it’s done.
Despite some more over-exuberant fans determined to repeatedly announce their town of residence, Sick Bug, An Air Conditioned Man and Mainland all sound huge live. Along with new tune Big Fences, carrying on the trademark rolling groove we’ve become accustomed to. It’s superb.
It’s fair to say Rolling Blackouts C.F. certainly cemented their status of indie-high achievers with this performance. Who knows if next time around we’ll have a venue big enough to contain them.
Images by Getintothis’ Lucy McLachlan