RESERVOIR REVIEWS - Live review 19/05/12
Big Scary Monsters showcase at Screenadelica, at Liverpool Sound City
On 19th may, we travelled to Liverpool, to see the much anticipated (FREE!) Big Scary Monsters showcase at Screenadelica, as part of the Liverpool Sound City 2012. Here are our highlights:
Words by Laurence Fryer-Taylor
If there was ever an equation for how to put on an excellent show then Jazzhands might just be the mathematicians behind it. Having three drummers, adding one saxophone, dividing by lounge jazz interludes, multiplying by six members and then finding the square root of one masked mentalist seems to equal one of the most memorable performances I have seen for a long time. Their sound, which can only be described as a duet of jazz and rock falling down the stairs, was able to attract a big crowd for their early set time and we were not disappointed. Jazzhands also made me realise there isn’t enough laughter at gigs, as a topless man, wearing an orange balaclava wielding a cow bell waltzed past me amongst the crowd. If that sounds an odd image to find at a gig, it was. Jazzhands are a fantastic live band. Get tickets to see them. Now.
Providers of a melodic rest after the onslaught of sight and sound that was Jazzhands, Algiers played a very precise set filled with guitar hooks. Each hit of the drum and strum of the guitar sounded like a small cog in the machine that was the sound of Algiers. A particular highlight of their set was the single ‘Uncover Me’ which sounded even better live.
Ninetails were the band that probably included as many genres in their sound as there were bands performing at Screenadelica. Their opening song alone included liberal doses of post-rock, math-rock and even a bit of pop just to make sure every base was covered. Bands that mash together genres like this are often victims of trying to do too much at once, but Ninetails show that rather than just trying to force square pegs in round holes, (innuendo aside) their sound is a naturally occurring process from a wide range of influences. New single ‘Blue Bottle Flu’ was the stand out song of their set, and the facial expressions of bassist, Phil, were a sign that Ninetails obviously enjoy what they’re doing.
Crash of Rhinos:
After months of having ‘Distal’ playing over and over again, I was looking forward to the prospect of Crash of Rhinos performing a few feet in front of me at Screenadelica. The epic wall of noise that Crash of Rhinos create was a welcome thump to the ribs after the dull, white noise of conversation mid-set, and their enjoyment of playing live was evident from their ability to break not only a guitar string, but a bass string too. However, a helping hand from Tall Ships and a spare Telecaster meant the show went on to a very welcoming crowd who witnessed one of the best sets of the night.
Vasco Da Gama:
I don’t know about the guys from Vasco Da Gama, but I was always a Santos fan. Anyway, apart from foreign football allegiances, Vasco Da Gama were the penultimate band of the night and did not disappoint. The local boys played songs with huge scouse grins on their faces, grins which were reflected in their music that had the band and the crowd jigging along. It was difficult to pick a single song that stood out, as every one seemed to get just as good reception as the last. However, as a guitar geek I would like extend a compliment towards the bands lovely instruments, especially singer and guitarist, John, as his unusual axe caught my eye in particular. If instruments could smile, the guitars of Vasco Da Gama would have grins as wide as the Mersey.
Worthy headliners Tall Ships weren’t on stage until one in the morning, but the wait was worth it for the crowd that assembled for them. Despite having one of the biggest assemblages of gear of the night, they knew how to use each and every item there. Stand out songs were ‘Books’ and new single ‘T=0’, both of which were played with a cheeky smile to a crowd that had every single head nodding along. They did make me wonder why such a big crowd for such a small venue wasn’t any bigger.