21 / 09 / 13
"Every band Joe's in has been amazing," somebody says of F.O.E.S' lead guitarist as we patiently wait for the support to take to the stage. It's comments such as this, alongside the growing online buzz around local band F.O.E.S, that has everybody so excited for their debut live show.
As the Shipping Forecast starts to fill up, Mancunian two-piece Bad Grammar bravely begins to play. Ben (vocals, lead guitar) explains that his Strat was stolen that afternoon on Parr Street, but this misfortune does not cloud his performance - the young duo produce enough sound to rival a whole orchestra with their version of punk-infused quirk-riddled pop. Ben's enthusiasm is contagious as he prances around the stage and into the audience, exercising a powerful voice. More impressive still is sidekick Lucy's effortless execution on the drumkit; it is mentioned more than once that you just don't see this level of talent in female drummers, and without wanting to sound misogynistic, I have to agree. Lucy is an inspiration to female musicians world-over.
The general consensus is that Bad Grammar gave an invigorating show. With one well-penned single, the charming and refreshing pair could really make a name for themselves.
Soon the stage seems to be swarming with attractive bearded men dressed entirely in black, and at last F.O.E.S are ready to play live for the first time. The mysterious 4-piece that I've heard so much about are already kicking about on Soundcloud, where their brand new single is available for download FOR FREE as of yesterday, but F.O.E.S (or Fall of Every Sparrow- I think it's biblical?) have never even performed together in front of a paying audience. The atmosphere is understandably heavy with anticipation.
As the band launch stoically into "Ruin Lies In The Bow & The Sword", it's immediately clear what all the buzz was about. Each of these young tattooed musicians are overwhelmingly talented in their own right, and come together with powerful chemistry to give a tight, flawless performance. Chris Mackrill's unique tenor is showcased alongside heavier backing vocals from Joe (lead guitar), Josh (bass) and James (drums), but does not try to outshine the cinematic blend of heavy rock that has already invoked comparisons to Deftones and Smashing Pumpkins. If anything, Mackrill's mic (through no fault of his own) could be a little louder.
As the set continues, it's apparent how ready the band are for this. They are well-rehearsed to the point of making the whole thing look effortless, even under the blistering heat of the lights in Shipping Forecast's crammed basement. F.O.E.S execute as many poignant, tender moments as expertly as they manage the massive riffs and metal-infused instrumentals, with perfect timing and style.
The penultimate song of a 7-set show, "Sewn To The Sail & Unknown", indulges further in the band's penchant for splendidly verbacious song titles; the band's debut single, released just yesterday, is more than worthy of the audience's enormously enthusiastic reception.
F.O.E.S wrap up the night with arguably the best song of the set, "The First Rook to Flee When The Thunder Rolls In", securing their role as Liverpool's best new rock band. Original, professional and blindingly powerful, Fall Of Every Sparrow are already too big for the Shipping Forecast. Frankly unmissable.
Mix of the Week – Dimensions Festival Global Friends 005 Mix by notsosilent
Hardly kept up with the ‘mix of the week’ shout, however this week’s mix is an absolute belter and worth waiting for! This mix courtesy of Dimensions Festival which is happening in a few weeks time out in the lovely land of Croatia! This festival has really locked off the line up, with some of the most up and coming producers all attending, while the promotional mixes leading up to the festival have also been spot on. Their SoundCloud is full of exceptional mixes, however shouts the Edinburgh/Glasgow duo notsosilent who have produced this impressive hour long mix.
Nobody can deny that Merseyside has churned out a shedload of talent over the years; bands such as The Zutons have really put Liverpool on the musical map. And probably there were others too.
But forget about those timeless and highly covered classics such as “Valerie” - allow me to introduce you to the new kids on the block.
Hardly a month goes by without a massive bandfest kicking off in town. From Sound City to Festevol to Summercamp, we’re thoroughly spoilt in Liverpool for live music. You may already be acquainted with some of the local frontrunners, such as the wonderful Tea Street Band and ridiculously cool Ninetails. Here are a couple of my favourite, fresh-faced, Scouse-born-and-bred rockers that you might not have ‘liked’ on Facebook yet.
Five seemingly innocent young lads. The type that might, on appearance, might raise the eyebrow of experienced rock and roll fans who were around when Jagger first strutted onstage. But when they take to the stage, it’s quickly apparent that Sankofa are musicians to be taken seriously.
Formed in 2010, the boys have finally begun to raise substantial interest in the industry – and with good reason. Without sounding like they’re trying to reinvent the wheel, Sankofa make original and truly psychedelic rock and roll. The highly praised debut single “Siren Song” was released in May by Eighties Vinyl Records as a limited edition 7” vinyl, and can only be described as 10 minutes of absolutely stunning structure and hypnotic sound. Think trancey reverb and synths. Now stop thinking, and have a little listen. Head to our Facebook or Twitter for a chance to win a copy...
If, like me, you’re delighted with what you’ve just heard but completely baffled about the band name, allow me to explain (courtesy of Wikipedia). Sankofa literally translates in Ghana into the phrase, "to reach back and get it”, and is symbolised beautifully by a bird taking an egg from off its back. The idea there is that there’s no shame in going back for something that you left behind. Having read a couple of inspiring interviews with the band, it’s clear that there’s a lot more to the boys than loud and attractive music – they’re a clever bunch, with an original message and big ambitions, and one can’t help but become absorbed in their passion.
An absolutely electric and super-tight live performance, paired with intelligence and drive, set Sankofa aside as potential superstars.
Already preparing for their debut EP, Sankofa have recently declared that their 10” is set for release in December.
The lads have been playing bigger and better gigs in the past few months, with appearances at all the important local festivals. You can- nay, must- catch them at the wonderful Camp & Furnace on the 23rd November, supporting the incredible The Wicked Whispers. It’ll be a night to remember.
Self-branded “folk-rock-dub-hop” artists Loved Ones may already be familiar to you, having played numerous big shows in the city of late. Featuring fantastic facial hair and tantalising synths, this talented quintet produce lingering, nostalgic melodies that will instantly entrance you.
Debut album The Merry Monarch, released in all its remastered glory earlier this summer, has all the charm of Bon Iver- in fact, lock him in a room with Grizzly Bear and an abundance of quirky instruments (namely the Italian organ and glockenspiel) and you’re starting to get the idea. It’s warm, it’s electric, it’s brooding. And it’s as original as you like.
Loved Ones live performances are frankly mesmerising, earning them a well-deserved place in the list of Top 10 Live Acts at Sound City this year.
If you haven’t yet cottoned on to this bunch, stop picking the fluff out of your belly button, put your trainers on and go treat yourself to one of the most evocative albums you’ll ever purchase.
Death At Sea
If you don’t already know Death At Sea… Where have you been, man? Don’t you follow me on Twitter?
The very essence of lo-fi grunge, this Liverpudlian five-piece emerged early last year and rocketed into my list of Top 5 Favourite Bands Ever, Probably with the release of their massively atmospheric first single, Drag / Selfless. Inspired by the likes of Sonic Youth, the Pixies and other guitar-wielding rock and roll legends, the band has been quoted more than once after boldly proclaiming that “guitar music is NOT dead”. One run through of their debut single and you’ll find yourself quite agreeing.
Not dissimilar to Yuck, but by no means much like anything currently in the business, Death at Sea set themselves apart with beautifully composed lyrics drawled over big riffs. Having toured with the likes of Haim and Deap Vally, DAS have already gained plenty of recognition by the people that matter in the media, but you can expect to see way more from these boys in the coming year.
Debut album coming soon – I’ll keep you updated.
It's been a few weeks, but we wanted to return to our new feature 'Inside Ibiza.' With the season approaching it's wonderful climax, and man on the party isle has been continuing to capture the ultimate summer clubbing destination through his own eyes, the eyes of an Ibiza worker.
Whether you're an Ibiza regular and recognise some familiar sites, or you've never been but would love to go... this feature will make you want to jump straight on that plane...
This week’s mix is from a few months back from Off-Sonar 2013, where Kate Simko played in one of the many showcases on at Barcelona’s international music festival. The DJ from Chicago is an established electro/techno producer, and she’s recently mixed for Get Physical and most notably a fine mix last year for Crosstown Rebel’s podcast series - Rebelpod 14. This mix from Sonar was courtesy of the Leftroom Vs. Culprit showcase which would have surely been an exceptionally groovy, late-afternoon party.
This weekend saw some of the guys from EXHiBiT MCR, musicclothesfootwear.tumblr.com (M.C.F) and us at Lazy Genius take a trip down to CIRCUS to take part in some Friday night fun. Top of the bill was Solomun, however the attraction of the night for some of us was Subb-an, the techno guru pretty much cleared half the room after he jumped on after MK. With nothing but vinyl’s and CDJs he laid down some real rocking techno to please the worthy crowd, but what was more admirable was the request to play the so famous ‘one last choon’... So here it is, courtesy from our friends at EXHiBiT...
Welcome to the first in a new series for Lazy Genius. The season in Ibiza is in full swing and our man over there is sending us a unique perspective of the party isle with a series of photos, giving us a look through the eyes of an Ibiza worker. We'll reveal his identity on his return to Liverpool, where he'll be certain to be hitting decks across the city.
In the meantime, whether you're an Ibiza regular and recognise some familiar sites, or you've never been but would love to go... this new feature will make you want to jump straight on that plane...
This week saw our friends over at musicclothesfootwear.tumblr.com (M.C.F) take a trip down to the Shangaan Electro event which was held at the Kazimier Gardens. From enjoying the cask ales in the daytime sunshine and experiencing the South Africa electro movement, the brilliant 1 day festival welcomed some quality live music from Banana Hill, Auntie Flo and most notably towards the end of the night a pumping house and techno vibe from the co-founder of the Boiler Room, Thristian.
A particular highlight of the night was at the end of Thristians set, after being told to turn it down more than once; he ended with an unexpected samba touch to the delight of the intimate audience.
This week’s mix of the week goes out to one of the performers of the night, Auntie Flo and his Boiler Set back in December 2012.
We're particularly hoping he drops this lovely little FOALS remix...
We'll be down there, will you? See you in the theatre!
We get a fair few E-Mails here at Lazy Genius from people asking us to listen to their new music, or check a band out. If I'm honest, it's been some time since we've taken much notice of them or done anything with their contents. However, a one such recent E-Mail did get my attention. The request within was simply to listen to the debut EP from a 'local band' which was the only description given.
Claiming to be in the Top 10 sellers in the North West on Bandcamp I have to admit that I wasn't overly keen on the name Queen Maud and pressed play on the enclosed link with fairly low expectations. However, I was very pleasantly surprised. Rather than being met with identikit and poorly produced 'lad rock' that seems to so often grace my inbox, PAINS is 5 tracks of extremely agreeable and pleasant dream-pop, shoe-gaze, electronica with rich and at times haunting vocals. Burdened with cynicism these days it was very refreshing to receive some new music that really caught my attention. We've yet to find out much more about Queen Maud, but we'll certainly be investigating further. In the meantime, have a listen for yourselves..