Well, it's upon us, Liverpool Sound City 2013! Here at Lazy Genius we can't wait for another 3 days packed full of amazing bands, conference insight, brilliant keynote speakers, far too beer, discovering new and lost friends and all within our beloved city. So Lazy Genius' Tom Johnson and Kevin Melling have scoured the schedule, and selected their 'must see' bands of the weekend...
Loved Ones (Liverpool Cathedral, 19.30pm Thursday)
Winners of the first GIT Awards last year, and a band that have been and around Liverpool for some time, featuring ex Seal Cub Clubbing Club and The Laze members, Loved Ones are a different prospect altogether... an intelligent, beguiling fuse of folk and electronica, they are definitely a band that shouldn't slip under your Sound City radar.
Spring Offensive (Epstein Theatre, 22.15pm Thursday)
An absolute favourite of mine having followed them for sometime, and putting them on for Lazy Genius at The Shipping Forecast early last year. Having been lucky enough to witness their beautiful an intimate shows several times, including a surprise meeting at The Great Escape last year, I can't wait to see them back at Liverpool Sound City again. Achingly beautiful harmonies, intricate melodies and full of intensity Spring Offensive are one of my favourite bands of the last 5 years... a definite must see for me!
Killaflaw (Brooklyn Mixer, 00.30am, Thursday / Friday morning)
One for the night owls, if you're still standing, Liverpool's own Killaflaw are well worth a look. Described as “like Led Zep meet the Chemical Brothers” and “the missing link between Soundgarden and The Prodigy”.... sounds pretty damn good doesn't it?
The Walkmen (Liverpool Cathedral, 9.30pm Friday)
They need no introducing, quite simply one of my all time favourite bands. The thought of seeing them at Liverpool Sound City, in the beautiful setting of the cathedral, quite simply gives me goosebumps.
Dutch Uncles (The Garage, 10pm Friday)
We saw these at their last Liverpool outing, at The Kazimier a few months ago. After initially dismissing them as a 'poor man's Hot Chip' (which still makes them pretty good!) I was blown away by their live show, and can't wait to see them back in Liverpool again...
Police Squad (The Krazyhouse, 1.15am Friday / Saturday morning)
Relative unknowns amongst my other picks I should imagine, but local favourites of mine and a band I have been close to for some time. Brilliantly aloof to the scene by their own admission, a little buzz is starting to build around them... and in my eyes, it's about time! Do your best to catch them in the dark of the night, in the depths of The Krazyhouse, you won't regret it. Comparisons are never fair, but if you like my other picks, you'll like these boys... have a listen...
Wet Nuns (Screenadelica, 00.45am Saturday night / Sunday morning)
Probably one of the best band names ever, and one of the best live shows you're likely to see... the perfect, noisy sort of close to Sound City that we love!
Melody's Echo Chamber (The Kazimier, 10.45pm Friday)
Melody Prochet's previous outfit supported Tame Impala, and now she's back as Melody's Echo Chamber with one of the best singles of 2013, 'Crystallized' from her self titled debut album. Being based in Paris, this could be a rare Liverpool date for Melody and her brilliant dreamy pop. That combined with it being held in the Kazimier make it not to be missed.
The Chapman Family (Leaf, 10:15pm Friday)
It's a shame that these boys are on in the middle of such a stacked Friday night line up, at the same time as the likes of Savages, Dutch Uncles, and The Walkmen. Their June gig was one of the Lazy Genius highlights of 2012 and their new single 'This One's For Love' is one of this year's best songs (and videos) yet. Follow them on Twitter, they love Liverpool's architecture and proper hate Thatcher, Gary Barlow etc.
The Dirty Rivers (Mello Mello, 9pm Saturday)
The Dirty Rivers made the most of a slot supporting Californina fitties Deap Vally at The Shipping Forecast in March, given to them after fellow Sound City act Drenge had to pull out. There are some obvious similarities with a few big bands, but it's unfair to make comparisons as these young, local lads have their own style and stage presence. Abbey Clancy is a self confessed fan, but please don't let that put you off.
Fist City (Heebie Jeebies, 5pm & Sound, midnight Saturday)
Most of this band's songs are fast, to the point and only two minutes long. Could then be a decent way to start things off on Saturday. Plus what a name. Spookily, Fist City is what town would've been at 5pm on Saturday if the derby hadn't been moved.
Egyptian Hip Hop (Art Academy, 10.15pm Saturday)
There were some cracking gigs in this venue last year. This might not be a classic but it's part of the Sound City closing party and 'Rad Pitt' is a great little song.
It's nearly upon us... who are you going to see? Plan your own Sound City schedule....
Absolutely love this new track, and awesome video from probably my favourite new band at the moment - Spring Offensive
We've been following them for a few years now, and Lazy Genius was proud to have had them up for a headline show at The Shipping Forecast last year. SO play a series of shows in April supporting To Kill A King, for tickets and all things Spring Offensive visit springoffensive.co.uk
Fiesta Bombarda returns to Liverpool on Friday the 15th of March at LEAF with another awesome looking show brought to you from one of the most creative and hard working promotion collectives out there. As many of you probably know, Lazy Genius are HUGE fans of Spring Offensive, who top the bill, but the rest of the line up aint bad either is it?
This is a little bit out of our usual jurisdiction shall we say, but we can't wait for the UK & Irish Cycle Messenger Championships to hit Liverpool on the weekend of the 15th - 17th of March. A friend of ours is the reigning champion after last year's event in Dublin and was challenged to host this year's event in his home town, and ours, Liverpool. Also known as the Paddy's Day Massacre it's going to be a heavy weekend of rides, races, bizarre bike action, speed and plenty of partying.
To find out more about watch this sick promo video and follow the build up to the weekend and and all the action as it kicks off on the #CCCL13 home page.
The Kazimier, Liverpool | 22 January 2013
Does anyone else play the first song game, where you have a bet on which song will open a gig? My friends and I have been doing it for a while now and I’ve only recently started to wonder how common it really is. Is it something everyone does – like how I discovered all lads my age who played Championship Manager growing up ‘interviewed’ their virtual alter ego when they were alone – or is it one of those equally mental things that only I do, such as pretending every boring meeting at work is actually a team of TV writers brainstorming ideas for a new series of The Shield?
My mate who I’m going with tonight has tarred the game a bit after it turned out he’d cheated before we went to see Passion Pit in November, looking on setlist.fm for spoilers. He still wants to play it tonight but he’s like Lance Armstrong to me now. In fact, the more I think of it I can’t recall a band we’ve seen where he hasn’t called it spot on. There’s not much else to talk about as we enjoy a pint in Bier though, so it’s game on, rigged or not. The Joy Formidable’s new album ‘Wolf’s Law’ only came out yesterday and I’ve heard less than half of it, so I pick ‘Cradle’ from their debut album, and Chris Huhne here opts for their last single, ‘Cholla’.
We arrive at The Kazimier just too late to catch Lazy Genius favourites We Are Animal, although even with about half an hour before The Joy Formidable are due on there’s a pretty full crowd. There’s also a big fuckoff neon wolf’s head on the back wall, prompting my mate to point out the supposed wolf on his t-shirt. The reality is that he has a poor clip-art version of Foxy Bingo on his clobber, and a couple of bystanders agree with me when I point this out to him.
Not long after we find a spec right in the centre of the floor, the lights dim and my favourite Welsh alt-rock trio are down the stairs and on the stage, with Ritzy Bryan sporting a lovely royal blue guitar. She bursts into the opening riffs of ‘Cholla’ (hmmm…) all wide-eyed and outstretched arms, like Alice Glass’s happy little sister, asking ‘Where are we going? What are we doing?’ as if she actually wants the crowd to answer her. She smiles a lot early on, but as she sings the outro of the gorgeous ‘The Greatest Light is the Greatest Shade’ there are definite tears in her eyes. Sad ones.
Bryan’s interaction with the crowd is a little awkward at first, but gets better. (I recently saw her sort-of namesake Brian Fallon from The Gaslight Anthem struggle initially with the Manchester Apollo audience, asking us all if we supported City, United or – bizarrely – Watford.) After ‘Austere’ she talks about how she enjoys playing in Liverpool, as the crowds “always enjoy a good fucking heckle.” Predictably this encourages a few Soccer AM crew member types to start shouting crap jokes at her, and she wisely moves on to the next song, ‘This Ladder is Ours’: the opener to ‘Wolf’s Law’ and as good a Track 1 as I’ve heard in a while.
When ‘Cradle’ starts up about halfway through the set, we get the best example yet of the huge noise all of the band’s live reviews seem to mention. The crowd go nuts for this one and it’s impressive to see a three-piece make such a racket. I’d wondered if Ritzy’s vocals might have been drowned out but I needn’t have; her voice is strong all night and on the slower songs it is stunning, in a way that isn’t as obvious on their records. Their first acoustic number ‘Silent Treatment’ encapsulates everyone apart from a small, annoying group towards the back who talk and laugh quite a bit too loudly throughout it. Their last three songs all comfortably pass the five-minute mark, but none of them hang around longer than they should, with ‘Maw Maw Song’ probably the moment most people in attendance tonight will remember above all (even if it could do with a snappier title). It’s been a well-paced set with little in the way of filler, and when the band go back up the staircase after just twelve songs nobody here feels short changed.
At the start of the encore I get a text off my cousin saying, “Limbs everywhere in the away end.” Bradford City have knocked Aston Villa out of the League Cup at Villa Park. There are limbs everywhere here too during a mammoth ten-minute rendition of ‘Whirring’, the song which Paul McCartney’s new drummer Dave Grohl called the song of the year in 2011. It's a wall of noise with Ritzy banging her axe against a big gong that gets used for the first and only time, and letting one fan at the front play her guitar with her for a few cool seconds. The Joy Formidable leave having promised not to wait so long for their next return to Liverpool. Their US tour ends a fortnight before Sound City 2013, incidentally. What odds on us seeing them in a slightly bigger venue this May?
After we leave I start to wonder how I will do a write-up without sounding relentlessly positive. Apart from the unwelcome chatter in the crowd and one or two set list omissions though, I can’t think of anything I didn’t enjoy about the night. And besides, those two things happen at most gigs. Luckily a super-fan we end up talking to in a bar is furious about how corporate his heroes have become. A couple of his rants ring true; the new album wasn’t on sale at the venue (for a reason largely unexplained by the band other than being the fault of some unidentified “bastards”), and there were fliers everywhere offering the chance for fans to meet the band as long as they spent over £30 on merchandise, the kind of offer that would probably please as many people as it dismays. His “I saw them play my college before they went massive” shout is a bit much though, seeing as they just played to about 200 people and his own girlfriend had, and I quote, “never heard of them, the bint”.
Anyway, these are one of the best rock bands in Britain right now. See them live before they errm, go massive.
Setlist 1. Cholla 2. Austere 3. This Ladder is Ours 4. The Greatest Light is the Greatest Shade 5. Little Blimp 6. While the Flies 7. Cradle 8. Tendons 9. Silent Treatment 10. Maw Maw Song 11. I Don't Want to See You Like This 12. Love is the Ever Changing Spectrum of a Lie Encore: 13. Wolf's Law 14. Whirring
The first raft of acts for Liverpool Sound City have been announced today. Sound City is Liverpool's answer to The Great Escape and South by South West, quickly becoming one of the most exciting, anticipated and well respected music industry conferences in the world.
Lazy Genius are absolute ecstatic with the headline announcement of The Walkmen - one of our all time favourite bands, we can't wait to see them in this wonderful setting. The New Yorkers will be joined by The Horror's prodigies TOY and Sound City favourites Chapel Club and Egyptian Hip Hop, among others. It's a fantastic first announcement, and the perfect tonic for a very cold and miserable January! We're getting excited for May already... to see the first round of bands to be announcement in full, visit the Sound City website.
Some of you may or may not know that Lazy Genius head honcho used to write regularly as a youngster for Liverpool FC fanzines and websites, running his own LFC news, opinion and forum site 'The Anfield Shrine.' With our new approach in 2013 to make Lazy Genius into more of a blog, we are bringing The 'Shrine back and Tom will be sharing his thoughts about all things Liverpool FC, football and the casual culture. In the first of these columns, he looks at tomorrow's massive game against the old enemy...
We're still a massive club, but this year we have to prove it. Starting tomorrow..
It feels like a long time since I last wrote about Liverpool Football Club, and I suppose that's because it is. It's probably around 10 years ago since I was writing for my own site and other fanzines and fan sites about my beloved club and the routine of 'going the match.' A lot has changed in that time, both at LFC and in football in general, I can't say that there is an awful lot I like about football these days and just how things have changed, except of course that fact we have Luis Suarez at our club! But my grievances with modern football are for another article. Tomorrow sees what is undoubtedly, whatever anyone says, still the biggest fixture in England - Liverpool Vs Manchester Utd. The old enemy.
We finally have the hoodoo off our back, they have 19 titles, we have 18. They have dominated English football for over a decade, they were always going to catch up us and eventually go ahead, and to be honest I'm just glad it's happened now. I think we all know that Liverpool are still a club in transition, and still a club that are underachieving. Again, there is a whole other article in whether or not Rodgers is the right man for the job, how quickly we are progressing and all the rest of it. For what it's worth, from a personal point of view I'd say I was cautiously optimistic but that the jury is still out. I won't lie, I would have had Rafa back in a shot - but perhaps we have all been guilty of being too sentimental at times, and appointing Rodger was a brave and positive move. He says all the right things, and he is obviously having to deal with a serious tightening of belts at the club. So far this season, we have done OK. That is about as much as I can say, we've been extremely inconsistent but we have also played some wonderful football and Suarez has been out of this world. The resurgence of Gerrard can only be a good thing, and our plethora of youngsters are dealing with the pressure of playing at this level very well.
However, despite playing well against the so called 'big sides' so far this season, we haven't got the results - not like we used to under Benitez. Of course I'm biased but I simply won't have anyone tell me that Liverpool Football Club aren't still a huge club, in Britain and around a world, and not only that but still a real threat to anyone. I'm not completely delusional, we are no where near Utd or City at the moment, and a fair way off the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea as well but I do believe that we can get closer this season and really begin to progress again.
Tomorrow is an opportunity to lay a marker down and show that we can begin to challenge again. That we can't just beat the likes of Norwich and QPR but that we have the ability to beat the top sides and compete with our old enemy. This season could be a real season of progression, but we have to start making bigger steps, starting with the game tomorrow.
I'm not going to talk too much about United, who would want to? Of course I hate them, but they are a brilliant side, a huge club and I'm pretty convinced that they'll be champions this year. So it's more important than ever to show that we are able to compete and make them realise that their old enemy are on the way back...
Lazy Genius has always been about music, and in particular live music in Liverpool, however in 2012 due to other commitments we had to take a step back from live music promotion and artist representation and in 2013 we are looking to develop the site as more of a blog, bringing you everything from our favourite new music from Liverpool and beyond to our opinion on football, clothes and culture. But don't worry we will still be popping up every now and again with some amazing one off shows, collaborations and some surprises! And of course we're still very much working with and supporting the follow bands..
If you would like to write for Lazy Genius, or would like to send us press releases, music, clothes or anything else for that matter that you think we might want to feature, please just get in touch.