Liverpool Music Week – Who To See

As we officially tick over into December and television begins to get full-on Christmassy it's time to amuse ourselves with something other than circling the Radio Times...

And what better way to beat the bitter winter blues than a series of gigs in next year’s European Capital of Culture with some of the artists we should be watching out for in 2008.

Liverpool Music Week is a ten-day monster of a festival with a selection of huge artists and DJs lined-up against some of the freshest acts Liverpool and the UK has to offer.

But this leaves one question: do you watch the world-renowned stars or do you search for the next big thing? We’ve perused the line-up and selected the ones to see each day of the festival.

Ezra Bang and the Hot Machine – Carling Academy – Thu, 29 Nov
Now if you were thinking of easing your way into the festival you can think again. This duo’s name sounds like a sexual innuendo, but they’re removed from the geriatric gyrating of Har Mar Superstar. Attacking Liverpool with filthy bubbling basslines, choppy disco beats and the rapping mêlée of a Beastie Boys/NWA fallout this pair will certainly kick start the week.

Good Shoes – Carling Academy – Fri, 30 Nov
“How do I feel about my shoes? They make me awkward and plain,” sang Morrissey, what he needed was some Good Shoes then. The four-piece are an indie delight: a mixmash of strutting guitars, teenage heartache raspings and three-chord pop tunes. It’s a Friday so have an alcopop and a little dance in your awkwardly plain trainers and stay out a little late.

Pendulum – Carling Academy – Sat, 1 Dec
Goldie may’ve played a hard man Angel in Eastenders, but his Orchestral Jungle sounds lightweight compared to the phat drum n bass of this Aussie three-piece. Their heavy beats and synthed basslines are like S&M – a welcome assault on the senses. Just remember: dance to the bass, not to the drums.

The Rascals – Bumper – Sun, 2 Dec
Topping a bill of 11 bands this free gig, sorry I’ll repeat that, this FREE gig is a chance to see a selection of up-and-coming talent including the phoenix that’s risen from The Little Flames – The Rascals. After being name checked by Arctic Monkeys and humped by the music press it’d be rude for us not to give it a go! The garage rock three-piece sound like The Coral after drinking too many melodies at the bar with John McClure before Alex Turner picks them up in a mini-cab, fag in mouth.

Doktor Combover – Bumper – Mon, 3 Dec
Yup, another great band name. The fuzzy funk fiasco from this five-piece is an ass-shaking strip club material. Expect deep slow bass, sixties drums and your girlfriend grinding the nearest person/pole/wall while you turn into some sort of Austin Powers lothario.

Elle s’appelle – Bumper – Tue, 4 Dec
With a name like a French lover, you could be forgiven if you expect to hear romantic poetry over the sound of harpsichord. Yet this Liverpudlian three-piece are like Blondie running over nursery rhyme characters. A bullying bass carpets over keyboards and dual-sex vocals leaving you as satisfied as smashing up the ‘Its A Small World After All’ ride at Disney with a baseball bat.

Liz Green – Alma De Cuba – Wed, 5 Dec
Amy Winehouse and Liz Green are the Ying and Yang of the jazz-tingled warbling world. While Mrs. Winehouse is spread over the red tops and getting her beehive hair searched for drugs the more sedate Green is wearing red tops and, well, probably not getting searched for anything. Her gentle acoustic guitar flickers lightly like a dribbling Neil Young while her gurgling whispers sing about medicine and ostriches.

Emma Jane’s Monkey Mind – Zanzibar – Thu, 6 Dec
Emma Jane calls her music bollybossapunk (she should try and get a job at NME). We think it’s like sitting down at your favourite Indian restaurant when a Doc Martins-clad Liam Howlett bursts in with an acoustic guitar and stomps in all the chicken kormas before sitting down and snacking on a poppadom. Indian strings, big breaks, acoustic guitar and a soothing voice – what more do you want from a Thursday?

Jewel Thief – Metroplitan – Fri, 7 Dec
The grubby bass-driven blues from this Liverpool three-piece are more likely to get you grabbing jewels than Derren Brown ever could. Using their scary Kasbian-esque swagger the band have mugged Brimstone Howl and nicked their 60’s garage rock sound just as they fell out of their local Spar shop with fags and bourbon.

Madness – Aintree Pavilion – Sat, 8 Dec
Sing-a-longs are fun – just ask any avid Grease fan, then add horns, skanking and Suggs and you’ve got one hell of a party! The original Nutty Boys are set for a massive knees-up and with hits like ‘House Of Fun’, ‘Baggy Trousers’ and ‘One Step Beyond’ your vocal chords are in for a bashing too.

The Chemical Brothers – Aintree Pavilion – Sun, 9 Dec
Any energy left? You better bloomin’ hope so! The Big Beat brothers are bringing the week to a close with a set that will leave you aching more than a punch in the choppers. Expect more lights than Oxford Street, more classics than Reebok and a hangover that will take another week to get over. Phew!