Liverpool Sound City 2009: Thursday

United Kingdom United Kingdom | 01 June 2009

After yesterday’s selection of British talent, Thursday’s offering begins with a more international twist as America’s Titus Andronicus storm through their southern fried punk in the Barfly’s loft venue. They’re creating a hype storm which usually bypasses their particular genre and they’re quick to justify the kind words tonight. It may be early and the crowd may be sparse, but tracks such as ‘To Old Friends And New’ will ensure that plenty of people will be in line for the debut album when it makes it’s way onto shelves. Timing issues mean that recent media pond ripple Tommy Reilly is taking to the stage later than he’s meant to, so it’s back to the Barfly for the end of Crystal Antlers. Whilst their many limbed assault is sonically impressive, it does little to ignite the crowd and ultimately falls slightly flat tonight.

The Soft Pack changed their name from The Muslims as their star ascended and the low attendance in Crystal Antlers room is explained by the large crowd they’ve pulled into The Loft for their short, sweet set of Americana indie. Tracks like ‘Extinction’ are catchy enough to ignite the radio waves and are delivered live with just enough rough edges to convince the packed room that they’re experiencing ‘The Real Deal’. Ultimately there’s very little that The Soft Pack offer which hasn’t been done before, but that’s not to say they won’t be firmly in the mainstream frame in twelve months time.

Further time problems, this time with Fight Like Apes at Korova, means that there’s a chance to catch a slice of Liverpool’s own Eugene McGuinness And The Lizards in Zanzibar. As a whole he’s hideously underrated in his home city, but tonight there’s a generous crowd present to hear a rare full band set. With things finally back on track elsewhere Dublin’s finest, Fight Like Apes, are finally able to bring the night to a crashing close. It’s immediately clear that their extra hour’s preparation has been wisely spent drinking the bar dry and, their typically shambolic show, manages to reach previously unmanaged levels of chaos. As they rip through anti-anthems like ‘Lend Me Your Face’ and ‘Jake Summers’ they manage to break a sampler, damage a mic stand, wrestle a crowd member to the floor, scale every scalable surface and hammer the walls with giant planks of wood. Singer Mary even manages to call the event London Sound City, directly before dissecting her mistake for five long minutes of hole digging. But even a slip of the tongue can’t undo their hard work tonight and as they finally have mercy on their instruments, a full venue files out into a cold, wet Liverpool street, very much won over. Despite endless touring Fight Like Apes are Ireland’s best kept secret, but it remains to be seen how long that situation will last.

By Jamie Barker.

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