September, students and the end of summer

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It’s the best time of the year.


Seriously, how overrated is summer? Endless days of festival drizzle stood calf-high in cow shit while slurping on an OAP’s pish in a paper cup pretending to be having it.
And that’s just Glastonbury. Nah, British summers, for the most part are piffle, and even if you escape to say, Benicassim, you only end up with tent-stroke listening to aneurysm-inducing techno at 5am when all you want to do is lie in your own snuggly bed listening to the stars.
Nope, September may be in its final quarter but this is truly the best time of the year. The footie is under way, the students have returned and the real music season kicks off. Bigtime.
Key to that sentence is the students. Two trips to Liverpool during the past week have revealed how central to life in The Pool they are.
The town is awash with new street performers (I’m digging the duo on Church St; one whiteboy with dreads – he just about pulls it off – playing a mini snare and kick drum, the other hammering intricate heavy riffs), artistry, new fashions (most of them horrific – the wedge haircut is back!?! – but hey at least they’re having a go), vitality, beauty and of course enterprise. Oh, and 12-hour-old orange, chunk-stained pavements around Concert Square.
But, it’s that spirit of enterprise – and a couple of thousand pound government loans – which results in many a new night of live music, plus ear-to-the-ground one-offs you stumble across purely by accident. What’ll be this year’s Kif?
Students, like em or not, re-energise a City, create a bustle, antagonize and make it happen.
Over the coming month there’s literally dozens of MEGA bands to check out; I’d list them if I could be arsed, but if you check out here, here, here and here, it’ll give your lips a reet wetting.
Other items to make you wet:
* The City’s Biennial Made Up is underway; John Lennon‘s bird has erected some ladders in St Luke’s Church, there’s some stomach-churning shit in warehouses around The Picket and Greenland Street, a giant neon-crystal spider hoisted above the Town Hall and loads of other rad installations all over the City. Go find. But take a map.
*Today I took in another of FACT’s ever-ace free exhibitions. First there was U-Ram Choe‘s airborne creature which resembled a giant flapping metal ribcage. Then there was Ulf Langheinrich‘s sensory explosion in the downstairs gallery comprising a tryptych of dark undulating contour lines, kind of like Tartan Horror screensaver set to the tune of a not yet composed Sunn 0))) record on Kompact. Saving your eyes from the backlit strobes and farout colours you’re given a pair of ‘I look a tit in these’ shades.
The effect is akin to being on a train which has crashed into the sea and you’re slowly drowning. Not that that’s happened to me, but that’s what it felt like. Not nice, but effective and emotive all the same.
* Two bands you need to let loose on your ears:
Liverpool’s Wave Machines. Having cracked Latitude, this lot are garnering much deserved attention with support slots from uber-cool cats Friendly Fires and Of Montreal. Catch em next in Liverpool at this.
And I was slack gettin into them, but These New Puritans have been on repeat much of this summer, and Beat Pyramid is a must for those of you who are also behind the times. Seriously, they wear chainmail.
* Ex-pat and all-round dude, Jono Podmore, who spoke with us earlier in the year about his collaboration with Can legend Irmin Schmidt, is soundtracking one of the aforementioned Biennial pieces entitled Quiescence.
Info about the event is here.
* Finally, today saw the release of the most hyped record in blogland since, well, ever: TV on the Radio‘s Dear Science. Pitchfork and various other webzines have already jazzed all over their keyboards, but if single Golden Age (which sounds like Prince remixing Jacko’s Wanna Be Starting Something) is anything to go by, then the lugholes are in for a treat.
Over and out.

TV on the Radio: Golden Age.

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