Liverpool Sound City 2009: Pulled Apart By Horses, 80kidz, Out From Animals, Riddim Saunter, Bebop and Rock Steady: Barfly, Korova

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Matt Eland races round the streets of Liverpool in search of carnage. He just about lives to tell the tale.


Bebop and Rock Steady bravely take the stage at the Barfly – they’re clearly overawed by the size of the crowd, confessing it’s their biggest yet, and one suspects that the singers sunglasses are more a preventive measure against eye contact than a fashion statement.
There’s enough goodwill in the room to ensure that any slip ups, including the drummer losing time, are overlooked, and their spiky neo-ska gets people dancing at the front. The singer has some nice quick rhymes, but they need to go beyond the guitar/bass/drums instrumentation if they want to progress.
Plans to run straight to Korova are aborted the second we clap eyes on Riddim Saunter, I’m utterly transfixed.
The drummer is using any kind of percussion he can, including simply jumping up and down to keep a beat, the lunatic gurn never wavering.
There’s a flute and a harmonica and not a trace of distortion on those guitars, so how they can give themselves so completely to the rock experience is a mystery.
I’d heard rumours that some of the bands over from Japan were getting special dispensation from the punters, but there’s not a trace of the sympathy vote going on here, and pretty soon, I’m boogying down at the front with everyone else.

Riddim Saunter: Music By
Back in Korova are Chester’s Out From Animals back in the Korova just after the start of their set.
Since the last time I encountered them, in the summer of last year, they’ve added another member, which means more guitars and a fuller sound, and now there’s a massive strobe light atop the kick drum, which turns their percussionist into an even more frantic blur than usual.
They have a few catchy songs, but it’s hard to tell with the programming so low in the mix whether they can fulfil their considerable potential. With a few killer tunes, these guys could really go somewhere.
Appetite truly whetted, and whisked back to Barfly, the next addition to the Japanese contingent is 80kidz.
And bloody hell, they’re good, like a poppy Fuck Buttons with percussive synths and dynamic guitar lines.
Usually I’d dead against drum machines and that kind of stuff, but here you can’t tell – the noise is fluid, and immense.
Whether this would translate well to an album is up in the air, but as a pure visceral thrill it’s exhilarating, and once again I find myself dancing like a twat.
Which brings me back to Pulled Apart By Horses, and the pure rock experience mentioned before.
They do not do songs about being dumped by your girlfriend and crying about it.
They write about punching lions in the throat, they have a drummer who looks like Charlie Manson, they flick the microphone round and bridge that awkward gap between audience and the stage, they writhe on the floor, they make you forget about that awkward breakfast shift in a few hours time, they are sublime and ridiculous simultaneously, just like life, and they know it; and when they stop you can’t believe that your head and your shoulders are no longer moving, that your feet are planted, once again, firmly on the floor.
They come, they see, and they destroy.

Pulled Apart By Horses: Meat Balloon

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