The Tea Street Band and Janiece Myers show early promise while Picture Book prove why label guru Seymour Stein still has his finger on the pulse. Catch ’em while you can says Getintothis’ Sean Bradbury.
An eclectic evening’s entertainment at Mojo courtesy of Dave Monks warmed up a baltic Monday night during Liverpool Music Week.
First up was the versatile neo-soul of Janiece Myers. She has already been blessed with the golden ticket of urban approval that are the words ‘featuring Wiley‘ next to her forthcoming single and it is easy to see why.
While only playing a handful of numbers, her rich tones flowed sweetly over hip-hop, dubstep and garage beats, showing she has musical breadth as well as vocal depth.
Me and my gig-going accomplice shared the same reaction when she finished – not our usual music of choice, but very nice all the same.
Janiece Myers ft Wiley – Underground Love
Next up were the Tea Street Band, who brought with them a swaggering stage presence and tunes built around insistent, pounding beats and reverb-soaked guitars.
While every offering promptly locked into an effortless groove, it did seem to be a similar one each time. This may have been a trick of their short set and the slightly murky sound quality in Mojo, or possibly more to do with the group’s provenance.
The Tea Street Band include former members of celebrated Scouse cosmic rockers and graffiti artists The Maybes?, and perhaps they must first outgrow their alma mater to truly define their own sound. While epic instrumental Promise by The Maybes? appeared to be the blueprint for most of their set, all of the necessary ingredients were very much there – they just need to mix it up – with some variation in the rhythm section first on the agenda.
Tea Street Band: Push The Feeling On
Headlining the night was the electroshock therapy of Picture Book, the ink still drying on their recent deal with Seymour Stein‘s Blue Horizon label.
What perhaps signalled their readiness to break through to the big time was the intensity of their live sound. Despite playing to around 50 people, they performed as if they were front of a sell-out crowd in a bigger venue and gave the impression these energy levels were default.
They have mastered the knack of traversing the musical spectrum – sometimes genre-hopping within songs – while still branding every tune as very much a Picture Book production. Despite this the vocals of Faroe Islander Greta Svabo Bech – recently appearing to potent effect on Raise Your Weapon by Deadmau5 – somehow manage to stand out over the organised chaos, her lungs packing more power than all of the expensive gear on stage put together and displaying a range and control of dynamics that could give Bjork a run for her money.
Their numerous gifts include euphoria on tap, evident in a stonking take of Strangers, and an abundance of creativity; a stripped-down Sunshine was another highlight, showcasing the well-crafted song that lies behind the blissful electronic barrage of the usual version.
My advice would be to catch Picture Book while they are still on the Liverpool circuit, for when their debut record is released next year it will only be a matter of time before their reach extends far beyond the city.
Picture Book: Sunshine
Tea Street Band picture courtesy of John Johnson.