Liverpool Sound City: Let’s Buy Happiness, Willy Mason, Clinic: Bombed Out Church, Zanzibar

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The return of a US darling fills the Zanzibar with joy while Getintothis Jon Davies‘ has mixed feelings about Clinic. What contrary boy.


Tonight’s first stop brings me to Mojo and its humourously ‘rock ‘n’ roll’ interior, catching indie-pop startups Let’s Buy Happiness.
It’s been a while since I’ve truly enjoyed laid-back, fairly stripped down music, but the quintet carve out some truly stunning moments.
As if they’ve raided through their older sibling’s cd collection, Let’s Buy Happiness‘ sum of influences range from the early 80s all the way up to now, packaged neatly to create something both new and nostalgic.
Bits of the Cure, Sunny Day Real Estate, Modest Mouse, Pretty Girls Make Graves and The Shins ring out, and maybe giving a bit back to scouse indie, Let’s Buy Happiness are a real gem for the teenage romantic.
Just a stone’s throw is Clinic at Bombed Out Church, who will undoubtedly get a hero’s welcome, like any other semi-successful Liverpudlian band.
I feel there are definitely two camps that people fall into when hearing Clinic: they’re either geniuses of minimalist rock, knowing that the best songs just need a good hook and a killer beat, or they’re a pretty dull group that rely on many indie fans’ love of retro, ‘punkish’ riffage, on top needlessly whacky moments in an attempt to just about keep your attention.
Throughout the set I’m divided, I suppose it’s down to when you heard them and what mood you’re in. There are a number of highlights during the set, however the songs that don’t fire off are pretty similar. I get the feeling they’re akin to US rockers Spoon, you either get it or you don’t. It probably sucks if you don’t.
To finish off the night is good time guy Willy Mason at the Zanzibar.
I was surprised to see that there was a queue here, let alone people remembered who he was, having not released a record in nearly four years.
Accompanied by his brother Sam onstage, the show was an intimate affair, given Mason has played to audiences at least twice the size in previous years. Playing some of his new songs and some tracks off If The Ocean Gets Rough, it was inevitable the biggest cheers would go to songs from his first album, Where the Humans Eat.
Fair enough, it’s his good record. The crowd left its biggest cheer to his biggest hit ‘Oxygen‘, with much of them singing along to its anthemic and beautifully naive lyrics. After that many of us realise we’re not 16 anymore…

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