Tribes, Fly With Vampires: The Shipping Forecast, Liverpool

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Hype slackers Tribes make peddling music look too easy as Liverpool’s Fly With Vampires continue to soar.


England, or more specifically London, has been in the grip of all things America for a number of years now.
And one look at Tribes – all Yeasayer-approved wife-beater vests, oversized sweats and natty bangs gives credence as to why NME and the like have invested so much time in the band.
But branding only gets you so far, and Getintothis‘ initial cynicism is quickly replaced by genuine affection for a band whose sound, as well as look, also trades heavily on Stateside influences.
Fitting neatly into the recycled grunge currently peddled by other British bands like Yuck and Dinosaur Pile Up, Tribes are that rare thing of sounding pretty much exactly like the original yet undeniably vital all the same.
Quite simply they know their way round a melody and deliver it with effortless aplomb. That right there is a skill – and it’s the very reason why The Shipping Forecast is packed with young girls dancing down the front row. It also helps they’re very easy on the eye.
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The highs come thick and fast; Sappho (a super-dumb, super-fun track about a lesbian named Sappho) has all the slacker charm of J Mascis in his prime, Walking In The Street waltzes by like a hazy summer afternoon in the beer garden and Nightdriving shows they’ve an ear for the big slowie as it worms it’s way into your soul with it’s meandering, drawn out fuzz.
Predictably they save single We Were Children til last and it’s sung back at them with gusto as Johnny Lloyd slinks into the mic like a young Robert Smith minus the smudged lipstick.
They slope off stage leaving a gaggle of thirsty fans to mop up merch from their tour assistant, who fittingly can barely be arsed himself in shifting the gear. Kurt Cobain was spot on, it’s a right pain being talented.
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Earlier, Fly With Vampires reaffirmed Getintothis view that there’s not a single band in the Pool who can touch them for barnstorming anthems.
It’s almost a year to the day since we first saw them in action and they’ve subsequently swapped Smith & Wesson song-revolvers for anti-tank rocket launchers as they rip a new hole into the Ship’s Hold.
Drummer Paul Darhil‘s the hero of tonight’s show, his head-down clattering of the kit so jaw-droppingly awesome it has Tribes‘ own sticksman, Miguel Demelo, stage right, simultaneously laughing, applausing and beckoning his band mates to come watch the action.
They do, and come the closing number, like the rest of crowd, are saluting job well and truly nailed.
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Pictures courtesy of Dave Howarth

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