The Kazimier witnesses another club classic as Errors head up an early contender for gig of 2012.
Sometimes it’s hard to know just how good an experience is when you’re off your barnet.
The last time Errors rolled into Liverpool, a sleep-deprived, addled-on-allsorts Getintothis was to be found bouncing round the Kazimier with dayglow face paint and a furry gilet.
It’s fair to say we enjoyed ourselves enormously. Leon Jackson could have entertained us enormously. They could have turned the lights off, locked us in a darkened room and we’d have been chuffing marvellous. When you’re that off your box, everything is A OK.
To put into context, it was Sound City. And the week after All Tomorrow’s Parties. If music festivals were weapons, then this double-header is the A-Bomb.
Fast forward almost two years, and EVOL has brought the Glaswegian boys back again but on this occasion Getintothis is experiencing a different kind of brain freeze as the biting cold spears into our every orifice forcing us to hunch up on the Kazimier‘s newly-shaped surrounds – stage widened and deepened, bannisters freshly chiselled and balconies sweeping round the entire complex.
Body heat is at a premium, and save for the dozen LIPA acolytes here to support their brethren, Ninetails are left to quite literally warm us up.
That they do, though there’s a certain easing in process. Much has been made on these pages of their dexterous ferocity and swaggering irreverence yet there’s a certain air of apprehension early doors as vocal chords are stretched and riffs just about click into place.
Noticeably it’s when tracks drop from their debut EP Ghost Ride The Whip that events turn from lukewarm to feverish; I.F. (aka Infinite Forever) which borrows more than Foals‘ namesake Total Life Forever twisting it into an exercise in tightly wrung aggro.
Better still is Pedestrian as Jordan Balaber deftly dances around the fretboard like he’s completing a Rubix cube.
They close with Rawdon Fever, their most complete offering to date, which manages to marry artistry with emotional resonance – hopefully a portent of much more to follow.
Vasco da Gama
In keeping with what’s gone before them, Vasco Da Gama, also start slowly – it barely helps that a snapped string throws them out their stride just as they’re kicking off.
But as sideshows go, Vasco’s Chris Lynn offers a fair Who’s Line Is It Anyway?-style cameo with his impromptu stand-up.
Gags swapped for guitar chops they race through a set high on percussive beatings (David Kelly now rivalling Chrik‘s Rik Fisher for most manic grins while thwacking a drum kit) and severe changes of direction yet there’s an overwhelming suspicion that in amidst the complexity there’s a greater whole willing to be discovered.
For all their technical expertise, in their pursuit of dynamics fundamentality, Vasco, lack the killer track to fall in love with. That said, there’s so much skill, passion and ideas on the table only a fool would write them off this soon.
Remember Remember are a one-man arsenal of sonic bliss. That one-man is multi-instrumentalist Graeme Ronald – who’s actually assembled a whole herd (band collective noun for seven) of musicians to weigh in on that much-maligned tag ‘post-rock’.
Like their Rock Action label contemporaries Mogwai, they specialise in dense walls of instrumentation – but differ immeasurably from the loud-quiet dynamic, instead layering a thick tapestry of brass, percussion and delightfully-heavy sprinkles of glockenspiel.
Ghost Frequency swells from soft electronic beginnings before being built into a warhorse of sound, which, quiet the opposite from the dark leanings associated with fellow post-rockers, is light in tone and underpinned by those pretty twinkles of plastic striking metal plates.
They keep it busy by sprucing things up with the odd sax parp or jarring riff but in the main it’s an enveloping experience of five long passages which when completed the whole room exhales in satisfaction. Unforgettable.
Emerging like the hipster offspring of Davy Crockett and Harry Potter, Errors‘ Stephen Livingstone exudes a quiet assurance – but when his band plug in and switch on, for 90 minutes there’s no let up, little inch given, just wave after wave of liquid electricity.
Neatly juggling tracks from their acclaimed second album, 2010’s Come Down With Me and freshly-squeezed follow-up Have Some Faith In Magic, they’re as adept at the springing the face-melting pounders from the former as they are at eeking out the more considered slabs of electronica from their latest offering.
Like, Remember Remember, they’re acutely aware of how to frame the entire night into a measured whole and you’re almost reluctant to stray to the bar so as not to break the spell.
Blank Media, with it’s humming keyboard pulses and treated vocal murmur (added purely for textured stunning effect) seems to waft overhead for all of it’s five glorious minutes before closing with a gorgeous guitar coda while Tusk is as close as Errors stray to Mogwai‘s primal ferocity.
Key to it all is drummer James Hamilton who could teach many a bro behind the kit a thing or two – most obvious when to attack and when to hold back and let the music breathe. The Knock, a beautiful slice of Kosmische music, floats by almost unchecked before Earthscore crashes into view; all John Carpenter in it’s robotic approach.
Rumour In Africa, complete with it’s Nile Rogers‘ chic-chic-chic riffing is a soaring masterpiece in death disco while Magna Carta effortlessly bleeps along – almost carefree in it’s delivery – before darting off into a sunkissed tribal dance of fractured blistering beats.
The repeated shout-outs for Supertribe are finally met with a rour of approval as it’s distinct keys clatter is given a supercharged whirl as guitarist Simon Ward spins on his heels.
They close with Pleasure Palaces, which remarkably sounds like Erasure reimagined via Detroit disco – all white heat and stomping club beats – it’s pure pop euphoria and the Kazimier responds in a giddy unified bounce of triumph.
It’s early days for 2012 – but they’ll be few nights come the wrap of the year that better this.
Main image courtesy of Marie Hazelwood.
All other images courtesy of Michelle Roberts.