Getintothis presents a Monday mini adventure staring Stealing Sheep and Jethro Fox.
Adventures that almost go wrong #147
After several aborted meetings with Liverpool Music Week‘s top man, Mike Deane, we finally nail a concrete plan: a 6pm slap up meal in Leaf, a second stage whisking off to Manchester’s Ruby Lounge to catch Stealing Sheep on the penultimate night of their first major UK tour before leisurely returning to Liverpool and catching fellow GIT Award nominees Loved Ones and the much-anticipated debut outing of Jethro Fox.
What could possibly go wrong?
Well, Leaf delivered pretty much on cue – the food was tasty if a little meagre on the panfried sea bass front – and after a pleasant tootle down the M62 we’re upfront taking in Stealing Sheep MK II.
Serving up the first fruits of their Sam Crombie-produced debut album proper for Heavenly Records, the trio are visibly excited to show off their new offerings.
The label are here, headliners Sea of Bees are watching on and there’s a fair few on the boards that have congregated early to watch Becky, Emily and Lucy doing their stuff.
And their stuff is in the main first-rate – the first striking thing that hits is the raft of new ideas the trio have brought to the table; Bear Trap positively bristles with a fizzing repetitive refrain which stays fresh in the memory long after Becky’s Yamaha keys have parped their last.
Then there’s another newie – Gold (we think) which finds Emily using her distinctive strum/finger-pick approach, dancing up and down the frets to create a mystical almost Eastern twang.
Ultimately there’s simply more tunes. They close with a one-two punch with another newie that blends into the more familiar medieval stomp of I Am The Rain – it’s a fine display and you can tell they’re only getting better.
Now this is where our little adventure got tricky. It’s 9.19pm – over 45 minutes to make it back to Liverpool for Loved Ones – surely doable?
Well, only if you remember where you’ve parked your car… And don’t need to dash into a hotel for an emergency slash… And don’t miss the turn off for the motorway… And don’t then meet gridlocked traffic…
And yet – a whole 1 hour 40 minutes and much blue language later – we roll into Wolstenholme Square‘s courtyard to find Jethro’s just taken to the stage – HUZZAH! Blessed are those that live in Liverpool where gigs runneth over.
Clearly treading the line between super-excited and super-nervous (Fox’s vocal strays between high-energy and highly-earnest) his quartet backing band blaze through 30 minutes of pumped up pop. It’s immediate and vital.
Echo is every inch the breezy winner, ratta-tat-tatting frantically – one that’d have you denting the car steering wheel with delight. Closer Before is as big live as it is on record – like a mini Van Dyke Parks‘s pop jewel.
But it’s penultimate track In Your Arms which leaves us thirsty for more; like the Chris Martin Band Parachutes-era – it’s a reminder of the universal power of a simple guitar pop song with a massive chorus and beautiful hooks combined with a starry-eyed naivety translating into universal grandness. It’s an epic tune.
With four minutes til our last train we hasten away into the lashing rain – not bad for a Monday.
Picture courtesy of @dammitdaisy