Liverpool Sound City 2012: I Am Dive, Waa Wei, Monkey Pilot, Flip Grater: Studio 2’s Taiwan showcase,Wolstenholme Creative Space

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Monkey Pilot at Liverpool Sound City.jpg
Liverpool Sound City throws up some tales of the unexpected for Getintothis’ Rosanna Hynes – most of which are made in Taiwan.


When the diminutive Flip Grater took to the stage at Wolstenholme Creative Space it would have been easy to dismiss her – however, this is one young lady you don’t want to underestimate.
Hiding behind her curtain of shiny dark hair, Flip Grater tuned her guitar, took a deep breath, and blew us all away. Opening with the brilliant Burn it When I Die, a melancholy and charming song, with lyrics so good they make you wish you wrote them.
Gently strumming at the audience’s heartstrings, Flip perched daintily at the microphone, as she whispered her stories – The Quit, based around her decision to quit her life – flat, boyfriend, job – and take her guitar on tour and to paris.
The stories, much like Flip Grater herself, were charming and inspiring.
As Getintothis arrives in Studio 2 for the Taiwan showcase, Monkey Pilot were literally swinging away at a bluesy, toe-tapping lounge number. e’re surprised; these guys are Taiwanese rockers, we were told. The lead singer wraps up by shouting ‘That’s our only slow song!‘ – and my spirits perk up.
Monkey Pilot at Liverpool Sound City 2012.jpg
Monkey Pilot at Liverpool Sound City 2012.
If you have three guitarists, a bassist and a sizeable drum kit, the best thing to do is to know how to use them. Monkey Pilot definitely do, and they smash out a string of heavy, drum intensive tracks that remind me of a shouty, somewhat off, Pearl Jam. From Taiwan. With long, two-man solos.
Waa Wei sound like Keane, fronted by Kate Bush. It isn’t exactly terrible, but it is odd, and the clash of genres doesn’t sit comfortably either.
The lead singer, a frail wisp with a cloud of frizzy black hair switches between a tinkling, saccharine whisper to a surprisingly powerful and tuneful wail.
The band behind her play what sounds like a James Bond theme tune medley and the entire effect is jarring and yet fun. For when Waa Wei get it right, they nail it. Their penultimate song is a delicate, knife-edged shoe-gazing performance. The lead singer clutches at the air, her high-pitched vocals contrasting with the lounge music behind her. Give it a go!
Spanish duo I Am Dive aren’t afraid of a build up. They spend their time getting their set-up exactly right, and no wonder.
Their dazzling array of technology seems like a warning – should we expect a playlist of bizarre beeping noises? Is the acoustic guitar all a ruse?! Fortunately not.
Pictures by Darren Aston.

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