Liverpool Sound City 2012: New Zealand Showcase: Pikachunes, Princess Chelsea, She’s So Rad, Midnight Youth: Heebie Jeebies, Liverpool

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Step Panther live at Liverpol Sound City 2012 (2).jpg
A host of New Zealanders join the festivities at Liverpool Sound City, Getintothis’ Rosanna Hynes joins the grinning throng.


The New Zealand showcase opened with She’s So Rad, a hip four-piece who delivered a string of songs that echoed the Smashing Pumpkins and Sonic Youth.
They stared moodily into the middle distance, staying cool and aloof until they ended their second track. At this point, the HJ courtyard erupted into applause, breaking them out of their façade as they grinned broadly at the praise. They grew more lively as the set progressed, and by the time they left the stage, the crowd had swelled, nicely warmed up for Midnight Youth.
The gang of rockers trooped on-stage and got going with no messing around. Midnight Youth are clearly unafraid of being a blatant rock and roll band, and this got the crowd vocal and enthusiastic, even as the weather steadily worsened. With AC/DC riffs and solos, and vocals that could be lifted straight from The Music, Midnight Youth are set for big things.
The kooky appearance of the next New Zealand act, Princess Chelsea made me think we were in for something really weird, but a couple of tracks in it was clear that looks were, in this case, deceiving. The Bjork-inspired vocals were good, but the synthesised music in the background was plagued by the technical problems that befell them, as rain poured onto their electrical equipment, and I would have liked to see them abandon the synthesiser and go simple.
Finally up was Pikachunes, a nervous-looking, awkward guy with a microphone, a mac and not much else. We were in for a treat, as he presented tracks that made me think longingly of beaches in Ibiza at sunset – a late evening delight.
Image: Step Panther by Conor McDonnell at St Luke’s Chuch on Friday.

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