Brother and Bones, Edwardian Picnic, HighFields, Ratty Little Fingers: The Shipping Forecast, Liverpool

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Ratty Little Fingers live at the Shipping Forecast.jpg
A percussive feast for the senses, Getintothis’ Jason Marsh mixes it with the tribal gathering on Liverpool’s fringe.


A raft of triumphant folk-tinged support had created a gentle frenzy when the pensive figure of front man Rich Thomas adorned his six string acoustic and swaggered into our vision.
We were in the company of Brother and Bones, and as a ferocious and snappy snare was beaten in the background by drummer Yiannis Sanchinis we were instantly captivated.
The first thing you notice is the attentive use of percussion; the Bones bring a full kit, bongos, added floor tom, and intend to use it – when these boys want to go big – they go BIG.
Contrasting understated mellow tracks, which find Thomas’ lyrics and vocal gliding over the music, to larger harder numbers, they’ve variety in abundance which finds the audience outwardly grooving in appreciation.
There’s a deft experimental edge, bordering on the tribal, which throws Getintothis back to the electronica of the early 90s which flourished with the dawn of big beat.
Brother and Bones continue their UK tour in the North East but left Liverpool in a stir with a rapturous performance of rattling grooves to warm the midweek cockles.

Earlier, the evening was almost physically whipped into shape when the likely four piece Ratty Little Fingers opened the night like a dream.
This was by far the most refreshing and engaging performance Getintothis had witnessed for sometime as perma-grinning singer Katy McGrath showcased her exuberant young talent.
Her endearing vocal and honest storytelling swept lightly over the bands jangly and upbeat nature as Jonathan Fletcher proved inventive on percussion while Christian Sandford on bass imbued a rocky back bone to their natural folky vibe. In a scene dominated by knitted woollen jumpers and synthesisers, this quartet bared their soul and put the fun back into a live performance.
McGrath bounced around the stage; ever smiling, ever energetic, but musically sublime. An enjoyable breath of fresh air indeed.
In keeping with the musical tone, Canada-come-Norway-come-Jersey-via-South Africa and Singapore, but Liverpool-based Highfields squashed their expansive line up – which included a xylophone, accordion and cello – onto the Ship stage. Well, just about.
And they gain our interest from the off. With an expansive array of instruments, sounds and ideas, their performance is a real mish mash; sometimes subtle and so light on the ear, while at other times so vocally powerful on the soul.
Robert Mulders‘ voice was the superb stand out and conveyed everything that Highfields set out to do – and drove it home, hard.

As the venue was nearing capacity a real energy was building within the crowd, to which The Edwardian Picnic took to with consummate ease.
This well-tailored eight-piece smashed the stage in half with their folky, stomping unifying music. The band looked, felt and acted as if they had emerged from of the ashes of Glastonbury 2011; walked straight from the campsite playing wonderful music all the way and ended up in front of us. It was magic.
Phil Collier on lead vocals, bantered and shouted at the crowd – sometimes quite oddly – but to great effect. We were at a show and they were there to really put one on.
Using extended instrumental builds, snappy changes of pace and soul searching vocals they commanded a strong performance. Unique, creative and again packed with fun.

Getintothis on Ratty Little Fingers
Picture by Niall Oakes.

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