Veronica Falls and a supporting cast of 80s revivalists prove hit and miss, but that doesn’t stop Getintothis’ Laurie Cheeseman throwing some ill-advised Morrissey moves.
For a night that felt like it was a history of alternative music from ’80s all over again (cardigans and NHS-style spectacles all over the room, Thatcher in the news and mumbled lyrics), Liverpudlians Mean Jean were the perfect opening act.
Their Sarah Records-esque pop-punk shamble felt like it was going to collapse at any minute, in the most charming way possible.
Even though they had some decent (mumbled) melodies, they forsake tightness for a ramshackle, endearing energy.
Double Echo relied too much on their post-punk influences supporting Veronica Falls
Taking it forwards a year or two were post-punk outfit Double Echo. By post-punk, we mean they sounded like the only records in their collection were Joy Division‘s Closer and New Order‘s Power, Corruption and Lies; analogue drum machine, reedy synths, Hitler Youth hairstyles and all.
For a while this was bemusing, it quickly became apparent they were something of a one trick pony, if this hadn’t all been done before by 1981 they would’ve been pretty decent.
Bringing it back to the poppier side of the post-punk affair were the ever-wonderful Brilliant Colors, whose look and sound seems to have solidified when the Shop Assistants released their debut album.
One just could not help but dance about Morrissey-style to their driving jangle-pop. The downside, much like their albums, the vocals were buried far too low in the mix to be discernible.
Brilliant Colours brought jangle pop and indiscernible vocals to the Kazimier
Very much holding to indie-pop’s original DIY, Red Wedge-y vibe, Veronica Falls kept the whole 80s thang going, with bowl-cuts and charity-shop clothes just that bit too small for them.
The opening tracks (a duo of Tell Me seguing into Heartbeats) was a tour de force for their newly blissful song-writing – the loss of the macabre, almost gothic undertones that they used to have has translated surprisingly well live.
The much loved Beachy Head and new favourites Waiting for Something to Happen and Broken Toy demonstrated the tightness of the boy-girl singing, which was already extremely tight last time they played Liverpool, in Leaf last year.
Veronica Falls invoking the spirit of the 80s – and love stories for ghosts
For a genre whose parameters ossified from fanzine culture 20-something years ago, their surf lilted jangle-pop sounds surprising fresh; Teenage in particular was pure ecstasy to hear played in the flesh, however the highlight would have to be the classic Found Love in a Graveyard.
This surprisingly chirpy number, a tale of falling in love for a ghost (as you do…) got every last person dancing, quickly followed by a rather excellent encore with Right Side of My Brain proving once again the 80s revival refuses to die.
Pictures by Getintothis’ Tom Adam.
Further reading on Getintothis
Veronica Falls, Novella and By The Sea: Leaf, Bold Street, Liverpool