A bust-up in the Black-E and headliners block-busting sets, Getintothis’ Emma Walsh experiences an emotional meltdown and a face-melting live display.
Kicking off Liverpool’s finest festival at the scouse proud Anfield Wrap stage in the Black-E I was sure I was off to a good starter.
And with the no nonsense Cold Shoulder diving straight in with their guitar-heavy bluster it was a shame when feedback and technical gremlins plagued the remainder of the opening set.
It was embarrassing to watch the musicians F’ and blind at a helpless tech team, turning the audience against them, even implying the festival as a whole was a disaster.
After threatening to down guitar and march offstage, the band finally decided to go unplugged, finishing their set with the audience huddled around them – an admirable close to a tense, unnerving start – one which proved too much for the sound technician who promptly exited the building.
After such a tumultuous start, Eden Royals boyish charm was a relief, a band who don’t look like their TOWIE counterparts but definitely sound like them. Making the most of the atmospheric vacuum of The Brink, the guys still couldn’t raise spirits.
Up the street at The Attic however, the wonderful Ofeliadorme left their audience breathless with a beautifully understated sound. Reduced by two in their pilgrimage from Italy, the pair reached dizzy heights with a beautiful Italian accent and waves of menacing guitars.
Springtime Anchorage demanded much more from The Black-E, with a feel good acoustic warmth that suited the day’s weather entirely. Following the intensity of Opheliadorme, Springtime provided light relief of simple but effective songwriting before the true brilliance of All We Are at Leaf.
There is something uniquely special about the All We Are trio – a band who demonstrate just what you can achieve with three truly talented musicians. They don’t fit any conventional genres yet are entirely accessible, keeping the crowd mesmerized throughout.
The pulsing beat and bass, set off by beautiful guitar would be enough for any band, but allow yourself to really tune into the lyrics and the dreamy atmosphere the band create becomes something much more intense. Their potential was clearly visible in Bido Lito! covers scattered across tables, but their modesty and appreciation was admirable, particularly when you consider the Italian catwalk model fronted Tying Tiffany who failed to even turn up at Brooklyn Mixer shortly after.
Bastille crammed the Garage carpark to breaking point
With headliners drawing crowds into every nook and cranny of every venue, The Garage transformed from a half empty car park to a rave-worthy warehouse.
Bastille, undoubtedly the biggest draw of the night, were apprehensive about playing the late slot on a Thursday night, they, like myself, foolishly thought it would be a half dozen diehards propping up the bar. Not a chance.
With singalongs from the start, a heaving audience and expressed permission to download their covers from Pirate Bay, Bastille won the Sound City hearts over.
Just how weird it was for a band wearing Metallic vests and ironic Kitten t-shirts to play a cover of Rhythm is a Dancer I’m not sure, but nobody seemed to mind. Dan Smith seemed to drink in the audience, closing the opening night in true style with Pompeii and more than a few hearts won over.
Picture by Getintothis’ Michelle Roberts.