Liverpool Sound City 2013: Drenge, Spring Offensive, The Moulettes, Rob Vincent, Nately’s Whore’s Kid Sister, Lolito: Epstein Theatre, Shipping Forecast, Black-E, Mello Mello

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Synchronised dancing, two hyperactive drummers and the thrill of going back to basics, Getintothis Jamie Bowman finds love in simple pleasures on day one of Liverpool Sound City 2013.


ON the hottest day of the year so far perhaps it was apt that the first band we see at Liverpool Sound City appear to be dressed as a Neapolitan ice cream.
French band Lolito certainly live up to their sickly sweet look with a set of psychotically saccharine pop. There’s plenty to love here: fizzy Brit pop bass lines combine with synchronised dancing and a Stereolab-esque love of vintage keyboards to produce a pleasing package of ye ye influenced fun. They’re French, they’re attractive and they sound a bit like Elastica minus the heroine. What’s not to like?
Over at Mello Mello the summer fun continues but it’s far more of a slacker vibe thanks to Nately’s Whore’s Kid Sister. Taking their name from that classic novel of anti-war literature Catch 22, I’m tempted to say this bunch of ne’er do wells are a good advert for national service but with two hyperactive drummers in tow this five piece make a mighty sludge fest of a noise. There’s bits of Dinosaur Jr, Sonic Youth and modern heroes like Sleep and Kong all in the mix. It’s heavy and at times it’s very good.
Needing to calm down a little we head over to the Black-E where this wonderful and criminally underused venue is reverberating to the country rock sounds of Rob Vincent. The Crosby troubadour is having an on-going battle with the soundman but his plaintive songs win through as the appreciative crowd sway to the gentle pedal steel roll of his Byrdsian soundscapes.
From one beautiful venue to another as we head over to the revitalised Epstein Theatre for the fem-folk of The Moulettes. They’ve been touched by the hand of the Mumford and Sons in the form of ex-bassist Ted Dwane but let’s not hold that against them for this female dominated five piece are far more pagan than Marcus and co. Cellos, French horns and fiddles combine to create a Wicker Man world of sexual deviance and drama which seems to frequently end in death. It’s as thrilling as modern folk gets.
Spring Offensive are an even more welcoming prospect with frontman Lucas Whitworth (what a name!) summoning up the gawky individualism of Morrissey as he croons over a lilting Smithsian backing. It’s entrancing stuff full of beautiful harmonies and charming acoustic interludes and when Lucas ushers his band members to the edge of the stage, Sound City has its first ‘where were you’ moment.
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Drenge go back to basics in the Ship
After all this acoustic loveliness it’s pleasing to head over the scuzzy basement environs of the Shipping Forecast to hear one of the festival’s genuine buzz bands. It’s wall-to-wall rammed as Peak Districts pups Drenge hit the virtually non-existent stage. There’s no bass and we’re back to basics in a White Stripes
Black Keys style but with the crowd spilling on to the stage and frontman Eoin Loveless happy to wander amongst his people, it’s thrilling stuff. I stayed in Drenge‘s hometown of Castleton and it’s a great place if you love caves but Eoin and his brother Rory clearly don’t as they pour their rural frustrations into slab after slab of molten blues rock. It’s scuzzy, vicious and it comes from the garage. More of this please.
Pictures by Getintothis’ Marie Hazelwood.

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