X&Y Festival 2013: The Thespians, Young Kato, Broken Hands: East Village Arts Club, Liverpool

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X&Y Festival 2013 wraps up two days of emerging UK acts and Liverpool grassroots talents, Getintothis’ James Elson finds one band excelling hands down.


X&Y Festival 2013 swung back into action on Sunday for part two and for the most part attendance inside East Village Arts Club was thin throughout.
Even headliners The Thespians struggled to fill the room with the bigger-hitters from Saturday’s action sorely lacking. A little more musical quality would have made all the difference too, with variation certainly missing.
Fast indie rock was the prevailing force. Is there a point to writing a song, creating something new, if it bears pretty strong similarities to everything else? This said, each group’s act in terms of execution was near faultless. All it would it take is just a little spark of originality to suddenly set one of these bands apart from the others.
At 9pm, one group did go further than any of the others in stepping out from the crowd: Broken Hands. Fresh from supporting The Rolling Stones in Hyde Park, their rock ‘n’ roll pedigree shone through as they tore apart tracks including Shaking and Alarms.
Showcasing an almost obscene display of sonic power, Broken Hands towered above much of what was lacking from most the day’s other performances.
When compared to the other acts on offer, they sounded and looked like men among boys. Again, they aren’t reinventing the wheel, but with that much fuzz, pounding drums and a snarling lead vocalist one could argue you don’t need to.
The precocious Young Kato provided us with a theatrical and at times slightly comical pop-rock set. ‘We dance and we play,‘ chanted all six members – and they were good to their word.
Certainly one for the kids, they were recently featured in an episode of Made In Chelsea. On a blisteringly hot day such as this, they provided an appropriate soundtrack. The set was in sharp contrast to the previous gloomy grit of Broken Hands. The same problem flared up again though: zero originality, just reprocessing the usual indie-pop that saturates the average supermarket.
Earlier, Raise The Youth injected youthful indie buoyancy and showed early signs of promise, alas nerves shone through on this occasion. White Cliff surfaced to give a strong if slightly unspectacular performance of melodic rock with front man Oliver Lawrence‘s snazzy shirt the true standout. It’s difficult to criticise musicians starting out such as these as X&Y provided a platform for them to gain welcome experience.
The Thespians rounded off the night playing to the biggest crowd of whole evening, but one which was still looking pretty lean.
More indie-rock sounds were blasted crowd-wards, to an enthusiastic reception. They provided a fitting end to X&Y, a festival with much to offer the grassroots music fan but perhaps lacking in enough musical variety.
Pictures by Getintothis’ Gaz Jones.

Further reading on Getintothis
X&Y Festival 2013: Dog Is Dead, The Crookes, The Heartbreaks, Brothers & Bones, Catfish & The Bottlemen: O2 Academy, Liverpool – review.
X&Y Festival 2013: Dog Is Dead, The Crookes, The Heartbreaks, Brothers & Bones, Catfish & The Bottlemen: O2 Academy, Liverpool – picture gallery.
X&Y Festival 2012 part one: The Hummingbirds, Likely Lads, The Moons, Hudson Taylor, Tiro Lark, Catfish and the Bottlemen, The Stan Smith Band, Clever Criminals, Ali Ingle: St Luke’s Bombed Out Church, O2 Academy.
X&Y Festival 2012 part two: We Were Beautiful, Arches, The Thespians, Redwire: St Luke’s Bombed Out Church, O2 Academy.
X&Y Festival 2012 picture gallery: REVA, Get Back Colquitt, Cheap Thrills, Idle Frets, The Haptics, Zinc, Fake Street: St Luke’s Bombed Out Church, O2 Academy.

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