10 Bands, 10 Minutes had another atomic night at the Kazimier as Blondie were reworked by the latest collective of Liverpool talent, in the flesh for Getintothis was our man Laurie ‘X Offender’ Cheeseman.
For those of you not familiar with 10 Bands 10 Minutes, here’s the 411 – 10 bands play 10(ish) minute sets largely dedicated to a legendary artist – in this case it’s Blondie. Simple as.
First on are the Isle of Wight’s very own Me & My Sister, largely attired in bin-bags in their nod to Debbie Harry’s eternal style. They promptly treat us to a couple of sweetly twee tracks about Britney Spears (because “all our songs are pretty much about Britney“). This is followed up by an excellent (i.e. faithful) cover of Denis, replete with some distinctive harmonies.
All of which is delivered with madcap semi-interpretive dances professing their love for all things pop star related. Well, what else would you do?
Natalie McCool at 10 Bands, 10 Minutes: Blondie at the Kazimier, Liverpool
Hot on their heels is the more conventionally Blondie-attired (in other words: monochrome stripes) Natalie McCool, who gives Call Me the Cure treatment. By adding some liquid, textured guitars and throbbing bass (and not to mention a large dose of attitude) she adds an already angst-ridden track even more bite.
Following her unconventional treatment of the Blondie oeuvre, Double Double Plus Good whack a great slab of Weezer on the 10 Bands 10 Minutes table. It turns out slacker pop-punk goes perfectly with 80s pop; their cover of Sunday Girl is quite frankly electrifying.
Cavalier Song stormed the stage and gave quite a rad, rocking and raucous turn. So rad in fact, it was quite hard to figure out which song it was (answers on a postcard please). This turns out to be a rather controversial approach, their version of events not going down too well in some quarters. Well, industrial post-rock was never going to be a crowd pleaser at a gig like this.
Things stay weird and loud as the hard rockin’, vodka swillin’ Salem Rages bound on stage with all the presence one would expect from a band with such a name. Despite a somewhat over-excitable entrance and a manner which comes across a little bit too stylised, that little bit too studied, the singer’s demonic preacher man delivery calls to mind Dave Vanian and the psych-garage fury of a latter day MC5 gone Amon Düül II.
It’s the perfect match for freakin’ up such classics as X-Offender much to the by now packed out crowds pleasure and delight.
If there’s a criticism of the 10 Bands approach it’s that these events can sometimes feel like a wee bit of a closed shop for new artists to break into the circle. The Voo/Silent Sleep/Puzzle/Rekordmeister collective is bursting with talent, but how much we wish the reserve of Merseyside talent was truly explored on such an accessible platform.
Just imagine Esco Williams or Miss Stylie powering through renditions on the Prince evening, or Bantom Lions and GhostChant cranking up tracks from Low on the Bowie night.
The Thespians take the stage and serve to underline this point. Relative newcomers to the 10 Bands 10 Minutes arena despite being a well-established Liverpool act, they deliver their serrated-edged pop with aplomb. New single Why Do I Like You? adds a fist to the belly before a corking cover of Maria; a track we’re usually not overly enamoured with. Yet it’s the band’s added oomph and Jessie’s purring backing vocals which make them one of the stand outs on the night.
Beach Skulls at 10 Bands, 10 Minutes: Blondie at the Kazimier, Liverpool
Beach Skulls tone things down sweetly; every evening needs its down time, right? Their subtly shimmeringly stoned, slacker vibes completely subvert the evening’s general trend of messing with the Blondie formula to spectacular effect.
Their cover of The Tide is High is so true to the original you can even sing along if you want! The shy, shoe gazing (but not shoegaze) Puzzle take this approach and run with it. They added some 90s dirge to Room With A View and Hanging On The Telephone (possibly the second best cover of the night).
SIlent Sleep treated the Kazimier to a collection of spanking new songs along with a bracing rendition of Union City Blues before Married to the Sea proved why they’re fast becoming the party Liverpool band.
Should you need faithful covers of literally anyone (tonight’s ripping roaring versions of One Way Or Another and Heart Of Glass are characteristically bang on the money), then these boys are the ones to deliver. With help from an additional guest guitarist, they go from what could so easily have been another note-for-note Blondie carbon-copy into some multi-faceted and layered disco monster ensuring the live music closes on an uproarious fashion.
Fittingly the partying goes on deep into the night, with the Gold Soundz aftershow DJ spot from Andrew Ellis becoming the perfect companion to such a fun evening; 80s new-wave peppered with Prince and Rage plus The Spin Doctors and even Reef takes late night antics to some daft, delirious, drunken new dimension. Atomic, indeed.
Pictures by Getintothis’ Andrew Ab.
Further reading on Getintothis:
10 Bands, 10 Minutes – Blondie: The Kazimier, Liverpool – picture gallery
10 Bands 10 Minutes – David Bowie: The Kazimier, Liverpool
10 Bands 10 Minutes – David Bowie: The Kazimier, Liverpool – picture gallery
10 Bands 10 Minutes – Fleetwood Mac: The Kazimier, Liverpool
10 Bands 10 Minutes – Fleetwood Mac – picture gallery: The Kazimier, Liverpool