Liverpool’s live music gig calendar is bursting, here’s Getintothis‘ guide to the ones not to miss for the final quarter of the new year.
The nights may be drawing in but Liverpool’s live music calendar remains undeterred.
There are wealth of upcoming gig offerings to get your music senses tingling, here Getintothis’ Joseph Viney presents the pick of the bunch beginning with tidy alt-rock legends tonight.
Dinosaur Jr at East Village Arts Club – Tuesday September 3
On first listen, their music may seem wild and uncoordinated, but like the best things in life, once you take a bit of time to work it out you can really hear the method behind the madness.
Aggression, fuzz and deadly feedback; Dinosaur Jr perhaps embody the meaning of the word ‘grunge’, even pre-dating the movement by a good few years.
Eliza and the Bear at the Shipping Forecast – Wednesday September 4
The London five-piece are big on life-affirming euphoric pop, achieved through a sexy blend of pace, precision and a real heart-on-sleeve attitude.
Having recently been chosen to support Paramore on their upcoming arena tour, you’re advised to catch ’em while they’re hot.
Eels at O2 Academy – Thursday September 5
Long seen as the Eeyore of alt rock, Eels’ main man Mark Everett is looking at things with a more rose-tinted view these days.
Most recent LP Wonderful, Glorious was just that. The glam stomp of tracks like Peach Blossom and Kinda Fuzzy are welcome displays of virtuosity from a man whose real legacy is still to be formed, even ten albums in.
Expect belting newbies and stone-cold classics.
Babyshambles at O2 Academy – Monday September 9
Despite all the good work done with The Libertines, the jury is still very much out on Pete Doherty.
Known more these days for brushes with the law and liberal attitudes to the use of hard drugs, Doherty still commands a hardy bunch of disciples who will fight to the death for him.
The question remains: with a new album, Sequel To The Prequel, imminent and a wave of positive PR from his camp, can Doherty finally redeem himself or will he just fall back into the bad old ways?
No Ceremony at East Village Arts Club – Friday September 13
We really hope you’re not superstitious, because if you spend this supposedly unlucky day buried under the duvet then you’ll miss out on the haunting sounds of No Ceremony.
Bear witness to their dark, brooding electronic sounds and you really will think your luck has changed.
Giant Drag at the Kazimier – Saturday September 14
And so it’s farewell to Giant Drag; the occasionally troubled duo finally bowing out and taking in one of Liverpool’s best venues along the way.
2005 LP Hearts & Unicorns was a hidden gem of cynical, oestregen-ridden alt-rock and their absence will be keenly felt.
Wave Pictures at the Kazimier – Thursday September 19
Part of the Moshi Moshi stable, quirky trio Wave Pictures are another one of those groups that make you think “hey, maybe it’ll turn out alright after all”.
New album City Forgiveness will be hitting our shores soon, so this is as good a time as any to give yourself a quick refresher crash course.
10 Bands, 10 Minutes: Blondie at the Kazimier – Saturday September 21.
The concept of a host of bands paying tribute to a legendary group or artist has proved a very successful formula, as previous nights celebrating David Bowie and Fleetwood Mac this year have shown.
A quality line-up featuring Salem Rages, Natalie McCool and Beach Skulls among many others will make sure the night is nothing short of…wait for it…atomic.
College at Leaf – Monday September 23
Another Liverpool debut, this time for French electronica act College.
If it’s smooth 80s-inspired synth-pop you’re after, then this is just the ticket.
College’s third LP, Heritage, hits the racks on September 16 and critical acclaim is just one spin away. Set phasers to ‘daydream’ and let College school you in a real art.
Liverpool Psych Fest 2013 at Blade Factory & Camp and Furnace – September 27-28
An absolutely monolithic line-up is available for your viewing and listening pleasure as this year’s Psych Fest plans another all-out assault on the senses.
Clinic, Moon Duo, Hookworms, Mugstar and Dead Meadow are just some of the artists chosen to play this kaleidoscopic extravaganza put together by the lucid minds of Harvest Sun and Bido Lito.
If you really want to see artists and performers pushing the envelope, giving you a glimpse into their fevered minds, then this is the event for you.
It’s something of a cliche, but you really should expect the unexpected. You might never see the world in the same way again.
Bonobo at O2 Academy – Wednesday October 2
Bonobo’s smooth work sounds like the soundtrack to some particularly blissed-out videogame.
2013 LP The North Borders is the perfect record to take on tour; its range of tempos and progressive feel will be able to command a baying audience, one that is guaranteed to turn out for this show.
Conan at the Zanzibar – Thursday October 3
GIT Award 2013 nominees Conan are as pulverising as their name suggests and probably just as handy with a broadsword too.
Like a pack of unleashed beserkers, the trio make the earth rumble with crashing chords and hellish fantasies. Not even Arnie himself could stop this lot.
No Age at Korova – Friday October 4
Korova is back, and thanks to I Love Live Events it boasts a strong line-up of opening acts for the famous venue’s third incarnation.
LA duo No Age are part of that fine Sub Pop tradition of just stonkingly great bands. Fourth album An Object, fresh off the presses, is a further marker for their line in ramshackle fuzz.
Well, somebody has to bed in the new place, don’t they?
Drenge at East Village Arts Club – Monday October 7
Some may see the endorsement of a politician as an unshakable curse on any band’s credibility, but Tom Watson’s very gratuitous attempt at looking cool in his parliamentary resignation letter has only served to aid Drenge in their quest for world domination.
Dank riffs, blistering noise and lyrics steeped in wry apathy are Drenge’s calling cards, and they deal from a stacked deck.
Wet Nuns at East Village Arts Club – Wednesday October 9
Make no bones about it, this is gonna be a mad one.
Wet Nuns’ disgustingly powerful set at FestEVOL saw both band members take to the audience, climb the rafters and just generally cause havoc.
They bring Sabbath-esque riffs played at a breakneck punk speed; howled vocals scatter between the darker sides of life and doomed romances.
You should probably wear earplugs for this one, but where’s the fun in that?!
Fossil Collective at Leaf – Friday October 11
Much like a collection of petrified trilobites, Fossil Collective’s almost eerie folk songs have a way of burrowing deep inside the small, dark spaces.
Taking their cue from acts such as Midlake, Fleet Foxes and Turin Brakes, Leaf provides the perfect setting for some mood-lit, beautiful music.
Everything Everything at O2 Academy – Sunday October 13
Already noted as one of the UK’s best live acts in recent years, Everything Everything are due to take the wider world by storm.
Their trippy, scattered songs shift and shimmer across the spectrum, the many layers enough to make you come back time and again.
With support provided by Dutch Uncles, it’s a guaranteed blockbuster of a show.
The Jim Jones Revue at East Village Arts Club – Sunday October 13
The late, maniacal cult leader Jim Jones has presented a rich vein of inspiration for musicians (see also: Brian Jonestown Massacre), and the high-octaine RnR of The Jim Jones Revue seeks to evoke similar levels of devotion.
Thankfully, you can expect mass adulation instead of mass suicides this time. Bring it on.
Temples at the Kazimier – Tuesday October 15
Liverpool really is becoming the new home of psychedelia, and the visit of Temples is further evidence of that.
Cherry picking the best of groups like the Flaming Lips, Temples will give your mind more swirls than a runaway ice cream van.
PINS at Leaf – Tuesday October 15
No matter how many advances we make as a society in the acceptance and adoption of equality, we still seem to have trouble when it comes to not highlighting that a group is comprised of females.
Gender is not the issue (and nor should it be) when talking about PINS; ethereal songs led by a strong rhythm section should be enough to prove that when it comes to music, we’re all one and the same.
Songs like LUVU4LYF should have up and moving in no time at all.
Public Image Ltd at O2 Academy – Wednesday October 16
“Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?” snarled the former Johnny Rotten as the Sex Pistols’ US tour and time as a force ground to an ignominious and whimpering end.
With PiL’s reunion, minus founder members Jah Wobble and Keith Levene, many of the old school did indeed feel cheated.
But you can never keep an old bruiser like Lydon down and his band’s energetic performances and surprisingly good comeback LP have brought people in from the cold slowly but surely.
Rumours that promo tubs of Country Life butter will be available are as yet unconfirmed.
Deerhunter at East Village Arts Club – Thursday October 17
High on the release of latest LP Monomania, Atlantans Deerhunter are very much in the critical good books.
Winding passages of indie rock that moves between different shades, it will be a show you daren’t miss.
Coasts at the Shipping Forecast – Thursday October 17
Boasting tropical rhythms with an intense slab of crunching guitar, Bristolians Coasts are due to ride the crest of a wave.
Latest single Wallow ticks all of the above boxes and a fittingly-named venue might never know what hit it.
Mick Head and The Red Elastic Band at the Kazimier – Friday October 18
Anyone who’s been around the block at least once in Liverpool will be more than aware of Mick Head.
Part of the legendary Shack, Head returns with a rare but very welcome date at the Kazimier where, if we ask nicely enough, we should be due a mix of old classics and new stormers.
John Grant at East Village Arts Club – Friday October 18
Much like Mick Head, John Grant is another with a stellar past and an excellent future.
The Bella Union and former Czars man struck gold with 2013 LP Pale Green Ghosts and his EVAC date is eagerly awaited by many,
The Crazy World of Arthur Brown at the Kazimier – Saturday October 19
The music press is quick to throw out well-meaning epithets like a drunk giving loose change to a polite tramp.
“Pioneer”, “legend”, “trailblazing” – we’ve all been guilty of using such strong terms lightly, but this time we mean it.
The self-proclaimed God of Hellfire pre-dates all your other shock-rockers like Cooper and Manson. It still looks crazy now, but imagine a conservative late-60s society casting their eyes over a heavily made-up man in a flaming crown?
Deptford Goth at Leaf – Saturday October 19
Potentially one of the shows of the year, Deptford Goth’s haunting melancholia poses a lot of questions to its listeners.
Debut LP Life After Defo is at once enticing and enigmatic and their Liverpool debut promises to leave no stone unturned.
Tunng at East Village Arts Club – Sunday October 20
Icy electronics, hushed vocals and sparse guitar work: this most intriguing of collectives engage not just the tongue but the brain as well.
New album Turbines is another strong effort from a group who started out rehearsing under a Soho boutique. They’re slowly crawling overground and into the light.
Support comes from the spellbinding Pinkunoizu.
Euros Child at Leaf – Thursday October 24
The former frontman of Welsh weirdos Gorki’s Zygotic Mynci continues his fine work with Euros Child.
New LP Situation Comedy is released a mere three days before this show. That’s plenty of time to get acquainted with the songs before heading down.
Support is provided by the ever-fantastic Bill Ryder-Jones and fellow magnificent Merseysider Laura J Martin.
Islet at Shipping Forecast – Friday October 25
Islet are a very multi-faceted affair. They offer spacey rhythms, thumping drums and shimmering guitar work with a dash of other-wordly vocals for good measure.
Very much the epitome of experimental, this intriguing Cardiff mob are set to transmit their own brand of noise from another dimension. And with songs named such things as A Warrior Who Longs To Grow Herbs, how can it possibly go wrong?
Efterklang at the Kazimier – Sunday October 27
Danish trio Efterklang are dealers in avant-garde rock, the multi-instrumentalists putting a typically obtuse northern European spin on music.
Signed to 4AD, the Danes have nothing to prove but everything to show.
Arctic Monkeys at Echo Arena – Monday 28 October
It looks like the world is pretty much their oyster at this point. Or maybe they just need venues big enough to accommodate Alex Turner’s current barnet.
Due to tour in support of upcoming album AM, Arctic Monkeys prove that being an arena band means you don’t have to compromise the spark that made you big in the first place.
The Cult at O2 Academy – Tuesday 29 October
Specialist album gigs are all the rage these days, and who can blame the artists involved?
Why plug the new shit to a tetchy audience when you can make some coin by giving people what they want?
The Cult are doing just that, playing their Electric LP in full. Expect the roof to blow off the place when She Sells Sanctuary hits.
Bipolar Sunshine at East Village Arts Club – Saturday November 2
If there is a more fitting nomenclature for this time of year then we’d like to see it.
Fittingly, shades of dark and light pepper their output; tracks such as Rivers bringing energy and Fire shifting it down a gear into blissful melancholy.
Villagers at East Village Arts Club – Sunday November 3
Villagers present a perfect storm of fantastical narratives with music that weaves between fragile folk to more boisterous full band instrumentation.
Not simply one for converts, Villagers are quietly cultivating a dedicated community of followers. Time to join them.
Robyn Hitchcock at the Kazimier – Sunday November 3
This tasty event has seemingly slipped under the radar but you’d be a fool to miss out on a masterclass in endurance and versatility from one of England’s great masters.
Having collaborated with Peter Buck, John Paul Jones, Grant Lee Phillips and countless others this year alone, it’s hard to predict just what kind of show we can expect.
For that reason alone, it should be a sure-fire winner.
Future of the Left at East Village Arts Club – Wednesday November 6
FotL and former mclusky leader Andrew ‘Falco’ Falkous may have recently got hitched, but don’t expect married life to blunt one of rock’s more acerbic, caustic minds.
Biting, surreal social commentary and relentless riffs are the order of the day, and their jam-packed early morning set at Screenadelica during Sound City 2013 is proof that we ugly humanoids love having the critical mirror positioned directly at us.
Big Deal at Shipping Forecast – Thursday November 7
The presciently-named Big Deal are very much due to be one soon and what better time to catch them than with a free show?
This boy-girl duo belie their frail aesthetic and make with strong washes of noise that are impossible to ignore.
Tracks such as Golden Light and Swapping Spit bring to mind a grunge-pop blend that fellow Liverpool visitors Giant Drag would be pleased to call their own.
Their latest album, June’s Big Gloom, is a must-listen.
Phosphorescent at the Kazimier – Saturday November 9
Getintothis has keenly followed Phosphorescent, aka Matthew Houck, for a good few years now.
And with good reason, no more keenly exhibited than by this year’s gorgeous LP Muchacho; a real lesson in fantastic harmonies and addictive melodies.
Expect more of the same at the Kazimier.
Hawkwind at O2 Academy – Saturday November 9
If the Psych Fest didn’t satisfy your cravings then the return of the original space lords should see you right.
Having been around since the dawn of time anyway, it’s only fitting that Hawkwind’s sci-fi musical parables have soundtracked many a trip. Mind you don’t trip over the prone body of a burnt out hippy when you’re there.
Sweet Baboo at Leaf – Tuesday November 12
An artist with his fingers in many pies, Stephen Black aka Sweet Baboo has worked with Snow Club, Cate Le Bon and Gruff Rhys as well as producing for Euros Child.
His self-deprecating lyrics and entrancing melodies are sure to capture hearts and minds.
Brother & Bones at MelloMello – Friday November 15
Boasting two drummers and a smoky and seductive Southern rock lilt, Brother & Bones are the new hot tip in town.
Packing rhythms that just make you wanna grab a jug of the hard stuff and stamp on a wooden porch with vocals reminiscent of a more reserved Chris Cornell, Brother & Bones are the antidote to groups who traded in their heritage too quickly and cheaply.
Yes, Kings Of Leon, we’re talking about you.
Joan of Arc at the Kazimier – Friday November 15
Unlike their crusading namesake, you shouldn’t have any reason to want to burn this marauding band of off-kilter jazz rockers at the stake.
Their latest EP, Testimonium Songs, marries surreal narratives with meandering tunes that weave a wonderful web.
In the parlance of the Fast Show’s Jazz Club, it should be a pretty “nice” show.
Low at Anglican Cathedral – Monday November 18
One of the finest buildings in the world, the Anglican Cathedral is really showing its strength as a host of fantastic and memorable gigs.
Low are another group hoping to continue this fine new tradition. Their delicate and beautiful tones promise a rapturous experience.
Gold Panda at East Village Arts Club – Saturday November 23
Pandas are notoriously difficult to breed, but this golden one doesn’t have any trouble in producing.
Fresh off the plaudits for this year’s Half Of Where You Live LP, Gold Panda will be chewing the bamboo at EVAC for a show that will bring nodding heads and a swaying audience.
Listen to a remix of Gold Panda’s Community here.
Tempers at Shipping Forecast – Saturday November 23
Tempers drag you kicking and screaming into synth-pop’s heart of darkness.
Second single Strange Harvest evokes grey, expansive landscapes by virtue of a very pensive mood. Philip K. Dick would have been very proud.
Daughn Gibson at East Village Arts Club – Sunday November 24
It’s pretty hard to categorise Daughn Gibson.
You’ll have to get past the mesmerising baritone vocals, snappy guitar lines and thick electronic sludge before you’re even close to picking the bones from it.
It what makes a show like this exciting; you just don’t know what to expect.
Their 2013 LP Me Moan is all of the above and more. It’s a real under-the-radar effort that carries a “you shoulda been there when…” vibe. Enjoy! Thank us later.
Crystal Fighters at East Village Arts Club – Thursday November 28
Crystal Fighters’ euphoric mores are the perfect introduction to the busy month of December.
Second LP Cave Rave, released in May, doesn’t keep you in the dark. Instead, the group have gained a reputation for their reckless live shows and full-throttle dedication.
This promises to be unmissable.
Electric Six at O2 Academy – Monday December 2
You’ll probably know them best for that ubiquitous hit Gay Bar, but the Detroit sextet are more than just a slice of homotopic frivolity.
Crude humour, dirty riffs and a keen eye for a witty turn of phrase are the reason this lot have crafted eight albums and show no signs of letting up.
Peace at East Village Arts Club – Tuesday December 3
Fresh off a successful NME Awards Tour, Brummies Peace are taking massive strides towards the big leagues.
Imagine Vampire Weekend with an edge (i.e. taking away their private educations and trust funds) and you’re halfway there. Hard-hitting sounds and choral vocal work means that on the night, you’ll get anything but peace. You’ll be better for it.
Yo La Tengo at East Village Arts Club – Wednesday December 4
Enough superlatives have been expressed about Yo La Tengo’s stellar 30 year career, so let’s keep it brief.
2013’s Fade showed that age is no barrier to fantastic craftmanship and Harvest Sun should feel happy with such a magnificent coup in bringing the timeless trio to Liverpool.
Happy Mondays at O2 Academy – Saturday 7 December
Here’s one to make you feel old: the Happy Monday’s Bummed (no laughing at the back) is now a quarter of a century old.
Perhaps against all the odds, Messrs Ryder and Bez are still standing.
Expect raving, more classic Ryder non-sequiturs and plenty of melon twisting, maaan,
The Tea Street Band at East Village Arts Club – Thursday December 12
A sure sign that their star is rising, Tea Street Band hit EVAC with what is pretty much guaranteed to be a spectacular show.
Their sound, pulsing bass and pounding rhythms, is perfect for the colourful, dark space the venue provides.
If this isn’t one of the best ways to end the year then there had best be some strong competition.
Getintothis have crafted a little playlist for you to enjoy featuring the groups highlighted in this preview. Enjoy!