Natives, Black Diamond: East Village Arts Club, Liverpool

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What happens when you think you’re going to see a band, but then you turn up and realise it’s not the band you thought you were seeing? A clueless Getintothis’ Emma Walsh has some of the answers.


So, it turns out that Natives are not the same band as Local Natives.
Something Getintothis discovered to our detriment when we turned up to EVAC expecting the sweet sounds of solid gold LA indie rock. What we got when we walked into the East Village Arts Club loft was an impending sense of doom and a very sudden, very stark, realisation of our own age.
We were easily the oldest member of the audience not chaperoning a child or grandchild. And if the audience wasn’t enough to make us feel old, the average age of the support group Black Diamond was about 11. But man were they loud. Volume being preferable to actual talent to a band so young. Not they were bad, but as gigs go it was all very primitive. It definitely had the feel of an underage Battle of the Bands (ah, my youth!) something only confirmed by their final song, a cover, of Highway to Hell. Beam me up Scotty!
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Black Diamond at EVAC
In a desperate effort to find sanctuary from the myriad of moody teenagers cluttering up the backstairs and looking painfully cool smoking outside, we hid out in the downstairs bar where children were thankfully neither seen nor heard and enjoyed a stiff drink and a read of the pink pages to muster up the courage to go on.
Natives took to the stage in a variety of block coloured tees, making them look undeniably like a rock band from some CBeebies – say, Teletubbies turn it up to 11. This image manifested further still when the band told us they’d had their van broken into in Manchester that morning, Teletubbies turn it up to 11 AND fight crime – what a show that would be (Copyrighted, btw).
But thankfully they had made it to Liverpool much to the delight of the pre-teen audience crowding round the stage and swaying non-committally to such feel good pop rock tracks as Stand for Something (which actually has the lyric “I’m gonna let the light in, I wanna stand for something, it feels good when you know you’re alive” – we however, felt like we were being punished for something we did in a past life).
There wasn’t even enjoyment to be had in people watching – there’s nothing interesting about watching awkward teenagers become mortally embarrassed by the poor parents who were having to stand through all this. We felt some solidarity in the endurance of it all.
With all the concentrated energy of a children’s TV presenter, the lead singer clearly thought he was at Radio 1’s One Big Weekend as he bounced about shouting “Make some noise Liverpool,” and “I can’t hear you” and other feigned efforts to mask the fact that this was a terrible, terrible gig.
They even went so far as to get out a polaroid camera, taking a group shot of the crowd making some wacky hand gestures which they promised to give to whoever went the ‘craziest‘ during the next song – Getintothis were serious contenders.
Luckily this palaver was shortly followed by five of the most merciful words in the English language “…this is our last song” and at the modest hour of 10pm (granted it was already past the collective bedtime of most of the audience). The band announced they were hanging around to sign merch and take photos but before the fangirls could get their camera phones out there was a Getintothis shaped hole in the door.
And so kids, what was the moral of today’s story? Do your bloody research before you agree to review a gig.
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Natives live in Liverpool’s East Village Arts Club
Pictures by Getintothis’ Keith Ainsworth
Editor’s note: Next month, Emma thinks she is reviewing Paul Weller, she’s actually covering Rik Waller.

Further reading on Getintothis
Real Estate head for Liverpool this Autumn.
SOHN readies UK tour including Kazimier date in September.
Getintothis on new electronic Mersey duo Adronite‘s debut EP.
By The Sea return with I See A Crystal Sky ahead of summer second album release.
Liverpool bands line up for Brazil World Cup 2014.
Forest Swords: From Norse sacrifices to Smooth FM and making the follow up to Engravings.
Twilight Sad to play cult debut album in full in Liverpool.

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