Italian duo Satelliti provide one of 2014’s live moments with a volcanic display, elsewhere Getintothis’ Emma Walsh endures a contender for the worst set of all time.
Liverpool has always been a bit of a magical mixing pot when it comes to the gigging scene, and never was that more clear than on this midweek evening at Mello Mello.
A little later than the predicted kick off, Merseyside-based duo, Venusian, opened proceedings with their unique blend of modern trip-hop and experimental electronica; complete with the exotic flair of ominous keys and an ethereal voice that soars from gaspy to ball-busting at an alarming pace. A touch of the avant garde offset with a gloom bordering on unsettling – a little like a Tarantino movie soundtracked by Bjork. It’s in a state of raw, yet mailable, beauty – and certainly with some honing this is about as new sounding noise we’ve yet to hear from a Liverpool collective in sometime.
Venusian performing live at Mello Mello
And if that wasn’t strange enough, bring on Germanager, or as he will be better remembered: ‘Man with noise box’. A solitary figure in tracksuit bottoms sat with an electronic box perched on a stand is a slightly odd spectacle in itself, yet, Germanager could have been a reincarnation of Moby. Only, this Moby couldn’t mix for shit.
Alex Germains aka Germanager performing live at Mello Mello
Germanger opened his set much like anyone sitting down at a screen, wilfully procrastinating by flicking through tracks. Perhaps on Spotify? We’ll never know. There followed a series of notes which were abruptly cut short for the next 10 second interlude to open and collapse once again. Why exactly Germanager found it necessary to subject the small crowd to the constant barrage of button pressing isn’t clear, but we’re sure MI5 employ the same torture method of playing Hammertime on a loop until someone cracks.
One half of our Italian guests and headlining act, Satelliti, was the first to buckle under examination, walking out in complete bafflement on the umpteenth loop from The Lion Sleeps Tonight. THE LION SLEEPS TONIGHT! Played 14 times – with nothing but an out of tune vocoder over the top.
Having informed the crowd, ‘I’ve not played much recently,’ Germanger then burst into samples which included Dolly Parton, Adamski (Killer! Played a dozen times!) and, we shit you not, Engelbert Humperdinck, while permanently returning to the refrain of Jolene. But of course. If you’re mixing Adamski, Wimoweh, Humperdinck and Mr Scruff‘s wet farts it makes sense to plonk a bit of Jolene on top. Naturally. There was a hint of The Clangers in there too.
The sheer ridiculousness of the whole thing was undeniably hilarious, the guy would do well on the comedy circuit (in a Bob Mortimer meets Chris Morris out-take kind of affair), but after a few minutes the craziness of the whole affair gave way to post-post-post modern monotony and it was all just unsufferably bad.
Satelliti performing live at Mello Mello
Thankfully, after the dregs, there was the brilliance of Satelliti to make the whole night worthwhile.
Two tall weathered Italians purpose built to rock your psychedelic socks off. With Andrea Polato drumming up a relentless storm, Marco Dalle Luche spewed up all kinds of Italo-disco keys intense enough to make your nostrils vibrate. Twenty minutes flew past without so much as a mini trough.
Such was the freneticism it was exhausting just to watch these guys, God knows where they gotten their stamina, but at the same time it’s compulsive and engrossing. These guys keep you hooked, the turn of a knob brings you from starlight tinkling to a gurgling noise, and yet its seamless in its execution. Similarly to their 2013 breakthrough, Transister, released via Cuckundoo Records, there’s extended passages of incessant rhythms and textures but were the record breaks out into a swaggering funk, live it’s volcanic – a magma flurry of momentous mania.
Adding to the madness of the evening was a lone young lass attempting to lure young men to the dancefloor as she flaked about in her jelly-heeled sandals, slugging from a hip-flask while thrusting her iPhone in the direction of the stage. It was that kind of night.
Marco Dalle Luche of Satelliti performing live at Mello Mello
Andrea Polato of Satelliti performing live at Mello Mello
Anyway, Satelliti continued to blow minds with Bright Tunnel, as Polato took the briefest pause to pose for the camera. With all these experimental interplanetary beats flying around you almost don’t notice that they’ve only really played around three tracks, they just happen to have gone on for half an hour each. But even after all that Satelliti still proved to be top gents, responding to calls for ‘one more’ with ‘ok, this song is called one more‘, and thrashing it out for a final blast without so much as a drop of sweat. Quite staggering – a night which will live long in the memory for a variety of reasons.
Catch Satelliti again in Liverpool when they play at the International Festival of Psychedelia in September – full details here.
Pictures by Getintothis‘ Simon Lewis
Further reading on Getintothis:
Satelliti named in Getintothis‘ top 100 albums of 2013.
Satelliti team up with GIT Award 2013 nominees Barberos.
Liverpool Psych Fest 2014 make first headline announcements
Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia 2014: Woods, Suuns and Amen Dunes added to Psych Fest bill
Liverpool Psych Fest 2013 review, picture gallery and final thoughts
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.
LIMF 2014: By The Sea, Baltic Fleet & more set for Getintothis & Bido Lito! stage in Sefton Park.
LightNight Liverpool 2014: Cathedral, Black-E, FACT, St Luke’s Church – picture gallery.