Howling monkeys, animal dancers and tropical humidity, Getintothis’ Michael Fowler took a journey through Subterrainia.
As the light was lost and an eery mist lowered,
Getintothis ventured its way into Sefton Park.
We’re not accustomed to walking in parks alone at night, to put it lightly it was pretty creepy, but where everisland go, we follow. Tonight they put on the third in their mythical Chronicle nights, Subterrainia, at The Sefton Park Palm House.
As we neared the giant conservatory we began to hear monkey-like howls, The Palm House appeared to have been been taken over by savages. Actors and dancers from the Three Moons Collective were dressed in jungle garbs and animalistic threads, fighting amongst each other and scaring any member of the public who came too close. The venue was lit to perfection, and the humidity and shrubbery take you to a whole other place and time. Three Moon’s presence and the sheer beauty that is the late victorian Palm House makes the night an experience to behold.
Gulf seemed pretty unfazed by the creatures warring around the glass venue and started the gig. They played with tender vocals, soothing synths and laid back-horizontal, guitar delay, easing through a set which starts the night off well.
Following more jungle antics and a two headed behemoth waddling round the venue, Hooton Tennis Club take to the beautiful forest stage. They are all slacker rock with this hidden bag full of ideas. Their first tune sees their guitarist, Ryan, rest his guitar on his amp while he fucks around with a pedal creating an awesome wall of tamed but still unpredictable feedback. It’s pretty cool when he picks it back up again and starts thrashing at it behind his head too.
When they aren’t tearing you new ear holes, their slowed down ditties have this infectious sway, your hips just start moving freely, and you begin to notice that everyone around you is sort of dipping their knees with the beat.
Next onto the stage, steps Hannah Peel, armed with a music box that chimes New Order’s Blue Monday. The cover seems like a dull choice but the recognition of the melody silences the audience, readying them for her set. The box’s simple, ethereal and mystical sound, creates something quite beautiful.
Hannah’s other songs are all dark synths and beats, and when she uses them and the music box it makes for a formidable concoction. A speaker blows half way through one of her songs, we didn’t realise this was an unplanned occurrence until she mentioned it, the thunder like crash seemed to add to to the dramatic nature of her set. Hannah ends with another cover this time Tainted Love.
We’ve been waiting for Jonas Alaska to play back in Liverpool for more than a year, and the crowd were buzzing to have him back. Though from Norway, Jonas’ warm and slightly breaking vocals feel like they were born and raised in the southern states of America. Dylan, Bright Eyes and Bon Iver breathe through his songs, and with only an acoustic guitar to accompany him his sound was rich and full.
Though they look like Madchester throw backs, Moats play harsh guitars and scream real loud. Tonight they are a band with energy to spare, they put so much behind their songs their singer is left breathless on every last lyric and their drummer is shirtless with one helluva sweat on. The Palm House‘s sound, makes their noise BIG and ten times the band we liked so much at The Shipping Forecast a few weeks back. As they left the stage, heads nodded approvingly.
Finally, the last ever performance by The Long Finger Bandits has everyone dancing to the very end. Their day of the dead themed make up and stomping brass band is the best way to finish any night. They are one of those bands that you just know are going to be a good time. After a raucous and swinging set, they leave the Subterrania audience singing “Hi-de-hi-de-hi-de-hi, ho-de-ho-de-ho-de-ho” all the way through the park back to their homes or onto town. Every one of them looking forward to the final of the everisland Chronicles nights, Cyclonia.
Pictures by Getintothis’ Darren Aston.