TOPS, Gulf, Vynce, Del Florida: Shipping Forecast, Liverpool

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TOPS at The Shipping Forecast

TOPS at The Shipping Forecast

 Harvest Sun turned out a characteristically solid line-up in The Shipping Forecast on Saturday night and Getintothis’ Paul Dahill was fortunate enough to be in attendance.

First up were Del Florida who we would lovingly describe as genre spanners due to the fact that they spent their stage time smashing through a set of post rock, psych, jazz, metal and math rock. Fronted by Leela Dawson who has previously impressed us as part of Taws, this band is so new on the scene that when we spoke to them afterwards, we were informed that they didn’t have any music online yet and that their guitarist was “standing in“. Despite this, they were truly impressive and set closer Spring Cleaning was a particular highlight. Del Florida is certainly a band to keep an ear on.

Second were Vynce whose music warranted a much bigger stage due to their anthemic choruses and lyrics reflecting emotional turmoil we can all relate to. At first, there was a sound of The 1975 but after a cover of The Cure’s Just Like Heaven followed by their own April Showers, Vynce came into their own. This band has the potential for mass appeal and we can envisage many a teenage girl singing along.

Main support came from GIT Award 2015 nominees Gulf who brought the most danceability to the night. The least band-looking of the bands, we were pleasantly surprised by disco beats that had the majority of the audience’s toes tapping. As the set progressed, Gulf incorporated a more psychedelic sound and became the perfect foil to prepare us for the headliners. They support The Flaming Lips at Sound City later this month so catch them if you get the chance.

Top of the bill, TOPS were potentially the coolest band we’ve ever seen. Singer Jane Penny could be crooning down a hairbrush in her bedroom such was the effortless stage presence she held. We were totally overwhelmed by the simplicity of their songs and performance; they are naturally creating remarkable indie-pop music influenced by the highlights of 80s teen flick soundtracks. Listen to Outside for an introduction, and then 2 Shy to become hooked.

The Quebec quartet seem like a band who genuinely love playing with no hint of an act or bravado which made them instantly accessible – all watching were drawn in and became part of the gig. When the band talk between songs, they are talking to YOU and so this carried to make us feel like the songs were for us too.

David “Vincent” Carriere’s guitar work is subtle yet suitable, there are no frills but an understanding of what is effective on each song. There were times when we were reminded of a lo-fi All We Are but TOPS possess a sound all of their own. An impromptu jam at the end of the gig which seemed to surprise the band as much as the audience proved how much fun they were having and their lack of pretentiousness. They have no interest in being cool, which made them incredibly cool.

Speaking to Jane Penny at the merch stand afterwards, we asked about the two albums on sale. Her humility and humbleness shone through as she said “this one’s a bit hard work, but I think this one’s a lot better”. The album she was referring to is Picture you Staring and you should listen to it. Now.

Photos by Getintothis’ Gaz Jones

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