LIMF 2015: It’s Liverpool Stage featuring Herstory, Louis Berry, Xam Volo, Esa Shields, Holy Thursday, Silent Sleep: Sefton Park

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The Real Thing

The Real Thing on the It’s Liverpool Stage.

As day two of LIMF 2015 kicks off, Getintothis’ Adam Lowerson moves away from the main stage to take in the action on the Its Liverpool stage.

Tell you what, I’m not happy about all these police standing round” said Kirkby’s rebellious rock and roller Louis Berry with a slight grin to the It’s Liverpool stage crowd, who up to this point had only stood up from their picnic blankets to nip to the portaloos. The atmosphere at the stage, which is kept relatively secluded by a surrounding of trees, was relaxed and friendly all day. But when Berry swaggered on stage and launched into 25 Reasons, things were turned up a notch. Not least the volume. Berry’s set of raucous riffs and snarled vocals tore through at blistering pace, and topped of by his rockstar swagger and charming arrogance, was the stand out set of the day. Even the group of full tracksuit and cap clad lads at the front of the stage, who despite an obvious dedication to the thuglife, couldn’t hide their top tapping by the end.

Earlier in the afternoon the crowd were treated to a run of laid back pop, starting with Lewis Maxwell, who eased the audience in with his acoustic pop balladry. Next up, LIMF Academy talents Little Grace followed by Katy Alex performed a pair of soft, soul sets, keeping the pace relatively downbeat for the early afternoon.

Xam Volo took things up a level. Entering to the colossal Breathe Slowly, the impressive vocalist accompanied by his huge sounding band gave his own modern take on soul, with full bodied guitars and brass creating a wall of noise, contrasting with some stripped back jazz interludes. But not only does Xam Volo sound great, he looks the part too, oozing superstar quality.

Things turned slightly more left field next with the enigmatic Esa Shields, whose avant-garde electronics sounded enormous on the open air stage. Sounding full of confidence, his voice soared above the synth and keys, which at times had a Smile-era Beach Boys feel. Following the psychedelic theme, the Wirral’s Holy Thursday impressed yet again with their tight vocal harmonics, Eastern inspired riffs and dreamy pop melodies. Latest track Morning was a highlight, with its thunderous, swaggering guitar riff erupting through the otherworldly keys, bringing the track to life.

Silent Sleep had the unfortunate task of trying to follow the aforementioned Louis Berry, and did so with a full, six piece brass section. Showing off new single Everything I Own, they entertained the now packed crowd (which included Liverpool FC legend Alan Kennedy) with their catchy folk pop, but felt like a bit of a comedown after Louis Berry.
Over at the Academy stage, things were really starting to go off. With the DJ reeling off a stream of huge dance bangers, onlookers started to get in the spirit with some serious body popping action. One dancing member of the crowd entertained us with an impressive set of moves including the worm, and even a back flip, warming everyone up for DROHNE’s collaboration with electronic maestro VEED. Although only playing three tracks, the threesome showed off their knack for understated electronics and warped beats, bubbling beneath faraway, distorted vocal samples.

The Herstory collective, which featured Jayne Casey, Natalie McCool, Jennifer John and the Sense of Sound Singers got the crowd singing with their gospel inspired tracks such as Let’s Build A Fortress, warming everyone up nicely for the night’s headliners The Real Thing, who barely played any of their own tracks, and instead got the masses dancing with covers of 70s disco and soul classic such as Ladies Night, Good Times and Superstitious. However, their number one hit single You To Me Are Everything showed just why so many had turned out to see them.

Photo’s by Getintothis’  John Johnson.

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