The dancefloor of Studio 2 got a workout this week from London’s La Shark. Getintothis’ Paul Varty finds something more than just a novelty.
La Shark are ruled by low end groove. More specifically, bone-juddering bass, via an extremely aggressive, abrasive and seemingly Mordor-forged Ampeg. Let us be clear, this is no bad thing. Fittingly, the bass player, with sleeveless t-shirt and Fender Jazz slung round his neck, looked rather like a Viking; his tone somewhere between Flea and Les Claypool with a fair chunk of Kyuss thrown in. Those who know this writer would realise that this was already more than enough ticks in the necessary boxes.
Not content to merely trust the monolithic bass to win our affections, La Shark utilise rather silly synths and a skate-punk personality as well as some impressive stage-craft as juxtaposition to the main parts of the performance, funk and blues jams with a party accent. They are not quite over-the-top, always punchy and energetic, their whimsical appearance not completely masking their considerable musical talents.
With such a tight and perfectly honed band, the frontman has the opportunity to play up to the crowd, and Samuel Geronimo Deschamps did this masterfully. He is not the greatest singer in the world. To paraphrase John Lennon, he may not even be the greatest singer in the band. Nevertheless, he approached the performance with the swagger and attitude of Anthony Keidis, mixed in with a little David Byrne and a dash of The Correspondents’ glam and showmanship. Given his charisma and ability to perform, his vocal delivery became part of the performance, an idiosyncratic quirk rather than something that detracted from the whole.
Spending a large part of the evening on the floor with the audience rather than on the stage, he backflipped, break-danced and spasmed his way through the set in what must be one of the liveliest shows Studio 2 has seen. More often the home of jazz, soul and other more straight-faced musical endeavors, La Shark brought a mischievous energy to the headline show, despite a sadly diminished crowd – those who left early should kick themselves. It is safe to say that if La Shark ever come back to Liverpool, they deserve a full house; we will be there, dressed for dancing.
While the headliners were a London band, the folks at I Love Live Events continued to support developing acts in Liverpool with four emerging local bands. The Shipbuilders’ opening song had a vocal melody that was almost middle-eastern, closely followed by a psych-Americana telecaster line. The set consisted of old-timey ditties with a Merseybeat flavour, complemented by a Gretsch and a violin bass; an emphasis on storytelling escaped cliché by virtue of ambitiously involved songwriting.
Cabezudos provided a set which owed a lot to the likes of Nirvana and The Doors, while Mosley Bar and The Resistance completed the line-up: two young bands who showed promise.