Braving the cold to head into town for a free night at Sound Food and Drink, Getintothis’ Conor Ryan enjoyed a night of punk and pizza.
Kicking off tonight’s free of charge soiree at Sound Food and Drink on Duke Street, which is indeed quite sound when it comes to scran and consumable liquids, are classic punk act The Jackhammers. We don’t say “classic” as in they are a band from the original explosion of punk back in the late 70s, we use the word more to describe their sound. Simple, loud and angry, the trio of Jocks are a pleasing opener in this tightly packed scouse sweatbox. With bogs to make your Nan squeal, S F + D is quite a charming establishment, with its compactness adding a certain intimacy to the live music regularly acted out.
The Scots who make up Jackhammers, whose lead singer Jim tells us later on that by day he’s a postman when not donning a bass and sticking his tongue out furiously, are a fast and violent blast of three chords and indistinguishable shouting. Those in attendance witnessed a good ol’ fashioned punk spit party. Guitarist Bryan McGarvey we gather from this performance is a big fan of his own saliva, constantly spitting on his strings and letting it drip out of his mouth and onto the floor. Simultaneously staring down some unlucky fucker in the crowd, it’s wunderbar. The visual element of this quick thrill three piece is quite different to the next act from Leeds called Nervous Twitch, even if the musical influences aren’t a million miles away.
Frontwoman and fan of shrieking, who will go by the name Pink Hair Lady since we don’t know her name (apologies), puts out a solid performance along with her two male counterparts. Very much like the Jackhammer’s sound, it’s nothing flashy or anything to lose your shit over. However, the playing is tight, despite being called Nervous Twitch they perform in quite a calm and collected manner and they actually look and sound like a band who could be relatively successful and have some worth on the recorded side of things. We quite enjoyed their set, with effective riffing in a repetitive yet groove laden aesthetic, it was class to be honest.
It seems to be the night of the trios as Sheepy finally take to the “stage” along with bassist Villy Raze and drummer Ollie Fontaine. What we love about scouse acts is that no matter what the situation, they always manage to squeeze in some jokes. As soon as the lads equipped themselves with their violated looking instruments Sheepy, wearing a knitted jumper depicting fields and yep, you guessed it, SHEEP, says: “Alright this is our last one thanks for coming”. It seems so simple and un-noteworthy but its little things like that which really make certain acts, who can’t really afford to be mediocre, stand out. Luckily for everyone at S F +D, Sheepy are far from mediocre. Impressive musicianship along with energetic renditions of songs such as our personal favourite, Ket Party, makes for a live viewing which is ultimately fun and interesting to watch.
We’ve been aware of Sheepy for a couple of years now and we have to say his songs are ten times better live and seem to bring out interesting little flicks and quirks which weren’t obvious before. Ditties such as These Clothes and Don’t Know Much, blend specific styles such as early 2000s punk rock and more Coral-like indie flavours really well. The whole set is fantastic and we’re not just saying that cause we can’t be arsed writing or weren’t paying attention, it was genuinely great throughout. Considering it’s free as well, the acts on show were very much worth the trip into town on a chilly night where usually, you’d rather stay in bed and have a wank.
If you’re looking for more good live music, which is free, then we suggest checking out the madness that is the Feminists on the February 25 at this very venue. It’s unclear yet whether it’ll be as enjoyable or praiseworthy as tonight, but we’re sure it’ll be fun. As for Jackhammers, Nervous Twitch and Sheepy, its big thumbs up all round from Getintothis and the punters squeezed into this box of surprising quality; both for its musical bookings and veggie pizza. Boss!
Pictures by Getintothis’ Keith Ainsworth.