With the funk-jazz super-group return to Liverpool for a second time, Getintothis’ Joe Giess was there to witness a dizzying set of psych funk.
Describing the sound of Melt Yourself Down is a challenge I wouldn’t want to set to anyone. You can get a whiff of what they are all about if you picture Sun Ra Arkestra trying to cover Goat’s 2012 album World Music.
The band have travelled far and wide in a search for the new sound, giving nods from Egyptian to North African melodies, and when played at an intimidating punk velocity, it makes for quite a spectacle. To say the band possesses an eclectic group of influences is a huge understatement.
Melt Yourself Down is an amalgam of the front line of modern jazz today. With faces from Polar Bear, Zun Zun Egui and the embers of Acoustic Ladyland all coming together for this project. You would expect a group with such phenomenal lineage to be a constant hot topic, right? Wrong. They’re staggeringly under appreciated and the crowds attendance reflects it.
Opening the night at 24 Kitchen Street, was the atmospheric arrangements of Dead Hedge Trio. The dulcet tones coaxed and teased the crowd with their jarring offering. It’s uncertain whether it was the soaring dissonance or the enamouring crescendos, but it was an intoxicating set by the local jazz stalwarts.
A pell-mell of sax and military funk showed us the infamous headliners had arrived. The group took us on a psychedelic, afrobeat funk journey as the audience bopped and swayed for every step of their jittery rhythms.
The carnival-esque mayhem was lead by Kushal Gaya, who barked an infusion of English, French Creole and gobbledygook in a shamanic gambol for the audience. Lead sax and band-leader Pete Warehem lunged through an adoring crowd with his wailing instrument, galvanizing the sparse crowd into a general hullabaloo of madness.
A brief pause and a fierce encore got the dedicated swarm jiving, the band fired out their singles: Fix My Life and We Are Enough. Creating a call-and-response with the crowd and bookmarking the night as the party atmosphere of the week.
The tour has left a trail of destruction across Britain so far. With it’s genesis coming from a reissue of the 2013 eponymous album, with this in mind, maybe it’s time the band the get bigger, audiences, bigger venues and the attention they deserve.
Pictures by Getintothis’ Peter Goodbody