Hooton Tennis Club play an end of the year show at the Invisible WInd Factory and Getintothis’ Jamie Bowman..
As good as the many bands currently buzzing around Liverpool are, old fashioned values like swagger, groove and a bit of rock n roll are often noticeable by their absence.
Until now. Led by born-star, Shaun Powell, Psycho Comedy are not a complicated proposition: they’re a garage band pure and simple but their infectious tunes are smeared in layers of debauchery and scuzz which recalls the likes of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and Brian Jonestown Massacre.
And make no mistake they look great too – even their choices in guitar seem to hint at a studied knowledge of rock’s history not least the yelping Powell’s Brian Jones patented teardrop. Whether this is all a bit tongue and cheek doesn’t matter when the songs and attitude are this striking and although the cavernous surroundings of the Wind Factory does not feel like their natural habitat quite yet, this is a band with the motor running.
Where Psycho Comedy seem to be swallowed up by the venue’s spacious stage, Pink Kink seem to grab their opportunity with both glitter-covered hands. Keyboard player Ines begins the performance nonchalantly perched on the edge of the dias as her four band mates strike up the Kink’s alluring blend of electro, post-punk and jazz.
At times there’s an icy goth-like sheen to proceedings which hints at the Cure or the Banshees but within the space of a song they can happily detour into zany Sugarcubes territory. That this is a four/fifths female band shouldn’t matter but it’s undoubtedly refreshing as is their pan-European background. Pink Kink are different and that’s a good thing.
Returning heroes Hooton Tennis Club arrive back on home territory full of the confidence that two fantastic albums in 18 months brings. Latest offering Big Box of Chocolates continues the Wirral charmers’ habit of serving up a sugary rush of slacker guitar anthems full of their usual parade of local characters.
If there is a criticism it’s that not an awful lot appears to have changed in Hooton land – Bootcut Jimmy the G lifts off on the back of an unhinged guitar solo and at one point a mandolin is introduced – but otherwise Ryan Murphy and co’s knack of writing great pop song after great pop song has not deserted them.
When an exultant Always Coming Back 2 You is followed by a similarly heart-bursting P.O.W.E.R.F.U.L P.I.E.R.R.E it’s hard not to fall in love with this band all over again. Who moves on first is probably up to them.
Pictures by Getintothis’ Keith Ainsworth