Lack of attendance didn’t deter Here Lies Man as Getintothis’ Simon Kirk is on hand to see a potential show of the year unfold.
With Shaun Ryder and various other artists strewn across town, The Shipping Forecast is thin on the ground with punters, as Liverpool welcomes Los Angeles four-piece, Here Lies Man, for the first time.
In many respects it’s a night of firsts, with Cavalier Song‘s Mark Greenwood debuting his new project, Prison Behaviour. In the best way possible, it’s an unsettling start to the night. Prison Behaviour incorporates poetic dystopian dirges with techno rave and pummeling beats. Noise flickers and ricochets from wall-to-wall, washing over every inch of space in the room.
Local psych quartet, Pale Rider, follow, and my word do they impress. They seem to get better every time, refining their sound into this elusive blues-rock feral beast.
Private Reel swells with noise, underpinned by Sophie Thompson‘s thunderous assault from behind the drum kit and Louis Dutton‘s ribcage-bursting bass lines.
The psychedelic garage swoon that is One Beat and the primal rocker, Hair, are among the highlights as frontman, Ben Russell, and guitarist, Fran Codman, blast their audience with squawking serrated riff-a-rolla. Indeed, a band very much on form.
Then there’s Here Lies Man. The fact that we are fortunate enough for their presence is almost a celebration in itself. Looking around the room and it’s hugely disappointing to see so many empty spaces. However, those here are primed and await with bated breath, as Marco Garcia leads his band onstage.
Keyboardist, Richard Panta, is rocking a T-shirt with our town’s name etched across the front – a patent procurement from one of the souvenir shops down on the Albert Dock. It’s a nice gesture and one that forms an impression that the band are truly honoured to be here.
Opener, Voices at the Window, seeps slowly off the stage, easing the audience in for what’s to come. The Afrobeat ingrained hard-rock stomp that is Letting Go follows and from here, proceedings are transcendental. The highlights are almost too hot to handle as Fighting holds a raw resurgence, sounding meatier, possessing more backbone live.
Drummer, Geoff Mann (son of jazz flutist, Herbie Mann), is worth the price of admission alone. From the jagged banger that is Summer Fire, his display from behind the skins and symbols is purely something that will remain in thought for many years to come. Simply put, Here Lies Man wouldn’t be the band they are without him.
Midway through the set, Garcia thanks the audience for their time. Quietly spoken, he elaborates on the idea of Here Lies Man and states that it’s a soundtrack of an imaginary movie. It makes sense. He goes on to explain that the band’s two records, the acclaimed Here Lies Man and the excellent sophomore, You Will Know Nothing, are merely the beginning of this idea. It’s true – on current evidence, this band was born for playing in front of an audience.
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Garcia then acknowledges several family members in the crowd. Despite it being the band’s first time here, Garcia seemingly has a connection with Liverpool.
The futuristic traipse of That Much Closer gets the crowd moving together as one, as does the ironically titled Here Lies Man. Smiles of the Colgate-white and nicotine-yellow variety are etched across faces of the audience as the final frontier awaits.
The downright rocking Blindness bleeds into the venerable Animal Noises and it’s completely-lose-your-shit good. Like, run-to-the-back-of-a-near-empty-Shipping-Forecast-and-scream-with-ecstatic-rage good.
The band finish with the aptly titled You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere and after the standard cheers and thank yous, there are thirty-odd toothy grins directed towards the front of stage.
— Peter Guy (@Getintothis) November 10, 2018
It’s a seamless cathartic experience tonight. A band slipping between the cracks of early ‘Sabbath and bending the hard-rock breakdowns of Blue Oyster Cult, all through the scope of Afrobeat and psychadelia.
Here Lies Man are warm, Here Lies Man are welcoming. Above all, Here Lies Man strike an uncanny chord of projecting something heart-felt laced with hedonism. You can tap your foot nonchalantly to it. You can dance wildly to it. You rock to it. And you can smile to it, which is what music is all about. Here Lies Man. Show. Of. The. Year.
Images by Getintothis’ Peter Goodbody