NewPath Festival 2011: Leaf and Mello Mello, Liverpool


There was an alternative to the Mathew Street madness over the Bank Holiday weekend, as Getintothis’ Sally Flashlight explores three days of top draw eclectica from the inaugural NewPath Festival.

Some would see it as bold move to try and host a festival at the same time as Mathew Street’s huge event, especially three nights of alternative music.
But NewPath Festival, which was curated by Liverpool post-rock band MinionTV, succeeded in bringing something a little bit different to the Bank Holiday weekend.
The first night on Saturday, held within the art-deco surroundings of the Leaf on Bold Street, was a real treat as a post-rock fan.
Acoustic duo In Violet started the night with their blend of angst-laden atmospheric rock. They were followed by the thumping math-rock of Liverpool instrumental band Muto Leo, who despite being a fairly new band performed with confidence and technical precision as though they had been playing for years.
Japanese shoegaze duo Kanina, who are on European tour, were a highlight of the night. The angelic vocals and melancholic piano mixed with powerful electric guitar riffs were reminiscent of Sigur Ros.
This Is My Normal State, who were touring with Kanina across the UK, showed a different style of shoegaze post-rock. The Bristol quintet, equipped with cello, guitars and drums gave a beautiful performance that reminded me of the music of Mogwai combined with the singing talent of Julee Cruise.
This Is My Normal State
Headlining all three nights was MinionTV, who met the challenge of performing three completely different sets each night. From the heart wrenching When Skyways Are Highways to the thundering We Are Ghosts, those who managed to catch them on all three days would have been impressed with their vast ranging repertoire of electronic, heavy rock and ambient music. It was a delight on all three nights to see what surprises they would pull off.
The last two nights were held at Mello Mello Jazz Cafe. Matt Stevens travelled from London to perform his solo acoustic guitar set on Sunday. His finger-picking magic went down a storm with the audience and many had turned up especially to see his set.
Then for something completely different was Dinosaurs Are Shit Dragons. The name gave an idea of what to expect from this ballsy band, whose post-hardcore, alternative act combined with wacky lyrics about every-day life from religion to cats made for a memorable performance.
Liverpool-based outfit Alpha Tea Party showed they do their own thing as rock mathematicians. Despite saying they make music people can’t dance to, people could not help but move when they were on.
Also hailing from Liverpool was screamo band We Came Out Like Tigers. Beware their act is not for the faint hearted. They are expressive, loud, aggressive and exciting to watch. Alright The Captain travelled from Nottingham for the festival and showed off their artistic talent with a display of visual artworks, which shone out as much as their noisy experimental music.
We Came Out Like Tigers
The final night saw up-and-coming band Pocket Apocalypse, who have successfully hailed from the student music scene, perform a special mix of instrumental rock, which was met with rapture from the audience.
A Time For Burning also put on a breathtaking display of beautiful post-rock and were a personal favourite of the night. Catscans, who shed their old happy-go-lucky name We Sell Seashells, with their operatic vocal and explosive violin playing, gave a powerful and dark performance.
A compilation CD of the acts performed was sold off to raise money for the PIAS fund and with its vast range of alternative music NewPath Festival succeeded in providing something that everyone could enjoy over the three days.
Pictures courtesy of Tony Nye.