Getintothis’ Sean Bradbury on EVOL’s festive treat which showcased Liverpool’s diverse sonic treasures.
As 2011 faded away and 2012 rumbled into focus, one thing was clearly demonstrated at Binary Cell in Seel Street during EVOL‘s Christmas bash in December – Outfit are riding the crest of the hype machine wave – and on this evidence they are well-equipped to justify it.
They topped an eclectic and enterprising bill – featuring particularly assured offerings from the improbably effective Killaflaw, bridging the gap between Pearl Jam and The Prodigy with a confident industrial swagger, and the boisterous, musical theatre pop of The Winter Falls – and delivered a set glistening with potential.
Killaflaw – Set Me On Fire (V011) by Killaflawmusic
However, within seconds of Outfit opening their slot, everything is slicker and crisper than what has come before.
They lurch into Vehicles which breaks out like vintage Hot Chip, all shimmering synths and soaring dual vocals, before shifting in mood as the lines become brooding, heavier and more discordant.
Things get a little hazy as their 45-minute set progresses with the texture of some of the more intricate tunes proving a little inaccessible on first listen in a live environment – perhaps the result of a few being road-tested album tracks – but the momentum stirs again and reaches an incredible finale with Two Islands.
Rightly given the nod for track of the year in 2011, it has the rare quality of being a tune you can hear 50 times or more and still find something new in it on each occasion; it pushes and pulls and can heighten any mood you are in with its emotive melodies, driving rhythm and blistering coda.
The band do it justice live – building, simmering and releasing in transcendent fashion, making you want to dance and cry all at once. Add a couple more five-star songs into the mix and one of the records of 2012 will be well within Outfit‘s grasp.
A special mention also to the Tea Street Band who were on immediately before the headliners.
Fast becoming of the finest live acts Liverpool has to offer, they cropped up all over the shop in 2011 entertaining anyone and everyone – from bouncing Kopites at BOSS Mag‘s Static Gallery showcase back in August, to culinary connoisseurs at Liverpool Food and Drink Festival at the end of the summer and even old school ravers at Sounds of the State ’88 as the year came to a close.
Their infectious sound has tightened and matured over the last 12 months, nowhere more evident as when Fiesta segued seamlessly into Push the Feeling On sending an energy surging through both the band and crowd.
Elsewhere Lucky Beaches excelled with psychedelic fuzz, The Laze spooked the b’jasus out of everyone with their prog-mania madness and Jazzhands almost took the roof and several ears off with their Lightning Bolt-infused chaos.
A great night to round off 2011 – and to signal the promise of the Liverpool music scene in 2012.
First Demo 2011 by The Winter Falls