Experience and youth collides at the Kazimier as Getintothis’ Jon Davies tackles both ends of the spectrum at FestEVOL with decidedly mixed results.
Like any festival packed to the brim full of upcoming local acts it’s always going to start a bit slow, with a number of bands learning their trade or simply making up the numbers.
Catfish and The Bottlemen and The Razz offer two ghosts of indie past, the former a four-piece dirgy garage band that perform capably if nothing else, and the latter what became of the 2000s guitar pop explosion, polished guitars, songs about dancefloor love, predictably jaunty passages of verse, chorus and breakdown.
Surely this is seen for them as a good chance to play to a new crowd and be part of a big day, so it would unfair to judge the two acts as if the crowd counted on them to set the stage alight.
Rising talent Oxygen Thieves left several breathless in the Kazimier Garden for FestEVOL part one
The first band that caught our eye however were Oxygen Thieves, another unassuming four-piece garage rock band.
Although treading a very similar formula to much of what was on offer, their approach seems more authentic, less a revival more a triumph of crafted songwriting reminiscent of early Spoon.
The band’s stage presence also embodied an intriguing cold-faced detachment as just one enthusiastic crowd member accompanied them, cheering them on after every song to their bemusement.
Despite the promise of Oxygen Thieves my most vivid memory of the early shift goes to Liberty Vessels – although not for the right reasons.
Seeing young bands you hope to see crazy new ideas of music that make you feel hopelessly over the hill, instead pangs of despair rattled me seeing a band that contain not a jot of youthful brashness, rather we’re treated to an audition for a replacement Morrissey for when he decides to retire.
While the onstage theatrics were endearing, the overall result unfortunately felt more like The Ordinary Boys than The Smiths.
The Liberty Vessels let their hair down inside the Kazimier for FestEVOL part one
A solid set by Ticks took my fancy afterwards; with its own brand of affected indie rock and humour about paedophiles and bad sex, but the band that stole the show was Hot Club da Paris’ Paul Rafferty’s new band Bad Meds.
Dave Kelly, he bangs the drums for Bad Meds live at FestEVOL
It’s been a while, but 90s skate punk and old school hardcore remains our comfort zone, and Bad Meds brought up feelings of heading down to all-dayers, listening to Minor Threat and Nerve Agents on the way home from school.
Rafferty may have been around in Liverpool for a while now but his new band know how to make great, affecting and heavy tracks.
Owls* were lovely, as were Liverpool’s bright new hopefuls Death at Sea, but having been around since 4.30pm, the theme of bands with guitars playing pleasant music had worn.
Passions run high for Death at Sea live at FestEVOL
Come 1am, and the end was in sight with Clinic.
To no-one’s surprise they were the perfect act to finish the night off, their blend of off-kilter, slightly psychedelic britrock was a great soundtrack to a huge turnout of plastered punters, ranging from the usual gig goers to the lads night out and unsettling number of WAGs.
While the majority of what was on offer wasn’t to our taste, kudos must go to Revo for putting together a great day to showcase the Kazimier, as well as putting together a consistent lineup for over nine hours.
Pictures by Marie Hazelwood.
Getintothis interviews Clinic on their new sound, new record and new threads.
Getintothis interviews Steve ‘Revo’ Miller.