Wicked Whispers bring their retro-futurism to the O2 Academy, Getintothis’ Alan O’Hare laps up the Scousedelic revival.
Halloween may have been a week away but everyone was dressed up behind Lime Street last Saturday.
The Wicked Whispers pulled their Scouse roadshow into town and added local hero Edgar Summertyme and ones to watch The Sundowners into the mix. The result was a packed house at the O2 Academy and a scene reminiscent of a Crosby, Stills and Nash EP sleeve.
The boys looked like The Byrds and the girls were floating on air, as ex-Stairs and Paul Weller cohort Summertyme took the stage first.
Armed with just a reverb-drenched electric guitar for company, it appeared we were to be given an elusive glimpse behind the curtain of Summertyme’s world. The first tune brought smiles from the early byrds, as Edgar unleashed that New Orleans howl his followers love.
But it was a tender new song, from latest record Sense Of Harmony, that revealed the artist behind that impenetrable vocal. Do what you can to hear it, especially live, as I Would Do Anything sounded to these ears like the best thing Summertyme has ever written.
Gorgeous chords and delicious changes were accompanied by a vocal that wouldn’t have sounded out of place on, say, What’s Going On. That good. Soul boy Summertyme? Let’s hope he stays on this path.
Wirral’s The Sundowners followed and got the night rocking. Sounding so much better after a few weeks on the road supporting Ren Harvieu, the female-fronted five-piece are fast approaching a sound all of their own and the promise of a good debut album grows with each gig.
Like good tunes with psychedelic edges and big voices? This lot will do for you. Catch them now, as The Sundowners are getting bigger and better all of the time.
Wicked Whispers live at O2 Academy
The Wicked Whispers were the evening’s headliners and pulled a near sell-out crowd. The band have been on a mini tour and were primed for the big home town show. The punters were up for it, the music meticulous and the melodies left of centre.
The songs? Derivative by design and nuggets by nature, they meander along a well trodden path.
Stand outs, including recent singles Dandelion Eyes and Amanda Lavender, have you picturing yourself on a boat on a river and, if you close your eyes and get lost in the loveliness of Steven Penn‘s ever-present organ; it’s easy to imagine you’re in some 60’s psych club, with Ringo Starr and Georgie Fame behind the drums and organ respectively.
Singer Michael Murphy looks the part and the band sound like an original artifact from the first psychedelic era.
The night was long, but the crowd stayed with the group all of the way. There’s an exciting future for The Wicked Whispers – if only they could look a little less to the past.
Getintothis reviews The Sundowners supporting Ren Harvieu
Getintothis on the Wicked Whispers
Getintothis on the Wicked Whispers and The Sundowners at FestEVOL .
Picture by Dave Walker.