Liverpool Sound City 2013: Darwin Deez, King Krule, Swiss Lips, Witch Hunt, Wave Machines: The Garage, East Village Arts Club, Leaf, Anglican Cathedral


Liverpool Sound City 2013 showcases pop in a cathedral, dark malevolence in a garage and a witch hunt in a tea shop, Getintothis’ Stephanie Heneghan flits amid the musical cauldron.

It has to be said, we don’t usually spend our Friday nights in a Cathedral but then the hymns at mass don’t really hold the same appeal as seeing one of our favourite bands utilise the venue for a gig.
The feedback from everyone who has visited the Anglican Cathedral over the past couple of days is how impressive it is to see it being used in such a way, a fantastic use of an iconic building.
We’ve long championed the sound of Wave Machines and seeing them set in front of the stunning stained glass window backdrop added a bit of magic to the set.
They acknowledged their surroundings by saying they all wanted to have a go at singing and expressed their regret at only being able to perform a relatively short set. Despite its length it was engaging indie pop as always, with their signature falsetto sprinkled throughout, even if the audience was slightly reserved. Are you allowed to dance in the house of God?
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Witch Hunt – fierce beats and fierce pipes
The upstairs bar at Leaf hosted Witch Hunt, a boy girl duo who don’t half like a heavy drum beat. Luckily so do we. The lead singer had some fierce pipes on her, as well as a cool top – anyone who can rock an oversized green polka dot shirt is a champion in our book.
We were just as impressed with their set which flowed nicely from in your face wailing to more understated simple tracks. Can we say ethereal here? We’re going to anyway, just because we love the word.
Swiss Lips at the newly relaunched East Village Arts Club (The Masque no longer), specifically the Loft which has had more than a lick of paint and looks ace, although those heads dangling from the ceiling in the bar area gave us some concern.
It was the first time we’d been in here since the reopening and who more fitting to introduce us to the new surrounds than a band who always bring the party. Hailing from Manchester, we caught Swiss Lips last year in The Garage and were eager to see them again – they always bring the party.
With a sound that nods eagerly in the direction of the 80’s – think Prince more than Sinitta – we love it when a band is obviously having fun on stage, evidently so as they snapped a picture of the crowd for a memento. Single U Got The Power was on the list and the beat heavy final track saw all band members getting involved with some drum action. Ace.
A drastic step downwards pace wise for King Krule who were in The Garage. You know when someone doesn’t look like how you’d expect them too? Lead singer Archie Marshall‘s angry guttural are at odds with his young demeanour, the 18-year-old displaying a precocious line in darkwave.
Each track was given a curt introduction, ‘this song is about living under the sea/reptiles/the sky‘, but this is not the kind of music which requires patter. Bleak and introspective but with attitude aplenty, it’s clear to see why the plaudits are raining in.
King Krule – guttural and delightfully dark despite his years
Darwin Deez (main image) could almost be the polar opposite to King Krule. From sullen strumming to a set that opened with a dance routine and the self proclaimed “Hipster Jesus” bounding round the stage like a man who has Red Bull coursing through his veins. That energy is infectious and the atmosphere in The Garage reflects this, the crowd taking the last opportunity of the night to have a bit of a dance.
Recent release You Can’t Be My Girl sounds top notch as does DNA, an audience favourite. And on that note we bow out gracefully, or as gracefully as is possible at half two on a Saturday morning.
Pictures by Getintothis’ Conor McDonnell and Matt Owen.