Liverpool Sound City 2013: Savages, Everything Everything, Nina Nesbitt, Tea Street Band: Arts Academy, East Village Arts Club, Epstein Theatre Bar, Liverpool


The next big folk pop star, Savage post-punk and blissful Balearic beats. Getintothis’ Sean Bradbury is served up a treat on day two of Sound City.

Nina Nesbitt makes a mad dash through the East Village Arts Club, her legs a blur of pinstripe keks, and has a quick final soundcheck at the side of the stage.
Whether it was traffic trouble or scheduling issues, her slot is an hour behind the timetable but word has spread and there’s a great turnout for the half Scottish, half Swedish singer-songwriter.
On record her pristine pop sounds like an earthy Ellie Goulding, but live it slides along the scale towards a more sultry, edgy KT Tunstall vibe.
It is largely folk-pop by numbers at this stage, but the 18-year-old is clearly destined for big things.
Her sugar-sweet set couldn’t have been more different from what came next though.
Are you turned on? Are you hot? I am not yet turned on. I am not yet hot.”
Several songs in at the Arts Academy, Savages frontwoman Jehnny Beth delivers a verbal sucker-punch to the crowd.
Already reeling from their blistering, visceral post-punk assault, there is palpable collective disbelief that the band can crank it up further.
But they can. And they do.
While Beth, prowling with pent-up Ian Curtis menace, is the clear focal point, the epicentre of their white noise storm is guitarist Gemma Thompson.
It’s no surprise Beth reserves special praise for her when whipping up the applause before they finish: “And on the guitar… on the FUCKING guitar…”
Thompson’s effortless, unruffled playing sets the tone for each track, be it fierce bar chord thrashes, swirling Sonic Youth feedback and drones, angular, Gang of Four stabs or a combination of them all.
Savages build to an intense climax with Beth’s vocals bursting out from haunted and restrained Kate Bush to orgasmic Karen O yelps on She Will and Husbands.
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Savages – brutal and breathless
Everyone pauses for breath and takes in one of best sets at Sound City so far.
Following next were celebrated art-rockers Everything Everything, buoyed by the confidence of negotiating the ‘difficult second album.’
Their set is bookended by new tracks from Arc, Kemosabe to warm up and Cough Cough to sign off.
But it is some of the first record’s material that generates the best response and gets everyone going again after Savages.
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Everything Everything – polished and content
It might not normally be a compliment to say a band reproduce their recorded sound well, but with Everything Everything they do and it is.
Their musical nuances and the falsetto flourishes from Jonathan Higgs translate successfully and leave the crowd more than content.
The evening ends in the Epstein Theatre bar, finishing perhaps as every great night should, with the Tea Street Band.
These lads need no introduction in this city and it was good to see decent numbers attending in the small hours.
Their live sound is so polished now that the songs blend into one blissful, Balearic half-hour rush, building momentum and rhythmical drive as Timo’s lyrics float serenely over the top.
The crowd does the same, gradually morphing into a swarming mass of pogoing, bouncing heads and limbs before dancing off into the darkness.
Pictures by Getintothis’ Conor McDonnell and Matt Owen.