Minus The Bear, Vasco da Gama, Collectors Club: The Kazimier, Liverpool


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Minus The Bear offer tracks old and new showcasing their expansive sound and back catalogue, Getintothis’ Edward Black roars his approval.

GIGS ON A SUNDAY!?‘ I hear you say. Yes, a gig on a Sunday – and not just any old gig we’ll have you know.
Indie prog-pop Seattle outfit Minus the Bear took to the Kazimier for their first visit to Merseyside in bloody yonkers.
Starting the show were Middlesborough-based Collectors Club who seem to be frequenting Liverpool more and more these days. This is in no way a bad thing, as the cheeky four-piece bashed through a set of tasteful, tight indie-pop closing with latest single First to Know.
Collectors Club live at the Kazimier
Next up were Liverpool’s Vasco da Gama. These chaps are tighter than a sailors knot, and tonight graced the audience with the freshest of fresh new tracks from their recently released EP Geography.
Blending an array of complex time signatures, rad rhythms and unexpected dynamic changes, they left the crowd jaw-droppingly baffled and impressed – Getintothis included.
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Vasco da Gama showcased tracks from their new Geography EP
When the clock struck 10 it was Minus-the-Bear-o’clock. It was instantly obvious that these five had put in the hours across their twelve-year, five-album career as a band.
They looked a little like someone’s Dads dropping off their boys for Soccer Sundays – though, being in their late 30s, they probably are Dads. And they probably do drop off their boys for Soccer Sundays.
They opened with Steel and Blood – the opening track from their recently released album Infinity Overhead, vocalist Jake Snider announcing ‘we’re here to play music’ to much applause.
The sound and the tightness with which they played was phenomenal, and if you closed your eyes, it sounded almost record-perfect. Each song flowed perfectly into the next as they left the crowd – a mix of middle-aged rock veterans and teenage hipsters – begging for more.
The set was a perfect blend of songs old and new, with songs from all five albums including My Time, Absinthe Party At The Fly Honey Warehouse, Throwin’ Shapes, and Knights.
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Minus the Bear in full effect at the Kazimier
Thankfully they didn’t just play through Infinity Overhead, which – as good as it is – isn’t in the same league as earlier albums Menos El Oso and Planet Of Ice.
You’d think that by now they’d be tired of playing the older tracks they’ve been performing for years and years, but one glance stage-wards and you can tell that these are five men who, to put it simply, love music. Yes, they’ve been together since 2001, and no they aren’t topping the charts, picking up Grammys or selling out arenas. But what they are doing is continually creating great music. Continually putting out great albums. Continually putting on great shows.
They closed with our personal favourite Pachuca Sunrise taken from their 2005 album Menos el Oso which is, musically and lyrically, a beautiful track – and was no different live, Snider’s dulcet tones complimented perfectly by guitarist Dave Knudson‘s pinpoint precise DL-4-age.
At the close, the Kazimier erupted with applause, bringing the band back onto the stage, Snider teasing into the microphone ‘we could play one more…‘. They did play one more. And we hope that they continue to ‘play one more’ for many years to come.
Pictures by Getintothis’ Gaz Jones.