Bird, Bill Ryder-Jones, Sankofa: The Kazimier, Liverpool


adele emmas bird live kazimier
A hat-trick of Merseyside new talent heads up a Club EVOL booking at the Kaz, Getintothis’ Patrick Clarke takes up his perch for Bird’s album launch.

An all-Merseyside affair this gig may be, but a Friday night spent at the Kazimier is rebuttal enough for that thinning group of naysayers still eager to dismiss the Liverpudlian scene as an uninspiring production line of mop-headed throwbacks.
Sonically indefinable, openers Sankofa are an abrupt nail in such a coffin, combining their penchant for straight-up rock ‘n’ roll with classic, prog and post rock inspiration for a commanding series of musical epics. Unafraid to exploit limitless textures and space the five-piece are unhurried without languish, their fluid style leaping from capacious Jeff Buckley-esque vocal showpieces over dissonant arpeggios to all-out bombardment with barely a fissure.
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Sankofa performing live at The Kazimier
Their successor Bill Ryder-Jones, meanwhile, is a musical polar opposite, minimalistic in set up with just percussionist, Jack Prince, to back his own guitar-based melodic fragility.
To bookend a set heavy on new material with acoustic covers of Love Will Tear Us Apart and Girls Just Wanna Have Fun (the former a tribute to the late Alan Wills) without a whiff of alienation is testament enough to the singer’s pure ability, and though almost infuriatingly brief, it’s nonetheless more than agreeable.
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Bill Ryder-Jones and Jack Prince performing live at The Kazimier
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Bill Ryder-Jones performing live at The Kazimier
As headliners Bird approach there’s a palpable shift in tone. While the preceding sets weren’t exactly light-hearted, Bird are dark in a different manner, bringing the gloomy grooves of their debut record My Fear and Me to the stage with faultless transposition.
Treading the line between sombre and scintillating, it’s their depth of influence that really shines through, with frontwoman Adele Emmas marrying dynamic post-punk basslines with the otherworldly vocal potency of Björk and Warpaint as her band supply sublime atmospherics and vigorous percussion.
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Bird performing live at The Kazimier
Although at times the group’s inhabitancy of the realms of mid-tempo stumbles slightly towards the sluggish, as a whole the set is a force of nature, with each member entirely in their element when it comes to the construction of their beguiling auditory haze.
The gig constitutes the launch of their aforementioned debut, and all things considered they’re a band of clear ability both live and on record. Should their eclecticism give rise to just that little bit more variety, given their decisive aesthetic, Bird could well be on their way to something special.
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Sian Williams of Bird performing live at The Kazimier
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Bird performing live at The Kazimier

Pictures by Getintothis‘ Simon Lewis
Further reading on Getintothis:
Bird reveal The Rain Song from debut album My Fear and Me
Astral Coast 2014 add Bird, Lapsley, GhostChant and Lucid Dream to line up
Bird, The Family Monroe: Leaf, Bold Street
GIT Award 2014 launch feat Bird, Natalie McCool, Clang Boom Steam, VEYU, Kalax: Leaf Tea Shop, Liverpool
GIT AWARD 2014: Nominee profile – Bill Ryder-Jones
Euros Childs, Bill Ryder-Jones, Laura J. Martin: Leaf Tea Shop, Liverpool
Sankofa: Guttermouth
Liverpool Sound City 2014: Review round up and top 10 bands of the festival.
Liverpool Sound City 2014: Picture gallery from all three days of the festival.
LIMF 2014: By The Sea, Baltic Fleet & more set for Getintothis & Bido Lito! stage in Sefton Park.
LightNight Liverpool 2014: Cathedral, Black-E, FACT, St Luke’s Churchpicture gallery.