Liverpool Music Week 2014: Errors, Alpha Male Tea Party, Kusanagi, Glossom: The Kazimier, Liverpool



Glaswegian indietronica outfit Errors kept up the relentless Liverpool Music Week pace at the Kazimier, Getintothis‘ Paul Higham is lost in the fuzz.

With reports of Tuesday night’s superlative Antlers’ gig fresh in our minds, the question on everyone’s lips was how could that be followed. Would the fifth night of Liverpool Music Week’s residency at the Kazimier be able to maintain the momentum impressively built over the last six days that culminated with what many have suggested to be a gig of the year contender.

Faced with the unenviable task were Errors, Glaswegian stable mates of Friday night heroes Mogwai and stalwarts of the Rock Action Records imprint.

Liverpool and Glasgow have much in common it would appear. Both were thriving west coast port cities that faced significant economic challenges in the latter half of the twentieth century together with the social deprivation that accompanied it. Embracing the Capital of Culture title, both cities have used cultural endeavours as a springboard for change, instilling hope and rejuvenation were once there was only despair.

It was clear from the start that Errors were grateful for the opportunity to return to play to a Liverpool audience. If not quite a home gig, it felt not far removed from one.

Errors have perhaps been weighed down by comparisons to bands of greater renown. Clearly New Order are a significant influence in the melding of guitars and electronic dance music. Battles are also an obvious contemporary influence on their sound. However Errors have been successful, as tonight’s show demonstrated, in forging a sound of their own.

Opening with Magna Encarta and Blank Media from their most recent LP, 2012’s Have Some Faith in Magic their set really came alive with their third number, A Rumour In Africa. This really was astonishing. James Hamilton drove the track along with a virtuoso display of drumming.

The manner in which his live drumming blends seamlessly with the electronic wizardry created by bandmates, Simon Ward and Stephen Livingstone is remarkable. The track whipped the audience up into a frenzy, half delirium and half incredulity. This interplay is at the core of their sound and what ultimately enables them to transcend their influences and arrive at a sound that is truly their own.

New songs were introduced from their forthcoming LP due out next March. Joined on stage by singer Cecilia Stamp, the songs, darker and more synth-pop driven, hinted at a slight change in direction. What we heard tonight bodes well for the new album.

Delving back into their catalogue as their set drew to a close, Pleasure Palaces and Mr Milk reminded why they are such a special band. The duality of their sound, somewhere between an introverted guitar band and electronic dance extroverts, keeps them ever interesting and engaging. The audience lapped it up.

Tonight was nothing if not varied. Opening act, Glossom were tidy indeed, revealing a strong jazz influence to a very art-pop sound, with hints of Prefab Sprout in the vocal delivery of the guitarist and keyboard player. Musically accomplished, what was most encouraging was the willingness to plough their own furrow and be individual. They offered welcome variety to the indie guitar band formula.

Second on the bill were Kusanagi. Tempting as it is to describe them as a post-rock band, to do so would be to undermine both their versatility as musicians and their range influences. Sonically they do display the loud/quiet dynamic so beloved of post-rock aficionados but they also reveal metal and, at times, both classical and conventional alt-rock influences.

What is striking about their sound is the extent to which each instrument sits in its own space, each guitar audible particularly when played as delicately as at times it was tonight. Every song offered something different all held together by some punishing bass playing and tight drum-work. When songs are this good, who needs lyrics?

Third up were Alpha Male Tea Party who, prior to their final number, declared when a request was shouted from the crowd, ‘we don’t do requests, we barely know the songs we play’. Such self-deprecatory humour was entirely in-keeping with their set which was a heap of fun delivered by a band that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

Hugely energetic, the band delivered a performance that was exhausting just to watch. A powerhouse trio operating in the space were prog meets metal meets garage rock, they gave an exhilarating display that had heads bobbing vigorously in the crowd and which stayed just the right side of novelty.

So breathless were they at the end they could barely get their farewell words out. Where some bands are content to go through the motions, to see a band clearly give everything they have is both refreshing and heartening.

At the end of another triumphant Liverpool Music Week night, Errors hinted that they would be back soon, suggesting a return date to be in the offing.

With the recent Liverpool Sound City announcement fresh in our minds, how great would they sound bouncing off the walls in a derelict warehouse in Bramley Moore Dock? On the basis of this performance, let’s hope the organisers of that event take note.

Pictures by Martin Waters: