With Ariel Pink’s unique brand of weirdo-pop and scuzzy lo-fi defying easy categorisation, Getintothis’ Ste Knight is insulted and delighted in equal measure on a jam-packed night at District.
Trying to force Californian lunatic Ariel Pink into any sort of pigeonhole is never going to end well – you’ll always have six elbows, a mass of bleached hair and some sort of hoof sticking out awkwardly and getting in the way while you try to paste a label on him. Not gonna happen so you might as well get used to it.
Seriously though, quite frankly, Ariel Pink could write an entertaining song about anything. Life on a broccoli floret? Sorted! Leather clad piglet whipping? Got it! His brand of lo-fi, scuzzy, weirdo-pop-rock is something totally set aside from other current acts. In a world populated by shitty Mumford and Sons clones (the originals are a snooze-fest as it is) it is refreshing to hear something so innovative.
Ariel is not one to shy away from controversy and we weren’t disappointed tonight, as he was his usual obnoxious, arrogant self. Immediately after dreamy Haunted Graffiti opener Gettin’ High in the Morning, Pink set about insulting the crowd – “Show me some love you fucking idiots”. The reaction was mixed. Most people expected it and cheered, a few responded in the same insulting manner and some vigorous v-flicking was their retort.
Unperturbed by the crowd’s reaction, who Getintothis is fairly sure he didn’t give a single fuck about, Pink took everyone on a journey through the saccharine sweet pop of Pom Pom track Jello (which we’ve been unable to remove from our heads despite copious amounts of brain bleach), through the brilliantly melancholic Put Your Number in my Phone, to the doom laden Not Enough Violence.
Playing largely through tracks from his 2014 LP Pom Pom, Ariel’s Looney Toons cartoon characteristics and chaotic performance made for an incredibly fun gig – Ariel is a spectacle to observe and a delight to witness.
Supporting Pink on the bill we were treated to a whopping three acts.
First up was Essex born Scouser-by-proxy James Canty. With his lush yet mournful take on indie-pop, James was the perfect opener for the night, and on the back of his stunning Love EP he’s really one we should all be watching.
Screaming out of the backstage area in literally every sense was second support act Strange Collective. Personifying stoner psych rock, Strange Collective combined vocal prowess with effects-drenched guitar licks and some perfectly punky bass and percussion. They were a really high-energy band who stand out amongst their peers with a raw, edgy garage feel.
Liverpool’s The Vryll Society were the third act to grace the stage, and holy shit did they put on a performance. Mixing krautrock infused sounds with modern indie sensibilities, these boys are onto a winning formula. Add to this the fact that the vocal delivery was outstanding, it’s easy to see why The Vryll Society have been winning slots at the likes of Moseley Folk Festival and Liverpool Sound City 2015.
Hopefully Club Evol can continue, as it always has done, to pull in imaginative, cracking acts which give the people of Liverpool something totally different to the norm. In the meantime we’ll be in the bathroom with a wire brush scrubbing Jello off our grey matter, ‘Jellojellojellojellojello…JELLO!’
Pictures by Getintothis’ Tom Adam.