Baby if you’ve got to go away, don’t think I can take the pain, won’t you stay another day? As 10 Bands 10 Minutes bids a fond farewell to The Kazimier Getintothis’ Emma Walsh tries to hold it together.
Sitting down on Saturday afternoon to compile the perennial end of year ‘bests’ and ‘top fives’ it became apparent that despite all the awesome albums 2015 has proffered, this writer’s most played list still consists of records that pre-date her own conception. We certainly have a finger on the pulse, but usually just to check our own vital signs.
Perhaps that’s why the wonderful 10 Bands 10 Minutes bonanzas appeal so much, tugging, as they do, on our particularly wistful heartstrings. And those heartstrings have never been quite so close to breaking point as they were at the last ever 10 Bands 10 Minutes spectacle at The Kazimier.
After ten successful outings in the style and garb of various music icons, what better way to wrap up The Kazimier chapter of this Liverpool institute than by a massive, best of mash up, bringing David Bowie, Prince and Michael Jackson, among others, to mark this momentous final swansong on Wolstenholme Square.
It was Neil Young who kicked off this dreamy line up however, as John Daglish & Cavalier Song welcomed the hoards of an already jam-packed Kazimier. Milking the limelight they indulged in the interminable Cortez the Killer, just squeezing in a sweet sprinkling of Cinnamon Girl too.
With the festive season thoroughly upon us and the magnitude of the event ever present the atmosphere in our beloved hexagonal homestead was palpable from the outset. Good Grief turned the air purple for a Prince love in, joined on stage by guest vocalist Sarah for an astral rendition of When You Were Mine. Novice Mathematic brought Madonna back to 10 Bands glory, no capes in sight sadly, rattling off Material Girl, Papa Don’t Preach and Borderline with a ferocious energy that Madge could only dream of even in her sprightly years.
With the pace well and truly upped, Avenging Force were more than ready to take up the baton. 10 Bands regulars, we’ve not always been entirely convinced of this rambunctious trio in previous incarnations but tonight’s performance was simply stellar. The band were joined by Puzzle‘s vocalist, Lucy Johnson, bringing the raucous female voice necessary to do justice to Blondie, a conquering combination that wowed the crowd with a triple hit of One Way or Another, Union City Blue and a thumping version of Atomic.
Speaking of 10 Bands 10 Minutes bastions, we all need to take a minute and just bow down to the glory of Man in the Dark. This band have been a pillar of the 10 Bands line up for some time now and never fail to give their all, encapsulating the energy, humour and zeal that make these nights so damn special. On this occasion Man in the Dark embraced the Man in the Mirror, channelling Michael Jackson to the point of spiritual possession with the moves, the screeches, screams and grunts, and the crotch grabbing all down to a tee. Opening with a flurry of classic Jacko choreography lead singer Joe McNulty threw off his hat and launched into Beat It and Black or White before donning Michael’s softly softly tones to implore the audience into a deep and meaningful discussion. “Do you know what the world doesn’t need any more of?” he asks gently, “FUCKING STUDENT FLATS!”
Were we to compile a list, and if we haven’t already I’m sure we probably will, of all those magical Kazimier moments that so capture the heart and spirit of what this club has meant to it’s patrons, Man in the Dark‘s reinvention of Earth Song will be right up there as a pivotal Kaz moment. People say protest music is dead, those people have not seen the pumping fists of The Kazimier crowd as they demand “What about us?” as Man in the Dark orchestrate the civil discontent from the stage in a powerful reminder of the finality of the night.
It needed a strong performance to follow but Natalie McCool and her band of boss birds were well up for the challenge with their Boybands/Girlbands theme, lightening the slightly teary-eyed mood with a comical rendition of The Bangles’ Walk Like An Egyptian and the unapologetically cheesy Black Magic by Little Mix (yes, Little Mix) but it was their love note to The Kazimier that really blew us away. East 17‘s Stay Another Day got a run out just a few months ago at the original Boybands/Girlbands night, but the Christmassy classic took on knew meaning tonight as it served as a fond farewell to the venue and it’s staff.
Silent Sleep were clearly feeling the sentiment, opening with a tribute to The Kazimier and Married to the Sea before uniting the crowd in a commanding singalong of Fleetwood Mac‘s Everywhere, The Chain and a quite phenomenal Go Your Own Way. But of course.
Big Safari also made a tip of the hat toward Married to the Sea for their sterling captaincy of the good ship 10 Bands over the years, although their less than subtle sneer at all the other promoters in Liverpool may not have been the wisest career move. We’ve had some less than complimentary words to say about Big Safari in the past, but as they kicked off the David Bowie tribute for the night we were dumbstruck in surprise with powerful renditions of Let’s Dance and Suffragette City.
If tonight was emotional for the audience it must have been gut wrenching for the musicians who were bidding a fond farewell to a club that’s played such a pivotal role in Liverpool’s music scene and has fostered the budding careers of most of the city’s biggest exports. Dan Croll and the members of his band have graced The Kazimier stage innumerable times in various outfits over the years but tonight was his first 10 Bands outing and he seemed set to make the most of it. Taking on The Movies theme Croll provided a thundering rendition of School of Rock, a bellowing singalong of Teenage Dirtbag and an explosive account of Alien Ant Farm‘s Smooth Criminal before mounting a speaker and in true rock ‘n’ roll style, launched himself into an ill prepared audience. Thankfully Croll was recovered and hoisted back into safety – no singer songwriters were harmed in the making of this stagedive.
By the time Married to the Sea came to close the show the whole venue was bouncing, the mood was, thankfully, one of celebration rather than sentimentality, although every trip to the ladies turned up another heartfelt message of love and eulogy on the cubical walls. After ten knockout rounds of 10 Bands 10 Minutes covering half a century’s worth of music and more, the hosts’ choice of One Hit Wonders to sign off at The Kazimier was an interesting one. Perhaps it offered the widest scope for belters, and the band did squeeze as many bangers into their finite set as humanly possible, but considering the momentous occasion we like to think that their choice was an apt one to celebrate The Kazimier as the irreplaceable gem it is. We can only hope and pray that the wonderful people behind that gem go on to polish up another new hideaway spot in the city, but we must demand of Married to the Sea that they bring their 10 Bands baby to another home in 2016. The band have built such a legacy with this night, bringing together scores of musicians and music fans alike, Married to the Sea have inspired a flock of their own who will no doubt follow to whatever happy hunting ground they next venture to. 10 Bands has grown legs of its own and they’re sturdy enough to stand on any other stage Married to the Sea may bring it to.
But for now, the band went out on a flurry of one hit wonders skirting as many genres and tastes as possible, including They Might be Giants’ Birdhouse in Your Soul, Skee-lo‘s I Wish, Bryan Adam‘s Look Into My Eyes and LEN‘s Steal my Sunshine. John Farnham‘s You’re the Voice threatened to bring the house down before they closed with a riotous Andrew WK‘s Party Hard but no sooner had Married to the Sea bowed out to revel in the glory of their success than the primo DJs Gold Soundz dropped Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody (surely Married to the Sea couldn’t bow out the 10 Bands tradition before they honoured Mr Mercury??).
Gold Soundz deserve more than a brief mention after such an impeccable record on the Kazimier decks. Never failing to keep our tired, drunk bums on the dancefloor after every whirlwind 10 Bands spectacle, Gold Soundz have perfected the evermore elusive indie disco. That is what Liverpool needs more of, viva la Gold Soundz! Viva la 10 Bands 10 Minutes! Long live The Kaz!
Pictures by Getintothis’ Chris Flack and Andrew AB.