Drifts, Break-Ups, Arms at Last, Pardon Us: Maguires Pizza Bar, Liverpool



As Drifts headline a quadruple assault of punk at Maguire’s Pizza Bar, Getintothis sent Craig MacDonald to check out the onslaught.

With the elements battering from all sides, the sight of tonight’s venue is very welcoming. After meandering around town in the piss wet rain and gale force wind, the warmth of Maguires PIzza Bar was rejuvenating to say the least. Our recent gig guide has shown just how many quality venues we are lucky to have in Liverpool, with tonight’s venue being no exception.

As we walk into the back room of Maguires, the added bonus of free pizza gets the night off to a belter even before a note is played. Tonight’s billing is typical of the acts that can be found at the Renshaw Street venue as it continues to be the cornerstone of the city’s punk and metal scene.

The first of tonight acts are our hosts, Pardon Us, who take to the stage in good spirits. The trio vigorously tear into their pop punk set with their attitude drawn over their faces, with Stinking Rich proving a firm favourite. Sadly, we are unable to hear any of the frontmans vocals thanks to a complete lack of volume and when this is coupled with pedal issues, their is a real risk of the set going off the rails. Thankfully, the tightness in the group’s playing is enough to see them through over the finishing line.

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Next up are the second of tonight’s trio of trios coming in the form of Arms At Last. They instantly grab the crowds attention with their off kilter take on compli-pop as Time Keeping Makes Us Good kicks the set off. When they announce that tonight marks the end of a near eight year hiatus for the group, it seems to have a knock on effect to the group as their set slowly tails off into nearly becoming a jam session for the sake of nostalgia. Having started with such promise, it’s a disappointing sight.

After what sounds like a Herculean effort to get here after their seven hour voyage, Dorking three piece Break-Ups waste no time at all in taking the night up a much needed notch. This marked the group’s first appearance to Liverpool and based on this evidence, we dont think it will be their last.

Right from the off, they besiege the compact, clustered crowd as they blast through their tracks, with Breaking Up proving to be a particular favourite for the crowd on the night. At times they touched on elements of post punk, with even a leaning towards grunge all of which makes us thankful for their hard fought journey.

With the last minute swathe of people clambering to find a spec, Drifts set about getting their set off as they mean to carry on with a impressively executed version of XR3i. Their intricate melodies flow seamlessly among their well crafted take on post punk. It’s is a stark difference from the band mates’ regular groups and shows tremendous accomplishment in their capability.

What Do You Think About That proves to be another pleaser with their audience with its neck pumping rhythm as does Blue with its pounding beat getting the room pulsating as they race through their set. As a group, Drifts showed a tremendous presence, with songs to match that were delivered with real force. With the Sunderland four piece being only in their early stages, there is plenty of promise to be seen and they have plenty of lessons that others could follow.

Pictures by Getintothis’ Tomas Adam.