Menace Beach, Bruising, Queen Zee and the Sasstones, Peaness: The Magnet, Liverpool

Menace Beach

Menace Beach

Leeds five-piece Menace Beach rock up at the Magnet – Getintothis’ Edward Feery reports on what was so nearly a perfect night

When perfection is so close at hand, it can be hard to see it torn away. So it proves downstairs at The Magnet.

Hotly-tipped Cestrian 3-piece Peaness provide an excellent opening to the evening. Rach, Balla and Jess wring every drop of melody out of their songs, delivering them with a refreshing lack of the usual posturing rock bullshit. It sets the bar for this evening very high.

Queen Zee and the Sasstones then go in an entirely different direction – taking to the stage clad in fur coats and skyscraper heels and launching into a breathtakingly short set of hyper-distorted, why-sing-when-you-can-shout LGBT agitpunk – pick of the litter being the Radio 1 selection I Hate Your New Boyfriend.

Leeds quartet Bruising prove to be a gem of a band, playing lashings of scuzzy dream-pop with an unbridled energy and evident joy just to be here doing this. It’s rare to see a band play with such a lack of self-consciousness, and utterly charming too.

The naughty noughties and the rise of raunch in the music video

The stage is set for Leodensian quintet Menace Beach, touring sophomore album Lemon Memory, to put a triumphant capper on an excellent evening – which makes it so frustrating when they don’t quite manage it.

Their set is bedevilled by mysterious sound issues, with techies constantly bobbing between stage and sound-desk in futile attempts to solve them. The most unfortunate victim is guitarist/keyboardist/vocalist Liza Violet, whose twinkling vocals and swirling keys are frequently lost in the roar – a huge shame, as the moments when she does shine through reveal her to be the band’s beating heart.

The band’s particular kind of punk-psychedelia is still pretty good despite this – as evidenced by the crowd, who sing, dance and attempt to crowdsurf right to the bitter end – but it’s a naggingly underwhelming climax to the evening. Menace Beach deserve to do better.

Photos by Getintothis’ Tom Adam