Horsebeach, Danye, Plain Vanilla: Shipping Forecast, Liverpool



After delivering a debut notable for local praise, Getintothis’ Howard Doupé checks out their latest offering at The Shipping Forecast.

Arriving in town for the latest date in support of their latest album Beauty & Sadness the somewhat intimate surroundings of The Shipping Forecast‘s basement seems fitting for such mellow tones. From the off their classic shoe-gazing with the foot to the floor delivery is just what you expect from listening to their recorded releases.

As the set evolves each band member is fully locked into the mellow grooves. With lyrics dancing around multi-coloured melody lines – a sound that seeks out spaces in the crowd more than making up for the sparsely attended venue. Despite it being a non-significant Thursday night in the heart of Liverpool’s alternative nightlife here is clearly a band without ego, fully aware of the sum of its parts.

As a live unit Horsebeach are comfortable with where their sound takes them, evident on the more immediate tracks from Beauty & Sadness. How Far Must We Go? makes an appearance after three songs showing off the strong melodic elements of the new album. The crowd certainly pleased to hear it.

As the set continues echoes of early The Cure come to the fore, guitars floating along in waves, creating dreamscapes to melt to. Self-confessional My Heart Longs For You, Pizza brings the one slow number if the set, lowering the mood for just a brief moment.

Louis Barrabas – Welcome to the Upside Down

Debut album material such as Faded Eyes are met to warm praise from the crowd. It’s the die-hard fans that have stayed true by coming out tonight to show their continued favour with their continuing format. Looking forward, Horsebeach give little away to how their sound will develop. How are they going to expand on this settled sound and bring more into the fold next time around?

You had to get in early to catch the openers, Plain Vanilla. Ideally suited to the main act their dreamy synth driven tunes were well received from a band that looked like four random musicians who decided to form a band. Heavily groove influenced, their lounge style slow funk is ideal for that hazy Sunday hangover- recover into normality on a cloud of 80’s nostalgia.

Next came Danye a band keen to impress. Their similar edge breathed air into the spaces between beats and melodies. A sound swamped in reverb that wrapped itself around driving basslines. Picking up the void left by Nick McCabe’s absence, set highlight Taco got the subdued early crowd grooving all the way to the back.

Their swamped out riffs continued to draw you in with precision. A few songs veered off direction leaving a feeling that with a little tightening up of the structure would do wonders for their appeal.

Pictures by Getintothis’ Peter Goodbody