With White Lies wrapping up their latest tour with a mammoth lineup, Getintothis’ Luke Chandley was there to witness one hell of a party.
Tonight’s entertainment from one of Liverpool’s peak live music venues – Invisible Wind Factory – was as much a spectacle as it was a gig.
It was a White Lies headline show, but with a bill of 5 other acts beforehand. It was like a mini-festival of local and national talent and we were excited to be there and witness it all go down.
First up was local act Arno. If their opening slot was a reflection of their relative youthfulness as a collective, their set didn’t reflect that at all. Opening with atmospheric Slow Down, the band show this opening slot the respect it deserves. There’s an impressive turn-out early doors for this show, and a lot of the punters seem to have turned up early for Arno. They won’t have been disappointed in the larger than life sound being belted out.
The greatest compliment we can pay Arno is that they have many more dimensions than the usual chorus-drive boy rock of their – admittedly more experienced – peers across the genre.
Next on the bill were Law of the Land and possibly the most curious act of the night. Opening with a huge bout of spaced out, eerie guitar picking and massive drums, Law of the Land hit you hard. Their music isn’t heavy, but it covers every inch of tonight’s venue like a blanket. Introducing the sample sound of water to their second song, the pace doesn’t quicken, but the music does strike you more like the score from a movie than anything else.
Law of the Land‘s main feature is that they’re more like manipulators of sounds and spaces than they are writers of hits: their music never contained one spoken word. The creativity was exciting. As the set moved towards its conclusion, though, it felt like their style of music had run its cause, with nowhere else to go with the instrumental style. We yearned for words to cling onto. A minor personal preference from an otherwise interesting band.
— Flibbertigibbet (@Witchsilverbabe) October 15, 2017
As the night grew darker, the venue began to fill towards something like capacity. Next up was 3-piece Caro.
As Caro moved through their set, this was the first traditional ‘boy rock’ act of the night. It was tough to see what they offered other than a lively stage presence. They were basic, but not bad – just each track never caught on in a live setting. Maybe you had to be familiar with their recorded work – admittedly this writer wasn’t – but their music didn’t seem to settle and, tonight at least, they didn’t catch our eye.
The fourth band on this mega-roster of support acts was local band The Bohos. Their second track, All Alone, shows off their blatant Oasis inspiration. This is no bad thing, the musical order of their tracks is more traditional than the band’s previous and the interaction likewise.
They are the band who look most likely to grow into something that you would recognise as ‘success’ and find larger-than-regional popularity. Make no bones about it, they’re a pure presence and the act that we’re most impressed with. The Bohos tore through their setlist like 4 lads on a mission. They had come to impress and impress they did. They deserved to play to a room that was as full as this venue had become.
The evening’s main support was 4-piece Black Honey. Creating quite the buzz across recent years, we were excited to take them into our gaze. There’s a great swagger to this act, with something more delightfully pop about this Brighton band than what had come before them tonight.
Just as they were about to start their final song there was a technical problem – an issue with the band’s monitors – which left the crowd stood scratching their head, as the band was themselves. They pushed ahead anyway, and for what it’s worth, things didn’t sound all that bad.
Finally, as a long night of music was drawing to a close, White Lies entered the fray. White Lies have been around now for a few years, and have gained a huge, cult-like following. Their uplifting chorus and synth sounds are complemented by the darker, 80’s-driven voice of lead singer Harry McVeigh. As they kick off their set, most of their adoring audience sing along to every word; these really are here for the main event.
The style of White Lies – with their tinge of melancholy and deep vocals – suits the venue, with the industrial-looking IWF acting as another member of the Ealing band’s supporting cast. Dark and spacious – this was like the acts home ground.
This is the last show of 2017 for White Lies, and the night has already gone down like a celebration of sorts – a closing festival, the final hurrah of their touring year.
The consistent thud of the bass drum, the danceable electronic sounds and the lighting throughout each song gives this gig more of a club night vibe – it’s a unique feeling for a show but it makes you feel as though you’re in a moment.
— Waterloo Bathrooms (@WaterlooBathrms) October 15, 2017
The lyrics come at you from all angles, such was the vigour of the crowd to sing along to each chorus. It’s a show for the senses. There’s movement from the crowd and the stage was painted with colour and noise. The live spectacle was outstanding.
White Lies fill an original and interesting space in 2017. Born into the wrong era, but at a time when gig-goers and music-listeners crave something like a unique sound.
Tonight’s headliners act like a time-shift – present day meets 1983. It was a feast of noise at the Invisible Wind Factory last Saturday, and that’s just the way we like it.
Images by Getintothis’ Georgia Flynn