Sugar Candy Mountain bring their brand of psychedelic bliss to Liverpool and Getintothis’ Elizabeth Fraser was there to soak it all up.
Oakland based Krautrock dream evokers Sugar Candy Mountain materialised on British soil this weekend at Liverpool’s Shipping Forecast to enchant a hungry crowd of psychedelic worshippers.
Supported by much rising Liverpool bands, Seatbelts, King Hannah and TV ME, our new American friends were given a warm welcome and each band provided their own array of musical styling in celebration of all that is psych.
Down in the deep, dark basement of the Shipping Forecast, a happening of alternative pleasure seekers congregated to witness the night’s first band Seatbelts groove onto the stage, with the audience bouncing with catchy, clever lyrics in classic indie-pop fashion.
The two-piece (minus their usual quartet) were a thrill to watch and listen to as their natural stage presence and chemistry between the band can’t help but charm and send the audience into fits of movement.
Seatbelts did not disappoint, playing a bunch of crowd pleasers including their newest release Hey Hey Tiger which is available on Spotify now.
Next up were King Hannah, fronted by the enigmatic Hannah Merrick, who are possibly one of the newest, exciting bands on the Liverpool music scene at the moment. Merrick’s haunting yet beautiful vocals and their deep, crunchy electric guitar solos and bass create the silent gravitational pull that the band has on the audience, making us hang on every note or verse.
There is something special going on between the band members; a distinct yet powerful mood that doesn’t come along that often, it has to be experienced first-hand to be believed. Watch this space for more exciting things from King Hannah.
Last to support but by no means least, TV ME provided their interesting, futuristic take on psych-folk and dance pop sounds with keyboard and synthesizers galore.
Peppercorn Boy, from their new 2018 EP release A Broadcast from TV Me and closer Opal Fruits, TV ME really got everyone grooving. Their light, nostalgic feel and lyrical imagery hark back to more playful, funnier days, playing video and computer games as a kid reminding our inner child to not taking life so seriously and dance it all off.
Sugar Candy Mountain silent yet confidently graced the stage ready to transport our bodies and minds to another dimension of tranquil, psychedelic bliss.
Blending classic 60’s West Coast psych, pastoral folk and experimental-pop, the Californian neo-psych band have cleverly concocted a well-rounded soundscape of the new and old of this fantastic, dynamic genre.
Playing their latest release, 2018 single Crystalline, and hits from 2016’s 666, such as Windows, Atlas, Tired, Change, Summer of Our Discontent and the titular 666, Sugar Candy Mountain are full of dream-pop, ethereal synth chimes and wavy, surf guitar. If you had to compare Sugar Candy Mountain to any modern-day contemporaries, Tame Impala and Mac Demarco come to mind, but Ash Reiter and Will Halsey admit to taking inspiration from Brazil experimentalists Os Mutantes as well as Flaming Lips and Brian Wilson.
Once you start get into the soft, groove and pick up on the contagious vibe Sugar Candy Mountain wave like a magical wand over the venue, the overall sound and ethos emitting from the band feels like stepping into an alternative reality where The Beach Boys decided to leave society and retreat to the desert to live a nomadic lifestyle, making feel good songs for the simple pleasure of it.
The superb line up of bands that descended the murky depths of the Shipping Forecast this night left a lasting impression of much needed fun, whisking all that were present away on a dream cloud of twinkling psychedelic sounds, if only for a short while before softly yet sadly bringing everyone back down to earth in time for their next hit of reality.
Photographs by Lucy McLachlan