ZU, Jezebel: Kazimier Stockroom, Liverpool

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ZU

ZU brought their Italian noise / jazz / metal to the Kazimier Stockroom and blasted the roof off, Getintothis’ Peter Goodbody is still searching for his head.

ZU are here to mark the 10th anniversary of their classic release, Carboniferous.

And what better place to do it than the 80 capacity Kazimier Stockroom? Well, we’re struggling to think of one.

The ethos of the Kazimier of old oozes out of this place and embraces the kind of genre defying sound of a band such as ZU. The Italian noise merchants combine elements of jazz and prog to create a sound that’s really like nothing else.

But we survived a full weekend at Supersonic (at which ZU played 10 years ago), so we should be good to go for this one.

We open with Jezebel, a solo project from away from her better known job of playing sax for Lonesaw. She mixes sounds, effects and thumping rhythm on her Mac, occasionally overlaid with high pitched vocals.

It’s kind of like Aphex Twin had a wayward child they don’t really want to talk about. It’s eerie and haunting, yet compelling, especially in the dry ice filled atmosphere of the Stockroom.

There’s just the one spotlight trained on Jezebel in an otherwise pretty dark room and the atmosphere is building nicely.

After 20 minutes she closes her laptop and it’s done. Powerful stuff that needed no longer to have the desired impact.

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The stage is now dominated by a drum kit and pedal banks at the front. There’s an electronic thrum enticing us back in from the bar, getting ever more urgent as ZU take the stage.

And then we get the most extraordinary noise that could be made by a baritone sax, bass guitar and drums.

This is heavy and lives up to its billing. But it’s also quite intriguing; this isn’t noise for the sake of it and it has the room fully on board, whether fans or interested on-lookers, there are no dissenters.

But there’s no letting up. It’s a punch to the stomach and we’re happy they keep on hitting.

There are no vocals, save a short interlude half way through the set to ask if we’re enjoying it. We are.

It’s not for everyone, that’s for sure. But the 80 or so people in the Stockroom tonight are totally into this.

The drums are hit hard, the bass is heavy and the sax is used only when needed. This is a recipe your nan would never have conjured up, but, then, one day, someone back in time thought peanut butter and jam was a good idea.

This mash up of the most unlikely combination of instruments and styles was indeed an excellent idea.

A contender for gig of the year said more than one of the people who were lucky enough to have witnessed this one.

Images by Getintothis’ Kevin Barrett

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