REVIEW: BATHYFEST 2017 22/01/17 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Liverpool Music 2017 reached an early peak with a landmark show in which Sounds from Nowhere arrived as a new staple of the Liverpool independent music scene and unfortunately another staple in Bathymetry left. The young whippersnappers who organised this whole thing, Sounds from Nowhere, showed their ability to put on a fine show and their deep knowledge of the best independent bands from Liverpool and beyond Now before I go any further I'm gonna tell you that this is gonna be a wholly positive article so if you want some negativity maybe hit up the YouTube comments section or something. Flightworks Kicking the evening off where Flightworks. This was only their 2nd gig (Yeah Buddy! Had the pleasure of putting on their first) but you would be forgiven for thinking they were seasoned gigging veterans. With haircuts that look like they were tailor made for their heads, they certainly look every bit the part and when they are making slick indie-rock bangers like closing track 'Rabbit Season' they sound it too. I suspect that this band will really establish themselves in 2017. Man Doll The first secret set of the evening and we are treated to a short one from a very pretty sounding, new pop-folk duo in Man Doll, at least that's what they are calling themselves on this evening. They played a handful of upbeat ditties that had the swelling audience quiet and focused. Unfortunately, they were cut short but what we seen was enough for us to hope that this project finds it wings in the coming months. Disastronauts 3rd band on and there are grumblings of excitement around the venue as Disastronauts take to the stage with their excitable drummer Adam already poised and ready, stood on his drum stool. A band that has really made a name for themselves off the back of their energetic live shows and their debut single 'I'm not Stupid'. It's easy to see why their live show has turned so many heads. They have a chemistry between the 4 of them that doesn't come with practice, that doesn't come with financial backing, it is natural. This is a quadrant that are making songs inspired by their favourite music and having a blast doing it. Songs like 'Dry Eyes' and 'The River' impressed the crowd. Their set was cut short but it certainly left people wanting more.

Mad Alice

Secret set number 2 and Sounds from Nowhere really give their audience value for money, with your £3 entry fee getting you 8 great bands. Mad Alice take to the stage as if they have just walked on to a patch of home turf with their flag planted firmly in the centre. The 3-piece glide through a set of powerful blues infused rock that gifts the crowd their own groove as pockets start to dance and sway to the thunderous rhythm.

 

A few days after this show I landed on the perfect word to describe this performance: cerebral. Every note was nailed; every beat was like a coin in a slot that kept this economic machine playing with no wasted movement. Evening when the lead singers’ bass strap started to play silly beggars, nothing faltered, the motion flowed.

 

I cannot wait to hear more from this band and I wasted no movement myself, grabbing a hold of Sounds from Nowhere leader Jack, Mad Alice's manager. They'll be playing more Yeah Buddy! Shows this year if I have my merry way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PROWLES

Try and catch a break from the action at this show, I dare you, I double dog dare. PROWLES take to the stage and churn out a set of truly formidable songs. The kinda stuff that really makes your head tilt back like you've stuck it out of the car window on the motorway.

 

The first I've seen or heard of this band, boasting 2 members of Bathymetry and a couple of Mancunians to complete the set, they made for a well-oiled unit that put on a powerful live show. They are still in their early days but I am certainly gonna keep a close eye on their developments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shrinking Minds

Next up came Shrinking Minds. Their infectious laid-back surf rock ensured that no one was going for a cigarette break. They played their songs fast and loose and their care-free live show was a highlight of the night. I can guiltlessly make my first comparison of the night here as this band reminded me of Weezer in their heyday and that is an assessment I do not make lightly. The crowd certainly enjoyed it and it is a show I will be looking to catch again soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Floormen

The Floormen took to the stage as main support and proceeded to roam and meander their way through a ceaseless set of calamity-psych, their lead singer (who can sing very well) intermittently spouting out vocal hooks that don’t stay around long enough to fully catch your attention. That there in is the beauty here. It is a truly, turn your head and miss it kind of vibe, the band may land on a riff that would make an indie band swoon but before you’ve had time to nod in appreciation, they’ve moved onto the next anti-structure jam.

 

I have seen this band several times and I have never seen them play the same set twice which gives each experience a unique from the last. That is something that is hard to find on a scene where you can watch your favourite band every month for chump change. It’s easy to see why The Floormen are the apple of many a promoters’ eye. They also have the best/worst merch stand in the business.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bathymetry

Here comes the bittersweet; the set that everyone was waiting for but nobody wanted, Bathymetry’s last performance for what may be a very long time. They’ve found themselves become immensely popular with a cult-like following, nobody wants to see them dial it back but with charismatic front woman Arial headed back to the USA, they have been left with the prospect of only performing and making music together on a handful of occasions each year.

 

With a bustling audience all fixated on the stage, Bathymetry reel off a set of crowd-pleasing favourites that most know the words to. Their debut LP ‘Bathymetry Album’ is plundered, with tracks like ‘Goblin Fruit’ garnering an excited reaction from the audience.

 

Bathymetry have a high-level stage presence that is hard to put your finger on, it’s like they are playing a house party to 10 of their friends as the connection amongst the four cascades down to the audience and everyone is welcomed into their inner circle. They made a busy show in a large room seem intimate without asking anyone to move forward, dance or sing along, that is impressive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As their set ends, the crowd looks to go absolutely nowhere as they all call for an encore. The band don’t try to fight it and play a few more tunes for their fans, ending very appropriately with a rendition of Vera Lynns ‘We’ll Meet Again’.

 

Bathymetry put on a performance suitable for the occasion and as most wait around after the music stopped to catch the band, there is a much deserved feeling of satisfaction in the air for a show well done. Barring a couple of sets getting cut short, Sounds From Nowhere really made a statement with this show, one that certainly encouraged me to up my game with Yeah Buddy! and with so many great promoters, bands and venues in the city at the moment, Liverpool looks set to continue to be a red hot musical gold mine in in 2017.

 

 

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