Dry Cleaning + Pozi
The Shipping Forecast
15 Slater St, Liverpool L1 4BW
Friday 21st February 2020
(Review Also appears in Live Music Pix)
People my age often say they are too old to go to gigs any more.
To be fair, I kind of see where they are coming from. After being in bed on Wednesday with a painful gallstone attack, I don’t get sick pay so was working even harder than usual to make up the hours, it was raining and drunk woman at the bus stop wouldn’t believe that I wasn’t her doctor and kept asking me to guess how much her shoes cost.
Then of course, when you are photographing in a sold out show in a venue without a photo pit, you need to be there for doors-o-clock to ensure you get to the front. You can’t even have a drink, because a trip to the toilet later will probably lose your place. And don’t get me started on my knees after standing in the same spot for about 3 hrs!
So a quiet night in with a takeaway and Netflix did appeal I must admit.
But anyone who can’t get their head round why I’d go through all that see a couple of bands they probably haven’t heard of, would have done well to attend tonight’s show.
Tonight’s show was EXACTLY why I do it – 2 fantastic bands who had me buzzing for the rest of the weekend, medical ailments and life’s challenges merely an anecdote in a review in an attempt to distract from my lack of talent as a music writer (I had to google “motorik” after reading what proper music writers had to say – hey, I just want to take photographs!)
First up were Pozi.
Usually I try to check out all the bands on the bill before I venture out, but with everything that was going on I didn’t get around to it so nothing prepared me for their relentless banger after banger!
I kept thinking, surely the next song will be filler, but no, the momentum just kept building and building.
I’ve been listening to their album PZ1 all weekend and it just keeps getting better and better.
Pozi are a 3 piece made up of Toby Burroughs on Drums, Rosa Brook on Violin and Tom Jones on Bass. (obviously not that Tom Jones!)
Vocal duties are shared by the 3 members of the band rather than a traditional front-person doing them all, and I think when bands do this it works really well, adding a bit of variety, and Pozi are no exception.
With each member of the band a master of their craft, what really makes this band stand out from the crowd is Rosa’s Violin – adding an irresistible dimension to the bands music.
Obviously it’s always the music that attracts me to a band, but always extra Brownie points for bands who sing about real issues – their debut single KCTMO about the Grenfell tragedy with the haunting refrain “May the residents rest in peace” illustrate their social conscious credentials as well as being great tune smiths.
Those of us who got there early enough to catch Pozi had a real treat, and it’s fair to say they left us wanting more.
If you follow these end of year “Sound of…” type lists then you are no doubt already aware of Dry Cleaning.
If you haven’t heard of them and I mention “spoken word” you may be ready to click the close button, but don’t be too hasty – have a listen to this song about Meghan Markle.
London based Dry Cleaning are comprised of Lewis Maynard on Bass, Nick Buxton on Drums, Tom Dowse on Guitar, fronted by Florence Shaw.
Florence’s deadpan laconic vocals/narration of tales of everyday life against a raw post-punk sound works superbly well.
She’s an intriguing presence, and I was looking for clues as to whether the real Florence, or if it’s a character she steps into – and the impression I got is the former, which adds to the authenticity of the band.
Meghan Markle is an interesting subject for a song. I’m guessing (perhaps wrongly) that the band aren’t massive royalists, but then lots of us who aren’t big royal fans, have a certain respect for Meghan, possibly for the same reasons that traditionalist royalists aren’t so keen on her.
Is the song an endorsement or tongue-in-cheek? That’s the beauty of this kind of songwriting, it’s all down to interpretation.
Having been listening to the band’s output on spotify for a while, live they were everything I hoped for, and more.
It’s no surprise that tonight’s show was sold out, 2 outstanding bands that are further proof that great music is still being created, and making the effort to go to a gig is well rewarded!
Catch them when you can!
Words and Pictures: John W. King