30 November 2018
The Arts club
Upstairs in the arts club beer in hand, At 7.30 I was not ready to be as impressed as I was as I left at 11pm with a beaming smile on my face. It may have been the same night the Courteeners were in town but I was treated to some brilliant acts, 4 to be exact. I’m excited to see what this talented bunch do next.
First up Zulu, it was a welcome surprise to see plenty of people keen to see the opening act. All too often people miss out when they turn up just before the headliner. Not tonight. This Band started strong. I was struck by there fresh faces and the bassist choice of accessories, swimming cap and goggles. After a quick instagram stalk I could see that the bassist’s thing was niche headwear. Why the hell not. It was Zulu that had me all nostalgic as they opened with quite a stadium rock arrangement reminiscent of Muse- Knights of Cydonia. This fresh faced, rough around the edges five piece covered a lot of musical ground with some evident ska influences, and impressive drum solo and a crowd pleasing Electric six cover being my personal highlights.
The next band to the stage Lola, I was incredibly impressed with. Home crowd bias might well be at play here. As soon as this Liverpool based five piece walked on stage they looked like a cohesive unit. The combination of Lead vocalist Matt’s earthy tones paired with high energy tracks lend itself to a Miles Kane Comparison, considering their merseyside roots it’s hardly a surprise. Having said that, to leave it at that would be oversimplifying their style. The track ‘against the tide’ combines a synth heavy intro that transports you back to the late 80s early 90s with a very summery Two Door Cinema Club inspired guitar riff that sounds like it shouldn’t work together. But believe me it does. Then their high octane final track ‘who do you love.’ With its memorable riff and marching rhythm was heavier and fuller leaning more on the rock end of the spectrum reminded me of Queens of the Stone Age in parts. These guys are accomplished musicians and a well oiled machine. They oozed charisma and confidence throughout their performance. It’s almost impossible not to enjoy watching a band who are clearly enjoying themselves. I would not pass up an opportunity to see Lola again.
Brothers of Mine kept their set short and sweet, bringing a more mellow energy to the evening. Three lads three instruments that they knew exactly how to show off. Their more stripped back set up gave time for each instrument to shine. Unfortunately I think the lead singer might have been struggling with his voice meaning we were not able to see this band and their very best. I would love to see them when they were firing on all cylinders.
The Main Event, the venue was packed by this point and well and truly warmed up and ready for Jordan Allen. The Bolton band have taken on the Name of their frontman and are often compared to the likes of Arctic Monkeys, Jamie T and the Strokes. I would say they are an amalgamation of elements of each creating their own unique style.
The boys opened with a kind of slam poem, keen to show off their poetic prowess and maybe pay homage to living legend and big influence John Cooper Clarke. The opener, Helter Skelter is a brilliant example of sing along indie rock which really got the crowd going. Myself included.They kept the energy up with newer track Half Life Lover a brilliant catchy tune peppered with some lovely harmonies from the boys. The set list was cleverly crafted to alternate between the crowd favourites and newer tracks. Imperial Leather Drama was simpler in its production but the spoken word style bridge created a palpable atmosphere. The band took the time in between tracks to huge appreciation to the audience, there enthusiastic home support and recognised favourites from previous visits to Liverpool. Their loyalty was rewarded 110 ways to make things better. A track that Jordan made clear meant a lot to the band and judging the reaction, the audience too. They slowed things down with the comparatively delicate Synchronised which builds to a euphoric crescendo then brings you gently back down to earth. Followed by the beautiful tragedy of lyrics brought to life so well in White Lines creating a wonderful ‘lighters out’ moment in the room. The band had the audience in the palm of their hands and continued tugging at heartstrings playing the ever so relatable Too much too soon followed by their latest track NAKED which was hugely well received. It’s very catchy, has a slightly ‘ poppier’ feel with a healthy dose of ‘woahs’ that had everyone singing. As the night built to its finale You could tell the band were feeding off the energy in the crowd. As the band got more excited so did the audience and vice verca it was great fun to watch the purity of the interaction between the two. Theres was plenty of audience participation throughout as one lucky lady joined the band to show off some moves and not to miss out Jordan decided to crowd surf in between ‘set in stone’ and the ultimate crowd pleaser football chant finale R.O.S.I.E. you can’t go wrong with call and response. Jordan,(frontman) Danny, (guitar) Kieran (Bass) and Nathan (Drums) seem to enjoy every minute on stage and it’s exciting to watch. If the response at The Arts Club is anything to go buy these boys are set for a bright future.
Words and Pictures by Jenny Lomax