It is no secret of the great live affair we have here at U&I with our Liverpool music network. So much so that we consider The Scouse House something of a second home to us and we had a hand in bringing this band across to play for us here tonight. We will also be building upon this and bringing further acts over from Liverpool to play at Gigonometry at future nights. While their latest single may be called ‘Returning Home A Failure’ they can certainly say they will be returning from Dublin triumphant off the back off this gig.
We have been fans of this band from the moment they started out and have followed them meticulously over the past two years. As the fanfare of trumpet sauntered in, ‘Sex’ then branched out to become a richer and more volumised effort with a trippy ska reverence abounding in great measure. Here this added up and with the addition of a megaphone incorporated into the set it carried itself. The political and sexualised context of the lyrics also impressively held firm and gave the context something tantalisingly lavish. On ‘Love Is A Funny Thing’ the bolder hold of guitar worked wonders. By tearing into the pace they found a comfortable standard and ran with it all the way. It committed a stirring sense of groove that was impeccable, and in some ways it envisioned the bravado of Jarvis Cocker minus the sexual inadequacy. This was followed by a song that we can only describe as being sex on legs. ‘Baby, Just Do What You Got To!’ has long been an office favourite here at U&I and all this week it has been getting some well-deserved play here in Westland Studios. Everything you could ask for in a great tune is all there, but when you see it played live you realise just how good it, and the band, truly is. It was a flawless showing from start to finish.
Hints of The Clash are present in what the band’s songs are about. As such it makes them that little bit more real and accessible to a greater audience. The concentrations of Joe Strummer in the style of frontman D.A. Manning come to the fore on ‘Thick, Thin & Thinner’ and prove themselves. This has a sedate touch and it adds a patient charm to the tempo. This is pressed ahead in a deliberate fashion but also underlines how much presence they have as a band. ‘Returning Home A Failure’ is the latest single from the band and it traipses across with an enamoured hook which feeds into the appeal. Off the back of this the intro is completed and the slower movement is exemplary. What they walk through on the song is expressed in a style that pushes the lyrics where they need to go. It is this lightness of touch meeting a steadier resolve that allows the listener to appreciate the incredibly detailed workings on the arrangement.
They continued to get down to the groovy with ‘Schadenfreude’ and there is so much to admire here. It also shows a fearless side as they go for the hard sell here. On this one the band have a lot to say and they let the music do the talking for them. Then we come to ‘Folie A Deux’ and it is a song that leaves with a feeling of how good it is. The enraptured richness of the guitar hooks you. The reggae stirrings add up on the undertone. The context lyrically builds in Orwellian references and how they are placed gives it an element of sharpness that is all gift wrapped in the shape of an excellent tune and live showing.
Some further impressive deliberation on the handling came with ‘Brunette Rough Neck’. What was also brought across on the showing was a maturity on the intro that married well with the sullen direction of the sound. The lyrics also mirror this. But it is a big step up in terms of form and it retains the signature styling without coming up short.
What can only be described as a fucking banging drum intro came ‘Let’s Talk About Girls’. Notably the vocals have a quicker turn and every turn from the band here sees them own this one. It is a track that is easy to get behind because everything is so on the money here and the lyrics chase all of this down in tandem. All good things must come to an end but their last track ‘Dietary Requirements’ was all about the swag. It roars along with this firmly kept in check. This gathers further prowess as they tear it all up. Overall the band came over from Liverpool to show what they could do and they did not disappoint. Will they be making a re-appearance at Gigonometry before the end of the year? Well you will have to watch this space to find out.