Word of warning to bands out there: do not book Elle S’appelle to open up your gigs. They’re evil little bastards who’ll produce spikily original yet brilliantly accessible pop tunes that will crap all over your headline status.
Forthcoming-single ‘Little Flame’ sounds like Hot Club de Paris po-going to Flaming Lips’ ‘Hit to Death in the Future Head’ and ‘She Sells Sea Shells’ and its adorably addictive chorus is always a set-highlight. Although Andy’s vocals occasionally sound a touch harsh next to Lucy’s more tender tones, Elle S’appelle are becoming a reliably great live band. As a friend of mine said “It’s as if they just picked out a melody from my head and started playing it”. Simply put, they’re the best new band in Liverpool.
Ok so its not the easiest of tasks to follow that but We Smoke Fags’ attempt was laughably feeble. Three guys playing guitar while drum and synth machines push out all the tunes is not an attractive live prospect and the whole thing was ridiculously amateur. Blatantly loving themselves, the Londoners were the campest things since the festival season, with all three in vests and looking like the one in Hollyoaks who’s supposed to be ‘a bit indie’. OK so it’s their dream to get on stage and play guitar in an electro-rock band but could they not have just gone backstage, teased one out and spared us from thirty minutes of infantile cock-out bollocks? They’re trying to be big, off-the-rails rock stars but give them a hug and a flower and they’ll turn back into the sweet Asda workers they always were.
Shy Child finally arrived on stage and soon disappointed. Two-member bands can work but it was always going to be difficult for them to reproduce the highlights of the ‘Noise Won’t Stop’ album. They didn’t even try to replicate the utterly, stupendously brilliant hi-synth from the ‘Drop The Phone’ chorus, and that was the only reason I’d turned up. It all sounded a bit empty and the sound the two guys made on drums and keytar just wasn’t big enough to keep the crowd from dwindling off to see the end of the Mark Ronson dj set upstairs. Added to this was the exclusion of ‘Cause and Effect’ from what already felt like a bloated set of sub-Rapture filler. ‘Noise Won’t Stop’ and set-closer ‘Summer’ were great (even if the latter was milked way beyond breaking point) but these highlights weren’t even enough to stop the girls in the crowd who shouted “dance motherf*****s” from fucking off themselves to the upstairs bar. Thank god I didn’t buy that ridiculously attractive t-shirt.