Evol downstairs at Korova continues to live up to its name as one of the most exciting and progressive gig nights in Liverpool. It’s uniquely intimate setting and willingness to give time and space to underground acts, that rarely enjoy large scale sell-out tours and associated ticket tout knobbery, make it simply one of the best places in the north west to relax, hang out and watch exciting new music. If you’re into your alternative indie music (and by that I don’t mean The Artic Monkeys or The Enemy…don’t get me started) and are willing to open yourself up to and embrace any all forms of stimulating and diverse, then simply turn up to Korova whenever there is live music on and you’ll undoubtedly leave with the name of some new band you must ‘check out’ as soon as you get home scrawled on your hand in borrowed biro.
When a slick looking Doug E. Fresh look-alike takes the stage with a “Will F*ck For Oil” t-shirt on, you get the sense you’re in for something a bit ‘special’, and indeed, the gold lame leggings beneath tight white ripped jeans did surprisingly little to detract from the awesome mid-80s cityscape lyrics being spat over phat old-nu skool infectious electro beats. By the end of his thrusting set Ezra and his Hot Machine had everyone in “da’ house” in agreement that camp and Black Panther can come together to create a hybrid guerrilla punk funk sound that’s so in your face it works.
After Ezra leaves the stage and everyone has had time to rub their eyes and buy another beer, it’s time for Mr David E. Sugar, who has brought his laptop and a couple of friends with him. Nice. Mr Sugar appears to evolved from game boy inspired beeps and bleeps fiddler to smooth indie electronica front man, somewhere in the vein of namesake David Byrne. In fact it wasn’t just Mr Sugar’s nice white linen suit and slicked-to-the-side hair that inspired the comparison, but the coin-op rocker’s new matured lo-fi sound shares a lot common with early days Talking Heads, as he provides streetwise indie lyrics over catchy electro pop. Keep an ear out for Mr.Sugar’s last single ‘Chelsea Girls’, surely one of the best songs of 2007 in this genre thus far.
After a short break, next on is Man Like Me. Hmmm, where to start? Well first I’m mainly confused as to why they are so far up the line-up as 3 or 4 songs in and I’m painfully bored as the realisation that their performance isn’t a patch on the two acts that preceded them is soon apparent. They’re getting wrong what plenty of people before them have got right – Hadouken!, Floors and Walls, The Streets….to name but a few, but they’re so off the mark it’s literally hurting. So I leave to them to it and head upstairs in search of another beer and less offensive spectacles.
Thanks to the dreadful Man Like Me I’m ‘nicely oiled’ for the arrival of Chromeo onstage when I do head back downstairs. Which is good news, as they have a reputation as a party band, and I’m now in the mood to do just that. After an initial technical ‘blip’ due to some dodgy equipment (the silence in between kindly filled by a few merry audience members singing footie songs!? Sami Hypia anyone?!) the party does indeed start and the small room soon becomes crammed with people dancing, throwing up arms and variations on different shapes. It’s the perfect end to a good night of retro 80s funk and the half Arab half Jewish combo (aka Pee Thug and Dave 1 respectively) sure know to please a crowd.
Despite the gigs late finish (3am – as is often the case at Korova) everyone, including the non-paying crowd upstairs, is then treated to a post-gig DJ set by Dave 1 in the main bar that literally has everyone dancing on the tables. Korova again proves itself not only to be a great gig venue but a great place to spend an evening.