Liverpool based music promotion and distribution company Ditto certainly put together an eclectic lineup on Friday night. Whilst it is almost certainly a cliché to state that the live music scene in the city has never been better it is, none the less true. Camp And Furnace’s “Camp” room played host to a double stage setup whilst in the larger “Furnace” popular food and drink event “Nightgarden” is in full swing.
Warrington youngsters Danxia won a competition for their slot opening proceedings on the smaller “Record Label In A Box” stage. Whilst they have the unenviable task of playing to an empty room consisting of mainly event staff, friends and family they do get feet tapping with their Slowdive/My Bloody Valentine influenced Shopegaze/Psych. With a second EP out very soon via their Bandcamp page this is definitely a band worth keeping an eye on.
Demonstrating the variety of styles on display the next act is “Dark R&B” singer songwriter Neil Noa over on the larger “Dave Monks Stage.” He is certainly a talent. Holding this stage, which has hosted high profile acts in the past, is no problem and as people file in it is no doubt that they will be checking out his debut EP “The Last First One.” That is, if they haven’t already.
Back over on the smaller stage Liverpool scene veterans and “Rock ‘n’ Roll with a chello” band The Mono LP’s make the most of their twenty minutes. Singer Ste Reid is certainly an entertaining performer. “That’s us, The Mono LP’s” he says, pointing to the projected visuals on the larger stage. “Not the plus plus, The Mono LP’s.” Tonights set contains their singles as well as tracks from their most recent album “States Of Decay.” Before leaving the stage Ste attempts to balance his guitar on the palm of his hand. Perhaps an unwise move as he is playing a rather nice looking vintage Burns.
A harder edge to the evening is provided by Bribes. Their powerful riff based rock would not be out of place on a playlist compiled by Kerrang yet they also manage to avoid the clichéd arrogant swagger that is all too often associated with music with a harder edge. The standout track of their set is single “Wild Creatures.”
Freakish indie rockers Oya Paya provide some welcome eccentricity to the proceedings. Not only through their music but in their choice of shirts! They close their five song set by displaying a comic disregard for causing offence with their number “Don’t Give A Shit.”
Despite top billing the soulful Xamvolo gets a slightly longer set in the middle of the evening. Clad in black and wearing his now trademark shades he effortlessly and nonchelantly (yet without any arrogance or contempt for his audience) pleases the biggest crowd of the evening. Every scene in every city has an act or two that people point to and ask “why are he/she/they not huge?” Xamvolo could certainly be put in that category.
Originally from the south west Deathly Records signings Lilium also held the bigger stage well. They are truly a band difficult to categorize. If you ask three different people to describe them you will get three very different answers. They began their set tonight with their single “Disappear.” Andrew and Sam jump around the stage and dance with an enthusiasm that is always good to see in an act of any genre. Their debut EP will certainly be worth checking out.
Up next were The Sneaky Nixons. Whilst graffiti campaigns and uploading a video to Pornhub after it got banned from YouTube may have earned them a fair few detractors very few of those people seem to be in attendance tonight. “Nobody likes us, we don’t care.” says lead singer Jack Hardwells after the band finish their set opener and single “Sex” before delighting those watching with “Love Is A Funny Thing” and “Baby Just Do What You Got To Do.”
The penultimate set comes from Little Triggers. To call them energetic would be an understatement. They are a true rock ‘n’ roll band in every sense of the word with singer and guitarist Tom cutting a figure not unlike New York Doll’s David Johansen, that is if he also played guitar.
To round things off dance inspired alt-poppers Venus Demilo act as a much needed chill out on the smaller stage.
The night was fast paced to say the least. The dual stage setup allowed a quick turnover of sets meaning that there was no more than a five minute break between acts. The variety of acts adds weight to the previously mentioned cliché that this city’s live music scene has never been so good. The size of the crowd was also encouraging. Whilst not full to bursting there where more than enough people there to provide an atmosphere. Let’s hope that Ditto don’t leave it too long before organising their next event.