Liverpool Music Week Opening Party article by Lorna Gray, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Gavin Wells
For the last time ever, one of the city’s favourite independent venues, The Kazimier hosts an array of talent for the much anticipated return of Liverpool Music Week. It was early doors for the opening party and at 7pm, the modest audience are scattered around the edges of the quaint venue awaiting the start of a wonderful 7 day celebration of alternative live music.
Kicking off the eclectic evening were experimental, futuristic trio BODY, making their live debut in their hometown. A laptop accompanied by various electronic instruments and a Guitar emit melodic beeps, trills and repetitive beats as well as slow strums that built up in layers gradually becoming more and more infectious. Clearly taking influence from a variety of genres, the many components that contribute to the deep melodic sound each play a part in the complex mix, making it difficult to focus on one aspect, and by blending them together they create this monstrous noise that compels listeners to move their body in some way. Cut up samples are dropped in and regurgitated creating a steady rhythm over the complex dulcet crescendos and fast paced beats.
A complete contradiction to what had just been witnessed, artistic Indie band and Liverpool veterans VEYU take to the stage to showcase their dreamy Guitar melodies and poetic lyrics to a growing but still humble audience. A clean and neat Guitar line complimented by atmospheric keys and synth dramatically juxtapose with the charge of Percussion in a steady drumbeat while Beesley’s silvery velvet voice effortlessly carries over each individual ingredient of their relaxed, delicate recipe of unique and atmospheric Merseyside Indie Rock.
As the venue begins to finally fill out with a keen audience, lo-fi alternative and androgynous London trio Micachu & The Shapes join them. Electronic, repetitive and contagious melodies from keys, and drums that compliment by matching the pace are combined with simple strums of Guitar and monotonous raspy almost spoken-word vocals from Mica “Micachu” – who apologizes for “f**king up” one of their songs – although the audience were so entranced with the somewhat unsettling but enticing oxymoronic sound I don’t think many of them noticed as they swayed to the intriguing mix.
More talent from the city as chilled out modern electronic five-piece Outfit impress with ethereal synths and melancholy and unsettlingly moody vocals that brings the emotion of the entire room down to a more somber affair. 80’s style synths create an ambient atmosphere while high pitched electronic sounds and stand out chords from Piano sounds keys compliment jangly Guitar and typical pop-y style drums. Each song begins with a stripped back 80’s style electronic intro and different elements are added one by one until peeking at a morose and almost gloomy anthem.
In keeping with the electronic theme, contemporary duo Darkstar bring their upbeat tracks to the Kazimier stage. Combining harsh digital rhythmic melodies with unearthly sounding synths and live Percussion, Darkstar seem to be pleasing the audience who are all dancing in some way to the steady beats. Whalley’s tonal voice, drenched in effects, sings highly emotive lyrics of social change in the UK over their distinctive warped Electronic Pop all while maintaining a hypnotic stage presence.
Headliner red-head Holly Herndon seems to be what everybody had been waiting for. Out-of-this-world disjointed and sharp electronic sounds echo throughout the space of the venue before Herndon’s soft vocals trickle through each element of her peculiar abundant of different sounds creating an unstructured and unworldly noise unlike anything else heard this evening. The American composer utilizes any sound to create a truly unique listening experience unlike anything else, as snippets of the sound of running water, static electricity, crackling paper and typing on a keyboard accompany her siren-esque singing voice, techno loops and hooks – a true pioneer of modern electronic and techno music. Flashing lights and weird screen projections add visual stimulants to the equally weird listening experience of the audience, who try to move to the sounds but are lured into a false sense of security every time her music becomes repetitive and remotely danceable, as it changes quickly into something so fragmented yet captivating.