There is always a sense of jeopardy when watching Wuzi play live, but tonight when they played in a room which was once half a fancy dress shop the only shambolic moment was from The Magic Eye Pictures who arrived without a drummer. All credit to the talent of the band though as this information only came out after they had succeeded to impress with a set full of interesting and engaging quirky indie pop songs. Next of the three bands was Still Life who attacked the senses in a distinctly more visceral way engaging the audience and upping the energy levels, plenty of attitude and a Liam Gallagher like vocal means these guys are good fun to watch and listen to.
Then onto the main act. Wuzi have been around for a little while now and have a small core of dedicated followers, one of whom tonight sported a hand made Wuzi t-shirt (felt tip on white background), but still give the impression they are surprised and delighted when anyone bothers to turn up. As a live act they are riveting, all swinging guitars and flailing hair, all that is except for Arthur the bassist who displays a focused resolve to keep the band on point, and he succeeds. The layers of sound build on his bedrock and what layers they are too.
Slightly unfashionable, Wuzi mash together the grunge of Mudhoney, the melodies of Britpop, the subtle psychedelics of Sgt Pepper era Beatles with the drums of Animal from the Muppets. They have a whirlwind of influences which can leave you wonderfully stunned, especially in the faster tracks. Not afraid to let the tune take the lead instead of his voice Callum is as happy playing guitar as singing and the songs do occasionally go off in a psychedelic prog rock direction which, whilst unusual in today’s musical industry, really works. Even though the band had been at the (licenced) venue since 3pm the evening finished without hitch but it would be nice to see them on a bigger stage, as they did seem a little constricted by the small venue. If they’re able to successfully transfer their live presence to vinyl then these friendly humble guys may manage to make much more out of this band.