With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

Music trivia, useless info, extra added random stuff and the odd rant from me

Reel Big Fish – Liverpool O2 Academy – Wednesday 21st October 2015 October 23, 2015


This was my third visit to the O2 Academy in Liverpool in just over a week and there hasn’t been a poor night yet! Not that I want one mind you. Anyway tonight was going to be the first time that I had seen Reel Big Fish for around ten years. But before we move on to them there is the little matter of the support bands to deal with. First up were the rather fabulous local (well they are from the Wirral) purveyors of a really original British style of ska with a fun punk attitude, which echoes the Jamaican roots of the style with a nod towards the late seventies UK revival of this wonderful form of reggae. Ladies and gentlemen I give you Broken 3 Ways. If they are playing anywhere near you then believe me I will be very, very disappointed indeed if I hear that you didn’t go and see them.

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Next up were the California-based ska pop punk band Suburban Legends. Are they suburban? I don’t know. Are they legends? Well I reckon then can become so! They played some great covers of, would you believe it, Disney songs. This sort of thing shouldn’t really work, but it does with this band. The fact that they can carry off ska punk style versions of “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King” and “Under The Sea” with such aplomb is the mark of a great band in my opinion. They supplemented Disney with a few originals and a rousing version of Neil Diamond‘s “Sweet Caroline“. Could this night get any better?

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Actually it could get better and it did. Is it even possible to not enjoy a Reel Big Fish gig? I don’t believe that it is. This was a phenomenal set by a band that remains at the peak of their power after more than twenty years of success. From set opener “Everyone Else Is An Asshole” to the superb cover of A-Ha‘s “Take On Me” at the end of the encore the quality and the pace never dropped. they played around with some potential and fun covers; “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and “Don’t Stop Believing” respectively. But perhaps the best cover of the night was a stonking work out of the ska classic “Monkey Man”, Toots Hibbert would be proud of that one! This band has so many great songs and they played a stack of them tonight; “Your Girlfriend Sucks”, “The Kids Don’t Like It”, “She Has A Girlfriend Now”, “Don’t Start A Band” and “Your Girlfriend Sucks” were some of my favourites from this set. I will not be waiting for ten years before I see them again. Go and see them yourselves right now. That’s an order!

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Swim Deep, The Magic Gang and Catholic Action- Liverpool O2 Arena 2 – Thursday 15th October 2015 October 18, 2015


Two gigs in two nights you say? Don’t mind if I do. This is the first time in ages that I have been to gigs on two consecutive nights, not withstanding of festival experiences anyway. So I was back at the O2 Academy 2 in Liverpool again last Thursday night. It was to be the first time that I had seen the headliners, Swim Deep live. The support were none too shabby either.

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Taking to the stage first were the wonderfully named (in my opinion) Catholic Action. They play tuneful, powerful Indie Pop  with songs that are full of great hooks. This is a very talented band. I believe that they are largely from Glasgow.

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Next up to entertain a pretty packed venue was the Magic Gang. They brought us classy tunes and classy harmonies all the way from Brighton. They are definitely magic and most probably a gang too. Well worth checking out.

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I kind of liked Swim Deep’s first album ‘Where The Heaven Are We’ and I did listen to their new release ‘Mothers’ before I went to this gig. They have improved immensely, although it would be fair to say that they were pretty damned good to start with. I reckon they are one of those bands that sound even better live than they do on record. The energy that they put into this show was phenomenal there was hardly time to draw a breath. If you have never seen them you really should make it happen at least once. Swim Deep could be described as an electro indie pop band. However I truly believe that they are much broader and deeper (pun intended) than that. I would love to hear what you think of them. I know that the relatively young crowd went mad for them and incidentally I was possibly the oldest punter in the audience, which had it’s fair share of screaming girls and muso boys.

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Siena Root, Elevant and Mind Mountain – Liverpool O2 Arena 2 – Wednesday 14th October 2015


I took a chance with this gig as I had never heard of any of the bands before. Sometimes that doesn’t work out, but this time it did and very much big time in respect of the headliners from Sweden, Siena Root.

Mind Mountain

Mind Mountain

Before the headline slot though we were presented with two very fine support bands. First up was Mind Mountain. They are a hard rock instrumentalist trio who rock hard enough to make your ears bleed! The rhythm section are damned good, but the guitar/ keyboard player is truly superb. You really need to check this lot out.

Elevant

Elevant

What can I say about the other support band, Elevant? Well if you took a large portion of classic heavy rock, sprinkled that with some hard riffage, then added a large slice of iconic rock star posing with a pinch of menacing front man stare that should give you a fully baked Elevant. This band rock like a motherfucker!

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As for Siena Root, well initially I thought that maybe I’d stepped out of Dr Who‘s TARDIS in the early 70’s. But in a very good 70’s way. This is one supremely talented rock band each one of them is the master of their instrument and the vocalist is sublime. My favourite was perhaps the keyboard player who in a way had a slight resemblance to Keith Emerson off of ELP. But picking a favourite is somewhat difficult given the mega talents on display. They write their own songs and are faithful to analog instruments and recording. Some might argue that they are derivative of many of the great early 70s European rock bands from Deep Purple to Focus, then Free and the aforementioned ELP via Golden Earring. However I say that they take the best elements from 70s classic rock and make it very much their own. This was their first visit to the UK and I hope that they have many more. I will definitely go and see them again. If you get the chance do not miss them. You will not be disappointed!

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