- Flying Colours
With its first birthday just passed, Hardman Street gig mecca Buyers Club has carved out an impressive niche over the past 12 months as a rite of passage venue for Liverpool bands, much like The Picket, the gig space that preceded it.
Following the off-beat alt. pop of live circuit regulars BATHYMETRY, Antipodean shoegaze crew FLYYING COLOURS arrive onstage. After checking that the density of their wall of sound is just so, the four-piece tear into It’s Tomorrow Now, a pile-driving psych rock banger redolent of early Ride classic Drive Blind. Gently admonishing the audience for hanging so far back in the venue, lead singer Brodie Brümmer signals the start of Long Holiday, a journey into more indie pop pastures. Injecting the ragged energy of grunge into the mix, thunderous sticksman Andy Lloyd Russell flails away to impressive effect, while singer/guitarist Gemma O’Connor adds melodic ballast. The 2013 track that marked them out as notables, Wavy Gravy, is dropped into the set late on before an extended take on Mellow concludes the affair with waves of rippling guitar distortion and new converts seemingly won over.
Following the Aussies’ sonic firepower, headliners CAVALRY are a less forceful prospect, acoustic guitars replacing the dense swirl of stomp-box-driven electrics. This particular bunfight has been put together to celebrate the recent release of double A-side single Everything and Lucerne on venerated indie label Fierce Panda and a homecoming in general, and both tracks showcase the quintet’s sound to excellent effect.
Founded on a wealth of Americana influences – Calexico, Bon Iver, The National –with a smattering of Elbow’s emotiveness, the five-piece effectively create widescreen folk rock infused with atmospheric washes of FX pedals and synths. Battling against a fair amount of chatter from the crowd, the band are easily able to recreate their sound live, the tracks on point throughout. Benefitting from a mix that brings out the delicacy of the song’s guitar arpeggios, which take flight when the rhythm section enters, lead singer Alan Croft bosses the songs as they rise to a crescendo.
Whilst everything here is beautifully played and the set doesn’t deliver any complete howlers, a bit more grit in the oyster would definitely be welcome; some contrasting spikiness to puncture the loveliness elsewhere. Variations in pace and/or bigger choruses would truly see the band shoot up a level. Encouragingly, one of the best tracks aired is a new one “that doesn’t have a title yet”, which breezes across beautifully. A few more things may need to fall into place for Cavalry to fully deliver knockout punches, but their contender status is assured beyond doubt.