OH WELL, GOODBYE
- Sex Dream
Maguire’s is kind of like Narnia: a rather inconspicuous gig venue, which to the untrained eye could very easily be just another bar; however, delve a little deeper, past the bookcase, and you may just come across some of Liverpool’s most exciting underground gigs.
The gig room is small and almost pitch black, with only the stage’s red lights to remind you that you haven’t entered the abyss completely. As SEX DREAM arrives on stage, his pedal board’s lights sparkle like beacons of hope for what is to come. With a series of effects as long as my arm, the sonic noise rocker produces unrelenting soundscapes worthy of comparison to the likes of My Bloody Valentine’s Kevin Shields. Using his guitar to its upper limits, exploiting it in every way possible, the sonic youth tears open the room to reveal another dimension. The set is a brutal, uninterrupted experiment of just how far a guitar can be pushed, resulting in what sounds like a tsunami is crashing through a black hole backwards. As his set finishes, he just drops his guitar as though there is no love lost and walks away, coolly proving himself as the new face on the scene.
Next to pick up tonight’s noise are garage rockers, OHMNS (pronounced Omens). From the minute they plug in, the room is a flying furore of fuzz and bellowing long curly hair. Their sound explodes through the room, shaking Maguire’s to its very core as plaster crumbles and posters fall in mercy to the almighty primal power of the punk rockers. Guttural screams fall from the mouth of the lead singer as he is serenaded by raucous guitar, driving bass and heavy tub-thumping. Occasionally the lead guitarist screams with such energy it’s expected that his vocal chords will explode and blood fly halfway across the room. With these boys the stage isn’t the limit, with the audience giving them room like GG Allin has just entered the venue. As one fan sums it up quite bathetically, “That’s sound, lads”.
Finally up are tonight’s stars, releasing their EP entitled BG902, are OH WELL, GOODBYE. If you enjoy haunting vocals, reverb-filled guitar melodies and a lot of tambourine, then this band are for you. After the in-your-face performance of OHMNS, the post-punk four-piece bring a slightly more chilled-out mood to the affair. With comparisons made to the likes of The National, these guys are bringing something unique to the city’s scene. Lead singer PJ Rourke’s vocal style echoes through the room, hypnotising the audience. Forget Bez, when it comes to handheld percussion Rourke is the master. His tambourine dancing is mesmerising and conjures images of a less frantic Ian Curtis as he truly loses himself in the music. However, Rourke is not alone in his mastery, with the rest of the band keeping tight throughout the whole performance, providing a fitting climax to a great evening of music in a hidden world.