Photography: Keith Ainsworth /

Dave McCabe and the Ramifications

EVOL @ The Constellations 17/12/15


EVOL @ Constellations

The Church of Miami came to the celestial sphere of Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle, led by a futuristic preacher DAVE McCABE and his new creation; THE RAMIFICATIONS. At the height of Christmas Party Season, there are plenty of punters in the building trying to have a sneaky look around the corner, into the main room and drifting through the back of the re-developed warehouse for tonight’s event.

The rebirth of Dave McCabe, from leader of The Zutons to indie blues mahatma could well be confirmed this evening. His collaboration with friends and his withdrawal from The Zutons has notably reinvigorated his creative talent. With influences from German electro synth-pop such as Kraftwerk and British new wave bands, borrowed from a brothers record collection, the new album is risky, but a chance worth taking..

As Star Wars opened the night before, it was easy to conflate the Ramifications with the Jedi, whom arrived to a futuristic electronica, wearing robes and donning masks.  The Earl of Knowsley enters the stage like a returning Messiah in a white hooded cloak, arms spread as if to give the crowd a biblical sermon. The pulsating programmed beat in Too Damn Good is Chemical Brothers-esque. The funky rhythmic sound of Trust Me has the Christmas Party goers dancing in front of the stage like some possessed voodoo lost tribe with McCabe’s out stretched healing hands putting them in a  hypnotic trance.

The Church of Miami is a concept album that narrates the story of a man that rebuilds a robot, only to discover that he recognises elements in his creation that he hates. Perhaps a reference to some of the Zutons later songs; McCabe wanted to take the band to another direction musically, which in the end caused the split in the group.

There is no denying the unmistakable gravel-tone of McCabe’s voice which convinced some of the crowd to shout out for some of the older tunes, but there was to be no Valerie tonight. The only Zutons tune is a rework of Let Me Go, a much slower hypnotic and reflective version which has the audience singing along for the first and last time of night. The new material is risky and its taken a lot of retrospective reflections by McCabe too revisit influences from his youth.  All in all it has been a great night which hopefully will see The Ramifications project develop more in future albums.

Mike Sheerin

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