- The Wools
Much like his internet-famous artwork, psych-pop musician MONTERO is a rarely wholesome and relatable songwriter. His new album Performer is a preview to what to expect tonight, with chilled out early Neil Young and Nilsson-esque loveliness in lead singles Tokin’ The Night Away and Good Vibrations. The audience certainly receives above and beyond that expectation.
The first act on the bill is THE WOOLS; their name is a witty Scouse slang reference. From the start, they remind me of the best songs The Coral ever released – that’s a compliment, I promise. There’s also a great pop songwriting sensibility with The Wools, and they are truly telling about the highs and lows of relationships. To match this, team musicianship explores jangly indie pop and dreamy psychedelia. They’re a truly great act you shouldn’t miss.
Next up are SEATBELTS, the side project of James and Ryan from Hooton Tennis Club. These guys are one of the highlights of my night; they’re energetic and amazing from the get-go. Their jangly psychedelia has elements of Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci and Orange Juice, and gives them a truly distinctive sound – once the cowbell kicked in, I had to dance along. At the final song, they invite two Spanish singers on stage, giving the whole proceedings an extra energy boost.
Just before Montero, DANYE hit the stage. There’s a motorik vibe with Danye; all the songs melt together into one within their set, creating a synthy dreamscape throughout. Then the main act arrives, without his band. He keeps mentioning how this is his first act, seeming nervous yet still witty, much like a character from his artwork. He says he’ll do a drawing for those who buy him a whiskey shot. Lo and behold the stage is flooded with Jack Daniel’s shots for Montero, much to his surprise. He also asks anyone to get on stage to help him out. I offer a hand and it’s safe to say I will not be reviewing my song from that set.
Montero’s first solo set was ramshackle, witty, wholesome and full of love for The Beach Boys. It mirrors his finest artwork, and the man himself. If you have a chance to see Montero, you’re in for an experience you won’t forget, but for all the right reasons.