- Oya Paya
- Big Bambora
- Venus Demillo
Ahead of their slot supporting The Rolling Stones in August of this year, I walk into VISTA KICKS’ first Liverpool gig expecting it to be rammed. Instead, I’m surrounded by around 30 people who all seem to be friends, only a few being fans enticed by the occasion. It feels like a huge shame. People at the front will think differently with their backs to the vast empty space behind them.
VENUS DEMILO open. Their rustic charm and casual interaction makes this small room feel fitting, a stepping stone to what will be greater success. Versions of their recent comeback single By The Book and old school throwback Bite My Tongue are impressive. Not only is it evident that the band have grown exponentially as artists, but the consistency of sound and style remains.
Going from content, indie-pop tunes to OYA PAYA is a change of pace that’s a tad unexpected. The lads bring together an energetic combination akin to The Mighty Boosh and Jack Black alongside the synthy sounds that are quite difficult to take in, albeit not unpalatable.
All their eggs are in one basket, but why should they not be when it sounds this good?
It goes from confusing to underwhelming as the last support act of the night steps on stage. While the cluster at the front seem to love BIG BAMBORA’s opening track which repeats their name over and over, I’m relieved when it ends. However, they do alter my opinion of them with a rough-edged cover of MGMT’s Electric Feel. It’s a shame their own songs didn’t offer the same energy.
The main act step on stage, wordless. They don’t introduce themselves at first because we should know who they are. Everyone should. Their first track lulls into an instrumental sprawl. I prepare myself for the full swing of the set; these guys are going to be even better than I expected.
Their vibe oozes soft rock one minute and the next they’re leaning back and paying tribute to the greats that came before them. Gimme Love is dedicated to The Beatles – their influence is evident. With their fresh Californian sound incorporating a sweet, repetitive motif, the band utilise the code that those they dedicated it to cracked all those years ago. And despite the crowd being sparse in comparison to what they have lined up later on this year, they guarantee that tonight is “not the last” of their gigs in Liverpool. I can only hope that the turnout is better next time around, because more people need to hear this.