(Intr The following is not really a gig review as such, I mean you can’t really review nights you’ve been involved in putting on with any degree of objectivity, can you ? However I certainly wouldn’t want this to be simply an advert for the fantastic nights we do put on at Liverpool’s Zanzibar Club in Seel Street which incidentally has a well stocked bar, friendly well turned out staff, boasts ample adjacent parking space, has the best sound system in the city and entry is only an amazing, recession busting £ 4-00 a ticket, yes that’s right- FOUR pound! You’d be MAD to miss out!! …So rest assured there’s no chance of me pimping our night here dear readers ..But I digress, I suppose music blogging is essentially all about sharing the music you love and hoping that maybe the casual reader, the passing surfer may, on ocassion, also feel the same way. With that in mind maybe this entry should simply be re-entitled ‘Why the Indelicates are fucking fantastic” .
(Background /obligatory, indignant preamble ) When you look at the current so called indie-scene you do wonder where the rebellion is going to come from. ‘Scenes’ these days seem so contrived and are surely nothing more than an industry tool created to shift units to the target demographic. So called “edgy artists/bands” appear to be predominately made up of the detritus of failed drama school students, who think having a hairstyle like The Horrors somehow makes them an anarchist and will act as a counter balance to the John Barrowman “Gotta Dance” style sensibility that has been burned deep into their psyche. Invariably these bands consisting of people called Rupert and Fliss have been so deeply damaged by these “Glee/High School Musical” style academies, that the urge to break out into a ‘jazz hands a go-go’ frenzy at the drop of a hat is a daily battle. Of course if music/fame/acting doesn’t work out for some of these kids there’s always the banking job in the city that Pater has lined up. And so the Rupert’s and the Fliss’s, the Lukes and the Katies of this world , graduate from such places armed with an inflated sense of self belief and proceed to write coma-inducing, unchallenging, uncontroversial ditties, which, with good PR, can be dressed up as somehow ‘alternative’, although what they are actually the alternative to is a moot point (good music perhaps?) Their tunes are just bland enough to be popular, they offer no insight or opinion and the very same effect from a listening perspective at least; can be reproduced by simply clamping a vacuum cleaner to your ear and sucking your brain out.
Yeah, yeah I know, I could grumble on about where are the garage bands? And that it’s like punk never happened, (yawn) but at times it really does seem like ‘the kids’ are far less radicalised than their parents these days, they have seen how the system works and rather than kick against it they want in on it . It’s almost as if Michael Gove has fathered a nation of children (*shudder*) all sharing his values, who have grown up and decided to address those difficult teen years by ‘going a bit Indie’ not as an act of rebellion you understand, but as a calculated career move. Why subvert the mainstream when the status quo is just so darn appealing? And this is all well and good, I don’t mind a bit of safe generic pop on occasion and fame academies can produce good musicians too, but the musical palette should surely have more colours than just ‘safe commercial music’? Then again maybe we really don’t have anything to rebel against anymore? Maybe we really have ‘ never had it so good’ and as a consequence we may read about global injustice, the evils of capitalism etc, but as long as it doesn’t directly seem to effect us why should we care ? Maybe many of us are just so well insulated from such things that we have developed a total lack of empathy and conscience. Nowadays “Generation Text’s” chosen form of protest is to join a facebook group, this has a dual purpose, it allows us to hide behind a virtual façade, it tells the world that actually we care passionately about important issues, but crucially it doesn’t require us to actually DO anything–the rebellion is just a mouse click away . Being seen to support something is so much more fashionable than doing something constructive that might actually effect real change …. In a world where Gary Barlow,(could he be more beige?) is regarded as one of the great songwriters of his generation and David Cameron really is viewed by many as a statesman and future Prime Minister, isn’t it time we got ourselves some new heroes, pronto !??
So thank fuck for The Indelicates , because ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, if you’re bored with the same old same old, you really do need this band in your lives. They kick against the pricks, they have something to say, they challenge your perceptions of what “pop” is whilst revealing all that it could be if ‘Big Music’ fucked off and bands weren’t required to sign away their life in the form of the music industries great lie, the mythical holy grail that is, ‘the record deal’ (360° anyone?) The Indelicates write intelligent, passionate, angry, witty poetic music that your Rupert’s and Lukes of this world wouldn’t have the wit, wisdom or indeed the bollocks to ever attempt. In any right thinking society they would be regarded as national treasures, although I admit part of me likes the idea of them remaining a glorious cult. I fell in love with them a number of years ago for all the reasons previously mentioned and it wouldn’t be overstating the case to say they are possibly the last significant true indie band we have left. And so when they headlined a recent VPME/Read The Fanzine gig (aka Sick!) it was a very proud moment indeed…and they were of course, fucking fantastic.
(The Gig itself : ) The night didn’t get off to the most auspicious of starts as unfortunately our opening act on the bill had to pull out, so faced with me playing the spoons or fellow promoter John doing an impromptu puppet show, we did what all good promoters would do, faced with a similar situation, we panicked, purchased alcohol and bravely hid behind a big curtain! However on this occasion the musical gods were smiling on us, for as chance would have it, the sound tech upstairs in the venue was Marc Sunderland who also happens to be a key member of the excellent Peter And The Wolf. He manfully stepped up to the plate and played a great little set, which was all the more impressive due to the fact that he had to borrow a guitar, had no idea what songs he was going to perform and then had to dash off to sort the sound out for the bands playing upstairs.
The second band on the bill where Bony Ghosts from Warrington , a band who have a sound that could easily translate to much bigger venues, but isn’t awash with those studied , contrived, almost desperate, stadia pleasing hooks. Their songs are imbued with a swaggering, swirling, melodic sense of euphoria and numbers such as “The Curse” ( called “t’Curse” in Warrington I believe ) ,“Mona Lisa” and “August” are genuinely anthemic,…. in a good way . Whilst Bony Ghosts undoubtedly have a cross genre appeal and the sort of tunes that would certainly go down well with the likes of Lammo and Tom Robinson, they don’t adhere to the tired and dreary landfill indie template, and their set was full of passion and power.
Bony Ghost- “August”
The headline act was the aforementioned Indelicates, and after much fiddling with cables they kicked off their set with epic “The Last significant Statement To Be Made In Rock n Roll” from their début album “American Demo” (a former VPME Album of the year, no less. ) Their set contained a number of tunes from their much anticipated forthcoming album “Songs For Swinging Lovers” , which on this evidence promises to be every bit as head-wreckingly brilliant as their first album.
“The Last Significant Statement to Made In Rock N Roll”– The Indelicates
New songs included “Europe”, the excellent “We Love You Tania” a song about Patty Hearst , and let’s face it who else is gonna write a song about a kidnapped heiress come left-wing urban guerrilla, JLS? I think not ! Another fantastic new song “Jerusalem” provided a heckle of sorts and resulted in Simon Indelicate explaining the nature of irony to one member of the audience, who appeared to be unable to distinguish between sarcasm and a statement of fact. Simon, to the amusement of the crowd, re-assured Mr. Shouty that he too actually hated the Tories, and was (obviously) being ironic when he stated how he couldn’t wait for Conservatives to build Jerusalem and thus save us all from Armageddon after the next election. Irony eh ? It somehow loses its impact when you have to S-P-E-L-L it out. The band finished a fantastic set with “America” and “Our Daughters Will Never Be Free” . As the gig ended a number of people thanked us for bringing The Indelicates to Liverpool, which was really appreciated and made all the hard work worthwhile. After the gig, Julia Indleciate also showed us some of the ‘top secret’ art work and promo shots for “Songs For Swinging Lovers” which were amazing and one induced an audible gasp from my good self, it was basically a picture of…Ah but I am sworn to secrecy, so you’ll just have to wait and see; ) Having spoken to Simon and Julia over the years it was great to finally meet them in person, and it’s always a delight to find out that folk you admire are also very nice people indeed . If the Indelicates play a venue in your vicinity, you really should get to see them, they are indeed a band to love and cherish.
“We Love You Tania” By The Indelicates
“America/Our Daughters Will Never Be Free” By The Indelicates
(Epilogue – So Much for The Afterglow) : And so with the bands finishing it was time to round off the night with Sick’s very own “Panic!: Smiths and Morrissey Disco” , which went down a storm and the love emanating around the venue for the bequiffed genius seemed to be almost tangible as people danced and sang into the wee small hours. Morrissey’s last visit to Liverpool may have been cut short prematurely and left a slightly sour taste but had he of walked into the Zanzibar club on this particular night and observed “the love in our eyes” he’d of known, Liverpool holds him in the highest of esteem.
It was a night in which we met some great people and shared a great time, which really, is what it’s all about isn’t it ? …Roll on the next night….
Smiths Disco Clip
“Alpha Ghost” By Rachel Dunn