Ever since DIY Magazine announced this years ‘Neu’ Tour line-up, it’s been a must-see. So when London’s hottest crop of new bands rolled into Liverpool for the latest date, it’d be silly not to go and join the buzz wouldn’t it?
The tour operating on a rotating headline was kicked off in Liverpool by Strokes lead singer Julian Casablancas’ new favourites, INHEAVEN. Balancing snarling lead vocals with airy low-key female harmonies throughout full on fuzz-stream, indie stroke psych guitars on latest number ‘Bitter Town’, they whipped up quite a storm. It’s easy to see why Julian’s a fan of this four-piece, although nothing screams even a remote resemblance to The Strokes. Unrelenting guitar fuzz continues to take centre-stage as vocal clarity flickers on and off through debut release ‘Regeneration’ to a frenzied yet confidently assertive close.
VANT came next in all their punchy, political, sweat-ridden glory. Politically enlightened vocal spirit powers through on ‘Birth Certificate’ which is as ‘fuck you, I’m right’ as it’s scuzzy and fun. The foursome then burst into rip-roaring scuzz-punk newbie ‘Parking Lot’ – probably as catchy as they get. The quirkily energetic quartet are also well versed in mid-set patter constantly bringing smiles with crazy stories about house-parties and playing on rooftops on the tour. As well as generally just taking the piss out of each other, which always goes down well, weirdly.
It soon becomes clear that Vant don’t do things in halves, they don’t hold back, they’re raw and honest. Lyricism which is rarely sugar-coated packs punches left, right and centre! If you like your guitarists in the crowd and your bands rolling round on-stage mid-set then Vant are undoubtedly for you.
Liverpool touched lucky with our closers. Our headliners for the evening were The Big Moon; quite simply a band that has had me in a daze since early summer. Back then I stated a significant nod towards Elastica, but when they’re live in-front of you, the comparisons stop and you slip into awe of what you can see and hear. It’s honestly a crime that these girls haven’t blown up yet, I mean what is actually going on – why isn’t this band everywhere?!
Graciously (if you can graciously do indie-rock, I guess you can) flowing through their slick set opener ‘Eureka Moment’ the quirky female quartet have you at sixes and sevens. Latest release ‘Nothing Without You’ quickens the pace into a hair-shaking frenzy with lush, easy-on-the-ear vocal sugar gradually being broken down into a light-grunge finale. ‘The Road’ is arguably their most complete studio track to date, and is so live as well. Varied guitar arrangements intertwined with glorious organ ooze coats the assured, velvety vocal essence of Juliette Jackson in heavenly fashion.
There’s only one fitting track to close for me and that’s the track that made me fall in love with this band, the punchy riffs of ‘Sucker’. As glorious as it’s fuzzy. As catchy as it’s jagged. As good live as its recorded counterpart. The Big Moon and I have kind of come full circle. A fitting and memorable way to close a superb night of new music, DIY style.
Words Jake Marley