- High Tyde
Monday night, a Mersey equivalent of a monsoon outside, and the second-ever Moonshine night at Arts Club is by no means threatening to turn vintage. Numbers are low enough to pass for an average to poor Sunday League crowd, only more drenched and less enthusiastic.
So it’s not in the best circumstances that WHITECLIFFE take to the stage and the LIPA-formed five-piece get off to a shaky start. The unsure opening must be partly attributed to a less than flattering sound mix. As the evening transpires not one of the four acts fail to express their displeasure with the levels.
Whitecliffe get stronger as the set goes on. Songs like The Talk see everything fall into place thanks to some swishing riffs and driving drums. Lead singer Oliver Nagy certainly has a way with the microphone stand. Or rather, he has his way with the microphone stand. It’s not quite Bond-girl silhouette but it’s not far off, either. With single Everybody Knows, Oliver pulls it off, channelling Brandon Flowers with aplomb. Beware ye of becoming Ricky Martin, though.
Fresh from Threshold festival, VYNCE put their best foot forward with opening number Lust, a catchy rocker laden with “hey”s and backed up with some cracking harmonies. They struggle for momentum in the middle of their set though, as the technical difficulties come home to roost, and decent songs dwindle flat. Vynce manage to drag it back with closer Belly Ache, a tune that calls up the best of Kasabian, with shades of Come Together.
Headliners COLLECTORS CLUB were making waves back in 2011. Since then, their peers have moved on, making this year an important one then as they look to release their debut EP under the proven auspices of producer Steve Levine. The early signs are promising, with new material roaming delightfully into Graceland territory. But tonight the indie outfit don’t properly hit their groove until tucking into covers of Girls Just Want To Have Fun and Everywhere. Definitely a group to keep your eye on in the coming months.
But it’s third act HIGH TYDE who lay down a marker on the night. At 17 years old, all four lads fall into the demographic referred to by Clearasil executives as “the kill zone”. Never fear, dermatologically the group are good and musically they’re on the money too. Founded on the inventive beats of polka-dotted drummer Louis Semlekan-Faith (shirt, not skin), their tunes are built for dancing. Their repertoire is packed with doldrums-dashers such as the irresistible Milkshake and it’s easy to see this lot storming the festivals in the summer. There’ll come a day when young High Tyde frontman Cody Thomas-Matthews won’t get away with quite so many dedications to “the ladies”, but it’s not this day. His irrepressible bravado and barrier-hopping antics are the perfect antidote for any Monday night blues. On lead single Talk To Frank he sings “It won’t be long/ till you’re singing my song” and, honestly, you can’t help but believe him.