With heady reverberations still ringing in the ever-hungry ears of Liverpool music fans, it is time to dust down and cram in as many gigs as possible before the year ends. For those feeling a little psyched-out, the prospect of a laidback evening in the company of one of the most discussed electronic musicians in recent months, LONE, is sure to be tempting.
As first support act, WYWH, takes to the stage gig-goers are conspicuously absent. Unperturbed, WYWH, aka Andrew Parry, launches into an ethereal and enthralling set. The tracks are dark and introspective, with very deep, repetitive basslines and reverb-soaked, melodic meanderings. His usage of a chaosilator does exactly what its name suggests, bringing a little bit of chaos to what is otherwise a carefully constructed and well-orchestrated performance. It is a shame there are not more people here to witness it, but this is, sadly, usually the case at such gigs, and there are countless brilliant performances from opening acts that go practically unheard at venues across the city.
Negativity aside, the crowd has swelled somewhat to welcome next act ADRONITE. The Sheffield-based two-piece blend live bass guitar and synths to create an interesting sonic palette. Overlaid with vocals from singer James de Graef the display is engaging if perhaps not overly memorable. This is not to detract from their skill as musicians or their appeal as performers, but for this particular show there is a certain sense that something is missing.
Since the release of his fifth album, Reality Testing, in June, the name Lone (Matt Cutler) has been on the lips of many a music critic, and presumably on many a muso’s must-see lists. This being his first Liverpool show it is the first opportunity some have had and, with KONX-OM-PAX providing a live AV accompaniment, it promises to be a pretty special event.
Cutler has always had an amazing ear for melody, and that is perhaps the defining feature of his work and tonight’s performance. The music is intensely danceable whilst retaining an air of minimalism, and the refrains so catchy they are almost sung. In contrast to the previous acts on the bill, there is a real sense of joy to Lone’s songs, with introspection making way for gleeful movement. This is not to suggest a lack of substance, as it is clear that every section and every beat has been painstakingly thought over and implemented expertly, to create a sound which is full yet not lacking in space. Lone’s hip hop-inflected grooves, together with Konx’s AV display make for a pretty fine spectacle indeed.
Though the night, in terms of audience, started off pretty quietly it has ended on a definite high note. As far as debut Liverpool shows go Lone’s has to be up there, and I imagine a lot of people will leave here tonight wondering why it has taken so long to bring him to the city.