- Loved Ones
On a bitter Sunday night in mid-December we find ourselves in The Magnet’s underground basement. The likes of Mogwai, Slowdive and Editors are names more readily associated with stadium tours than small back rooms so the chance to catch members of each under the guise of MINOR VICTORIES seems too good an opportunity to miss.
First, we get a rare chance to catch elusive LOVED ONES. Having been a stalwart on the Merseyside scene for years, Nik Glover, formerly of Seal Cub Clubbing Club, with the help of new band mates has delighted audiences with their offbeat, ambitious and infectious sound, which has caught the imagination of the region. Drawing a crowd which encompasses nearly the whole room, the crowd watch, entranced by the group’s hypnotic stage presence as they create waves of sound spun through drum machines, pedals and pre-recorded tracks, which are only broken by intervals of small talk or a moment to fix the backing track. Having drifted in and out of the public’s conscious, the West Kirby group’s performance leaves us hungry for their album due in the coming months.
Having suitably whet our appetite for more sonic explorations, the modest stars of the main act walk through the crowd with no sense of grandeur in the slightest. They finally find their way onstage with a couple of bottles of wine whilst they sound check as we gaze in anticipation, twitching with each twang of a string, each tap of a pedal. Set up, and raring to go the group spearhead along into a sound which engulfs the room, captivating the crowd with its sheer velocity and volume. The soaring guitars fly amongst the angelic vocals of Goswell which are only kept grounded by the drum beat. Between the epic post-rock soundscapes come electronic interludes of an almost 8-bit nature. The sheer drama and awe of the music is only stopped by a minute to change up pedals, check setup and have a quick swig of much overdue wine (after a no alcohol rule on their arena tour with Placebo).
With a calm and friendly atmosphere, Minor Victories seem to have cracked the key to the ‘supergroup’: the need for it to come from a creative space and not one of necessity. Despite the obvious influence of their previous projects, Minor Victories seem to have created something brand new, innovative and truly hypnotising. It’s amazing and rare to see musicians of such prowess play such a small room. As it all comes to an end, the only criticism we can find is there’s simply not enough. The show’s not so much a minor victory but a major success, witnessed by a crowd that know how lucky they are.