Down in the belly of the Shipping Forecast tonight, there takes place a performance of art-rock so precise, so intentional, even Andy Warhol would be proud. This is the space where the collective ideas of frontman Shaun Powell sit atop a mental pedestal as he waits to invite us into his wild world. For those unfamiliar with the artistic mastery of PSYCHO COMEDY, it is a spectacle worth viewing. Hovering through the local music scene for some years now, the band have fascinated audiences with the same strategic concept they began with: melding punk and poetry in unison, breathing art back into music.
Tonight is an exhibition of Powell’s own craft and the celebration of a goal he set out to accomplish. The very essence of Psycho Comedy bleeds New York City; from the band’s Patti Smith and Velvet Underground influences, it is no surprise why a group from Liverpool find it so important to make their mark on the Big Apple. Without this vision, the spirit of Psycho Comedy would fold.
Twisting the audience through their performance like a mad puppeteer, Powell holds the crowd’s attention through one of the band’s first and favourable tracks, I’m Numb. Highly literate and full of raw power, Psycho Comedy blaze through the evening, shaking the foundations of the venue with the infectious Michigan State and the thematically relevant Uncle Sam. The low, seedy bass playing of Connor Duff paired with the ever-cool poise of the band’s own poet Matthew Thomas Smith works wonders through Sleep Walking, as he projects his words through two microphones out to the crowd.
As an animated Powell claims this to be their best of the night, drummer Jack Williams begins Performance Space Number One. It’s a song that oozes cool, proving how mature the band have become since their inception.
Introducing the last song of the evening, the energy rises as the garrulous singer stands with a sinister grin and exclaims: “The thing about now is everybody’s always down, the theatre came crashing down, I am the silver screen.” A roar from the crowd brings the anthemic I Am The Silver Screen to life. The venue is full of family and friends, all witnessing something great, a band whose sonic vision will without a doubt take them to great heights. It is this sense of passion in honing their craft that is so admirable and one that will be remembered among a plethora of bands in Liverpool’s music city.