Meatraffle

  • +
  • Ill
  • Eyesore & The Jinx
  • Jo Mary
  • Samurai Kip
Seabass @ Sound 27/10/18

It’s becoming something of tradition to dive deep into the murkiest crevices of the minds of Eggy Records in search of the elusive seabass. By now, the event is growing in its franchise, but rather than swimming into stagnant waters and billing Seabass: The Revenge, we’re presented with a catch convulsing with life. A wondrous fin flap to the face in the form of fuzz-soaked guitar spread across seven hours.

If previous voyages had staved off the bends, then an all-day dip into the lawless below is sure to leave bubbles in the brain. The straight up and down transition required, from basement to bar area, only heightens the need for a decompression chamber as proceedings stretch further into the night.

House rules: fishy attire is encouraged; post-set cigarettes no longer than three minutes. No act is left behind, no band turns up their nose at watching the other.

Tonight’s school of attendees swarm from basement to bar, taking a breath only to inhale through an extra slim filter. Distorted ripples set the course of the night and all happily oblige in following the path as though hacked out by a once marooned sea captain. It’s unruly. It dips more than a toe in freest pools that can be granted.

SAMURAI KIP have the gruff vocals worthy of seasoned salty sea shanties. Instead their blend of jazz and desert riffs is presented as more of an odyssey, an exploration within the depths of the basement – the hold of this loosely captained vessel. The stabs of trombone pierce through the attention of the room and remain lodged, long after the reverberations have softened. This band even takes the crown for best fish attire for the evening; an aluminium salmon lodged on the vocalist’s head. It screams tin foil kipper, but all in attendance know there’s a wise wanderer’s philosophy blowing through the brain below. They’re contenders for strongest performers on the night.

ILL are much less starry-eyed. If anything, they’re a wake-up call. A violent alarm clock, in the musical sense. Their penchant for offbeat hi hat is reminiscent of The Rapture. Coincidental, maybe, but this outfit give it a good go of attempting to beckon down the flames from above. The metaphors don’t stop here, though. A fish made up of filled binbags spins over head of the crowd in the upstairs space. Who knew Eggy Records would want to make such socio-environmental statement with one of their props for the evening? Thought provocation and tinnitus. Attenborough meets the swirling punk ethos of Dead Kennedys. A combination that is seeming Eggy’s new USP. They do it well.

Orderly free for all. That’s how it feels when JO MARY make their entrance. They’re a band in search for the red line. It’s an atmosphere they bask in, holding everyone on the edge of the unthinkable. Their set comes and goes in a flash, and it appears little has been broken. This could have been a different story, though, if the fish masked man on mobile percussion hadn’t reassessed his decision to dive from the speakers scraping the roof of the basement. It’s all in good fun. Unlike the band’s set, all that comes crashing down is a piñata that becomes an airborne missile until the distortion pedals have been laid to rest.

MEATRAFFLE are absorbing. Their signature brand of bastard music is unlike anything else on the bill, allowing, or maybe gifting, them salience through contrast. It’s exactly what you’d expect from proletariat punks hailing from a city smouldering with capitalist fumes. The trumpet is melancholic, but the riffs are wiry, the bass uneasy yet consistent, marching on like a heart running on toxins to help avert tomorrow’ madness – just for a little while longer. “Give it up for the people’s socialist republic of Liverpool” is the call from the stage after each song. It’s wonderfully resilient music, afloat in a sea of chaos. Having already announced themselves to the city with a performance at Psych Fest, this evening is sure to extend a welcome as anytime squatters in Merseyside.

By now EYESORE & THE JINX have been touted one of the prize yolks in the Eggy basket. They’re last on tonight, and they’ve retained the majority of the crowd as Saturday is slowly becoming Sunday. A perfect fit to launch the final expedition into the seabass lair; their mutant-surf riffs are just what’s need to lure out the last of the deep-sea divers into the red flag waters. Everyone follows, and with good reason. It’s thunderous, as though Dick Dale had been asked to soundtrack the murky waves of Mersey rubbing away its poisonous industrial history. More of the same, please.

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