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  • Bad Meds
  • Strange Collective
Maguire’s Pizza Bar

A chance to see Liverpool’s holy trinity of garage is not one to turn your nose up at. Whenever these lads get together you’re guaranteed a show. Pair this with the chance to see one of Britain’s most exciting new bands who are hot off a session for Marc Riley on 6Music, and you’d be an utter fool to miss this.

OHMNS arrive up first, fuelled by a brutal concoction of wine and pizza, and they’re ready to tear the place a new arsehole with their raucous primal splurge. Like Thee Oh Sees’ twisted cousin, this four-piece play a demonic sort of trance-inducing mantra that captivates the crowd, before stabbing them in the heart with a harsh kick of savage, visceral, screaming fuzz. The wounds caused by the two-minute attacks are healed quickly by dripping syrupy spoonfuls of dry humour. With cries of “We might not play our best tonight cos we’ve all got horrible runny shits”, and song names such as the now infamous Free El Chapo/Sean Penn’s A Grass, the group rarely fail to disappoint.

After the ‘in-yer-face’ hard rock comes a slightly softer note in the form of STRANGE COLLECTIVE. Their cheeky, drunken surf rock has been a cornerstone of Merseyside’s trashy garage rock scene for a few years now, and the lads can pull quite a crowd on the merit of their excellent clutch of singles. Their soaring, ballsy rock ‘n’ roll is perfectly fitted to the room: sweaty, cramped and crowded. As the set goes on, more and more on-lookers seem to be hypnotised into a manic frenzy, led by the OHMNS lads. Things reach a pinnacle during Strange Collective’s final song, the superb new single Super Touchy. OHMNS’ drummer finds himself on top of an amp, clad in nothing more than a pair of ball stranglers, rhythmically tapping himself to the beat. Like a catalyst the crowd erupts into a riot with mic stands flying, guitarist pile-ons and the ever-persistent chants of “super touchy!”  As the band finish the much-extended version of the track, sweating and breathless, it appears that’ll it’ll be difficult to top such a spectacle tonight, if not this year.

Bravely tackling the post-carnage scenery are BAD MEDS, who are perhaps the best equipped to do so. Their own brand of moody sullen punk is tinged with a dark humour which beautifully haunts the room. The band dole out some moments of pure genius, such as their cover of Grim Up North and their six-and-a-half-minute doom-layered ballad Release The Bees. Their sound rumbles through the room perfectly as it juxtaposes their fast, punk-laden two-minuters, against gloomy tracks of epic lengths.

After what seems a show in itself from the support acts alone, on come slacker metal trio SLOWCOACHES. The band play hard and fast through their fuzzy hits, with lead singer Heather Perkins adopting an intimidating expression that leaves the audience half mesmerised/half scared. Their sonic grunge pop seems to keep the crowd on edge – but something seems to be slightly lacking for Slowcoaches, with their unreleased tracks not quite packing the punch of singles Ex Head and Sucker.

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