This Feeling

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Live Review :: Clean Cut Kid :: Leaf, Liverpool - Jan 8 2016




As a change here, Little Indie decided to ask a musician to become our reviewer for the night and cast a professional eye over his fellow music-makers. We don't know if Veso Mihaylov, guitarist with another on-the-rise Mersey band, The Jacobins (see here), has done this before, but as you can see below, it sounds like he more than enjoyed himself.


Live Review

Clean Cut Kid + Bad Habits + Polar States + The Vryll Society + L.U.M.E.N

Leaf, Liverpool

January 8 2016

Words: Veso Mihaylov

Tonight was a beacon of light piercing though a very dark cloud for me. I had felt for a while that Liverpool, although having some of the best acts to offer in recent years, has lacked a real music scene. However, seeing so many lovely faces from completely different circles of the music industry all enjoying themselves here, was as rare as a UFO sighting. Don't get me wrong, it happens on occasion, but I think Steve Cusack deserves a medal. Fly On The Wall has found its niche
in this market and tonight they provide a star-studded line-up of burgeoning new talent.

The evening kicks off with L.U.M.E.N, a 17-year-old singer/ songwriter playing only his second-ever show. He was truly terrific: music pouring out every bone of his body, he quickly won the support of the crowd in a similar fashion to how he won backing of BBC introducing Merseyside's maestro Dave Monks. 'Sea Birds' was possibly the standout song of the set, with its unique melody, DIY approach, it shone like a diamond in the rough. There's plenty of excitement around L.U.M.E.N and according to the grapevine he has already written around 100 songs. This boy means business, so keep the name in mind.

The Vryll Society follow next. With the bar having been set high by the first act, the current Liverpool buzz band manage to raise it even higher. The rhythm section is on fire, whilst lead singer Mike seems possessed on a stage, a real joy to watch. The band were captivating, dangerous, yet at the same time, poetic. Guitar sounds which wouldn't be out of place on early Floyd or Funkadelic works, mixed with the presence of The Verve, got the majority of crowd grooving and moving. The band play through a large part of their new 'Pangea' EP, and by the end of the night establish themselves a following.

Polar States take to the stage looking shy at first, but it's not long before they are putting smiles on everyone's faces. Polished and tight as always, they had people wondering “How have we not heard of this band before?”. It's no wonder that this lot have appeared on Radio 1 and are Fly on The Wall's most recent signing to their label side. The States' brand of jangly indie pop -floating into some early Foals - made it hard to take your eyes off them. Without doubt, this is a band to watch out for, and if they can consistently deliver the same way they did tonight, then there's no stopping them.

The Bad Habits brought it home and did so in a beautiful manner. The growing anticipation from everyone to see Clean Cut Kid made it a tough spot to fill, but these young lads didn't let that stop them. Hook after hook, song after song they were getting better and better. They never lost the crowd, and even by just the second song they had everyone clapping and singing back to them. They've come a long way from the last time I saw them several months back, and tonight they made a statement. It was as if they were saying, we're not going anywhere, we're working harder than ever and you will know our name soon enough. A truly brilliant set.

Clean Cut Kid, hmm…I wish I knew what to put down, but words won't justify it. The Liverpool quartet, made up of husband and wife Mike and Evelyn Halls, Saul Godman and Ross Higginson, provided some of best pop music I heard in the last 10 years, an incredible vibe that was so real, so touching, so unique. These are the real deal, no pretence, no fakeness, just love for music and life. Even though their album is not yet out, some of their songs can be classified as 'classic' - at least on Liverpool home soil. 'Vitamin C' had everyone grooving, dancing and smiling on its infectious beat, while last year's single 'Runaway' touched deep. 'Brother of Mine' is a masterpiece and sounded particularity incredible tonight.

They finished the set with one of the most fabulous musical pieces of 2015, 'Jean', before returning for an encore with '20 Years From Now' - managing to blow everyone away in the process. By the end of the night there wasn't a single person in the room who wasn't a fan. Clean Cut Kid not only left me speechless, but they filled my soul with pure joy. You can't ask for better than that.

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