Sunday, February 12, 2017
Live Review :: Weekend Wars :: Maguire’s, Liverpool - Feb 9 2017
February 9 2017
Words/Pictures: Jane Davies
Weekend Wars, playing in a pizza bar, and offering free veggie pizza as a 'support side act' - what a mouth-watering proposition, and impossible to refuse on a cold week night. Having been suitably impressed at a previous outing of theirs, this was to be an evening that would not disappoint, although the pizza quickly vanished as soon as I arrived.
Who, you might be asking, exactly are Weekend Wars? Well, the alt-indie-pop five-piece from St Helens - who formed in late 2015 - are on a mission to be different to Northern guitar bands; in their own words, there is "no swagger" to their music. They are all about enjoying life and bringing a lighter, energising sound to the party. What is striking is that you can hear every element to the music: the lyrics are not drowned out by overbearing guitar riffs, and the overall sound is melodious, harmoniously pinned together by a metronome-like percussion section, expertly commanded by female drummer Bec Birchall, which implores you to dance like a tribal drum.
A good-sized audience had assembled in the back room at Maguire’s in Renshaw Street. As soon as ‘She’ - last year's debut single - sprang into life, a group of three lads started dancing energetically, which was to continue, albeit sporadically, throughout the set. At one point they were invited to dance on stage, but took fright at this point and melted into the walls of the venue. ‘Easy’ blended in seamlessly after the opener, barely giving breathing space to vocalist Jack Arnold.
Easy indeed, Weekend Wars have a sound that is easy to listen to as well as being uplifting, optimistic and catchy. Northern music does not have to be gritty and morose any more; the Northern powerhouses of Manchester and Liverpool, the two worlds between which St Helens sit are flourishing and a new movement of more upbeat and melodic music appears to be on the rise.
Earlier single, ‘Flaws’ came forth with its delicious opening riff and continuing to keep the audience happy, as did ‘How To Dress’ which was given its second ever live airing tonight; upbeat, and like all their songs, impossible to stop yourself tapping your feet to. We were treated to the final song, a preview of their fourth single (released on February 24), ‘Swim’, with again, a positive vibe and hook, a real message for life: “Live life forever, don’t drown together”. The audience responded with full on applause, highly appreciative of “The Wars” and most likely their complimentary pizza too.