Thursday, May 04, 2017

Live Review :: Sugarmen :: Zanzibar, Liverpool - Apr 28 2017



Zanzibar, Liverpool

April 28 2017

Words/Pictures: Jane Davies

A tightly packed (and rather sweaty) Zanzibar on this Friday night welcomed home local lads, the indie rock 'n' rollers Sugarmen, on this latest date for promoters This Feeling.

The audience had already been rocking to the wild on stage and off stage antics from the Strange Bones by the time the headliners rolled out at the rather anti-social time of 11 pm. 'Anti-social' when you consider the last trains home on the Mersey network leave half an hour later, which really doesn't leave a lot of listening time before a quick sprint to the station us called for.

A few hours previously, I had been asking the band if they'd experienced any mishaps or technical difficulties during their gigs. There had been nothing to report. This was to prove to be a case of “famous last words” as for the entirety of their set on this evening the band were unfortunately plagued with sound difficulties, unable to hear the output from their guitars due to a fault on a monitor. This did not impair the overall sound output for the audience, save for more than average amounts of feedback.

Sugarmen were absolute troopers, fighting on. Frontman Luke Fenlon kept an open dialogue with the audience asking if they sounded alright, receiving resounding cheers of “yes!” to reassure him. If it had to happen anywhere, best that it happened at home, amongst family, friends and home fans.

It was nonstop sparkling rock from start to end. 'Central Line', for me, had strong hints of The Jam as well as the much documented hints of the Clash and Buzzcocks. Sugarmen are the result of having parents with very good musical collections, which have left an influence on their offspring’s musical tastes. New single ‘Sold’ raced out of the traps, one of the fastest numbers of the evening, not that any were a leisurely pace, it’s certainly their most punchiest release to date.

‘Local Freaks’ had a feeling of the old Merseybeat to it, with slower, 60s guitar riffs; a song dedicated to local “characters”. The ‘Golden One’, duly delivered a perfect post-punk song. The only time the crowd voiced their disapproval was when they announced the band were to play the last song. Cue loud chants of encore from all quarters, and the lads duly stepped back on to play ‘This Is My Life’, a song reminiscent of ‘White Riot’.

And what a riot of a night it had actually been. Huge cheers all around for a tumultuous welcome home. To weather an electrical storm like they had bears testimony to the professionalism of this band and the fact that they are unflappable and surely, unstoppable.

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