Bearded’s Guide To… Liverpool

A summary of musical developments on Merseyside by Richard Lewis

Posted on Aug 8th, 2012 in Features and Interviews / By Richard Lewis
Bearded’s Guide To… Liverpool A bumper crop of musical happenings abound on Merseyside in the month of July, as a score of live events took place.

Promoters everisland assembled The Kazimier Garden Gathering which saw Stealing Sheep and By the Sea take to the stage along with sunshine pop from White Bicycles and a journey into the avant garde courtesy of a.P.A.t.T.

Stealing Sheep joined on stage by a multitude of friends to perform a show-closing ‘Shut Eye’ saw the outdoor space crammed full, with queues to get into the venue still present long past 11pm.

By the Sea meanwhile limber up for the release of excellent new 45 ‘Dream Waters’ at the end of August with live dates, prior to the release of their much anticipated debut LP before the end of the year.

Over on the other side of the Mersey in July the inaugural Astral Coast Festival took place at the Floral Pavilion, New Brighton. Headlined with an acoustic performance by Sound of Guns lead singer Andy Metcalfe, surf rock duo Beach Skulls, punk quartet The Thespians and psychedelic four-piece Oxygen Thieves all featured.

Several bands from the city meanwhile struck out across the Pennines for the beautific surroundings of the Kendall Calling Festival.

Blissed out Balearic dancefloor merchants The Tea Street Band built on their storming live reputation, while the folk/country quintet The Hummingbirds and Sound City Youth Live 2012 winners The Cheap Thrills also turned in sets.

Back in the city rising soul star Esco Williams continued to win plaudits across the board, scooping the MOBO UnSung gong.

Nominated at the inaugural GetIntoThis (GIT) Award back in April, along with a place on MTV’s Brand New for 2012 shortlist, the MOBO nod comes prior to the release of imminent debut album New Challenger, funded via Pledgemusic. Visit Pledgemusic/artists/escowilliams for more details.

Dan Croll is already making a sizeable impact on the nation’s wirelesses meanwhile, with superlative debut single ‘From Nowhere’ scoring airtime on Nick Grimshaw’s BBC Radio One show well over a month before its release.

And now a new artist for your delectation…

Despite only making his live debut back in April of this year, Jethro Fox (pictured) is presently on the receiving end of serious attention for a cultch of excellent tracks on his Soundcloud page and superior live shows.

Revolving around plaintive guitar and piano motifs, backed with Beach Boys-esque harmonies, his material captures the same rootsy stomp as Grizzly Bear and early Arcade Fire.

Before, gliding past on a see-sawing guitar line and handclaps, mini-symphony ‘In My Arms’ and the anthemic ‘Echo’ are all constructed around clear, uncluttered arrangements that showcase his songwriting skill to full effect.

Fox’s Liverpool Sound City show took place at a packed to capacity Wolstenholme Creative Space back in May in front of an audience who already knew the words to most of his songs.

The following month saw the songwriter and band travel to Maida Vale to record a Steve Lamacq session for BBC 6Music. The Beeb appear to have been decidedly won over, as debut single ‘Blinding Light’ has also picked up plays on Annie Mac and Huw Stevens’ shows on Radio One recently.

An all too brief gem built around a simple piano riff and sparse guitar strums, the track slowly encircles the listener, gently seeping its way into the memory.

Backed by the similarly impressive ‘Lonely Sound’, the single will soon be available on download and limited edition 7” vinyl.

Jethro Fox’s debut single ‘Blinding Light’ is available on August 20th through Tough Love