Real Estate @ The Kazimier, Liverpool 21.10.14

Pre-eminent US indie rock quintet on estimable live form, Alvvays supply excellent support

Oct 24th, 2014 at The Kazimier / By Richard Lewis
Real Estate @ The Kazimier, Liverpool 21.10.14 WaVVEs, Chvrches, Alvvays. We are clearly living through another micro genre: typo-pop. Being able to afford laptops with functioning keyboards will surely be on the near-horizon for the present group, with their eponymous debut album having sizeable praise thrown at it, the Toronto natives C86 inspired indie pop has proved excellent alternative radio fodder.

Successfully keeping to the right side of twee, remaining plaintive without tipping over into cloying, a sprint through the treblely arpeggio/airborne chorus of splendid current single ‘Next Of Kin’ shares the winner’s podium for ‘Archie, Marry Me’ as the highlight of Alvvays' compact set. Another album and a few more miles on the live circuit, if the quintet haven’t stepped up to headlining venues of this size within the next couple of years something has seriously gone awry. Wonderfvl.

‘Did you hear we just had Clinic on then?’ Real Estate bassist Alex Bleeker asks the crowd at the top of the set referring to the tunes by the be-masked Merseyside psych vets played between groups. ‘Biggest band to come out of Liverpool!’ he states to knowing laughter.

The Brooklyn/New Jersey crew’s first time through the city, with the bulk of the set understandably drawn from this year’s superlative third LP Atlas, lead singer Martin Courtney who somehow manages to look like Thurston Moore, Jarvis Cocker and Louis Theroux sometimes simultaneously depending on how the stage lights hit him, leads the group through a smorgasbord of gorgeous jangle pop confections.

The recent likes of ‘Had to Hear You’ and 'Talking Backwards’ sound as though they could have been cut back in the day at Fort Apache Studios, the Cambridge, Massachusetts wellspring of what used to be termed college rock that provided recording space for Black Francis, Evan, Juliana, Tanya, Lou, Kristen and Kim and scores of other American alt rock wunderkinds.

Stepping up to the mic Bleeker leads the five piece through an excellent ‘How I Might Live’ while Atlas’s beatific concluding cut ‘Navigator’ outstrips even the recorded version, the set sashaying past with effortless élan, powered by the cool restraint of sticksman Jackson Pollis. Elsewhere the descending riff of ‘It’s Real’ from 2011 LP Days garners possibly the loudest cheer of the night, showcasing the most accessible chorus the band has penned to date.

Some 75 minutes later in what seems to have been a quarter of the time the house lights flicker on and five piece ascend the steps to the dressing room. Merseyside decisively conquered then, with fellow diviners of shimmering jangle pop R.E.M. now defunct, on this form Real Estate’s fourth opus might well prove to be their breakthrough equivalent of Lifes Rich Pageant.