Vinyl Staircase @ Sound, Liverpool 19.02.19

Rising alt. rock / indie pop types on sparkling live form at Sound, Liverpool

Feb 28th, 2019 at Sound, Liverpool / By Richard Lewis
Vinyl Staircase @ Sound, Liverpool 19.02.19 Descending one set of wooden hills into the basement at Sound, much-touted indie rock outfit Vinyl Staircase assemble for the debut headline show in Liverpool. Racing through the majority of their EP and presumably the makings of their debut album, the quartet hone in on the kind of power pop that scored The Lemonheads so many plaudits.

With support slots to fellow Surrey natives Wolf Alice and US alt. pop outfit Sunflower Bean, Vinyl Staircase are well poised between the two, balancing the dream pop elements of the former with the jangling riffs of the latter. Impressively well-drilled throughout the ten song set, the four-piece benefit from a spot-on sound mix, with Mike Thorpe’s lead vocals cutting through and the harmonies rising above the swirl of guitars.

The earworm hook of Cherry has a lyric comparable to the moments Ride raced headlong into pop (cf: Twisterella) while Feel It possesses the swagger of Sticky Fingers era Stones.

Making for a strong closing stretch, a strutting take of new single On the Radio bursts from the PA, the brief reference to Bowie’s Changes at the beginning a hint at the track’s glam stomp. The skillful dynamic shift in the bridge showcasing that the current pop trope of endlessly repeating the chorus really isn’t necessary when you’ve got the songwriting chops. Provoking an outbreak of dancing in front of the stage, lead guitarist Jake Andrews hops down from the admittedly not high stage to join in.

The dream pop intro of Last I Heard, played er, last develops into a space rock instrumental section anchored by its twisting riff, an impressive argument for the quartet going off-piste more frequently.

Ample proof they’ve easily got the tunes to turn in a headline set, Vinyl Staircase will surely be heading out of the basement, going up a step, ascending to the next level... insert other stairs metaphors here, you get the idea. They’re on the way up.