So after a gregarious trip to Castleton (including watching two sheep carcasses – brr), the day needed to be capped off with some cool tunes to take away some bad thoughts.
The Grapes was having The Loud, Lenders in the Temple and Mabel Love as musical guests.
Sounded like the best idea.
The Loud was the first band to grace the stage. The simplest way to describe their sound is that it would be the sensation of walking down Duke Street with a belly full of Cain’s, hitting a wall of sound and waking up in hell (that’d be Liverpool one).
But seriously, the wall of sound approach (I made the mistake of telling the singer they sounded ‘shoegaze‘…oops) they take is a perfect envelope for a punchy reverberated rock. ‘I am a war’, with its catchy hook, was a set highlight. Same goes for ‘Five years’, the lengthy set closer, is a slow burn that stays with you, resonating into the darkness of the small gig room at the Grapes.
Speaking of slow burn and resonance, those two can also apply to Lenders in the Temple, the self-defined “apocalyptic gospel folk” that continues to spread the Word of (musical) Doom. A two armed monster, composed of Tim Hampton (Bromheads) in drums and Mike Hughes (Little Ze) in guitar and preachin‘ duties, the Lenders know that their right mix of simple and effective music can leach through even the most impervious.
‘On a loop’ is a song for the apocalypse. With its vocal samples and haymaking strategy of “calm/build up/punch!” it’s always a pleasure to listen to live. ‘Black lies’, a song that could very well be a folk song from the sixties that woke up to find how the world is now and horridly passing away from the impression, closed the set. A bit of a downer, but hey, when you are playing for pessimism, you might as well go for the full hog.
Finally, it was the turn for Mabel Love. Their peppy rock pop, with a few elements of dance rock (or new new-wave) is brisk, always to the heart of the matter. ‘Ha ha people’ probably is what could be chosen as a signature song for them, but if pressed to choose for the best, it would be ‘Misunderstood’, with his penchant for melodramatic changes in pace and earnest feelings, a top song.
Some healthy feedback was used on the closing song (terribly sorry – missed the name of it). And you can never go wrong with having a Memory Man in your pedalboard. That’s a true fact.
Again, three quite different acts, all of them pretty much ace at their own brand of sonic handicraft and here’s hoping to listen more from these fellas.
Words & Photos: Sam J. Valdés López
If this concert was a David Bowie song it would be : Real Cool World
Incoming gigs for each band: The Loud (April 3 @ Static Gallery, Liverpool), Lenders in the Temple (April 8 @ The Forum), Mabel Love (April 3 @ Static Gallery, Liverpool)
Check out our nifty gallery (now with more magenta.)
About the author: He has avoided death 5 times in a row at Castleton – FACT! Also, he might buy a record player if Lenders in the Temple release a vinyl.