Live @ Buyers Club, Liverpool
6th March 2016

Reviewed by Rob Harrison

The Buyers Club is a great venue, its brick interior reminding me of the old warehouse in the movie “Reservoir Dogs” But we can relax tonight though folks as nobody is wearing black.

It is another development in the ever increasing re-structuring of the old Picket music venue.

Liverpool of late is becoming a tale of two cities, to quote Charles Dickens, who, I am reliably informed, was so inspired by the city that he wrote “Oliver Twist”. Each venue seems to have its own character and the Buyers Club is no exception.

The opulence inside though tends to contrast with the homeless people outside you have to get through in order to get inside the building. It desperately threatens to downsize at any moment but not quite yet!

So Enter Elevant.

As “Sons of the Silent Age” fades in the distance it's good to see that heads down, no nonsense rocking has not gone out of fashion, sounding like a cross between Dinosaur Jr and The Fall.

Elevant strike an impressive pose but the grunge methodology begins to wear thin after a while, and they begin to sound less like The Fall more like seventies pub rockers Stray.

Which is ok for pubs, but when you play larger venues it tends to wither and die. I suppose these groups Imagine they are giving people what they want ( a bit like the Tory party).

But ultimately what artistic criteria are they working from?

They sell the band off the backs of various art rock indie bands, such as Sonic Youth, My Bloody Valentine and Godspeed You Black Emperor, throwing out these various art rock references like confetti at a wedding. But to quote Billy Joel it's all rock and roll to me!

Elevant started life as a recording project of guitarist Michael Edwards, and with two albums and a string of gigs across the country they appear to be doing quite well.

Edwards though lets the cat out of the bag, somewhat, in an interview with a local newspaper, saying that he started life playing old blues riffs and then gravitated towards playing in classic rock cover bands.

He adds that he likes using screwdrivers on guitars, but applying a screwdriver on a guitar does not immediately make you Sonic Youth Mr Edwards!

What we need at the moment is a form of musical Corbynism, a radical departure from the well trodden musical norms, especially in Liverpool, where the only radical departure it appears to be is the doom metal scene, which seems to permeate the city at the moment, but this can be seen as a refuge for rock refuseniks.

So me, out in the garden, freezing, trying to avoid being defended by the band, you can still hear them out here.
So what do I think of Elevant, pronounced Ele-vont?

I suppose they are ok, they can all play and are a tight unit. The bass player is great and she has loads of stage presence and a really good drummer.

The leader though lacks stage persona and appears awkward. Watching Elevant live it's like eating white bread, at first ok, then yuk.

I think a more radical approach is needed by them to appropriate the art rock tag.

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