Friday 22nd February 2019
Phase 1 @ Jacaranda Club, Liverpool
Reviewed by Rob Harrison
Friday finds your intrepid musical reporter at the Phase1, which is part of the recently expanded Jacaranda empire. It’s a larger venue where they can put on higher profile gigs.
But to be honest I quite like the downstairs in the original Jack myself but nevertheless, whatever. So tonight the wonderful band Valeras grace the stage, but before that we are treated to some local talent to warm us up, so to speak.
First is the Indica Gallery. They start alright in rocking form. So far so good, but after the initial outburst, they disappear into an impression of Freddie and the Dreamers.
It’s a sort of sixties sound. Who’s writing the songs here? Give them some new records to listen to perhaps. But that’s not to take away that the guys can play, and it’s quite a tight unit with a great lead guitarist, and he knows it of course.
They play their new single, which is a gawky love song. I think being coy about sex went out with George Formby. Lads listen to the Smiths maybe. Being hung up on the sixties didn’t get us very far. Where’s the revolutionary spirit that brought us the Bunnymen and The Teardrops.
Next up is what appears to be a shoegaze revival band called Shards. They are trying for a heavier sound than the Indica Gallery and have problems with feedback, and once again uninspiring material brings us back to the retro zone.
But if you catch the Shards single reflections on Soundcloud it’s ok, a sort of classic dream pop confection. Bringing us back to bands like OMD and The Lotus Eaters, so possibly the sound problems had a bearing on the band that night, who knows. But check out the single anyway.
So,when Veleras eventually take to the stage they have the job of reheating the audience, which they do with much style. The girls all seem to have their poses worked out before hand and take control of the stage area, both visually and musically, with a confidence belying their years.
Hailing from Reading they have seen a rise in popularity since appearing on BBC Introducing, and this is their first headline tour. The groove based licks remind me of Warpaint slightly, but what intrigues me and makes them stand out, is the soulful stance of the music. The skillful mix of muscular riffs with the soulful singing creates perfect post punk pop.
Brilliant. Check them out!