Cecily Sheppard

Clean Cut Kid @ the Arts Club

We love our home grown bands here at Ellipsis, and when Liverpool quartet Clean Cut Kid invited us along to their sold out show as part of Liverpool Music Week, there was no way I could refuse. The indie-pop outfit are one of those bands I’ve been advised time and again to go and see live but hadn’t managed to, so we’ll assume it’s fate that this review can finally exist!

It’s always refreshing to have a diverse sort of audience at a gig, and from the look of this Liverpool crowd, it was clear that Clean Cut Kid’s infectious sound has spread to all corners of the city. Also in attendance was that vibrant buzz that you can’t get off anything but a home crowd. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to catch the names of any of the three support acts (I blame the rowdy crowd) but all three were pleasing to the ear, each taking it in their stride and building the anticipation for the headliners. By this point, the music had been blasting for a couple of hours and Liverpool was alive and kicking, ready for Clean Cut Kid’s set.

From the moment Clean Cut Kid hit the Arts Club stage, they didn’t disappoint. As well as performing some new tracks “because we’re in Liverpool,” which got equally enthusiastic reactions from the crowd, the band also played their more well-known tracks, prompting singing from the old, young, drunk, and sober alike. A clear crowd favourite was ‘Evelyn’, which lead singer/guitarist Mike wrote for fellow singer/keyboardist Evelyn, who also happens to be his wife.

The Liverpool quartet also performed their newest single ‘Make Believe,’ the video for which involves a lot of sheets and probably some quite cramped musicianing – I’ll leave it at that, but you should check it out at the bottom of this page! ‘Vitamin C’ was another now-termed ‘oldie’, yet nonetheless prompted a whale of a time for band and audience members alike. But my personal highlight was when ‘We Used To Be In Love’ filled the auditorium. Everyone in the vicinity was bobbing along at the very least, and the energy was just bouncing off the walls.

Clean Cut Kid dominate the stage, holding onto that sense of intimacy and respect from the audience when performing their emotion-fuelled tunes, but taking the time to introduce songs and chat to audience, which makes for a comfortable gig to watch. And then you have bass player Saul, who rubbishes the solemn, head-bopping bassist stereotype by spending the whole show literally bouncing with excitement. Clean Cut Kid are hailed as one of the nicest bands about, and I’d agree, right down to their onstage demeanour.

So where does that leave Clean Cut Kid? Energetic but earnest? Check. Local heroes? Yep. Ones to watch in the wider music scene? Definitely.


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