Elevant @ EBGBs
Going through the notes on my phone post-gig, I notice that there are two words I had written more than once to sum up Elevant’s headline Liverpool gig this month and they are loud and hard. So if you like your riffs heavy and your vocals rasping then the line-up at EBGBs would have been right up your street.
First on the bill were Gravves, a hard-rock trio from North Wales. Their sound was all you would expect from a band with the name Gravves, which is a combination of screeching guitars and screeched vocals that reverberated off of the grungy basement walls. Although the evening was young and the audience was still quite small, Gravves still managed to encourage energetic head banging from a couple of audience members who had gathered at the front of the stage- which for a band first on the bill is quite impressive.
The dizzy headbangers at the front of the audience may have been quite taken aback by Newcastle-based Coquin Migale’s set which was up ne which began with lead singer Alex Soper bravely taking to the stage to perform a stripped back, bluesy song solo. This more laid back approach to performance did not last long though, as soon as Soper had finished the opening track the three remaining members of the band clambered on stage to start their high-energy, guitar-wailing, amp-scaling set that had the head-bangers at the front on cloud-nine. For their first gig in Liverpool the response from the audience at EBGBs was encouragingly positive for Coquin Migale and there was a feeling in the audience that the band already have quite a following.
Just after 10.00pm Elevant took to the stage to perform their headline set. By this point the small basement was quite full and I realised quite quickly that I had not picked the greatest vantage point to watch the band; EBGBs is a brilliant gig venue but the stage is slightly too low for certain areas of the audience to get a good view of a band when the room is full.
Having read about the Liverpool trio prior to the gig I anticipated the high-energy and unpredictability of such bands as Cabbage and Yak but found that on the night Elevant seemed to be holding something back. There was little, if any, of the exciting volatility and electric atmosphere that has been previously said of the band but perhaps my restricted view was the reason I felt it was lacking.
What did strike me was the clear chemistry between the three members of the band. My few glimpses of Michael Edward (vocals/lead guitar) and bassist Hannah Lodge working together on stage to produce a distinctive combination of tricky bass-lines that snaked around battering guitar-work and drummer Tom Shand’s pounding beats was really quite impressive. This most stood out to me during their performance of Hide it Away, their most recent single. Personally, I’m not a massive fan of hard-rock/metal songs and find that there is a tendency for them to sound ‘samey’ but I really enjoy this track, it manages to strike a unique balance between funky and dark with a deep but jerky bassline and a raspy call and response chorus- honestly go and check it out!
Overall I would say that the gig as a whole wasn’t for me but there were members of the audience that it really did work for; I imagine quite a few ‘headbangers’ left with double vision and a thumping headache.
Have a listen to Elevant on Spotify.