Lydia Coward

WE WERE GLUE and support @ North Shore Troubadour

Last Friday saw me tagging along with Ellipsis’ own Chloe Lewis to cut my gig-reviewing teeth at the launch night for Out of Context, a new independent music promoter based in Liverpool.

Armed with nothing but Google maps and a student bus pass, we made our way to the venue. Admittedly it’s somewhat off the beaten track, but the walk there was a great way to see more of the city I’ll be calling home for the next three years.

North Shore Troubadour is a true hidden gem, rocking what I can only describe as an ‘indie-nautical’ aesthetic, fishing nets and all. We arrived just in time for Beth Humphreys, who opened the bill with a mix of original material and a selection of eclectic covers. A personal highlight was her acoustic reworking of Erasure’s synthpop classic A Little Respect. Getting the audience to sing along to the chorus of 500 Miles before their first can of Red Stripe was no mean feat either.

Next up was Ali Horn, a last-minute replacement for Ted Russet. Despite the short notice he pulled it out of the bag with an acoustic set of original material. Songs like Skateboarding in the Rain were reminiscent of Alex Turner’s solo work, tinged with a Dylan-esque melancholy.  If anyone was looking for a change from the mellow acoustic atmosphere then by god they got it with Yammerer. They delivered a blistering barrage of noise that was clearly borrowing from early Joy Division, although I don’t think they quite managed to pull it off. Dynamics, boys.

Karuna were much more my style. Something about them made me think of a harder-edged Stone Roses, which from me is praise indeed. Perhaps it was their excellent drummer and shimmering lead guitar, but more likely it was lead singer Rosa’s effortless stage presence. She showed all the signs of a born frontwoman, but still manages not to take herself too seriously.

Image may contain: 2 people, people on stage, people playing musical instruments, guitar and night

KARUNA courtesy of LOUISE STEWART (2017)

Despite a short set and some technical issues (which were easily made light of) Karuna could well have been the group of the night.

The main event was still to come, however, as we welcomed We Were Glue onstage. The four-piece graduated from the university last year and have been working their way round the Liverpool gig circuit ever since. The whole set was brimming with student-y earnestness, and you never doubted for a minute that they genuinely cared about what they were doing. They bear all the hallmarks of a band that grew up with golden age indie, from their vocal delivery to the driving yet melodic guitar lines. On record, they remind me most of mid 00s Kooks, but live they lean towards the rawer energy of The Strokes. This is a band with an ear for a catchy tune, as I’ve had the riff from their most popular single My Girl as an earworm all week. Sure, they’re not exactly breaking the mould, but they certainly have the potential for a loyal local following. Who knows, maybe we’ll see them playing their alma mater in the coming year.

Check out the video for My Girl here:

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