I’ve spent a lot of the last 10 days or so finding out from WK Wimsatt and Cleanth Brooks about what exactly a successful criticism consists of. And I genuinely do feel more educated now. Unfortunately though, the whole point of blogging is to give personal accounts of stuff, so I will have to betray my new-found New Critical outlook and do this old-school.
Liars was one of my least cool gig experiences, which is ironic (but not very ironic) because they’re on of the coolest bands I’ve been to see. Angus Andrew was wearing the lovely white suit you see above (even though I stole that picture from a New York online newspaper of some description), and they looked overall like a Brooklyn post-punk band. Which is apt, because they were. Are they still? Probably not. Doesn’t matter, because they’ve added being accepted in haute music circles to looking cool. Which is good news.
Reasons it wasn’t cool: I turned up at 8 because it said 8 on the tickets, none of my friends were at it so I was by myself for the first time in a while, gigs I’m not at should have no effect on the fucking gig I pay for, the third support missed a flight, the doors opened at around 9 and nothing happened for hours, I drank four pints of Paulaner by myself, I jerked and rocked out beside some Northern Irish guys for the entire Liars set.
Bats are very good. They’re like indie playing metalcore. Or metalcore playing indie. Or genre-ignoring playing genre-ignoring.
Liars were really cathartic, and generally great. The two guitarists (labelled thus for convenience) basically made noise for the entire night, the drummer went “bom bom bom” fairly insistently and Angus gave the thumbs down while Australianising some cavernous sounds from the microphone.
They played plenty off Drum’s Not Dead, which surprised me. I assumed that because they shifted sound between Drum and the self-titled, that they would have sort of shifted ethos or something. But they didn’t. I used to be really into Drum’s Not Dead, so that was good news.
But even better news: they played lots off Liars too. And Liars is so much better than Drum’s Not Dead. I didn’t think so when I got it first, but in terms of scope, the breadth of sounds they get together on one album without losing their intensity, it’s just a much better record. There are some TUNES on it too, in the sense that Noel Gallagher or someone would refer to FOOKIN’ TUNES. Songs that make sense, that have hooks. But there’s noise too.
Everything was fed through the live catharsis-machine though. And Plaster Casts fucking destroyed the place. I was waiting for it for the whole gig, and last song comes around. It tears holes in everything. I can’t explain it better, or I don’t want to. It’s primal shit.
This was up there, for me. The “Of The Year” lists are on their way, don’t worry. And this’ll be there, high.