LIVE REVIEW: Cymbals Eat Guitars and The Seal Cub Clubbing Club Liverpool 19/2/10
I missed the first band on the bill, Married To The Sea so can only speculate as to how they were. Genre-defining/turgid/flaccid/putrid….
However, I managed to get a quick drink in before The Seal Cub Clubbing Club. The set begins with a confident drum roll from drummer Andy Thompson. Synthsmen Jay and Jon nod in unison as the opening tune develops. The second track sees time sequences beginning to dart all over the place and a wiry intensity emanates from vocalist Nik. I tried to fit him into some kind of box. Thom Yorke? Yes he does have his range, but Nik has more stage presence. Rivers Cuomo? He does look like he goes to Forbidden Planet quite a lot, but at the same time he looks a natural, confident performer. As the set progresses, band membes swap instruments in a wonderful, orgiastic union. Pass me the club, Shackleton! Unfortunately, the lighting in Korova does not to justice to the band. A few fairy lights at the back are all that light the band. Perhaps this is to ensure the audience focuses on the music, but I doubt it. Korova, your stage set up is too damn minimal! The band have clearly taken a step away from the poppier sounding first album, but this is certainly a step in the right direction. New single ‘Made of Magic’ does sound like Paul Daniels, David Blaine and Dynamo have pullled out musical brilliance from a top hat. Old crowd fav ‘Aurienteering’ is still fresh and invigorating. In fact, so fresh and invigorating, Vick’s VapoRub sampled the tune in one of their US TV ads. Jay told me before the gig he is yet to receive any freebies from Vicks (COUGH COUGH). As the set draws to an end, drummer Andy unleashes monster fills. This is a band who have found their wonderful, schizoid sound.
Headliners Cymbals Eat Guitars were disappointing. The band plug the familiar quiet/loud sound and apart from a singer who looks like a climaxing Jim from American Pie, the rest of the band seem to be disengaged. Things don’t get much better when the band say that Liverpool is the Baltimore of the UK. The crowd slowly filtered out but Cymbals carried on undeterred. The set picked up towards the end with more melodic tunes, but the momentum had already been lost. It seemed as though Cymbals are still working out where they fit on the musical map. Perhaps they should take some pointers from the SCCC.