Another Friday and another fine billing at The Green Door Store. Any band that doesn’t need support, I think, is sending out a message of the quality of what’s to follow, especially when it’s usual to see two support slots in Brighton. I’ve no idea if the message was intentional, but it was certainly justified.
With no support bands there was plenty of time to have a drink and take in the gently bubbling atmosphere and what I observed, from the makeshift garden of erected canopies lit by strings of bare bulbs, was a crowd of discerning music lovers enjoying a very worthy beginning to a four-day Jubilee weekend. When I say discerning I mean that Liars isn’t a band churning out your average accessible and popular music. While I can’t claim to have extensive knowledge of their back catalogue, I had listened to enough to know it varies from the borderline genius to the downright obscure. Having said that, a listen to their newly released WIXIW and 13 years into their band history, they still have enough surprises up their sleeve to put out an album of an entirely different tempo and flavour. This one is of a much more electronic ilk and provides a journey into the dark and hypnotic, yet wonderfully calming and elevating.
Liars arrive with a distinct lack of ceremony but to a full capacity of rapturous applause and anticipation. What you see on stage is a group of three fine craftsmen working their trade with an accomplished and committed touch. Quiet confidence, lack of bravado and yet ample enthusiasm and energy particularly from Angus Andrew, the very tall front man, means this is a band that is easy to watch and appreciate.
The first two songs from their new album, ‘The Exact Colour of Doubt’ and ‘Octagon’ were a kind and gentle opener to the night but held no clue to the sudden, metallic grind of ‘Let’s Not Wrestle Mt. Heart Attack’ that was to follow; and in this lies the musical expedition Liars took us on. What their new album adds to their live act is the ability to enhance an exciting catalogue of experimental songs with a fresh yet calmer sound which, when woven together by the band, provided us with a captivating and emotional journey.
I’ve watched bands many times at The Green Door Store but at this gig I saw two things I’ve not there seen before; crowd movement coming close to a mosh pit and the whole venue cheering for an encore for 10 minutes after the band had left the building. This is what Liars incite at their gigs; I’d not seen them live before but I get them now so much better than having only listened to their recordings, which were only simple canapés compared to the sumptuous feast they laid on live.