The Lucid Dream and P.H.P at Liverpool Psych Fest

Admittedly at one point of the phenomenal Liverpool Psych Fest I was getting tired of the bands too clearly in thrall to the Brian Jonestown Massacre. Uh-huh, you have 3 guitarists not doing much of interest and a mumbling vocalist, bit like 4 other bands I’ve seen this afternoon… Which is to say there are too many shoegaze bands around at the moment. But that isn’t to say there weren’t gems on display:

Let’s start with Purple Heart Parade, who continue to impress with their opaque-even-by-shoegaze-standards sound. The first half of their set (I did miss the first song admittedly as I was off buying a surprisingly reasonably priced pint) was entirely nebulous and almost ambient. Finally they emerged from the fog with ‘Petrol’ before hitting with a stringent run through of ‘Starfucker Blues’. Not for the first time I noticed a hint of Puressence lost in a pea souper. Vocalist Peter Cowap II is a rare frontman who only sings, which makes it a shame you can’t understand a bloody word of it. Seeing as he is clearly a charismatic performer this seems a shame. Toning down the effects could go a long way in helping this band. Looking forward to these guys getting more material recorded and released.

There were two stand outs from the shoegaze / drone bands, one of these was The Lucid Dream (the other being The Janitors, but all there is to say about them is that they fucking nailed it). The Carlisle lads continue their growth. Holding The Furnace in the palms of their ambitious paws they get tighter and slicker. Managing a 45 minute slot they showcased their new album not even out until next year. If it’s half as good as it was live it’ll be a stunner. It takes their A Place To Bury Strangers style noise barrage and introduces krautrock and dub, making for an intoxicating, captivating blend of styles. Highlights were The Neu! influenced opener which is excellent, the melodica driven dub workout piece and the journey into the heart of darkness of what is presumably called ‘Sweet Hold On Me Part 2’. The forthcoming album could oversee a brave new world for the band…

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