Cowboy Liam is dead. You remember Cowboy Liam – long hair and huge hat? Well he’s gone. I don’t know what happened to him, maybe an industrial thresher accident. In his place though is Rock ‘n’ Roll Liam – short chopped hair and a James Dean wardrobe.
Under the auspices of Cowboy Liam the songs were languid and slippery, with space enough to let the poetry shine through. The arrival of Rock ‘n’ Roll Liam reflects that the music is faster and vivacious now. The band is paradoxically getting tighter at getting looser. The dreamy, hazy days are gone, party days are here!
The songs are punchier, helped when Tom’s backing vocals give reinforcements to the chorus’. The second song of the night, ‘Family’ is a rollicking affair, reminiscent of the Happy Mondays cooking up a shindig. To underpin this, Tom’s bass is finally creeping up in the mix. And serving to underscore the new brightly coloured Control Of The Going was the radioactive din of Minesh’s shirt.
To highlight the contrast between old and new, the older, ornate ‘Wildflower’ looks out-of-place among the new furniture, the elegant seeming staid.
The gig was to celebrate the launch of the new single ‘She’ which typifies their new approach: fast music and hairpin vocals all the way. It was performed with the hearty gusto of a band in the ascendancy. Another new track, ‘War Crimes’ was launched as a fizzing shot across the bows. Ending the set was the frisky, affirmative ‘Star’, replete with singalong chorus. I can see this being a highlight of the forthcoming album.
The hi-tempo version of Control OF The Going whipped up a great atmosphere in Gullivers, to the extent that they were cajoled into their first ever encore, in which they chose to play ‘She’ again. This second performance was a real barnstormer, led by Matt’s mighty drumming and a speedy breakneck finish.
It all ended with Rock ‘n’ Roll Liam covered in sweat. Cowboy Liam didn’t work up a sweat.
Control Of The Going’s sweaty new single is available now…