& The Max Tones
The Picket Hardman Street Liverpool
Report and photographs by Dom Bommer.
THE relocation of Cream dance club may have been what was to be the nail in the coffin for popular music on Liverpool. But a packed house in the Picket on the evening of January 17 showed this well-known rumour could not be further from the truth.
Indeed, it was a showcase from two very different bands performing to on the night. The Max set the stage alight with a brand of euro folk rock. This 6-piece band, which included two violinists and a female singer, whose attitude was more akin to that of Britney Spears than a local lass from Liverpool.
But nonetheless, their experienced showed with a lively set of six wonderful songs that showed strength and passion. Strangely, they showed no real rapport with their audience whilst somewhat carelessly neglected to announce any of their song titles. But this small defect did not matter, their final song bulleted a Ska like essence with a hot-paced Egyptian overtone saw them out for a great finale leaving the audience asking for more.
But it was Santa Carla from Tuebrook, who took the night to the Picket's floor. This five-piece set have long treaded Liverpool's music circuit and have a reputation in venues around the country. A brand of easy listening and soulful music showed almost insurmountable intensity very much akin to a former pop band from Newcastle - Deacon Blue.
It was a dream like performance of which the lighting at the Picket seemed only to enhance their music perfectly, in which elements of soul, funk and Spanish influences highlighted a colourful and cultured set, likely to be finding its way to the desks of Radio 1 jockey's in the near future with their forthcoming album, Motion Picture.
The past decade explains that the dance scene had snuffed out the life of popular music on Liverpool. Pop bands from Liverpool such as Elleselle, were so far removed from the dance scene, that moving across the pond to America, seemed the only option for success. But with this new breed of music, we are more likely to see these outfits to gain success on the home front.
It is easy to see that the approach of these new pop bands with this new professional approach will pay off. The dance scene may have proven tacky tunes were vision to gaining the minds of the public.
But it forced the hand of diversity for local pop to hard working bands who want fame from earning it from a greater professional verve. Santa Carla proved that music today in Liverpool is alive and kicking and that the women are having their say in the future of music.
Santa Carla's next gig is at the Jacaranda, Slater Street Liverpool on January 28. Entrance
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