FestEVOL2021: Invisible Wind Factory, Liverpool. Tea Street Band, Psycho Comedy, Walt Disco, Stealing Sheep et al

EVOL pulled off a blinder today at the first of the Liverpool pair of the FestEVOL2021 all dayers at The Invisible Wind Factory. It was a stamina test, though and we need to get that bit sorted.

The Invisible Wind Factory was conceived and born primarily as a gig space. Created from the ashes of the legendary Kazimier, it hasn’t seen live music for 16 months or so.

It hasn’t laid dormant in that time, starting off as a food distribution hub early on in lockdown and then more recently as a roller skate rink. But it has music coursing through its veins. And that’s where it excels. What it needs to be.

We did wonder whether Revo would be able to pull this off. Despite the easing of lockdown restrictions some festivals are still getting cancelled with organisers getting cold feet for a variety of reasons. So, we’d given this a 50/50 chance of happening.

But it did. And it was superb. We’re still a bit gig rusty, though. Never mind an all dayer.

It was good to be back. But we need to pace ourselves and remind ourselves we’re going to have to relearn how to do this.

We start off with Psycho Comedy downstairs in the basement. As with many bands it’s their first chance to give last year’s album release, Performance Space Number One a spin.

The album was a definite 2020 highlight and it’s perhaps surprising the band is this far down the bill. No matter. They kicked off our day with considerable psych style.

Come further forward so we can see your fucking lips and eyes. Shaun launches into opener, First Cousin, and nearly breaks his neck when he misjudges the height, or rather lack of it, of the ceiling, ending up in a heap on the floor (he was ok). What a way to start our day.

Psycho Comedy

The main stage seems to be having timing issues so we skip a couple and head back down to the basement for Rongorongo, who are a favourite anyway, having seen them more times than pretty much any other band we can think of.

We might be gig rusty and so are they, but it doesn’t show. Mick does his usual thing of wandering around the audience when he’s not required on singing duties. This is a tight and impressive performance. As well as the fact we get a clutch of new songs, the band continues to get better.

Mick asks the sound guy if they can do one more. He says, “Yeah, Go on”. I love Destroyer is the band’s Route 66 song. Terrific.

Rongorongo

Then we head upstairs to the main stage and Cardiff’s Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard. It’s quite a cool glam Bowie / Stones thing. Enjoyable enough, but a strange fit on this bill.

Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard

That they were followed by Glasgow’s Walt Disco kind of makes the point. Gender fluid and wearing whatever the fuck they want, it was pure theatre.

But they have the material to go with their look. The clue’s in the name, of course. But this was FestEVOL ramping it up a few stops. We confess to not knowing anything about this band before this evening, but we’re absolutely sold.

We’re off to Bandcamp as we write this. The band references Scissor Sisters, Frankie Goes to Hollywood and Dead Or Alive as influences. That’s fair, but there’s a heavier element to some of their set. Utterly superb.

Walt Disco
Walt Disco

We’d heard good things about IST IST, but again knew very little about them.

But that’s the measure of a good festival when you discover new bands. As it happened, It felt a bit like watching the band that Joy Division might have become had circumstances been different and they’d teamed up with Bauhaus to make some sort of dark supergroup. Which is no bad thing, of course. But, the references seemed too obvious. It was fine because they sound like bands we loved. But, we can’t get them over the line.

IST IST

Instead we go back down to the basement for a bit of Silent K. We know what we’re gonna get here.

Anarchic and irreverent. It’s a kind of “don’t care” rock. Whereas IST IST were being a bit too serious, such a charge could never be levelled at this lot. It’s pretty straightforward rock / blues, but they do it well and the basement is close to capacity. It’s going down well. Nice work lads.

Silent K

Back upstairs for us though. The Tea Street Band are on next and we know how good they are.

They’re always a feel good band with their disco infused rock, but tonight, the smiles on their faces told basically the whole story. Nearly every band on tonight’s bill made reference to it being good to be back.

It seemed like The Tea Street Band didn’t even need to say it. You could just tell. When Nic shouted “Fucking nice one” he spoke for everyone in the room. A perfect set from a band that should have way more recognition. Finishing off with Promise by The Maybes. The band that should have been. It remains a mystery why more people don’t know about this lot.

The Tea Street Band
The Tea Street Band

So, to Stealing Sheep. The band who blur the lines between performance art and music (yes, we understand what we just said, but you get the point).

They are a band like no other. Ever evolving, their gigs are always different. They think up new ways of working, new looks all the time. Tonight, kitted out in baggy white boiler suits, they make an impression before they even start. Their hard hitting electronica is a fave with this crowd. And rightly so. It’s intelligent dance music.

Stealing Sheep

But that’s the point at which we felt we needed to call it quits. We missed the top of the bill, but that’s OK. We’ve been to three gigs in three days and we could do with a pause. We’re 16 months older than we were when this bullshit started and we need to respect our limits.

Bring on next weekend.

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