Day three of FestEvol2021 and Invisible Wind Factory felt like home again. Revo pulled a blinder here.
It hadn’t dawned on us until we were scanning the stage splits on Friday evening and working out which bands we were going to stand in front of.
Every band on the main stage is female fronted today. And a large chunk of the bill is all female. So, for that, Revo, even before we start, kudos.
It’s a shame it even needs to be pointed out. This is a quality bill regardless of who plays the lead guitar or who grabs the mic. While last week’s event provided a couple of new discoveries, today is more familiar territory, but that’s no bad thing.
Having refuelled ourselves after last night’s somewhat over ambitious exertions (that’s another story) we arrived at the Wind Factory, as planned, in time to catch Beija Flo (Portuguese for Humming Bird) doing her thing early on in the basement. She’s here with a full band, which somehow makes her seem more avant garde than usual. With echoes of PJ Harvey, her slightly surreal take on rock doesn’t exactly ease us gently into the day. But nobody said this was going to be a stroll.
We were somewhat taken aback as we arrived at the Wind Factory to be handed an ice cold beer at the door by one of the drunkest people we have met in a long time. Impressive for 4pm, but thanks, anyway, dude. We’d had a bit of a hike to get here and it was welcome refreshment. You didn’t need it anyway, mate. Surprisingly, he did turn up later in the evening to ask if we’d enjoyed it. We did, thanks. Random acts of kindness keep us going.
Upstairs for Phoebe Green and a kind of soul infused rock thing that had some pleasing rough psych elements going on. New to us and thoroughly enjoyable.
We’d caught Bobby West downstairs earlier. He was having to do this on his own as the rest of the band had COVID. He confessed to being nervous, but his demeanour suggested otherwise. He has a confidence about him that suggests he can do whatever he likes. And, so he did. His brand of Americana goes down well in the basement. He’s wasted here. He should be on a road trip film soundtrack.
But, then PINS and Big Joanie on the main stage. Wow. Just wow. PINS have a glam edge about what they do. They stomp and swagger about the stage and reclaim lad rock, proving, if there were ever any doubt, this six piece can kick as hard as anyone. Just glorious, no nonsense rock. And loud. Perfect. That won’t be the first time we use that word. As a double act, these bands couldn’t be more different, but in some strange way they absolutely work together.
Big Joanie, all punk and big drums, don’t really take any prisoners either. The drums take centre stage, literally, and are the driving force that propels this band. As with PINS, there’s a kind of glam element to this set, but perhaps with a sharper edge. Dunno, it’s all relative. They were ace, anyway.
Ali Horn was being Ali Horn down in the basement. All reverb and two drummers, it’s what we have come to expect from him recently. He’s just gad to be back and it shows on his face every time we see him. Pretty perfect, really.
Lucia and the Best Boys started off a classy rock set which was fine, until they got heavier and heavier, which, of course was even better. It’s a bit stadium rock, but we can live with it. They seemed genuinely happy to be here.
The Big Moon were definitely the crowd favourite, with lots of people singing along. They had the biggest draw of the night. Great feel good indie pop. It had the room bouncing and was in the right place this far up the bill. They apparently nearly didn’t make it because their bus driver thought he was booked for Sunday. No worries. Their version of Praise You was fabulous.
And then Black Honey, who would be the last act for us tonight. More glam and punk, with raw aggression belied by the fact Izzy was wearing a frilly white dress and big blue / green hat. If there’s a way to look the complete opposite of the way the band sounds then she pulled this one off perfectly. And, to use that word again, superb.
And that’s where we had to call it off. The Wind Factory is a an ace venue, but it’s a bit of a march out of town, even when you’re all full of adrenalin on the way there, let alone when you’re tired and emotional on the way home. The offer by a mate of a lift back was too good to refuse, a decision that was vindicated when we saw throngs of people who had been to a rival event at Bramley Moore. Taxis are an endangered species in Liverpool at the moment and that’s an issue with this venue.
Still, that said, Revo has pulled off a classy three weekends of top bands. Curation has been absolutely spot on. We hope he decides to do it again next year.