The Wizards decided to drown their sorrows at England’s pitiful performance at the World Cup by eschewing the potential delights of Belgium – Russia and South Korea – Algeria (bad call, that one) and heading out to see New York’s Parquet Courts make their live debut in Liverpool. In making a full day of it, they first head off in the sunshine to the Kazimier Garden for some open air music prior to the gig proper.
Here they meet up with regular contributor to the pod and psych fanatic, Texas Paul, and take in two local bands right up his street. First up, it’s Strange Collective, previously seen here, who put on a decent show for all, including, it appeared, Birds of a Feather star Linda Robson (it was almost certainly her), managing to ignore Rikkit inadvertently calling them shit (he was talking about Arctic Monkeys, lads) and making a terrific noise with an impressive array of pedals.
After a short break, we were next treated to the stylings of Hooton Tennis Club, who we felt really missed a trick by not fully embracing the tennis theme. Guitarists atop umpire chairs, McEnroe headbands, playing behind a net, etc., etc. Still they made a very pleasant, if rather generically New York indie, sound and warmed us up nicely for the real gig to follow.
So, indoors we went and beers (with fruit!?) and spec sorted, we readied ourselves for three more bands. Firstly, and seemingly playing only their second gig, it was Ultimate Painting, who really looked the part with their twin Gretsch line-up, floppy fringed bassist and a full set of drainpipes. They could play a bit too. This is perhaps unsurprising when we learn that it’s the Mazes’ Jack Cooper and James Hoare from Veronica Falls up on stage.
It was after enjoying that set that Rebel Rikkit correctly noted that all the bands we had seen thus far were, in their own ways, trying to play Marquee Moon. The same could not be said for those that came next. Coming on stage to an excerpt from a film (always a nice touch in my view), Bad Breeding looked a rum bunch. Playing what can only be described as thrash punk, the band backed a lead-singer (and I use the term incorrectly) who, frankly, went ape-shit. As entertaining as it was annoying, we had on stage fighting and off-stage aggression. All in less than 20 minutes.
And all this led up to the headliners, Parquet Courts, who managed to combine the best of all the acts that preceded them, with a stylishly wild set that encouraged a burgeoning mosh-pit, crowd-surfing and stage diving.
Of course, they also were too cool to play their biggest hit or do an encore, but at the end we all rushed to buy their wares (vinyl only, kids). A fantastic end to a fantastic day and you can hear us reflect on the whole of the proceedings here.
And just to show that the headliners can do slow moody stuff too. Here’s a video taken from just behind the wizards (you might spot Rebel Rikkit’s familiar pate) by Diabolik Danger (who may well be, and very possibly should be, something to do with Bad Breeding). Nice work Diabolik.