The Magnet – An iconic Liverpool bar that has seen 6 decades since it’s inauguration and a plethora of music acts making noise within the depths of the once charmingly christened, ‘Sink Club’. Authenticating membership in those halcyon days of youth was once proved by way of presenting a numbered sink plug. The venue was closed up until this summer and after the re-launch they promised to go back to their music roots, and boy they did. The basement is a classy, intimate space, but the dance floor offers all the space you need.
Once inside I have to confess, my hopes of an enjoyable night could not be extinguished. Some sort of support act (a name which I was never privy to after being held up) was ‘entertaining’ the dispersed and milling crowd. An unassuming opening to say the least.
Enter Glass Animals to a round of shattering applause from the weary and waiting crowd. Again I have to admit, that not being aware of the band before and researching a couple of their songs prior to tonight’s gig, I wasn’t holding out much hope for this set either. I was pleasantly surprised. The crowd however was not surprised at all and welcomed them appropriately. Although the band had been on an extensive tour outside of the UK recently, it seems they had garnered a reputable and dedicated following back home since their forming in 2012. Evidently glad to be back for their first UK gig after the tour, they get the night started with their unique sound and energy.
They blister through a set of tunes that gets the room dancing instantly, with hints of modern psychedelic rock infused with a penchant for hip-hop (Dr. Dre comes to mind instantly) that belies their Oxford university background. Their electric performance, which sees the lead singer raising his arms in anticipation for the drop of another funk beat, and engaging in somewhat questionable dancing, unequivocally encourages the surging appreciative gig-goers. The 4-piece are a tight cohesive unit but it’s the drumming skills on display here that grab my attention. The relentless off-kilter hip-hop beats are what really keep it together and the revelers going strong, impressive stuff.
With the set drawn to a close, met with the usual chorus of ‘encore’ they finally lead us out with a mind-blowing rendition of Kanye West’s ‘Love Lockdown‘. This is a band you definitely have to catch live. I can say in all fairness they proved my initial uncertainties were unjustified and they have indeed acquired a new fan to add to the growing ranks.