‘’As the next few tracks went by and the music reverberated through the woodwork, it was obvious that even in smaller venues Caribou brings something to the table that few other artists do’’
As it was the first time I had been to Camp and Furnace, and given the venues’ reputation for stellar gigs throughout the Liverpool student community, I must admit I was a little more excited than I usually would’ve been. Having seen Caribou, otherwise known as Dan Snaith, perform in an amphitheatre not too long ago for Dimensions Festival, I did wonder how Caribou and his band would cope in a more intimate venue. The intimacy however proved no issue, as the opener for Liverpool Music Week 2014 delivered a set full of invention, experience, and justification as to why he is regarded as one of today’s most innovative artists.
It’s important to begin however by highlighting how the evening would not have been complete without support from local lad Evian Christ, who brought a more intense atmosphere to the show. His electrical style though was definitely complimentary to the tone of the evening. As for both the other supports, Patten & Jesse Lanza, both acts put on an excellent show. Patten, whose music also conveyed a high quality intensity of electronic sounds, was definitely a great addition to the evening. Lanza, whose soft voice along with her upbeat and expertly crafted music, fit the theme of the night perfectly. All three support acts were great choices and built a sense of interest and grabbed the crowd’s attention in time for the main event.
Snaith opened proceedings with “Our Love,’’ the title track from his new record, which received rapturous applause as the bars emptied into the main room. This created a party like atmosphere immediately, with crowds dancing their way towards the front in a frenzy of laser beams and spotlights. As the next few tracks went by and the music reverberated through the woodwork, it was obvious that even in smaller venues Caribou brings something to the table that few other artists do. A Caribou gig feels like a rave of sorts, as well as looking like one, though his melodious voice and the addition of his bands’ live instruments add an extra element that seems to create a far more lively experience.
As “Odessa” came on the whole room erupted, causing the guy stood next to me to exclaim ‘it is going off!’ I could only smile in agreement as I watched the silhouettes of hundreds of people give it their all to the music. Before that I’d been transfixed on the front man himself rather than taking any notice of the crowd. From now on however I couldn’t help but notice how much everyone else was enjoying the gig. The room screamed as they were greeted to the opening undertones of “Can’t Do Without You”; the sound quality was second to none with Caribou’s vocals every bit as audible as the heavy bass. It was impressive given the style of song and the confinements of the venue, adding a euphoric side to the evening. After a few more songs off new album Our Love, Snaith decided it was time for another crowed favourite in “Sun”, and before I knew it the dancing and music seemed to peak in what felt like a rehearsed fashion. By that point I honestly didn’t want to leave and was gutted once the show had finished.
Following the end of his set, Caribou explained to me how ‘we love coming to England and obviously it’s an honour to come to a city with a music scene like this.’ He went on to express how he ‘hoped everyone had as much fun as I did.’ One point he made that stuck with me however was that ‘everyone up north goes nuts, you’re all on each others shoulders, it’s amazing, we love that,’ as he couldn’t seem to say the same about his shows in London or down south, singling out Liverpool specifically for this appraisal. Caribou also said he looked forward to headlining Warehouse Project next week with Four Tet, where he expects the same kind of reception. So far, I’ve seen him in Croatia and Liverpool, and the crowd seemed to go just as mental both times. I couldn’t recommend seeing Caribou live more highly and, despite only being the opening night, he will surely be one of the most memorable acts of Liverpool Music Week.
Words: Joe Willman