From Eric’s To EVOL at Arts Club & O2 Academy, 23rd/24th July 2016

Forty years after the days of Eric’s, the legendary club, lots has changed yet it’s been seen this weekend that the people pretty much stay the same.

Walking into the downstairs Arts Club on Saturday night, just before Poltergeist‘s set started, you could simply see old friends reconnecting. The entire series of events simply felt like a family reunion, even somebody like myself who was born around two decades after Eric’s demise felt completely welcomed. After a slight gang related incident at the main stage of LIMF, our team felt safe and warm in the fantastically organised Arts Club, with the large poster canvas prints along the walls that held history simply in the designs.

Poltergeist, a band founded by Echo & The Bunnymen‘s Will Sergeant, preformed a short set of their instrumental experimental partially-psych rock. With projections along the wall behind them, the act preformed loud but didn’t seem to pull in a large reaction to the still crowd. Yet, a great music set nonetheless.

CLINIC performed next, bringing their famed style of art-rock to the bill. CLINIC are one of the city’s most notable acts, with their stylistic attires and experimental variant of rock. Preforming a brilliant set with standout performances of “If You Could Read Your Mind”, “Walking With Thee” and “See Saw”, the audience was in awe of the band’s terrific set.

Photograph by James Ainsworth.

To end the opening night at the Arts Club was the legendary punk rock outfit, the only band on the bill that played Eric’s in the late ’70s, Buzzcocks.

Buzzcocks started off with the fury, showing why they’re legendary within punk circles and that after 40 years, they weren’t going to show their age. Early showings of songs like “You Say You Don’t Love Me” showed the enthusiasm and simple enjoyment by the crowd. The crowd and Buzzcocks were almost equally as energetic as the other, with both the band and the loving crowd bouncing around to each song.

Buzzcocks, photography by James Ainsworth.

Just around the hour mark of the set, the band finally cracked into the final rundown of hits, starting with “Orgasm Addict” which is just surreal to hear live, “Ever Fallen In Love” which had everyone dancing and singing before ending with the fantastic “Harmony in My Head”. Buzzcocks were possibly the best act of LIMF‘s weekend and the best band for the job on the opening night.

Just as it finished and the crowd pilled out of the Arts Club, we quickly stopped by our team’s ex-tutor (and Getintothis/Bido Lito! writer) Del Pike who immediately said “How great was that!?” and our only reply was grabbing our jaws off the floor.

The next night, From Eric’s to EVOL took over the O2 Academy for a night set to be headlined by Ian Brodie & The Lightning Seeds and however great the Lightning Seeds were poised to be, there was a different shining star.

The night was opened by Sugarmen and The Clang Group (featuring Clive Langer of Deaf School), sadly due to LIMF filming commitments with Sounds From Nowhere, we were unable to make these appearances. However, seeing Sugarmen previously I’m sure they showcased their ability to grow into a great live act and through the circles of concert-goers, I have it on good authority that The Clang Group were fantastic.

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Pete Wylie steals the show on the second night. Photography by Pip Johnson.

The star of the second night was the homecoming of Pete Wylie & The Mighty Wah!, bringing an overall amazing set to the Academy that the crowd was into from start-to-finish.

With numerous highlights scattered throughout his set, Pete joked “they said I shouldn’t talk after songs, we’ll be here til’ Christmas” yet he practically interacted with the audience after every song, which wasn’t a bad thing. To Pete, the show was personal, his first in a long time in Liverpool and the crowd felt that and connected with Pete. Numerous great and not-so-great things from the amazing Justice Campaign win to Brexit, both were noted by Wylie.

Photography by James Ainsworth.

Just a few songs in, during a performance of “Sinful”, Pete Wylie & The Mighty Wah! went into a breakdown which turned out to be a cover of David Bowie‘s “Heroes” which was sublime in it’s approach. Shortly before his set’s end, Pete brought his daughter Mersey Wylie to join the band on-stage to do backing for a few songs, which was just a perfect addition to the emotional performance. The highlight of his set was a wonderful rendition of his hit “The Story of The Blues” which showed Pete‘s still-shining brilliance as a frontman and performer. If you missed Pete & the Wah! on Sunday, make sure you catch his Academy date in November.


The headliners Ian Broudie & the Lightning Seeds were up next, and they didn’t disappoint, with Broudie on form the entire set. Highlights included “You Showed Me” which was an early set favourite, “Pure” before the band ended it out with “Sugar Coated Iceberg”.

Photography by James Ainsworth.

The LIMF team and From Eric’s to EVOL team/curators held a perfect series of events, from the explosive punk showings of Buzzcocks to the pop-rock standards of The Lightning Seeds, overall beautiful atmosphere with fantastic acts that put 100% into their sets. There wasn’t a fault with any of the weekend’s shows, and I can’t wait to see what they’ll do for 50 years (which is a very very long way off!).

The crowd at the O2 Academy, 24th July 2016. Photography by James Ainsworth.

Photography credited per picture, words by Jack Cinnamond. 

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