The Night Cafe, Paris Youth Foundation, Cheap Thrills, Arts Club 03/02/2018

Three years ago, Sean Martin, lead singer of The Night Café, was barred from the East Village Arts Club. Three years later, he’s back with his band who have sold out the place.

In a venue where confetti always seems to be falling down from the roof, The Night Café bring their show home for a night. With a few nights left on their national tour, with many shows being sold out, they’re on the home run before going on to support The Wombats in March. With The Cheap Thrills and Paris Youth Foundation in support, tonight was a proper local treat for many home fans, hence why this was the first show to sell out and was the biggest show of the tour. Expectation was high.

With The Cheap Thrills and Paris Youth Foundation in support, tonight was a proper local treat for many home fans, hence why this was the first show to sell out and was the biggest show of the tour. Expectation was high.

The first band out the blocks was Cheap Thrills. Being a local band who have been around for a while, expectations were high, and with vocal hooks sounding similar to that of Scouting For Girls, they dutifully obliged. Their sound is not too dissimilar to that of the 00s British Indie-Pop, with hard hitting synth sounds, crunchy rhythm guitars and the typical Two Door Cinema Club style guitar riffs. While the sound was good, the crowd was still filing in, which meant it felt dead, despite a decent effort from the band to interact with them. It was a decent performance, that just needed more people engaging with it.

Next up was a band who have all of the hype of the Liverpool music scene on their shoulders. Paris Youth Foundation shot into limelight in the back end of 2016, and after a successful 2017, releasing several singles, with both local and national radio play, they came on tour with The Night Café.

Paris Youth Foundation’s sound feels fairly unique in this age of young indie bands coming through the ranks, with every song feeling both energetic and well crafted, while still having those typical indie elements that we know and love. They fill the room with their noise, encapsulating the ever-increasing crowd, who start pushing and shoving in their usual fashion, despite a vital lack of interaction, which is slightly frustrating, considering this is a home gig for them. Overall, the set they play is well thought out, with new songs dipped in between fan favourites. This band has potential to be the next Catfish and the Bottlemen.

They fill the room with their noise, encapsulating the ever-increasing crowd, who start pushing and shoving in their usual fashion, despite a vital lack of interaction, which is slightly frustrating, considering this is a home gig for them. Overall, the set they play is well thought out, with new songs dipped in between fan favourites. This band has potential to be the next Catfish and the Bottlemen.

Gold” by Spandau Ballet blasts out as the lights go down, the crowd go crazy and on jump The Night Café. In this current age of long haired boy bands, with overly jangly guitars and too much reverb, The Night Café seem to have command of the scene and certainly show they are one of the biggest bands to come out Liverpool in recent years, with the size of this crowd.

They start their set with “The Way of Mary“, a song about their relationship with ‘the sweet Mary Jane’. The crowd certainly appreciates it, with every chorus bringing on a circle pit, that later in the set is encouraged by Sean, the lead singer. Many attempts during the evening to crowd surf are met by security removing people from the crowd, which is a clear indicator of the passion this audience has to have fun and party to their favourite band.

Playing songs such as “Felicity“, “Together” and “Strange Clothes“, the crowd get more and more rowdy as shoes get thrown around, however, songs like that make you feel like they’ve peaked the set too early. That is until they slow it down and play “Addicted“. It’s difficult to hear Sean singing as the crowd sing the words back to him powerfully.

The bands musicianship is excellent, with a great energy throughout. Crowd interaction is engaging and keeps the audience alert and in tune with what is going on. Their lyrics are typical teenager things, not that that seems to be an issue to anyone in that moment, although, if they can’t outgrow that teenager-y vibe, then it could start to hinder them. Some more depth and realism to their songwriting could help with that. But, that is nit-picking, this band has the crowd as the click of their fingers.

The final few songs see the crowd get more raucous, as the likes of “Mixed Signals” and Turn ring out just before they finish. The band go off as Sean finishes his drink, which looks like it’s in a honey bottle, which is an interesting bottle of choice. The crowd sticks around, as they know that this wasn’t the end.

The lads run back on stage, with Carl, the drummer, throwing his shirt into the crowd. The final song, “You Change with the Seasons“, goes off, with the mosh pits becoming wider and wider, encouraged by Sean. This has been an incredible night, as Sean jumps into the crowd and surfs around the room, while the rest of the band are playing. He falls down, but gets up to people screaming and jus dances away with them.

This has been one of the best gigs I have seen in the Arts Club, with a great line up of Liverpool bands, and it is clear to see that the rest of the crowd agrees with me. With their indie riffs cutting through the screaming and shouting, they’re a band that are certainly worthy of all the hype and praise they receive, and if you ever get the chance, you should definitely go see them live, even if it’s just to have a boogie to some great indie anthems.

Words by David Hughes and featured photo by Jack Whitling (via I Love Live Events socials).

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