Live review: The Basement Tapes – Liverpool O2 Academy 1, 24 Nov

This live review was submitted by Will McIntosh, who can be found on Twitter just here: @Will_McIntosh. If you would like to contribute to All-Noise, send your gig, single or album reviews to [email protected].

The Basement Tapes, O2 Academy 2, Liverpool


A quick glance around the room tonight demonstrates the relative success that the last five months has been for The Basement Tapes. Since their first gig in The Lomax at the end of June, they have slowly begun to build a small legion of dedicated fans, and those familiar faces are once again out in force.

Anybody who has yet to experience them could be forgiven for dismissing the group as ‘just another indie band’ as they roll up on stage approximately 10 minutes behind their scheduled time, all leather jackets and attitude. However this tag, one too readily aimed at young, British guitar bands, is dismissed just a few bars into opener ‘Hotel Room’; a short, snappy song with the looping hooks and raucous drums that one would expect from a band of their ilk. A theme continued into second track, ‘What Happened’.

By the time the band saunters into ‘Missiles’ the pace has slowed and we see a much more delicate side to them. Lead singer Matthew’s vocals take on an almost Lou Reed like quality, and guitarist Karl shows a far more intricate style to his playing than had previously been demonstrated. This peace doesn’t last, however, and new song ‘Mend’ sees the band back to their thunderous best.

‘Holes’, like ‘Missiles’, is different to anything else in the set. Karl’s playing once again comes to the forefront as the timings change throughout and an almost freeform jazz element comes into view, driven by a wave of oceanic riffs.

As the short set is drawn to a boisterous conclusion with ‘Bright Lights’ and ‘Not There’, two songs as snappy as the titles they have been gifted, it’s noticeable how the room has gradually begun to fill. The familiar faces have been joined by new ones, people experiencing The Basement Tapes for the first time. If things carry on like this, it’s clear who the real ones to watch across Liverpool will be in 2013.

Post Author: Luke Glassford

All-Noise was founded in 2010 with just one simple aim – to highlight and celebrate ‘proper music’, made by real people with real musical inspirations.