Liverpool Sound City: The Rural Alberta Advantage, Outfit, Mazes, The Chapman Family, Vasco Da Gama: Cathedral Crypt, Bombed Out Church, Static Gallery, Mojo, Screenadelica
Liverpool: 'A godforesaken run-down shithole of a city,' so say the Chapman Family. Getintothis' Will Fitzpatrick fails to get worked up by their insipid averageness while city stars Vasco Da Gama and Outfit steal the limelight.
Some bands require grand settings. The Rural Alberta Advantage, for instance, are totally deserving of their slot in the Metropolitan Cathedral crypt.
Their immediate influences are obvious - Neutral Milk Hotel comparisons make perfect sense in the light of Nils Edenloff's rasping melodies - but you could also mention other Canadian indie rockers such as Wolf Parade or Arcade Fire, and you'd still be on the money.
They put in a decent shift, gloriously energetic and all-too-brief. Let's hope they hit town again some time soon.
Next, Getintothis wanders across to the Bombed Out Church for a spot of Outfit. Well, it is after all Getintothis' gig.
The scope of their Todd Rundgren-esque progressive pop is impressive, but for a while it's merely interesting without being fascinating.
Without warning, however, their closing number taps the shoulder of prime Talking Heads, and it all starts to make sense.
These boys have ideas. Lots of them. They may turn into something very special indeed.
A quiet Static Gallery plays host to Mazes shortly thereafter. Predictably, they're ace. Lo-fi pop along the lines of Pavement and early Teenage Fanclub is their modus operandi - yeh, sorta like Yuck, only nippier.
Good stuff, although charming the crowd probably ain't their strong point.
Speaking of which, Stockton-on-Tees goffs The Chapman Family are a bit remiss with the ol' banter too. They blast through so-so post-punky stuff to a semi-interested Mojo, with at least two members attempting to wear Stewart Lee's ridiculous late-90s haircuts.
But there's a bizarre, eye-rolling moment when they refer to Liverpool as a 'godforsaken, run-down shithole of a city'. If this is supposed to be provocative (or something), then YAWN, fellahs. And if it's serious... well, what a needlessly, twattily odd remark. We might get really hung up on this if the band in question weren't a walking definition of 'meh'. In the event, who can be arsed?
So we head for Screenadelica to catch a bit of Vasco Da Gama's Dischord-referencing shizzle. And pretty fucking decent they are too, all Faraquet rhythms and intricate fretwork.
In fact, judging by Getintothis' shit-eating grin, it might even be fair to call 'em 'awesome'. Damn right!