Sleepy Sun, Aviator, Eva Petersen: The Kazimer, Liverpool
Sleepy Sun offer Californian strutting ably supported by two promising new Liverpool acts returning to the stage, Getintothis Jason Marsh raises his can of Red Stripe.
When a stateside, bluesy, religious rock act make the top of the bill for yet another of Harvest Sun's intriguing evenings down at the Kazimer, you are distinctly aware you may well be in for a trick or treat scenario.
Thankfully for the hardy Tuesday night crowd this was the latter, as California's own Sleepy Sun made their Liverpool debut.
While the gentle crowd were cracking the ring pull on their first can of Red Stripe, the stunning Eva Petersen dipped and weaved her way through an opening set of throw back 80's beats and devilish electro charm.
While pleasing on the eye and more importantly the ear, the 8pm slot has never been known for it's debauchery and playing to 25 seated scousers may well have compromised a lesser performer.
However Petersen reigned supreme showcasing innovative droning synths, electronic 4/4 beats and a real refreshing slice of contemporary creation. To put it mathematically, Talking Heads + Blondie / Ladyhawke = Eva.
For the more hardened Liverpudlian muso the evening took an interesting twist as Pete Wilkinson (Cast/Shack) introduced us to his latest project - Aviator.
A smooth swaggering Pete adorned the stage as he took us on a post Brit pop journey of genuine delight. Though visibly unrehearsed on their first outing in public, Aviator performed jangly, funky, rich sounding 'merseyesque' tracks to the delight of the local contingent.
Eva Petersen live at the Kazimier
Their classic, mid-paced blend of springy riffs over darkened bass lines made for an impressive cocktail. Note must be made of a stunning performance of Shoot The Crow, a soul searching , progressive, melodic natured track in which Liam 'Skin' Tyson (again ex-Cast) caresses a lap steel guitar to impeccable effect.
With the crowd (and myself) totally bowled over, the quartet raised the roof with a cover of Neil Young's Mr Soul. A bouncy, infectious crescendo to a truly encouraging and crowd-pleasing experience.
As the drink flowed and the mood darkened, a small door opened towards the top right hand side of the stage, out poured a barrage of cigarette smoke, empty beer bottles and Californian twang...we were now in the company of Sleepy Sun.
We approached them with the usual 'Liverpool crowd' caution as they confidently worked up their vibe and began to unlock our musical ears.
Pete Wilkinson of Aviator live at the Kazimier
Front man Bret Constantino swayed and rocked as the progressive blues outfit worked up a hysteria of noise executing rolling bass lines, subdued lead riffs with well placed synths.
Drummer Brian Tice was exemplary and he danced over hits like V.O.G and Wild Machines as they showcased tracks from their third album Spine Hits.
Sleepy Sun live at the Kazimier
Fresh from their recent Bestival performance Constantino comically quipped 'is that what you guys do at gigs over here...sit down?', to which of course we then all stood...and so we should.
Having the accolade of supporting the Arctic Monkeys on their American tour is something to live up to and tonight Sleepy Sun did more than that, as Constantino strutted about the stage using everything from maracas, to tambourines and even tom toms, recalling a young Jim Morrison.
Emotional, unhinged and without doubt completely self involved. But for me and everyone else The Kazimer - we just couldn't keep our eyes off.