Like most of us, Cheshire punks Salt The Snail are missing live music. The sounds, the sights, the multitude of smells – there’s just nothing quite like a great gig in a small, sweaty venue – so they’ve decided to hit the virtual road for a tour of the UK’s finest independent music establishments, supported by their pals from the local scene. First up, Liverpool!
Stop number 1 on our salty adventure is LIVERPOOL… Our spiritual home, the place where we ply our craft the most. Let’s kick this tour off with a bang
We absolutely love the music scene in Liverpool. It is it’s own ecosystem, with a bunch of shows every night, festivals most weekends, bands coming out the wazoo with blogs, sites, magazines, record labels and PR companies all in the mix to keep the machine oiled.
WHERE ARE WE PLAYING?
Craft isn’t officially a gig venue but it is a place we have ripped up on several occasions, including supporting Jamie Lenman there last year. Its perfectly square but still intimate front of stage allows for the most raucous of atmospheres to prosper.
WHO ARE WE PLAYING WITH?
Our good friends SPQR fully deserve to take over the world. The passion poured into their art is truly overwhelming when you see them live or listen to their music intently. They’re rolling toward becoming a cult darling with every show they play and every single they release. We could not implore you to listen to them any more strongly.
We caught up with SPQR bassist Jack Sanders for a guided tour of their home city:
What is it that makes the music scene in Liverpool unique?
An interesting thing (interesting to me, at least) that I’ve noticed about the Liverpool music scene, is that a lot of the bands/artists who are an integral parts of it, are not from central Liverpool – they’re usually from areas on the outskirts, such as the Wirral, Knowsley, Widnes – or sometimes even further afield. I’m not sure if this sort of thing is unique to Liverpool, but it’s definitely worth noting. Especially considering that some of Merseyside’s most popular exports such as OMD, The Coral, and Elvis Costello (to name a few) are examples of this. If I’m being honest though, the most unique thing about the Liverpool music scene is the abundance of scouse accents.
CHICKEN AN CHIPS ANNA CANNA COKE FELLER.
Does the city’s musical heritage make it harder or easier for new bands coming through?
Interesting question! It’s also something I think is discussed quite a bit amongst music-eds in Liverpool. There are some parts of Liverpool where the Beatles’ legacy is exploited to the extent where it makes the city appear like a bloody Mersey Beat theme park. Though it can be somewhat annoying, I can’t really blame the people who’ve created this environment. There’s a market for this sort of thing, and they’re simply taking advantage of it. It also gives working musicians an avenue to make some actual money. I do wish there were more independent venues to cater for local and touring artists – but unfortunately that just isn’t the case.
In summary, I don’t think the city’s musical heritage makes it harder for bands coming through. I believe if a band’s songs, live show, and overall branding are good enough, then people will take notice. Regardless of the city they’re coming from.
Where are some of your favourite places to play in Liverpool?
Liverpool venues I’ve loved playing with SPQR include; The Arts Club, Sound, North Shore Troubadour, and the Kazimier Stockroom. We’ve played some of our best shows at these venues, and I’m sure the rest of the band would agree.
Which current bands should we be keeping an eye out for?
Liverpool based bands? I’d have to say: Salt the Snail, Beija Flo, Eyesore & the Jinx and The Hushtones. God tier bossness… The lot of ‘em. If you’re reading this and you’re not aware of them: BUY THEIR SHIT. LISTEN TO THEIR SHIT. GO AND WATCH THEIR SHIT.
What one or two things should any band coming to Liverpool on tour make sure they do?
Drink pints. Drink loads and loads of pints. Also, if they get any free time, I’d recommend going to the top of the Anglican Cathedral. It’s great… Well worth the £6.
Salt The Snail’s Liverpool Playlist
KIN – Avocado
Broken Down Golf Cart – Headlock
Infants – WASOS
Lennie Dies – Bits
Beija Flo – Mary
Salt the Snail – Junkyard Cat
SPQR – Our Mothers Sons
Bisch Nadar – Wink Murder
Mr. Ted – Muscle Milk
Crapsons – You Don’t Know When You’re Gonna Die
There is so much going on in Liverpool on a regular basis. Come down, it’s sound.
Article & Playlist by Salt The Snail: facebook.com/SalttheSnailORIGINAL
Introduction, SPQR interview by Paul Maps
Salt The Snail Photograph by Jamie Kolonic
SPQR photograph by Thomas Sumner