The Buyers Club, Liverpool
These days ‘Psychedelia’ or as ‘ver kids call it ‘Psych’ usually refers to endless amped-up riffage – a sort of supercharged Black Sabbath as peddled by Thee Oh Sees (or whatever they’re called now) and and endless number of hirsute, no-chord wonders dialing FX pedals up to one billion. That’s all fine, and much loved on Merseyside. However, back in the mid 90s when Oasis ruled the airwaves I was in love with a strange Welsh band called Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci. Their early albums ‘Tatay’ and ‘Bwyd Time’ and ‘Barafundle’ were totally out of step with the times and influenced by Matching Mole, Brian Wilson and The Incredible String Band at a time when everyone wanted to be The Jam. Those records still sound otherworldy, and to my ears a lot weirder than anything todays crop of ‘psych’ bands serve up.
Gorky’s Frontman Euros Childs has been solo for the past 15 years and now touring his latest album ‘House Arrest’ which is a rather stripped down affair sounding home-recorded with just him at the keyboards and beatbox. It has the somewhat queasy feel of ‘The Beach Boys Love You’, but rather than songs about Johnny Carson or going to get some milk from the fridge, Euros delivers minimalist synth-driven odes to a beloved Colander and a grisly murder at an ‘All You Can Eat’ restaurant. The set tonight draws heavily on that album. Euros is in fine voice, thrashing away at his keyboards and is ably assisted by guitarist and keyboard player Rosie who also doubles up on Mo Tucker style stand-up drums to add the required tub thumping. As always he’s an engaging presence, particularly when describing how he was hoping for ‘Happy Coma’ to be a Christmas hit and maybe if Guy Garvey sang it.. He also digs out a few gems from the past and ‘Henry A Matilda Supermarketsuper’ gets a singalong going, as does – from out of nowhere – a cover of Joe Fagin’s theme from ‘Auf Wiedersehen, Pet’. There’s even a dip into the Gorky’s back catalogue, albeit a very obscure one with a slowed down cover of ‘Peanut Dispenser’ which was on ‘Patio’ a collection of early recordings and was recorded before his voice had broken.
The Buyers Club is a great venue, there’s a decent sized crowd in, lots of love for Euros and Rosie. Everyone seems into it.
It made me think..
He may not be a household name (Gorky’s had a few singles that almost went top 40 in the 90s) but Euros has gradually built a reputation as a unique and wonderful solo artist and I always try and catch him on tour. He’s always thoroughly enjoyable live and I hope he carries on writing his beautifully strange and wonderful songs and performing them