Tonight is the second night of Liverpool Music Week 2005, and while the best of what the city has to offer in retro rock â€™nâ€™ roll is the order of the day at Tea Factory, a stranger brew is being served up over at Barfly. Sets from The Bendal Interlude, Day With Mary and a.P.A.t.T amongst others have attracted both the fanatical and the curious on a night that showcases the variety in Liverpoolâ€™s rock and metal scene.
Fleeing the expensive bar prices and familiar faces at the Tea Factory, Gigwise arrives just in time for Honey Recordsâ€™ Multi Purpose Chemical: a motley crew assembled from the furthest reaches of the planet (as far as America and Scotland), whose joc(k)ular approach before launching into â€˜Death For Saleâ€™ does rub a few of the crowd up the wrong way. Nevertheless, their sense of humour soon wins over the hecklers, with the band oozing a self-assuredness up there that probably owes a lot to an alleged spell in the same drama school that produced Orlando Bloom. Their cheekiness spills over into their music, with interludes of the pacifistâ€™s disco anthem â€˜Warâ€™ and The Proclaimersâ€™ anti-public transport statement â€™Iâ€™m Gonna Be (500 Miles)â€™ breaking up their wrenched-tight sports metal chug. And when they blast into a track concerning â€œhairy hobbit handsâ€ â€“ an anxiety-fuelling â€˜explorationâ€™ of the link between hand and penis size â€“ there isnâ€™t anybody in the room who isnâ€™t laughing (nervously or otherwise). Heavy, hairy-handed and hilarious.
The Most Terrifying Thing could be forgiven for being nervous about following such an entertaining set, but given the excessively late time they are to take to the stage combined with the excessively early time that Chris Price and co. took to the bottle, nerves are well and truly banished. And then of course there are the little matters of belief, quality and killer tunes: these all help. Playing a set picked from their album â€˜Victorianaâ€™, TMTT burst the bubble of bonhomie floating around the room with icy opener â€˜Programmedâ€™. Like bands such as The Vines and Nine Black Alps, they take grunge and American alternative rock as a musical blueprint, but thereâ€™s no faux-yank posturing here â€“ indeed, songs such as â€˜Eighties Love Affairâ€™ (â€œabout discosâ€, Chris explains) and â€˜Blackpoolâ€™ could only have been hewn from the rough stone of a northern upbringing. Thereâ€™s something here for emo fans too â€“ the chunkier riffs of â€˜Silent Typeâ€™ could please followers of the likes of Jimmy Eat World â€“ but really TMTT, masterly as they are with melody and dynamics, should prick the ears of anybody who likes their pop served with a shot of venom. A potent mix indeed.