Liars @ Shepherds Bush Empire
aaamusic | On 31, May 2010
London, 27th May
Liars come back to London with a one off show to seduce us with their new universe Sisterworld. New things are introduced to the audience tonight: to start with, the trio is not a trio anymore. Or better, it is still a trio but it evolved with the addition of an extra guitar and base plus more keyboards. Then Angus, who no longer is on guitar duty, swapping it with a synth. Also, the frocks have disappeared, but not Angus great dancing moves.
So how is the sound impacted by the addition of the extra elements? Well, it’s great. It would have been really hard to recreate the complex rhythm structure of Sisterworld live without the addition of extra musicians. Plus, they are not intrusive, so you know they are there as you can hear the sound being more powerful, but aside that, the trio is still the main thing.
The setlist was, as expected, dominated by Sisterworld tunes, including Scissor, No Barrier Fun, Here Comes All The People, Scarecrows On A Killer Slant and new single The Overachiever, but also included gems from previous albums, such as Plaster Casts Of Everything, Drum And The Uncomfortable Can, A Visit From Drum, We Fenced Other Houses With The Bones Of Our Own. Plus, and OMG this was incredible, they played The Garden Was Crowded And Outside from the debut album! I didn’t expect to ever ear this track played live, as they stopped playing tracks from the debut as soon as the second album was released, and it was an amazing surprise, really worth the price of the ticket by itself!
Incredible set, passing from “slower” tracks to accelerated ones, with Aaron and Julian giving one of their best performances I recall and Angus, well, just totally being himself. So far no trace of the much beloved Broken Witch. Maybe they’ve decided to drop it from the setlist? After all is from the second album and now that they reached the album n. 5 well, it’s only fair they move forward and play different things.
While I keep thinking about this, everyone in the audience enjoys the show and dances near the stage, where they are all squeezed like little ants. Further back, by the bar where I stand, there is less dancing and more drinking, but nevertheless everyone is having a good time.
The set finishes earlier than I thought, although there is still the encore. I wonder what I can expect next. Their comeback on stage sees only the trio or, as Angus named it, “the threesome”. Then the first notes of Broken Witch kick in and everyone cheers. Now I completed surrounded by people dancing and singing along, their arm up in the air keeping the tempo with the chorus. Angus tells the audience that the us of the song is only us in Shepherds Bush, not “anyone else in the fucking UK! “ causing an increase of cheer and jumping around. Amazing!
Now they set is really over, the lights are on and everyone is forced out. While making our way to the door I hear people commenting and excitement for what it is the best Liars gig I’ve seen to date.