“Four lads from Liverpool” is a label that vents an atypically low number of assorted connotations. The world is so aware of the expansive impact Merseyside had on shaping and shifting music during the early 60s, that phrases such as this have become almost instantaneous with their reactionary undertone. Attempting to swap the Wirral for the world in 2015 are roisterous quartet Circa Waves who – valiantly charging Manchester’s sold-out The Ritz theatre – are as dirtying and gritty as a reborn again mid 00s Libertines, but retain contemporary distortion laced hooks that have seen them join the likes of Catfish and the Bottlemen, Peace and The Wombats in continuing to intensify the desires of the country’s alternative, beatnik 00s survivors.
Circa Waves are everything indie fanatics require. A collage that produces sweat, beats, lust and attachment. Vigorously the XFM favorites championed their audience, demanding they reciprocate the adulation they quaked through ‘Stuck in My Teeth’ – sweeping fuzz disintegrates the coldness of the track’s narrative, with the Mancunian crowd offered another sing-a-long within an hour’s worth of rallying – and the Vampire Weekend meets a 2007 incarnated Foals ‘The Luck Has Gone’. Fiercely battering amps, mic stands and on occasions each other, Circa Waves refused to become immobile; leaping valiantly and commanding a fracturing presence from the opening exchanges within ‘Young Chasers’.
‘Fossils’ – introduced with a disturbing ambience generated by a du jour Bernard Sumner fizzing guitar line, it burst into a sanguine series of enthusing indie pop cheer – easily could have soundtracked any unhinged Channel 4 teenage rom-com; its repressed aggression only released as front man Kieran Shudall barbarously mouthed the hook savvy refrain to the grooving, chanting crowd. ‘Get Away’ followed this Circa Waves drawing. “To gracefully grow old, and the wiser any man could be, makes the suffering all the more easy,” demonstrated the crumbling ardor stained realities Shudall recurrently discussed to the soundtrack of a modern rock club, dancefloor anthem.
Their chief song ‘T-Shirt Weather’ typifies what Circa Waves symoblise. Meandering hooks oppose the battering guitar patterns to reveal Circa Waves’ true pop layered principles. It’s a weekend hymn that already playlists many narcotic nights.
Circa Waves score everything that Saturday nights should be. Intoxicated tears, charged energy and the inevitable one-nighter your friend promised would actually happen. They may not be changing the world, but so long as they violently assail the senses in three minute bursts of idyllic indie progressions, the Circa Waves outfit will continue to pile two shades out of anyone who will listen.
Words by Clive K Hammond