Concert Review: Speedy Ortiz @ The Shipping Forecast

Speedy Ortiz
Dressed in angular guitar sections and distorted wit, the change in venue from East Village Arts Club to the confines of The Shipping Forecast only worked to play into the hands of Speedy Ortiz. Armed with a new EP, Real Hair, released earlier this year, as well as 2013’s storming debut Major Arcana and the previous year’s Sports EP, those assembled have come to witness the go-to band for female fronted rock music at close quarters. Despite having played Manchester before, it is Speedy Ortiz’s first visit to Liverpool, and the reception is perhaps less fulsome than one would have hoped. Lead singer/writer/guitarist Sadie Dupuis and co. however are far from deterred, and exhibit in punchy style the reasoning behind their deserved hype.

First however we are entertained with a threesome of support acts, namely The Inkhearts, Serotonin and finally Sugarmen. The bands each share a driven style of guitar music, but thankfully engage in enough variety to prevent a sense of repetitiveness kicking in. Serotonin’s gothic take on psych is a pick up after the flatter performance of The Inkhearts, haunting and free in all the right places and, despite a feeling of sterility creeping in towards the back end of their set, the band puts in a good shift in terms of keeping things interesting. Sugarmen deliver a series of tracks rammed with infectious indie-rock sensibilities, and although they seem at times to rely too heavily on a good chorus, their energetic intent injects the crowd with a shot of life before our headliners are to take to the floor.

A misconception which can sometimes be associated with grunge-tinged rock bands is that, particularly in a smaller venue, it is the level of noise created which counts. For anyone with any interest in a band who is able to maintain the engulfing static but similarly display a concise approach in their sound, I urge you to make an effort to see Speedy Ortiz. From new tracks such as ‘American Horror’ and ‘Oxygal’ back to the likes of ‘Gary’ and the corrosive aggression of ‘Tiger Tank,’ Speedy Ortiz strike perfectly that fine balance between licentiousness and professionalism. The rapport between songs sparks laughter from the crowd, and acts to buffer before the band fly into another three minutes of barbed bliss. Nonchalance is something which seems to ooze off of them as they play, a notion which betrays the near-perfect execution of noise which Speedy Ortiz exhibit so well. A beautiful rendition of my favourite of the band’s tracks, ‘No Below,’ represents the apex of the show, but from start to finish, Dupuis and her loyal cohorts confidently present themselves as artists worth the hype. A hype which, judging by tonight’s performance, is only to continue to grow over the coming years.

For an interview with Speedy Ortiz, click here.

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Ben Lynch |

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