The night starts round the back of the bins and ends with Red Rum Club frontman Fran Doran getting people up on stage.
A reprise of anthemic 2018 single Would You Rather Be Lonely bursts around the room for the finale as punters pour onto their platform to be part of something special.
With any luck, the Scouse sextet should see out summer in far more illustrious a position than gathered, pre-gig, round the rubbish receptacles to tell me that, despite UK tours and a sensational debut album, they’re not yet in the game full-time.
They’re prepared to do the dirty work to get there but thankfully, under the lights, this night’s on;y currency is sweat, the stage already drenched in the stuff from the searing support show from tour-mates October Drift.
Whirling dervish singer Kiran Roy ensures he can’t be missed. Then again, at any one point he’s smashing seven shades out of his guitar, hanging from the rafters or jumping into the melee to eyeball the patrons. Every single one of the peepers present pulled in by his presence. Powerful. As the last sonic waves of Come and Find Me explode round the room, there’s a very real threat that the structural integrity of the room may have been compromised.
The walls are still struggling to keep in contact with the roof by the time Red Rum stride out to Casanova some hearts, if their debut long-player hadn’t already.
Matador’s mariachi swagger set in motion by a rousing Angeline complete with all-eyes-on-him Doran darting and thrusting around what space is left.
As they crash through Nobody Gets Out Alive, the rafters groan again under the intensity. Really, their Morricone-influenced Scouse Americana wouldn’t be a sublime way to go.
Calexico, Honey, Hung Up, TV Said So and Remedy (To Clean a Dirty Soul) all feel like old classics, rather than the calling card of the new gunslingers in town.
Each one aims straight for the heart, does not miss and, by the time half of The Horn is squeezed shoulder to shoulder with them, there’s no doubting that these hotshots are destined for a bigger stage.
by James Cunliffe