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AAAHHHNNNDDDIII (Live Review @Quarry)

Image: Poster for cool bands
Image: Poster for cool bands

The club is alive, with the sound of music. After a brief spate of no gigs due to refurbishments (which can be read about in this weeks Quarry Lore) the world’s largest music venue is back with a gig, featuring a bill of Silver Linings, Don’t Ask Me What My Social Security Number Is, and AAAHHHNNNDDDIII. It’s a perfect first gig for the new year as all three artists showcase what gigs at Quarry do really well; they’re all odd, loud, funny, (perhaps, most importantly) good.

It’s a surprisingly good turn out for the time of year. I’d half expected to be one of the only people there. The weather was appalling. I’d fallen on the ice a couple of days prior outside Asda Price, and been laughed at by people in traffic next to me. The ice was no better today. And everyone was skint. Didn’t stop ‘em. A load of people came down to see all the weird stuff that had been put on that evening.

Silver Linings opened the bill. We’ve talked about Silver Linings before on this blog, but it’s always a pleasure to see them. I derive a lot of entertainment from seeing Adam Craddock berate himself over the length of the gaps between the back-in tracks. It’s nice that they're a duo now, so he has someone else to berate him on stage. 

The tunes rock as hard as they always do. OKKO is a certified rammer and She Runs Away is heavy and abrasive. I believe Adam’s voice was, and I quote, ‘fucked’ after the gig. It’s unsurprising as the soft spoken vocals' instant descent into frightening screams cannot be easy on the throat, as good as they sound live. Victoria’s bass lines are the backbone of the songs, giving the darkness plenty of groove.

DAMWISSNI are up next. Perhaps the best band in all the land. Their set has changed a bit since last time, as I imagine it always does. The seemingly random track listing each time they perform, leaving it up to them to remember to play their best tracks, is part of the charm, and often means sets are ended (like this one does) with them last-minute remembering to play a certain tune.

They also treat two handsome boys in the audience (Aidan and I) with their favourite track, ‘Cock’. I could write a dissertation on ‘Cock’. The beat on the song is genuinely infectious, every lyric tows the fine line between genius, and genius. When the song moves into its second half and we enter ‘the egg zone’ (after a brief interval of potentially (likely) improvised rapping), I can see dropped jaws and awe from the audience. This is a hip-hop classic.

All the other tracks live up to this too, somehow. Tunes about wrestling, absent fathers and just screaming are thrown into the mix, and with all the comedy elements it makes them one of the best and most fascinating live bands in the Liverpool music scene. Epic stuff.

The headliner is AAAHHHNNNDDDIII (now to be stylised as Ahndi, for ease). Ahndi’s set was completely insane. They truly embody the spirit of reckless fun. Their brand of dance is somewhat extreme but ultimately wholesome. They often tell sprawling anecdotes before songs that lead into some kind of audience participation. It adds a ton of warmth to the room this cold January evening.

And as funny as they are, the messages are sweet. A particularly entertaining part of the show comes from Ahndi explaining that, after trying everything else, all their friends insisted they get therapy. When the next song plays, the audience are instructed to chant along to send Ahndi to therapy. And we all learnt a new word, Basteln. It is referring to making lots of little crafts with yourself and your friends. Lovely little German word. We chant this too.

A great start to a new year of gigs at Quarry. Who knows who else might play there this year? The Rolling Stones? Taylor Swift? a Lesser Version? I’m sure at least one of them will.

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