“How’s this first date going, Liverpool? I think it’s going well. But let’s not rush things. Let’s see where it goes”, Tom Sanders of Teleman remarks midway through the sold-out, opening night of the tour at Buyer’s Club. Truthfully, outside of a messy ending on ‘Tangerine’, it was going pretty well.
For our date, Teleman had picked a place that I’d never been before. The venue is so new in fact that it isn’t even on Google Maps yet, making it a semi-difficult find thanks to it being hidden away off one of Liverpool’s main streets. Inside, it’s a nice little venue. It holds around 300 people and has some Chinese-like lanterns hanging from the ceiling. My only gripe? One of those annoying low stages where it’s difficult to see unless you’re near the front or are extremely strategically placed.
Support came from good friends of Too Many Blogs, NZCA LINES. This was only the second time that I’ve seen them live and was also the second time that the band were going through a first. In Soup Kitchen, it was the first show of their tour and the first time they’d played many of the songs live. On this occasion they were reduced to a two piece and this was their first show in that situation. The sound was a little quiet and it lacked a little bit of the ‘oomph’ that I’d seen before, but it was still a decent show. I’ve no doubt that the people in the venue who hadn’t heard the band before would have believed that they’re normally a two-piece. A testament to the performance that they gave.
Teleman followed within twenty minutes of NZCA LINES’ set ending. “Good Evening, Liverpool!”, Sanders enthusiastically boomed over the mic, evidently excited about the opening night. ‘Strange Combinations’ opened the show (much to the crowds appreciation) before being followed by a Brilliant Sanity track, ‘Fall in time’. This song helped demonstrate that the sound was surprisingly good considering the pa system which, at first glance and during NZCA’s set, didn’t look up to it. The tune is also a favourite of Tom’s, as discussed in the chat that we recently put live.
The band were here in support of the new record, but were in that strange predicament where the record is still to be released (it comes out on April 8th). A few new songs played one after another led to chatter in the room becoming increasingly louder. That was until ‘Skeleton Dance’ began and the crowd erupted in a large cheer. “Oh yeah. I know this one as well”, Sanders retorts. The entire set actually follows this system. New songs are half listened to/half chatted over, old songs are sung along to and enjoyed by all. That is until the final track of the set when ‘Glory Hallelujah’ is unleashed. It’s a track that grabs the attention of everyone in the room and showed the strong potential of being a firm fan favourite in the future.
This may have had something to do with the new found swagger that the band had when they returned to stage for the encore. ‘Steam Train Girl’ was followed by ‘Dusseldorf’ (which began with a quick lesson on how to properly pronounce it) and Sanders was commanding the stage. The set came to an end with the final four minutes of ‘Travel Song’ which, on this occasion, was extended to a near ten minute remix.
If there had been opening night nerves then it didn’t show. The crowd were chatty during new songs, but it was a Friday night and they were hugely into the older ones, so it’s forgiven. This was an accomplished set and the band will only grow as this tour goes on. You people are in for a treat.
So Teleman. I think we’re both ready to take this to the next stage. What do you say?