There are so many questions that surface when Warmduscher begin to accumulate at the deck of The Shipping Forecast. What is the obsession with western gear? How did a supergroup of Fat White Family members, Childhood‘s frontman and the human embodiment of a slice of apple pie form? Just who is Little Whiskers, and why the alias? Warmduscher are an enigma, and that’s what has drawn so many people here tonight in the sweaty confines of The Shipping Forecast’s concrete cave of a basement. They’re so eccentric, they make Fat White Family look shades of beige in comparison.
First up on the bill are local lads Yammerer, who are notorious in the Liverpool scene for their unpredictable live sets. The outfit fluctuate in number throughout the set, creating a sense of nihilistic autonomy, that permeates their raucous live set. They deliver a blistering barrage of psychedelic punk, possessing the spirit of The Fall with the psych tinge of Hookworms.
Next on stage are Silent K, a new project of Dave McCabe of The Zutons, which undoubtedly proves to be one of his better ones. Though the crowd has depleted slightly after the raucous openers, the crowd revel in their galactic punk sound, certified by the countless feet which are never at one point rooted to the spot.
Despite arriving on stage half an hour later than expected, and some initial problems with the sound, the motley crew of Warmduscher saunter on stage, with an air of debauched debonair. Frontman Clams Baker Jr commands the stage like a race-caller at a horse race, as he shrieks “Tuesday is my favourite day of the mother-fucking week. Give it up Liverpool”. Ironic or not, the crowd revel with a chorus of inaudible noise.
Though their notoriety and side projects may have drawn the crowd down, it’s their blend of electronic tinged garage rock that keeps them firmly planted within the confines of the basement. They show progression in their blend of influences such as scuzzy Butthole Surfers-style riffs on songs like ‘Sweet Smell Of Florida’, which sends one particularly enthusiastic member of the audience into ecstasy. The crooning ‘1000 Whispers’ provides a comedown on the tempo side but is one of the highlights of the night, as the lulling bass provides a nice contrast to Clam’s fluctuating loud-quiet vocals. The dirty and infectious guitar soon returns and sets off an explosion of bodies from the centre of the crowd.
As the band stride off, the crowd becomes eager for more. A floppy-haired scouser grabs the mic and the chant of Warmduscher echoes from the sound system. Leaving a Warmduscher gig, none of your questions are answered but you are consoled with the fact you’ve seen something special, walking past Clams being elevated in the air, cowboy boot first.
Lead image: Jack Parker