It’s not every day you attend a gig in a venue that doubles as a pizza bar, but this was exactly the case with the F•O•E•S show at Maguire’s Pizza Bar in Liverpool and there was a delicious smell permeating through the venue as soon as you stepped through the doors – which can’t be a bad thing!
Opening the night was The Jakobins, who didn’t get off to the strongest of starts. The band seemed a little unsure of themselves, and the vocals in particular were shaky with not much power behind them. However, once they got into a rhythm, things picked up and they improved a lot from there. In particular, the closing track of their set was the highlight – you could really see how hard the band was going for it, and it was great to witness.
Main support came from Glaswegian outfit Atlas : Empire, whose set marked their first ever performance in Liverpool. A very instrumental-driven band, the vocals were used almost as a backing instrument and shared between different members, with the band not having a designated frontman. Atlas : Empire didn’t remain confined to one style of genre, drawing their sound from all sorts of places – such as post-hardcore, electronica and of course prog – and there was this great relaxed tone to their music, yet it was also full of energy. A good, strong set from the five piece.
Headlining the show in a hometown performance was the mighty F•O•E•S, who were on top form. Their debut EP, Ophir, is a great little release but seeing the tracks performed live really added another dimension – quite simply, they sounded like they were on another level.
After a few technical difficulties during the first track, F•O•E•S didn’t let this faze them as they launched into one of their strongest tracks, The Writing On The Wall, which somehow sounded even better live than on CD, which was no mean feat! Indeed, it was an all-round tight set, with a good amount of weight to it, and we were even treated to a few new tracks which sounded fantastic!
F•O•E•S finished to chants from the crowd of “more, more“, which just goes to show how much of a storm they went down – F•O•E•S are a band completely on top of their live game, and it shows.