The Garden

The Garden


Soup Kitchen is sticky, dank and a scene of squalor… it’s perfect for The Garden. Despite the glossy, cartoony sound the Shears brothers have recently embarked on with ‘Call This # Now’ and ‘California Here We Go’, there’s a definite element of filthiness as they explode onto stage tonight with ‘U Want The Scoop?’

Well here’s the scoop, they’re fucking boss. I was supposed to see them last year at the Fallow Cafe but due to an infected lip thus an inflated gob, I had to abandon my journey, instead favouring a uneasy ride of antibiotics. Luckily this time, I was fighting fit and ready to go, hoping to feast on tracks like ‘Red Green Yellow’ and the remarkable new EP opener ‘Clay’. Fuck me I was full after this one.

Their set is quick, straight to the point and pummelling. Renditions of the tracks mentioned above were more than I could have imagined – they take on an accelerated, almost alien life force when live. They don’t need to stop and thank people for coming either which was cool, their enthusiasm speaks volumes and they let the music do the talking and thanking. Donning a red beret, Wyatt’s bass playing is solid and Fletcher’s lightning paced drumming really gets the small audience bouncing.

Their animated sound translates well live and I’m really impressed with how they manage to keep up that blistering pace and energy found on their records haha (2015) and The Life and Times of a Paperclip (2013). Cuts such as ‘All Smiles Over Here’, with its directive lyrics of sunglasses, sitting on grass and having an impenetrable force field around yourself (often The Garden have quite psychedelic flavours in their song matter), create a real excitement in the crowd. I can’t think of a single moment when the jumping and mammoth energy diminished and there was never a lull in enjoyment. This continued song after song and by the end the roof could have blown off the gaff, there was an unquenchable thirst it seemed from the spectators as they craved more and more from the dynamic duo.

Other highlights include ‘Vexation’, ‘Egg’, ‘Haha’ and the infectious ‘Surprise’, which really shows off The Garden’s talent for producing a wide selection of sounds. Often punk orientated, they’re always adding synths and shiny effects to an underbelly of raw, surf rock energy. Even when they weren’t behind the instruments, instead performing to a backing track via jester-like acrobatics, it didn’t make it cheap or less impactful either which was nice.

When they finally scurried off stage after the criminally short ‘Vada Vada’, the brand name if you will of the music direction and self-labelled genre they adhere to, I felt extremely satisfied and in a way glad it was over. It was an intense experience, probably the most lager I’ve ever seen fly around a gig environment. It never boiled over into aggression, it was like a big piss about and every punter there seemed to have a positive time. Their set did feel a tiny bit rushed at times but when you’ve had a skin full, I suppose that’s what you want – an incessant quality to a live experience. Let’s hope The Garden grace us with their presence again soon, top banana.

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Liverpool born music writer with passion for punk and Everton FC