Daughters: Arts Club, Liverpool
Despite being unimpressed with the band on record, Connor Patrick Ryan is enthralled by Daughters in the flesh.
Bordering on narcissistic, Daughters frontman Alexis S. F. Marshall smacks the microphone against his chest like he’s doing the hakka. He is wearing all black, right up until his top comes off. Then it’s oriental looking dragon tattoo shit from that point onwards.
I’ve heard their 2018 album You Won’t Get What You Want a few times now and I have to say, not every track grips me like its disciples have claimed and prophesied they would. A track such as Ocean Song – for all its great qualities – comes across overbearing and boring.
Live however, there is much more life and energy. Most live music is gonna have more energy, so maybe that’s not really a plus point but a standard with a “in the flesh sonic buffet” (the title of my future debut album).
However, Daughters I now know are made for the live performance. Ruthless energy and almost evil charisma, Marshall lurks about the front of his motley crew of emo/ye Da likes Two Tone looking motherfuckers like a baby eater looking for a new infant to swallow. Sinister and sadistic.
Not that I know many baby eaters, but I don’t know any quite like Alexis S. F. Marshall either and he’s right in front me.
There’s moshing, there’s flailing and frolicking as the Rhode Island group rifle through absolute tight bangers like The Reason They Hate Me, The Lords Song and Satan In The Wait; a terrific opening trio to start with. Brooding and burly, the bass in particular on the latter is mesmeric. They give off vibes of Fat White Family when they hit some deep valleys, but obviously this is Daughters’ bread and butter with the majority of their work.
It was surprising to hear some more “uplifting” or “positive” riffs and build ups, not just the usual scratch and fumble of sharp guitar notes being wonderfully directed by the flanking Nicholas Andrew Sadler and touring member Gary Potter – both of whom put on quite the show. Renditions of The Hit and Our Queens (One Is Many, Many Is One) in particular from their 2011 record S/T were moments of personal joy, the former reminding me heavily of something Deftones may have done once in a rehearsal; a clutching but wondrous thought for me, a skater goth at heart.
As the night went on, it seemed to get darker and heavier. I’m trying not to use all the words you could have guessed were gonna be in this review before reading it however, it’s hard not to when the music and image is so right in the “bat and cobwebs” wheelhouse. These bats would probably have rabies or something, just to match the sheer velocity of Marshall’s indecipherable lyrics. I honestly haven’t a clue what he’s on about.
These are the sort of acts I fucking love. They don’t need words to be understood, dismantled and wanked over by an over-zealous admirer, just an acceptance of an energy, vibe or metaphorical manifesto.
Less Sex continued this spunk funk train to Alabaster City quicker than you could say “watch me hair I’ve only just washed it love“. Another track on record that originally bored me to death, it’s ever building nature in front of my eyes was a glorious site to behold and hear.
Arts Club I have to say was the perfect venue for this. I would have hated a tighter setting. Granted their music and connections to incarnate obliteration suggests otherwise, but their music is much more than in your face, it’s monolithic and spaced. This is what I imagine prog would sound like if Nick Cave and Cardiacs got together and sank a few bottles of Whiskey (or Peroni if they decided to be absolute scousers).
Guest House and Daughter were also highlights. Pretty much the whole set was a highlight. I even made a playlist of the songs afterwards and came to the conclusion that the 12 selected and dissected in front of our eyes are in fact their best work. Canada Songs (2003) and Hell Songs (2006) – whilst enjoyable for their short and screamy nature – are 5/10s at best.
I could go on, so I’m not going too. Overall it was a cluster fuck of raw energy, tight playing and a crowd who really got into it. On record, their discography for me seems a bit bitty or worn, but live they’re a beast. Nice one.