Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *
Sometimes to appreciate what music from a city offered you, you have to delve fully into its past. You have to find out what worked and turned the population’s heads and captured the spirit of the time, the elusive zeitgeist that pops its being round at the seemingly most opportune times and captures the soul of the city.
In the 1960s, Liverpool had the sound that was creeping from the Cavern and in the sound of what was fast becoming the Mersey Beat and the 1980s saw the city that was being kicked around like a political football and its people marginalised and scorned have a new set of heroes in the shape of the likes of Echo and The Bunnymen, Pete Wylie and The Icicle Works in which to hang their dreams upon. Now in the second decade of the 21st Century, the music that is coming out of the city, with groups, musicians, singers and songwriters all showing that Liverpool should be taken seriously for what it gives the rest of the U.K., hope in the form of the young and more experienced who make music their life and who don’t take what the so-called powers that be word in that life today is a fairer one to be part of.
In amongst the embarrassment of riches that has come out of the U.K.’s formidable musical city comes Rob Clarke And The Wooltones and their instantly likeable E.P./Maxi Single Are We Here containing three tracks that just make you wish for the days of the full public house, a jukebox in the corner in which certain songs get played all night, not just because they are very good but because they exude a feeling of nostalgia and memory.
The three songs that make up Are We Here are a huge nod back to the days when the city of Liverpool stood head and shoulders as the newly formed music capital of the country. The songs are catchy and enjoyable and like Joe Symes and the Loving Kind, seem to have found the zeitgeist lurking and framed it for posterity. The three tracks, Monkey Mind, Are We Here and End Of The Road all sparkle with the energy of a city that doesn’t lay down and give in. This is music to be enjoyed and taken into the nearest venue and saying play this, it will get people talking again.
For Rob Clarke And The Wooltones, the zeitgeist has been found, the spirit of the moment captured and locked away, this is a great bunch of songs performed by a great set of musicians.
Ian D. Hall