Fans, Gig Review. District, Liverpool. Threshold Festival 2017.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *

Spring brings with it the chance to step out of the darkness and into the much valued light, the beauty of the season as flowers emerge, as new ideas take shape with optimism and hope, Spring really is the time when we can look to the heavens and find a sense of order that is always disguised by the cold and the miserable tastes of winter and its cloak of bitter, sinister gloom.

Spring in Liverpool also means one other thing, one moment in the sun that the rest of the country will always look upon with envious eyes and that is the return of the much loved Threshold Festival. It is in this gathering of local artists and bands from far off places that come together for the first time in the year and truly make Liverpool sing its heart out that makes the Baltic Triangle such a magnificent place to find oneself in.

The thought of being hip or happening is always one that might sit with unease in the stomachs of those who wish just to perform, who take the shadows of winter and burn a seasonal torch upon them to reveal light and truth and yet it is something to always consider that to be in the moment is actually a good thing; a moment to cherish and for Bradford’s Fans that moment surely is one that will stretch long into the distance. The band’s ability to hold the attention is paramount; first and foremost, you don’t open up at District unless you have something raw, lion prowling the borders of its Kingdom with a roar so loud it could be heard beyond the trees and oceans raw, and it an element that Fans hold close to their chest.

The Bradford band play with intent, a resonance of savagery which spills out as they take on the early evening Friday crowd, people who may have sleep-walked through the final day at work for the week but who would have been awoken with devastating cool and a smile by the Yorkshire lads.

Fans are the type of band to whom the great Annie Nightingale would have played with honour on the radio, one of the true greats of the medium would have used that ear for sublime anger wrapped in heart breaking songs to brilliant effect.

In the songs If God Is Real, Take It, Another Way, the fantastic Witch Hunt and Not In Love, Fans gave the first night of Threshold the musical meat in which to savour, the benefit of the industrious and the pent up fury bursting at the seams. This is Spring, Liverpool in season and Fans took it upon themselves to shake the Winter blues and bleary shadows out from underneath the souls of all who venture to the Baltic Triangle this weekend.

Ian D. Hall