The D tales / The Protagonists / Union Dolls @ The Zanzibar
Pop Rock 4 piece ‘The Protagonists’ got the evening off to an electrifying start with a very tight and varied set. With a fresh faced look, these local lads screamed fresh meat when taking to the stage, but were very quick to prove otherwise. Within the space of a thirty minute slot, they demonstrated not only an aptitude for their own individual instruments but as a well regimented and cohesive group.
Their sound consisted of accented vocals, very reminiscent of Arctic Monkeys, combined with an impressive mix of both rhythmical and riff based guitar parts. When the guitars repeatedly dropped out during the verses it was backed up by an indivisible drum and bass duo, who went beyond simple 4/4 beats and root notes, once again demonstrating that every one in the group contributed equally to the songs. As stated a bit more of a stage presence would not have gone a miss, but the songs really do speak for them selves and any drop of new blood will surely be washed out by the sweat from the hard work they seem to be putting in to it.
The night continued with all female four piece ‘Union Dolls’ giving it more balls than most male bands do. With a sound that seemed influenced by the likes of ‘The Runaways’ or ‘The Pretty Reckless’ and a look to match, they immediately dominated the attention of the audience, showing they where completely at home upon the stage. It was definitely a pleasant change to hear a female singer not only using a lower chest voice but having such control and power with it as both of these singers did. The set consisted of a solid collection of well rehearsed songs but with no real variance in tempo or tonality. However the songs themselves were perfectly executed, full of energy and encapsulated the attitude of the band precisely.
Up next were ‘The D Tales’ who appeared to be a man down from their usual 5 man lineup. After my initial disappointment of not seeing their renowned bouzuki, they soon confirmed everything I had previously heard about them. Mixing it up from the usual rock and roll influences, the lads brought together a nice blend of vocal harmonies, arpeggio’d guitar and complimentary bass lines. The pianist really got the most out of his keyboard, using various effects such as a harpsichord (which was something you don’t usually hear on a Saturday night in the Zanzibar) to keep each song sounding different and the set fresh. With an impressive control over the many mid song tempo changes, its easy to understand why ‘The D Tales’ are making such a good name for themselves around Liverpool. Their latest self-titled E.P. is out now which is well worth getting your hands on! They are something different and should definitely be seen.
Words & Photography: Dave Gilescroft
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