TAKEN FROM LIVERPOOL LIVE WEBSITE – By Shaun McCoy
See original here, or read on below –
The Sums – supporting The Real People 17-08-2012
IT WAS a Friday night and a legendary Scouse line up was appearing at the Lomax. Shaun McCoy went along to enjoy three enthralling sets in a venue were the music is literally in your face.
First on stage were Orange Room, a 4-piece who merge together the styles of Oasis, the Beatles and the Who, into their own brand of indie rock. They started with Noise & Confusion a punky/indie number with a sharp riff and the southern US drawl of singer Lee Peers. Just Another Night Out was filled with vocal angst and tension accompanied by very rhythmic drumming and powerful guitars.
As well as the heavier edged indie material the band toned things down with the transcendent I’ll Stick Around an early Who/Beatles-esque catchy tune with a more laid back tone and sweeter harmonies. They are a commendable support group on what is an intimidating bill featuring two of the city’s finest groups – the Sums and the Real People.
The Sums strike while the iron is hot with a classic Smaller track Is, which Noel Gallagher originally played lead guitar on. Then they’re straight into the ferocious Vegetable – Digsy’s starkly passionate lead vocal is one of the best around. He may look like a bantam weight but he has the voice of a heavy weight. From seething passion to the more heartfelt Small Smile with fine harmonies from both Digsy and bassist Chris Mullin. A majority of their set features songs off their recent album If Only, plus a few new ones thrown in.
The Sums are a stylish outfit with plenty of depth in all departments – vocals, bass, drums and the slick lead guitar of Lee Watson. The big man has got such a powerful delivery of psychedelic effects and howling solos. They finished with a more rousing version of Who Cares, which is one of ‘the’ modern classics in my book.
From one classic incarnation to another – The Real People, lead by the inspirational Chris and Tony Griffiths. They opened with 20 Seconds, a track that sets the pace for an exhilarating set the audience lap up with fervour. The atmosphere whips up more into frenzy as the band delivered classic track after classic track such as People In the Telly and the sublime I Don’t Belong which is a vintage indie ballad by anyone’s standards.
You can see why the Real People have been such a big influence on other bands like Oasis in the Beatle-esque Some Things Must Change. The Griffiths brothers are great harmonisers and create anthemic tracks that know how to hit the spot. The Real People are one of those bands who attract new and younger fans all the time while consolidating their loyal cult following built up over the years. They have an array of songs to satisfy their audiences like the majestic Ocean Child showing a more laidback melodic approach. The encore featured three more crowd favourites including the Kinks-like toe-tapper Rayners Lane. Here endeth the lesson.
Words by: Shaun McCoy
Read More: REVIEW: The Real People, The Sums and Orange Room at the Lomax, 17/08/2012 – Liverpool-Live
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THE SUMS – If Only, Album review, & live review from Liverpool zanzibar 7th APRIL 2012, by Shaun McCoy
The Sums make a welcome return with their excellent new album If Only. It’s been a long time coming, but it’s not the first time these songs have seen the light of day. This flux of compositions has been fantastically showcased during the band’s live performances.
The Sums haven’t released much material since their acclaimed 2008 EP Treat Your Victim. The band is led by lead singer and rhythm guitarist Digsy Deary, who has co-written the songs with bassist and fellow vocalist Chris Mullin. Lead guitar artistry comes courtesy of Lee Watson and Chris Campbell completes the line up on drums.
There are so many prime tracks on here that they all standout as equally as each other – ranging from the seething to the sublime. The opening track Darken My Doorstep has plenty of passion and ferocity. Digsy’s delivery has always been a definitive factor – both live and in the studio. He’s a clever and subjective lyricist.
The album has a powerful side and a more subtle side where the latter is displayed in tracks such as Rise. It’s cool and laid back with Lee providing an excellent bluesy slide guitar while Chris backs Digsy to great effect. Their partnership on the vocals combined with the brilliantly executed music makes this a stylish album.
Who Cares is an absolute gem. Digsy’s voice is wistful creating a melancholic atmosphere with the music. The track rises into a chanting crescendo and then drops back down again. The Sums are back with a bang.
THE SUMS LIVE @ THE ZANZIBAR_7th April 2012
One of the many things I like about watching Digsy Deary perform is his admirable ability of heckling the audience. Sometimes it’s the other way round at other gigs but its all part of the banter as our lead singer throws a series of sarcastically funny wise cracks at the crowd throughout the show.
Musically and vocally The Sums are in a league of their own. They had a quite descent supporting bill in The Sterlings, Professor Yaffle and The Deception. A friend of mine commented: ‘You can see the difference in class between them and the other bands on the bill.’ He meant the step up in talent The Sums have compared to a lot of other bands around.
I’m Not Very Good is one of three new songs (also Hose Me Down and Something’s Afoot) The Sums are showcasing along with others off their 2011 album If Only. The second track Vegetable sees Digsy turn the angst up to 11 riding high with the crunching music. Digsy’s vocal is like a double edged sword – it’s either anarchic or passionately stirring. He delivers both elements in quite a lot of their songs. Digsy also superbly harmonises with bassist Chris Mullin throughout, especially in the soul wrenching Spilt Milk and the peerless Small Smile.
The Sums aren’t just good in the vocal department as lead guitarist Lee Watson adds a strong element to the band’s music with his psychedelic licks and buzz saw riffs. A classic example of Lee’s omnipresence is evident in the psychedelic thriller Mind Field with its cutting vocals, groovy circular bass and fine skin beating from Chris Campbell.
Another standout track is Who Cares? the vocals and lyrics create an endearing mix of melancholy and optimism. You can see the video for the song on YouTube. It contains nostalgic black and white clips of Liverpool, with the song providing an ample soundtrack to the classic footage.
Coming to the end of their set The Sums playout with Scared Of Missing Out which is crescendo of passionately lead vocals and finely executed music. They return for an encore to perform God I Hate This Town. This is the icing on the cake to the packed out Zanzibar crowd who have been lapping up the music all night. Digsy’s lessened the Smaller songs because he wants The Sums material to be at the forefront now, but it’s good to hear one his former band’s songs. God I Hate This Town was off Smaller’s 1996 album Badly Badly. It’s a masterpiece and one of the most underrated albums of all time. If you get a chance to go and see The Sums, grab it with both hands because they are phenomenal.
by Shaun McCoy 2012
below is a set list from the gig (encore not included)
THE SUMS ARE AFTER AN EXPERIENCED KEYBOARD PLAYER TO JOIN THE LIVERPOOL BASED BAND………AS THE BAND ARE HEADING DOWN NEW AVENUES OF CREATIVITY, WE FEEL THE NEED FOR A NEW MEMBER TO TRIGGER SAMPLES, PLAY KEYS, ( BACKING VOCALS WOULD BE A BONUS BUT NOT NECESSARY)… THE MONEY IS SHITE BUT THE SONGS ARE AMAZING !…OWN EQUIPMENT + OWN FINGERS WOULD HELP… PLEASE GET IN TOUCH IF YOU ARE UP FOR IT OR KNOW SOMEONE WHO IS… MALE/FEMALE…HUMAN/ALIEN …. IT DOESNT MATTER
In the next of our series of guest blogs, Ian McNabb reviews The Sums’ new album…
The Sums (Peter ‘Digsy’ Deary – Vocal, Guitar, Chris Mullin – Vocal, Bass, Lee Watson – Guitar, Chris Campbell – Drums) shine brightly on this their debut album ‘If Only’.
Digsy’s voice, melodies and caustic, smart as a whip lyrics pull the listener in whilst gently beating them about the head with his personal philosophies without ever sounding preachy or unfriendly. At his best he comes across as a wiser, older brother dispatching wisdom. Occasionally a little like a nastier Jeff Buckley.
Either way the charm he exudes is always captivating. The setting in which the songs are placed feature excellent, twisting and always interesting lead guitar figures by Lee Watson which are perfectly wrapped around precise rhythms conjured up by crack rhythm section Chris Mullin and Chris Campbell.
The opening sirens of Darken My Doorstep usher in a song that rocks along at a brisk pace, electric guitar high in the mix, slightly reminiscent of some of Peter Buck of R.E.M,’s earlier work. It’s a great opener and sets the tone for a set of songs (13 in all) which take you on a journey which never gets boring. Comeback Scumbag follows and is a mid-paced rocker with another great guitar figure complimented by a spooky, evocative keyboard break. Ride To Nowhere is an early highlight featuring a fabulous chorus and some great slide playing. Spilt Milk begins with a great acoustic guitar figure beneath a distorted vocal which moves along moodily before building into a nifty chorus.
The standard of tunes is high for the remainder of the album with credit going to Chris Mullin for co-writing a third of the songs with Digsy. Lee Watson really lets rip on this record, and the guitar is always up front and powerful without overwhelming the song or the singer. The wonderful Who Cares has long been a live favourite and may be the best song Digsy has ever penned. It’s chorus of “Go out forever!” is screaming to be heard coming back from the audience in a crowded venue near you sometime soon.
Overall a great and varied record. Hopefully one which will get to be heard and appreciated by many, which it deserves.
Album review by Ian McNabb 8/10
The Sums album “If Only” is available from Townsend Records on download and cd £9.99 and the first 200 sold will b signed http://www.townsend-records.co.uk/stores/thesums/
Out of the ashes of their previous band ‘Smaller’ rose ‘The Sums.’ Based in Liverpool , Smaller were a part of the UK Brit pop scene who smashed into the indie top 10 with classic singles taken from the critically acclaimed album Badly Badly, featuring the tracks, Wasted , God I hate this town and Is, with Noel Gallagher on guitar & ex La’s Barry Sutton also provided some fret action on the album. Richard Hawley also featured on un released material that was recorded before the demise of Smaller.
Icicle Works frontman Ian McNabb performs tonight (December 10) December at the Capstone Theatre and tickets are priced at £15 and available from 0151 709 3789.Then, an aftershow billed as Ian McNabb and Friends Christmas Show will take place following the show on Saturday 10 December at Eric’s on Mathew Street. Entry will be free to ticket holders from the Friday and Saturday theatre shows or it is £5 on door for non ticket holders. The Eric’s aftershow is on December 10 from 10pm till 2am.