(Piece written for Getintothis)
Chris Flack makes the trek down Duke Street and into the Sound Basement for a spin on the Magic Roundabout. (No Storms were harmed in the making of this report)
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Our own Craig McDonald’s night, The Magic Roundabout, fell into the basement of Sound with an all female line up for its second roll of the dice. Ellie Keegan, Elle Mary, Beija Flo and Maddie Storm provided a perfect juxtaposition to the footie and lads in lab coats mainlining jàgerbombs upstairs.
Ellie kicked things off with a faint whimper. A dodgy DI or a guitar needing batteries were at fault and it went very quiet during track one. Technical gremlins banished to the storeroom, she returned with tales of love and light; she also managed to throw in an impressive cover of ABBAs ‘Does Your Mother Know That You’re Out’. Not a bad start when it got there, we just hope she got a few quid for a new shirt…
Manchester’s Elle Mary took to the stage in her first outing in Liverpool. Just her and a guitar, she sang beautifully, falling somewhere between Kate Bush and Radiohead. There was a touch of haunting melodies and dark, late nights. She battled a little with rowdy punters but her sarcasm put paid to that pretty quick. As a new prospect to most of the crowd, she delivered some stunning tunes.
To suggest Beija Flo knew everyone in the room wouldn’t be an exaggeration, to our eye it looked like most of them had come to see her. She was accompanied on stage by an odd array of mementoes and kitsch paraphernalia, her soundtracked dog and a skull full of jumping frogs. Beija sings with a hidden cast of insecurities, flirtatiousness and a dash of fury, it’s a bit of blues, a bit mad and a bit Bjork. The keyword for the evening was dilation treatment. Honestly. We’re big fans.
Maddie and her band took to the stage in a whirlwind that appeared to be an attempt to challenge the Sound soundman. This was proper rock and roll, all brooding guitars and wrenching bass. While her band might look like they’ve come from different places; a windswept accountant bassist, a hippy for a lead guitarist and an early 80s rocker of a drummer, they work together to create the perfect front for Maddie’s incredible vocal. For a rainy Friday night between wage packets, The Magic Roundabout was a near perfect sanctuary from the damp mid-month milieu.