Wrong Festival at Liverpool Docklands review

The first incarnation of Liverpool's heavy all day event Wrong Festival brought the liked of Bo Ningen, Part Chimp, the Wytches and more to the city. We headed on down to the freakzone to see what it was about.

Lorna Gray

Last updated: 27th Apr 2017.
Originally published: 24th Apr 2017

Image: Bo Ningen by Andrew AB 

It's expected that a festival in its infancy is to be unpolished and not without its minor hiccups but the carefully curated Wrong Festival surpassed all expectations in its execution. The event brought fans of all things weird and noisy to Liverpool docklands, for a full day celebration of all things psych, garage and doom rock.

Taking place across three of some of the city's most quirky locations, including the stunning Invisible Wind Factory, former warehouse come nautical themed venue North Shore Troubadour, as well as disused pub Drop the Dumbulls, stepping into another realm of the freakzone never seemed so inviting. 

Appearances can be deceiving, and that rings true of power rock trio Mums as they grace the stage of Invisible Wind Factory. The Widnes band coyly step onto the stage and the charming 60s dress worn by guitarist Roanne insinuates a similarly charming 60s Nico style sound will fill the room, but this is not what this festival is about. The heavy shoegazy noise emanating from this raucous band resonates with an agreeable crowd, as they nod along to the Sonic Youth-esque distorted drones.

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The band have gone through many line up and name changes, but one thing that's seemed to stay constant for the three best friends is that their noisy tracks - and especially live incarnations of them - are enough to kick off a full day of heavy rock. 

The disused pub Drop the Dumbulls offers a dingier affair, perfect fit for the gritty Black Pudding. Stepping in from the sunny exterior into the darkened room of flashing lights and creepy visuals was a difficult transition - only made easier by the enticing noise of the fuzzy trio. Thier sound somewhat reminiscent of Thee Oh Sees mixed with psych god Ty Segall and elements of punks The Cramps seep through, the Leeds band seemed to be lapped up by the crowd. 

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False Advertising managed to get a stationary crowd moving as the trio's impressively loud set displayed their capability to command attention from spectators. If their brand of rock hadn't impressed those watching, then the swap of members from instruments certainly will have done. The facile transition from drums to guitar and vice versa showed that these guys are sorely talented. 

Offering something a bit different from the norm as festival curator Michael Edward steps onto the stage with his noise band Elevant to showcase his other talents other than pulling together a stellar festival. It seems he can also play the guitar pretty well and have a shared good time with his band mates as well as the crowd in the meantime. 

Witnessing Part Chimp live is a rare treat for most, after their 2009 release Thriller burst onto the scene and potentially burst ear drums, a five year hiatus left fans yearning for more sludgy noise from the London quartet. Luckily for fans anticipating great things from this uncommon live performance, they delivered with the sheer volume of their intense riffs and squawks of distortion.

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Performing live versions of their nostalgic back catalogue, Chimp also delved into their brand new material. After an eight year gap from releasing music, their brand new release IV offers just as much chaos and rip-roaring riffs, proving that time apart hasn't had an effect on the decibels or delivery of their unique sound. 

Closing the evening were Japanese heroes of the noise rock genre, Bo Ningen. A theatrical performance ensued and encaptivated the sizable crowd whose eyes were fixated solely on the onstage antics. Vocalist and bassist Taigen had the audience in the palm of her hand as her voice, drenched in effects, reverberates around the vacuous space of the Invisible Wind Factory and flows perfectly above the weird and twisted guitar. 

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Taigen holds the body of his guitar out towards the audience and balances the neck on his stomach as he still flawlessly plays the pulsating and driving bass rhythms that dominate Ningen's truly original take on the neo-psychedelic genre like a harp. With long locks of hair flowing and swishing from all four members throughout the set, the audience actions mirrored the raw energy and passion of the quartet and the response to the band's finale signalled that nobody wanted it to end. 

Wrong Festival's debut showcased the weird and wonderful world of noise rock, from the perfectly polished yet fuzzy drones to the completely obscure. It's safe to say that this event will be welcomed back to the city with open arms. 

Tickets are no longer available for this event

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