The Florescents. Photo taken from band’s Facebook
”Complete with their intricate-yet-heavy driving bass lines that made me want to take the five hour journey home just to lug my bass amp back on the train and give them a go, it was a mightily rowdy set from the Mighty Toucan. And I absorbed its energy gladly”
Up until last Saturday, I’d never set foot in The Zanzibar. I’d walked past it many times on the way to buy mince pies and tofu, yes, but to be quite honest, the blue hue of the place had blended into the rest of Seel Street in my mind. However, having heard the name banded about by many an enthusiastic gig-goer since moving to Liverpool, I was intrigued by the prospect of heading there to experience ‘The Zanzibar Presents’.
Upon arrival, I wasn’t really sure what to expect – there is no other way to describe the entrance to Zanzibar other than a hole in a wall. But once inside, I began to see its appeal as a gig venue. Small but intimate, the Zanzibar brought a chilled but buzzing atmosphere to the start-of-gig experience.
It turned out we were a bit early for the ‘Presents’ show, so had the pleasure of listening to various local acts performing impromptu covers of the likes of Ed Sheeran and Oasis, along with observing the events of a charity quiz unfold – cue many slightly tipsy shouts from the participating competitors. Once the clock struck half nine, however, the music got into full swing, welcoming The Mighty Toucan onstage. I’d drifted off slightly mid-quiz, and these were the perfect band to bring me, and a relatively small audience, back into the moment. The Mighty Toucan filled the place with what I can only describe as typically punk-rock anthems underlined with the grinding guitar parts associated with metal. Complete with their intricate-yet-heavy driving bass lines that made me want to take the five hour journey home just to lug my bass amp back on the train and give them a go, it was a mightily rowdy set from the Mighty Toucan. And I absorbed its energy gladly.
The second set of Saturday night came in the form of dynamic duo, The Florescents. Though they injected a similar amount of energy into the congregation of Zanzibar to that exuded by the Mighty Toucan prior to them, The Florescents displayed a slightly different edge to the atmosphere, adding a bit of roll to the rock. Clear vocals thrown over groovy, syncopated guitar lines gave the band a distinctive sound, a sound exhibited in performances of some of their tracks including what I believe was described to be ‘Paranoia/Insomnia’ (A brief onstage debate between the members about which was the correct feeling ensued). Not to mention the lead vocalist’s interesting choice of jacket – so many flowers. Yet, thankfully, that did not detract from the quality of the music.
All in all, the Zanzibar Presents was a great gig to lose my Zanzibar virginity to.