Athlete - Liverpool Carling Academy - 12 th January - Live Review

You know that noise that seems to mill about in the air when there’s something special going down, it doesn’t really exist but you know you can hear it – this was the perfect example.

Having never witnessed the leg-end that is ‘Athlete’ live before I was unbearably excited to see what their latest live offering would produce and thankfully I wasn’t disappointed.

As Athlete take their places the capacity-strength Scouse crowd raise the roof to welcome these southern boys as one of their own and you can see the affection is mutual.

Kicking off with an OBG (oldie but goodie), frontman Joel Pott is clearly bowled over by this adoring crowd and belts out ‘Westside’ as only he can.

Next come a couple of new tracks, after all that’s why we’re all here, and the bead-clad student types rammed into the first three rows seem to have gathered enough enthusiasm on their own to match that of the rest of the crowd and are already sweating buckets.

But not without due cause, by the sounds of it ‘Tourist’ poses a promising prospect but whether it’ll match up to the phenomenal success of ‘Vehicles and Animals’ is another story – at this stage I’m inclined to think it won t but who knows.

The crippling emotion and funky middle 8 breakdowns for which we know and love Athlete are still kicking some live music ass and I’m

Athlete - Liverpool Carling Academy - 12 th January - Live Review
Athlete - Liverpool Carling Academy - 12 th January - Live Review
Athlete - Liverpool Carling Academy - 12 th January - Live Review

sure the choral attributes of the crowd could be heard all the way in Birkenhead – all down to the singalongability of their achingly catchy tunes.

There’s a bit of banter and frivolity as the band point out some familiar fans in the crowd and we’re off again but this time it’s ‘Wires’. Don’t reckon their was a dry eye in the house, how can Mr Pott make you cry just by singing??, beats me but the crowd seem to love it and already know all the words.

And off they pop to deafening applause and cheers, but not for long as they return for their crowd-pleaser encore ‘El Salvador’ which goes down a storm and the genuine adoration for these boys seems to get a bit too much as they admit they’re speechless and how much they love the city.

Not a startlingly brilliant on-stage presence but is that all it’s cracked up to be? Athlete produce truly beautifully melodic tracks with emotion-a-gogo, surely that’s what counts.


Words and pictures by JVF