Threshold 2012: Day Two

Following a first day full of promise, and numerous diamonds in the rough, we broadened our Threshold horizons. What could go wrong?

If you heard or felt something of a bang yesterday, it may have been yours truly crashing back to earth with a bump. After a storming opening night, our expectations of both act and organisation had been heightened. But like an admired young band on the back of a successful debut record, the second can prove that much more difficult, and success harder to come by. Such was Day Two of Threshold 2012.

Having stuck exclusively to Camp and Furnace on opening night, we thought it only fair to drop in on Liverpool Acoustic’s line up, at the pleasingly refurbished Elevator bar, to ease ourselves into the proceedings. Local singer songwriter Alan O’Hare, followed by James Munro and Norway’s Hedda Aronssen offering up a decent sample of what the promoter has going on, with a brand of pleasing, inoffensive stuff.

From there, we returned to Camp and Furnace in time to catch Tibi and her Cello, of whom we’d heard good things. Plus, we’re suckers for a cellist. Playing the intimate Imploding Inevitable Festival, this is where problems with our evening started to creep in. First off, there were difficulties with the sound; Tibi eventually seeming to settle for what she could get. This was but a minor quibble next to what followed. The adjoining space housed the A Culture Less Ordinary stage, featuring bassy and rock orientated acts – great if you’re in that room watching the likes of Ratty Little Fingers, not so much if you’re straining to hear a cellist whose intricate playing and skilled plucking was almost for naught.

Needless to say, we didn’t get a true reflection of the ability of Tibi, or following acts such as space cadet Laura J Martin, whose flute and mandolin fared no better than the preceding cello. Top marks to both for soldiering on in such difficult circumstances – we’ll hopefully catch you again in more suitable circumstances – certainly, had it been us, we’d have been outta there, proper diva-stylee. But that’s us I guess.

Ironically, the high point of the night presented itself when we adopted the tried and true ‘if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em’ method to catch The Left Hand’s set in the aforementioned rabble-rousing Culture Less Ordinary room. Some proper guitar heroics from Joe McLaughlin, eccentric (in a good way) keys of Paul Hirons, and the steady, powerful drumming of Angela Walker combine to produce a foot stomping brand of psyche-garage rock. With tracks like Dodecahedron, RAGS (regret, anxiety, guilt and shame) and Left Side of My Brain, TLH provided what we hoped would be the swift and brutal kick we needed to salvage our evening.

Alas, we chose to return to Elevator at this juncture, and were unfortunate enough to catch Felix Hagan, midway through his set of a terribly passé, cabaret-schtick performance. The world already has Gogol Bordello (who are bad enough), we don’t need poor imitations, thank you. And that, ladies and gentlemen was that, Hagan providing the proverbial straw that broke our collective camel’s back. Off we went into the night, wondering if somehow this were our fault; our twitter-feeds telling us about other bands we’d neglected to see, rocking their way through adulation-strewn sets.

Image courtesy Laura Robertson

Threshold concludes tonight

Posted on 12/02/2012 by thedoublenegative