Reviews for The Paris Riots and Eliza Doolittle. There's also an interview with Eliza Doolittle on my previous blog, and an interview with TPR to come. Also some photos, courtesy of the unfailingly legendary Max Farnham, and links to the band's websites. I do spoil you all.

The Paris Riots have arrived in Liverpool. Lead singer Toby Connor is a brilliant lead singer, taking over the front room of Bumper as though it is his to keep, mesmerising the crowd with his captivating energy.

There is a clear comparison to be made between Toby Connor and Jim Morrison, with the wailing, distinctive vocals, the exploratory lyrics and the big haired, snake-hipped charm he displays onstage. The Paris Riots are no Doors, however. There are elements of Bloc Party and New Order here, particularly evident in the bone-shaking “Wrecking Ball”.

The real star of the show tonight was clearly Scott McKnight, The Paris Riot’s furious drummer. He may at first appear to be unassuming, but once behind his kit, McKnight takes the elements the rest of the band deliver and tie them together with pounding drums that force you to stomp and sway.

If the quartet took to Bumper’s front room stage tonight with the goal of establishing a Liverpudlian fan base, they can rest assured. Following a slew of mediocre acts, The Paris Riots shattered expectations with primal drumming, charisma and instantly memorable hooks.

Eliza Doolittle is sweet and soulful tonight at Studio Two. The youthful singer strolled onstage to a smattering of polite applause and left to a resounding wave of cheers.

On record, it is all too easy to dismiss Eliza Doolittle as yet another in the line of songstresses relying on looks and catchy manufactured pop, but once you see her live it is clear that Miss Doolittle has a little bit more going on.

In the intimate setting of Studio 2, it would have been all to easy to put the overcrowded and overheated room to sleep, but Eliza Doolittle shook the room up, playing her particular brand of jazzy and soulful summer music. Accompanied by a guitarist/ukelele player, a vibrant drummer and a double bassist/backing singer, the tracks which sound, on record, so MTV friendly took on a new life here.

The songs were less than note perfect, but this worked well in the cosy atmosphere of Studio Two, particularly with the deep notes of the double bass comlementing the high singing, giving the songs a rounded and honest feel. It is in the slower numbers that Eliza Doolittle’s talent shines through, harking back to the jazz numbers of the sixties and showing influences from singers like Nancy Sinatra, Amy Winehouse and Billie Holliday.

Eliza Doolittle challenges the stereotype of the young female pop starlet, and before you judge her on the manufactured hype of hr singles and videos, make sure to see her live.

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