What it is like to work for a non-commercial radio station? Well, it is a lot of, er, work that we do enjoy immensely, however. And it is unpaid which of course we do not enjoy a lot. Then again, we live without playlists which is wonderful. We are right there at the pulse of music and music pulses our blood if I may say so clumsily poetically on the first spring-like Saturday evening of this year.
Thus, I may mutter *beep* if the BIG radio presenters were quicker than me playing a band. In this case of course it was Steve Lamacq of the Beeb and that makes it alright. Steve may….not that he would bother to ask me:-)
Getting there, getting there: The band in question was Liu Bei. Liu Bei is not a Chinese singer but a London band counting five members. They got their name from a radio documentary about a Chinese (kind-hearted, very tall) warlord.
Richard, singer and guitarist, joined the band (who were about to chuck it in) after touring relentlessly with three albums up his sleeve on his ownio and did not want to go along alone. Lucky coincidence, that.
The songs do derive from what Richard finds inspirational and that can be a reading a book or a listening to songs that make him want to be just as good or he walks or indeed he can party to shut down the brain for a bit. He does find that sometimes as much as restrictions pain you, you have to set yourself certain boundaries to find your way, too. Much like All We Are explained it, see the post on them in this blog.
As swimming pool echoes Liu Bei describe their music. I find that very fitting – there is a dreamlike, surreal quality to their songs. Or maybe it is because of the floor of their studio? Anyhow, anyone who quotes Mazzy Star and the Cocteau Twins as influences, is stuck on my record player with gaffer tape already.
The music leaves you to discover always something new in the songs, there’s danceable bits, addictive guitar sounds, wee extras and above all a really good voice. Add to that lyrics that go straight to the heart and there you have Liu Bei. I heard they are not to be missed live as well.
Their new EP “Goodness” is out on Museumgoer Records and is available in all the usual places. This year is starting well!
Visit Liu Bei on their website www.liubeiwins.com which will lead you to their Bandcamp, Soundcloud, Twitter etc. homes.
Here is their debut single “Infatuation” and you better get those Sharon van Etten hankie bags out, I swear, touching your heart with hot knives but it feels good.
(I wanted to put up the audio, then saw the video, that’s it, tears streaming down…)
And then we have two songs from the new EP “Goodness”. First up the title track:
And then the gorgeous “Fields” with Rachel Goswell from Slowdive: