Rat Boy @ Invisible Wind Factory, Liverpool 09/11/18

On Friday 9th November, Rat Boy brought his ‘Dumb & Confused Tour‘ to Liverpool. On a stormy night by the Mersey, the large docklands venue Invisible Wind Factory was filling up nicely.

Admittedly I’ve not followed the Essex musician too closely since his arrival on the scene back in 2015 with viral hit ‘Sign On‘, when I wrote this introducing article on him and his music. Back then he was touring relentlessly but playing the smallest venues available – they were always sell-outs however. Nevertheless, I was surprised at the size of the crowd he was pulling in last night. Photos and videos on social media from the previous night’s show in Nottingham suggested there was even more there.

Jordan Cardy and co. walked out to rapturous applause and cheers from a young crowd. Kicking off with the punky energy of new track ‘Chip On My Shoulder‘, it wasn’t long before drinks were flying through the air. Chip On My Shoulder will apparently make an appearance on Rat Boy’s second full-length album ‘Internationally Unknown‘ set for release in January 2019 via Parlophone.

In a lengthy set, more recent releases were rock-orientated and showed a diversion from his hip-hop tendencies. The fusion of his indie rock and hip-hop influences has worked incredibly well for Jordan over the last couple of years. He sounds like Jamie T if Jamie T had grown up in Compton, as he plays his guitar in a shirt plastered with the Colt 45 logo and draped in gold chains.

Offerings from early mixtapes such as ‘Sportswear‘ and ‘Left 4 Dead‘ went down a treat with the crowd who kept energy levels high throughout despite needing a bit of prompting to jump and sing along from the band and their DJ.

Technical issues were a constant niggle throughout Rat Boy’s set, with his guitar not working at all during some songs and a bit of distortion on the mic. The lights had to be switched on several times for technicians to fiddle with Jordan’s guitar and pedals – seemingly to no avail as the problems persisted. The poor sound quality didn’t have as detrimental an effect as it would have done with over artists, due to the rough around the edges sound of the majority of Rat Boy’s material.

The poppy ‘Get Over It‘ which was used on the soundtrack to Fifa 17, and mellow tune ‘Laidback‘ from the 2017 debut album ‘Scum‘, were my personal highlights.

All in all, the show can’t be rated highly as a live performance but many of the issues were likely out of the band’s control. There were a handful of songs I enjoyed very much and there’s no doubt over the talent of this young singer/songwriter/rapper/producer and I’ll look forward to hearing the new album in the new year with this more guitar-heavy direction he seems to be heading in.

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