The Shadow Theatre

LIVERPOOL has been churning out a right mix bag of talent recently, The Shadow Theatre not being ones to disappoint. Their dark post-punk sounding has been turning a lot of heads and when you listen in, you become possessed by this extreme, overwhelming feel.

Their name almost depicts their whole being, the shadow being full of untold mystery and the theatre pushing a sense of showmanship and performance. The way I have described this of course does not give them justice yet it helps you to understand just what I am trying to achieve by explaining this excellent phenomena taking place right in front of our own eyes.

Their latest single 'Ghosts' was the first track I could get my eager hands on and how impressed I was with the pleasing sound of haunted music, I couldn't help but notice early indications towards the likes of Joy Division, recreating the eeriness Ian Curtis' voice had brought to the nevertheless multi-tonal tune that they were creating back within the late 70s post-punk era. The foot tapping lull of an introduction adds an extra umpf to the spooky track, so cleverly has it been intertwined with an atmospheric beat and up-tempo feel, definitely making this track oh so original which is incredibly difficult for some artists to get to grips with.

The next track I had the chance to listen to was 'Violent Whispers', a simple yet effective guitar introduction begins the gloomy track, dusting a cloudy mist of uncertainty over the 4 and a half minutes ahead. A beat then formulates backing up this crazy fearful sound, definitely setting a shadowy form of nostalgia which is then hand in hand with the echo-y voice that vocalist Andrew Gorge brings to the dingy mood, quivering the surface of Violent Whispers, enchanting the audience to become paralysingly still, blown away by the hesitant song crawling around your imagination.

You've heard what I think, this powerful four-piece definitely know how to shake an audience to its core, make sure to listen in, you'll experience a wide array of emotions full of that very apocalyptic atmosphere we all fear but cannot help but enjoy. The Music Manual had to ask The Shadow Theatre more about their impressive sound, read on to hear what they had to say...

How did the name 'The Shadow Theatre' come about?
It’s a long story, but it was because we didn’t think our old name (Faceless Nation) suited the music. This name seems to illustrate exactly what we’re about: darkness, imagery & atmosphere.
What is your opinion on the current music scene in Liverpool?
The local music scene is just starting to pick up, with a few interesting sounds coming through at the moment. There’s currently an underground post-punk/new-wave scene building and it’s exciting to be part of it. The variety of styles emerging is good to see and hopefully it’ll gain national awareness in the near future.
Who or what inspires you when writing music?
When writing the music we all tend to be inspired by our own life experiences and how can reflect that in our sound. Listening to artists such as Bauhaus, The Chameleons, Joy Division, The Fall, The Cure and Echo & the Bunnymen, definitely influences the direction that we have taken. Andrew tends to write his lyrics about the darker elements of his life and also his reflections on modern life.
How do you know when a track sounds good?
It’s a strange one, but we just seem to know when something clicks: it’s like there’s a connection between the music and the band. The first ideas we come up with are often the ones we end up using, as they are the ones that capture the energy and mood.

Favourite venue to play and why?
Mello Mello tends to be a cool venue to play. It has its own unique energy and it usually draws an intimate crowd, ranging from fans and music lovers.

Do festivals appeal to you as a band?
Yes, of course. We’ve played Liverpool Sound City and are set to play again this year, which is a really cool festival with a good vibe. We’re hoping to play some of the summer festivals too.

Is there a set plan for what lies ahead or are you just enjoying playing your music?
Well we are enjoying the music, but we do have a few releases set for this year and also are planning on getting a UK and European tour on the go.

Any pre-gig rituals that take place?
When playing in Liverpool, we always go to the Egg cafe, which is a nice bohemian vegetarian restaurant. It sets us up for the night ahead. Often Andrew takes a walk around the block to clear his head before a performance. Other than that the band spend a lot of the pre-gig time together.

What do you think is the best way of gaining a greater audience for your music?
Definitely just gigging and getting airtime on local and national radio. Social media is also crucial in building our fanbase, with Facebook being a key media platform.
Finally, what are we going to be hearing from you this year?
We’re planning on releasing maybe one more single, an EP or two and eventually a full-length album, which is almost complete. We are very excited about getting our music out there.

Want to check them out? 
13th April at Bumper, Liverpool
19th April at House, Liverpool

6th May at Liverpool Sound City (Liverpool One Dome, 1pm)

I'd like to thank The Shadow Theatre for this great interview, definitely looking forward to the full-length album! 

Please note some photographs used in this article were taken by Doone Rush Photography

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