A hard-to-pin rock proposition and rip-roaring live outfit from Bristol, UK. Jamie Whitby-Coles, Rasha Shaheen and Neil Smith.
Formed in the mid-noughties in an industrial lift, The Liftmen have been fixtures of Bristol’s musical subterranea ever since, nurturing their artful and lyrically elusive song constructs for guitar/bass/drum/voice
There are echoes throughout of those fertile times when punk’s brusque energy found its way to more subtle timbres via bands like Gang Of Four, The Bush Tetras and Jozef K, while at points an almost jazzy serenity descends recalling the Chicago school of the nineties … yet just as often this is gleefully ruptured by fuzzed-out motorik detours and Deerhoofian thrusts into sonic overdrive. It is those moments that are gloriously expanded upon in their blistering live shows, where they are often joined by fellow Bristolian SJ Esau on sundry electronic devices.
The first single was a double A-sided, red vinyl 7″ of Meatraffle and Backwards released in 2003 with an accompanying video. This helped bring the Liftmen to the attention of Twisted Nerve’s head honcho, Andy Votel.
“Like most of my other favourite bands The Liftmen are hard to describe.
Made from the same ingredients of post-punk underdogs Prag Vec with all the fibrous weight of 50 Foot Hose ‘s 1967 psych milestone LP, this mixed omelette of bust-up Kinder Surprise toys and crunchy eggshell shrapnel reduces Thee Headcoatees and The Fall to a bubbling crude while traces of The Sea And Cake stick to the bottom of the burning pan. The only difference between this band and the other misunderstood records in my DJ bag is that i can watch The Liftmen play live, in this country, regularly, which makes them my favourite live band to boot. This odd-pop groop embody the scientific formula that still makes rare record dealers wish that they’d had the balls to buy a copy of that unclassifiable private proto-punk problematic-jazz fuzz LP back in 1981 that sounded like it was made in 1971 by a band pretending to be from 2021. Lyrically abnormal, with shopping list lyrics about frogs trapped in Coke cans (perhaps) its hard to draw a line under this band. While Jamie ritually circles the drum kit, Neil rotates the drinks cabinet and Rasha drives Omar Souleyman around continental ring-roads (fact) this band sound like more than you need to know and less like you’d expect. Your Tenner Here Please!”
(Andy Votel: Twisted Nerve/Finders Keepers Founder)