Liars made it clear that they wouldn’t be performing “standard festival fare ” at Harvest, which is what I’d expected – they’re a band known for their experimentation, their refusal to stick with an approach for longer than album. So I was looking forward to something left of centre from their hour long performance.
They did an excellent job reproducing their unique aesthetic on stage while capturing an organic feel setting the performances apart from the recorded versions. While it was great to see the group live, I would have preferred something…a bit more standard.
A “standard” festival set engages long-term fans and passing punters with songs that capture attention, and showcases the band’s discography. I wish that had described Liars’ set – it was ten songs (starting five minutes late and finishing five minutes early, sadly), with a full eight from either their latest record WIXIW or Drum’s Not Dead – both reflective, absorbing albums with songs that don’t work quite as well out of context.
The highlight was “Plaster Casts of Everything” and I would have loved more songs along that vein: propulsive and exciting. I was particularly sad that nothing from Sisterworld – my favourite album of theirs – appeared in the setlist.