Threshold2015 // Snapshots:The Shipbuilders st Baltic Social.




The Shipbuilders, Sunday 29th March, The Baltic Social

Walking into The Baltic Social, its lifts draw the gaze. Young musicians pour in and out of them, carried up and down this old warehouse. These lifts are entirely out of place in this venue which is, for the most part, evocative of an old wooden ship. It is lined with mismatched wooden panels whose paint has the impression of being stripped by years of salty wind. You have the feeling that after years of ebbing, pushing and shoving, everything has creaked into place.


Who better then than Liverpool natives, The Shipbuilders, to take to the stage as the night draws in on a Sunday evening. The setting is intimate and the band accentuate this. Their sound is that of The La’s and The Coral, an inherent Merseyside sound that isn’t forced but entirely natural to them, captivating everyone within earshot with their instant familiarity. From the very first note of their opening song, ‘Feeling in my pocket’, the Shipbuilders wash over the audience and pull them closer. So much so that much to the delight of everyone, the crowd throws forth the band’s very own impromptu Bez; an audience member who confirmed the strong cohesion in the room by “rattling on” with her own tambourine. Their set is folky through and through, the drums are pounding and the guitars are both raucous and melodic. Their mastery of this well trodden path and the fact that they command so much attention is testament to hugely talented songwriting and a highly skilled group of musicians. 

The band was tight throughout, they played with innate ease and their ability to pilot The Baltic Social was never in doubt. The final throes of ‘Heavy is the weight’ were met with equally powerful applause and it took this dockland venue a good few moments to settle following The Shipbuilders’ departure from the stage. 

(Alexander Harrington)