Liverpool Music Week’s DIY Breaking Out series is usually reserved for bands who lie outside of the city’s limits offering a chance for the finest new talents from around the country to descend on Liverpool for a week of discovery. Queen Zee and the Sasstones provide the exception. Despite having been going for just over two years, the group have made more headway than perhaps any other Liverpool act in recent years. What with a Glastonbury performance, tours with the likes of Marmozets, they’re a force to be reckoned with.
Having been on tour across the country for almost two months constantly, tonight is a homecoming, a celebration of how far they’ve come and an opportunity to have a bit of a party. With the home crowd packing out the dungeon like space found under a nightclub, there’s little room to breathe. Zee leaves little time before working the crowd into a frenzy gazing manically out into the sea of heads that stand before her. Ripping straight into ‘Victim Age’ the group spring into life refusing to stand still for even a second.
Ear-splittingly loud, they somehow manage to incorporate pop melody into a high octane combination of metal, punk and shoegaze influences (maybe by witchcraft) all while tackling hard hitting issues such as misogyny, transphobia and toxic masculinity at break neck speed. Taking time between songs to connect with the audience, it’s obvious that for the Sasstones, this is far more than a band: it’s an ideology.
However it’s impossible to miss their sense of fun, revelling in the well-orchestrated chaos as they slam and crowdsurf through every song even performing perhaps the heaviest cover of Dizzee Rascal’s ‘Bonkers’ we may ever hear. Inviting the crowd onto the stage for final song ‘Sass or Die’, Queen Zee and the Sasstones create an atmosphere not merely of joyous anarchy but one of inclusion in a world filled with hate.
Photos: Rob Adamson