December Giant EP launch at Leaf, Liverpool – Review

Posted on 6 April 2011
By Richard Lewis
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The ‘Year of the Giant’ stickers that have been proliferating around Liverpool City Centre over the past few weeks and who may have been responsible for them is finally revealed this evening.
Taking to the stage in a near-capacity Leaf Café, December Giant, launching their eponymously titled EP own up to being the instigators of the campaign. Drawing inspiration from the wellspring of blue collar Americana pioneered by Bruce Springsteen and continued by The Gaslight Anthem, the band excel at unpretentious, anthemic rock.

Motoring through the unashamedly heart-swelling likes of ‘Today’s the Day’ and the acoustic driven ‘Before You Go,’ piloted by lead singer Matty’s Springsteen-like vocal conviction, the quartet seemingly win over the crowd within the space of three songs. ‘A Million Ways,’ breaking down into crowd-stirring sing-along two thirds of the way through, shows the extent of their stadium-filling ambitions.

Unapologetically heart-on-sleeve, the band share the same sensitive lyrical concerns of Elbow’s Guy Garvey, backed with the raucous energy of The Hold Steady, along with a sprinkling of Husker Du’s emotional urgency. Allowing their three-part harmonies room to breathe, the delicate vocal interludes are a brave move for a band only a few gigs old.

Snowballing in quality and picking up momentum as they progress, the band finish the set with a decisive one-two punch. ‘The Way,’ hinging on an ascending riff and sunburst rhythm guitar, played faster live than on record, evokes memories of early 1990s US college rock before grunge became dominant. Followed by key EP track ‘Starting All Over,’ to conclude proceedings, the ‘Giant bring their set to a close to rapturous applause.

With the ‘Year of the Giant’ now fully underway, the group return to the city to play a slot at the ultra-prestigious Sound City in May, following dates further afield. Judging by tonight’s confident display, they may well end up being one of the surprise hits of the festival.

For more on the ‘Year of the Giant’, visit

Photography: Iwona Siestrzewitowska (