Musical Liverpool

The Tab takes a look at Liverpool Uni’s biggest bands

by the rivers great plain sundance jonathan stafford liverpool uni music

Everyone knows Liverpool’s got a great musical history, and there’s a lot of students working hard to maintain the city’s reputation. Here’s The Tab’s selection of the best gigging Liverpool Uni bands.


By The Rivers

At the Lamartree festival last July, By The Rivers give a performance that’s been described as “lively”, “original”, and a “great atmosphere”.

However, the reaction to this 6 piece from Leicester was probably mostly down to their live performance. Like so many of the bands that play this festival, they don’t translate well onto record. Giving them a listen on Spotify, you can’t help but feel disappointed after expecting originality and finding absolutely none.

By The Rivers are a very typical white reggae band who say some vaguely political statements that lack substance and interest.

To be fair, if they’re given a middle class crowd with enough alcohol in them on a sunny afternoon, they’ll tear the house down. They do what they do well – It just so happens that it’s not interesting anymore.



Jonathan Stafford

Jonathan Stafford is young Jeff Buckley contemporary who cites Damien Rice and Bob Marley as his influences. Since his arrival in Liverpool last semester he has certainly broken exciting new ground, gigging at open mics ‘at least three times a week’.

The young music student certainly is more ambitious than his laid back personality would lead you to believe. Having acquired himself a job running an open mic night once a week and frequently being paid to perform in a city he’s known little longer than five months, Jonathan has already established himself as a respected writer and performer.

He displays a superb vocal range which you can hear on his soundcloud through his face book and though his lyrics are often to self regarding, his organic grasp over melody redeems this as he achieves what many young musicians struggle with – translating well onto recording.


Great Plain Sundance

After their well received gig at the Zanzibar and a performance on BBC Merseyside radio, these UoL music students are covering a lot of ground quickly.

Bassist Sam Weston says the band’s output has been described as ‘pop songs with balls’, and occasionally that comes through in the music – GPS showcase the craft and control over songwriting that so many new bands just don’t manage.

‘Stay Up All Night’ (available on their facebook) is sincere and controlled with interesting progression, and an addictive melody. However, the balls can be seriously lacking. Although the sound is sophisticated, it’s not doing anything that might get them into a bit of trouble.Isn’t that what music’s meant to do?

In short GPS are the band who you see by chance at a mate’s gig and end up enjoying way more. There’s no reason why these guys shouldn’t make the festival circuit this summer, so keep your eyes peeled.

Website –

New single – ‘My Love’ – Tuesday 5th February

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