Reviewed by Nikki Cotter

Opening Night verdict ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

First performed in Liverpool in 2017 to mark the city’s Sgt. Pepper at 50 Festival, Mark Morris’ unique tribute to the iconic album is a joyful explosion of music and movement painted with the most vibrant of colour pallets.

Referencing several of Sgt. Peppers most memorable songs as well as the exuberant Penny Lane, Pepperland is an uplifting celebration with its airy choreography & clever interpretations.

Ethan Iverson’s bold score reimagines each of the much-loved songs; the rich sounds of the piano are accompanied by the electronica of the theremin which marries beautifully with Morris’ playful choreography.

Elizabeth Kutzman’s swinging sixties inspired costumes offer a rainbow of Carnaby St inspired colour while the 17 dancers navigate their way through joyous jives to dreamy hippy vibes. The mood is playful, fun and free.

While there are some pieces which are fairly abstract it’s those with live vocals from Clinton Curtis which really engage the audience. The wit of Morris’ choreography during When I’m 64 clearly an audience favourite as the dancers interpret the out of kilter music with comedic consequence.

Morris’ decision to have his dancers stand and sing along to A Day in the Life is particularly striking with just the right amount of nostalgia.

At just over an hour long Pepperland is the perfect show to bring Sgt. Pepper to vibrant life for modern dance audiences. The fluidity of the choreography a fine example of the quality of Mark Morris’s innovative work while the precision of his dancers will inspire and enthral.

On at the Lowry until Saturday 30th March tickets available here.

The Vyrll Society


“Any Scousers in?” lead singer Mike Ellis nonchalantly asks the rather snug audience members at Manchester’s Soup Kitchen venue. This is a question that never really goes down well in most Manchester venues, (pretty much the same way asking if any ‘Mancs’ are in if you were in a Liverpool venue) however this questions isn’t met with the usual customary boos; the response is met with a few cheers and no animosity. There are two reasons for this. Number 1, The Vyrll Society have developed a loyal fan base after years of honing their craft live, which has seen them creating quite a buzz. The second is that not everyone is brainless dickhead and inner-city rivalries take a back seat to decent music!

The constant touring of pubs, clubs and festivals has certainly paid off for the band, as stated they have a developed a loyal fan base, and with their debut album, Course of the Satellite going into orbit this August, you can but only see big things for this five piece from Liverpool.

Opening with live favourite Shadow of a Wave, the band work their way through a set that include singles Flight and a Perfect Rhythm. It’s easy to see why the band have garnered so much interest, filled with catchy baselines and killer licks: this is dreamy psychedelia, that will have you tapping your feet , sure there are no sing-along anthems but there plenty of tunes where you can a grove on too. The stand out track was the Thriller-esque Inner Life.

The band have drawn obvious comparisons with The Zutons and The Coral, mainly due to their association with the late Alan Wills, founder of the Deltasonic label, but for me there’s plenty of early Pink Floyd, Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac and the criminally underrated The Music.

The band look the part, they sound fantastic and are developing a great visual show, as a host of shapes and a kaleidoscope of colours are projected out though out their set . It would appear they’ve fully embraced the rock ‘n’ roll life style slower track Soft Glue dedicated to the band’s tour manager who is suffering from pneumonia.

This was a great showcase for a hugely talented band, which is quite rightly getting the praise they deserve. Their tour continues in Leeds tonight and wraps up on Friday with a huge hometown show at the O2 Academy in Liverpool Academy. They’re back in Manchester in February and will almost certainly and quite deservedly be playing bigger venues, catch them and join the society whilst you can because the sky is the limit for these lads.

Vyrll Society Play Liverpool O2 Academy on the 19th October tickets can be bought here.

Tags: The Vyrll Society, The Soup Kitchen. Live Music, Guitar, Course of the Satellite,