Adorable Invasive Species: Estonian band Shelton San play Liverpool

Shelton San frontman Valter Nõmm.
Shelton San frontman Valter Nõmm. Source: Nick Davies

Legendary Estonian rock outfit Shelton San have been on tour in the United Kingdom again, playing in Liverpool and Manchester. The second Estonian band ever to have been recorded by the BBC, Paul Emmet gives us his take on the band's Liverpool gig last weekend.

The road from Tallinn, Estonia to the musical capital of the world Liverpool, England has been a bumpy, scary, surprising and eventful trip. There is only a handful of bands from Estonia who can so easily and seamlessly transition from the tiny underground scene in Tallinn, to stand shoulder to shoulder with U.K. indie royalty.

And at the historic alternative bar and live venue Outpost on Saturday night, Shelton San erupted with their second gig in the city, to lead the pack like greyhounds chasing a rabbit skin-covered robot.

Shelton get the wooden floor bouncing at Outpost. Something different. Tight, accomplished and musically reaching for the unobtainable. Old hands stand and stare. Noise rock, punk rock, psych? This is a new category of sound. A bright, brazen yet melodic sonic assault and next level flex of musicianship and brotherly bandsmanship.

Shelton San drummer Raul Ilvest. Source: Nick Davies

Shelton San, fronted by guitarist and vocalist Valter Nõmm, are riding a north by north east European sound wave, replete with crashing drums (Raul Ilvest), and the throbbing bass of Huns (Andreas Johandi) the giant. Refining, updating, mutating, Shelton, now as a three piece, are growing stronger and more relevant than ever.

Only the second band from Estonian to record for the BBC, after the iconic Röövel Ööbik (English: Robber Nightingale), these lads were just a smidge too late for the great John Peel, who am sure would have taken them under his wing too.

After winning music critic's choice for best album of the year in their tiny homeland of Estonia, they have now made the great leap across the Baltic and North seas, when invited to play three curated gigs in Manchester and Liverpool for showbiz legends, press and new young and old fans alike.

Shelton San bassist Andreas Johandi. Source: Nick Davies

Perfectly controlled pace and power from this Baltic trio, still boyish veterans of the Estonian underground scene. Unwavering, uncompromising, relentless, ferocious, yet gentle and fragile as morning dew on a spiders web as the sun starts to rise.

Imagine if they'd been born in Liverpool? The world would be their walrus.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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