Slow Club w/Sweet Baboo & The New Union at Audio: 29 September

Sweet Baboo

Brighton band The New Union were the first support act for the Slow Club gig at Audio on Thursday night.  This young 4-piece had a fresh indie sound that ranged from the more chilled out ‘It’s You’ with two Korgs to some slamming riffs in ‘In My World.’  Their raw talent was evident and their cracking instrumental showed true potential for the future.

Next up was Welshman Sweet Baboo, a quieter solo acoustic act coming to the end of his first ever tour.  The slightly bewildered-looking, bare-footed musician demonstrated dry, straight-faced humour, giving a story for each of his heavily lyrical songs and making the crowd laugh.  He said: “This is a song about my housemate and what we get up to…fuck all.”

His honest vocal and guitar-playing was reminiscent of Noah and The Whale or Fionn Regan.  There was an element of comedy to his performance as lyrics included “I am in the best band ever and I make the best love ever.”  However this did not take away from his rich vocal sound.

Sweet Baboo, aka Steve Black, joined the Slow Club duo for their breathtaking set on the last date of their tour.  Playing a mixture of songs from their first album ‘Yeah So’ and tracks from September release ’Paradise’ the pair aimed to please fans, and certainly succeeded.

Their music ranges from folk-rock sounds to more indie pop tunes and the gig proved their versatility.

Charlie and Becky stormed onto the stage to the beat of a pounding bass drum.  Rocking a tee that read ‘Rotherham is the new Berlin,’ Becky tunefully howled her way through ‘Our Most Brilliant Friends’ with the perfect blend of Charlie’s falsetto.

The pair, with their lovely northern drawl, interacted with the crowd and kept the set interesting by swapping instruments and sometimes singing solo, sometimes together.

This band is all about the vocal, as they aren’t afraid to lay their voices bare, and although they sometimes used the smashing of the drums, dreamy bass and even a banjo, the bottom line is the stunning vocal harmonies.

Becky is Rotherham’s answer to Debbie Harry, firstly as her looks are similar but also as she is a sexy front-woman with superb vocals. Their rousing rendition of ‘Come On Youth’ was similar sounding to the sound of Jeff Buckley on album ‘Grace.’  Another quieter song ‘Horses Jumping and Paradise’ started off with just Charlie, his humble voice silencing Audio.  Becky joined the song, showcasing the rousing “siren of the sea” element to her voice.

The last song of the set was the recognisable favourite ‘Two Cousins’ released earlier this year.  Again the limitless vocal, of Becky in particular, was underlined.

The band thanked everyone who had helped them on this tour and came back on for an encore including ‘Giving Up On Love’ and finally ‘Christmas TV.’

It was really moving as the whole audience joined in with ‘Just come on home’ for the chorus of the evocative song.

Another corker from Audio in a double bill of two great gigs in two nights.

Review also here: http://www.brightonnoise.co.uk/2011/10/03/live-review-slow-club-w-sweet-baboo-the-new-union/


Cloud Control w/ Big Deal at Audio: 28 September
October 2, 2011, 6:34 pm
Filed under: Gig Reviews | Tags: , , , ,

To view my review with pictures: http://www.brightonnoise.co.uk/2011/09/29/live-review-cloud-control-w-big-deal/

Big Deal was a choice support act for Cloud Control at Audio on Wednesday. Performing songs from their impressive debut ‘Lights Out’ this Anglo-girl/American boy duo brought their two voices and two guitars to create understated stripped-back music. The combination of their effortless vocals created dreamy harmonies fused with at times grungy surf, at times more acoustic guitar riffs. There was a subtle chemistry between the shy pair which really worked as they sang about love, lust, hope and dreams; with honest, catchy lyrics.

The half hour set consisted of seven songs from the new album including ‘Distant Neighbourhood,’ and ‘With The World At My Feet,’ finishing with Noise favourite; ‘Talk.’

This pair have no gimmicks, you get what you see: two guitars, a boy and a girl; they’re the real deal.

Next was the best thing to come out of Australia since Neighbours: Cloud Control. The alt experimental four-piece instantly made their mark on Brighton entering to a thumping drum beat that cranked up the volume for the rest of the night.

Like Big Deal, they rocked the boys/girl vocal, with plenty of crowd participatory ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ as ethereal as the howls of Fleet Foxes. Their tangy, pulsating sound consumed the crowd to the point of euphoria that it sometimes felt they could be playing a much bigger venue.

The energised audience enjoyed the experimental eclectic set that formed a head-banging type of electro that combined smashing drums, stonking twangs and the occasional interlude of toy piano or tambourine. On top of this fantastic buzz was the combo of three of their voices echoing and enchanting particularly noticeable in ‘Meditation Song.’ The variety of their songs showcased their creativity and energy.

Despite a broken guitar and some poor music techie running around to find a replacement, the band still managed to keep the gig flowing, joking with the audience. After a great rendition of ‘There’s Nothing In The Water We Can’t Fight,’ their final song, ‘Ghost Story’ included the lyric ‘I felt the hairs on the back of my neck stand up’ and I’m sure everyone experienced the same sensation.

Although the venue warned them it was time to shut, Cloud Control returned for a stunning encore that included a cover of ‘There She Goes’ which they made their own with the female vocal infused into it. The encore also featured a drumming solo which demonstrated the drummer’s extraordinary talent.

Like him, they absolutely smashed it.