Filed under: Gig Reviews | Tags: Brighton, brighton noise, dan shears, exquisite noise festival, gig reviews, gigs, little signals, sparrow, sparrow band, we spies
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Dan Shears has the voice of an angel but he didn’t need wings or anything to hide behind on Thursday as he captivated the crowd on the merit of his stunning voice and thoughtful guitar-playing alone. Starting the Exquisite Noise proceedings, the artist (whose voice is of the essence of Matt Bellamy) hopped, skipped and jumped between notes, in his incredible vocal range.
Between folk/indie songs with heartfelt lyrics, he amused with his wit and during songs his performance was truly spine-tingling. Check out ‘Lily’ which was his final song. To find Dan, in his own words, it’s: “Shears as in the sheep trimming device.”
Next, something a little noisier, as young and energetic 3-piece Little Signals brought their supple indie pop with a kick to the Prince Albert. The lead singer stayed on the right side of shouty with some nice vocal with attitude which combined with bopworthy reverberated sound and punchy drumming. This band can only grow with more gig experience.
We Spies gave an exciting set that crafted together a tapestry of experimental threads fronted by Lucy Elliott and her distinctive 60s-esque voice (think Ronettes.) The 4-piece built a thick layer of sound with three guitars with every song taking you on a journey of instrumental. There was elements of funk right through to rock and an impressive evocation of different moods. This band created juxtaposition between an experimental feel and then also being so carefully crafted in performance. It was evident that this is a band of ideas and they have worked hard on them to create a unique brand of their own. Their songs often finished unpredictably and this evoked a sense of a confident and strong sense of identity which was very invigorating.
Sparrow translated songs from their at times chilled-out, hit album ‘Playtime’ into a versatile and charismatic interpretation for live performance. The 2 boys and 2 girls got things underway with ‘All the things you were hoping for’ with the cracking bass player jiving to the melodies throughout the set. The combination of the lead male and female vocal was as striking live as it is on their impressive debut album. They sailed through their set with confidence and it is evident why they have made it onto the radar. An echoey rendition of the superb ‘Secret’ rounded off the evening of exceptional new talent.