The Horrors at Concorde: 25th October

This can also be found here: http://www.brightonnoise.co.uk/2011/10/26/live-review-horrors/

Just in time for Halloween, The Horrors brought their spectral presence to Brighton by singing from the shadows of the Concorde stage.

With a cracking lighting set up, the five-piece progressive ensemble played to a sold-out, jam-packed audience, who sought shelter from the outdoor chilly spit and were met with a manic sweatbox.

Mostly playing songs from their hit album, Skying and a couple from Primary Colours, the band made their presence known by filling the venue with the radical cataclysm of noises that makes them pioneers of progressive sound.

The electrifying set showcased their impressive catalogue of electronic reverberations infused with their trademark ‘80s haunted-house’ vibe which is threaded into the majority of tracks.

Fronted by the silhouette of Faris Badwan, whose intense sexy vocal held its own alongside the symphony of sounds, the band played a tight set showing influences including grunge, punk, rock and pop.

An extended rendition of ‘Who Can Say’ moved into excerpts from ‘Sea Within a Sea’ causing the crowd to swell in excitement.

The band appeared to have each had a spoonful of Iggy Pop’s frontman vigour (if it came bottled) as flashes of light illuminated them severely rocking out engrossed in their enthralling sound.

The venue was often plunged into complete darkness and there was no silence as the buzzy reverb was maintained between songs, with minimal utterances from the band. This was most notable in a slightly over-milked pause for encore which was forgiven by the conclusive legendary extended two songs that followed.

They played most of the songs from Skying including a superb live version of ‘Still Life.’

The band left behind a trail of echoey reverberation leaving the sticky crowd gagging for the crisp cold night air which they had sought shelter from a few hours previous.


Exquisite Noise Festival at the Prince Albert: 13 October

This review can also be viewed here.

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.