Thyla, Fallow Deer and MarthaGunn Live – The Joker – 19/2/2015

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It was a rainy day last week when Thyla played. A nasty, wet and cold night as we made our way to The Joker. Two quid on the door to see three of Brighton’s most intriguing current bands was way too good to pass up on. Oh man, The Joker, or more precisely, Devil’s Disco – what a place! In case you haven’t been, there’s a huge human skull as a disco ball and a stairway so funky you might trip. The sound is pretty outstanding for such a small venue as well. First on were Fallow Deer, who we interviewed not long ago. Their frontman might traumatize you a little bit. If you managed to suppress your inner demons and shoo away the black void crawling in your footsteps, he’s here to remind you that even through all the rock and all the roll, there’s still a bleak absurdity hiding underneath. Mesmerizing and scary. MarthaGunn were on second – now, that’s one of the tightest music groups the local circuit has to offer. All out rock, no hang ups, but still comfortably poised. A well-mannered, disciplined performance, almost like a jazz ensemble. Still rock though. I rocked. Thyla themselves managed to attract a surprisingly large crowd, despite the dismal weather, but that’s all outside and their little space of intertwining vocals and guitars, fade-ins and fade-outs,just doesn’t allow anything from the outside in. It’s hard to accurately summarize what you hear when Thyla play. The brain says 90’s alternative, but what does that even mean, aside from being a little Pavement-y and loose, brain? It’s mostly about dynamics, this sound. The interplay of male and female voice is what drags you in. It’s incredibly intense while seeming relaxed – the drum groove is your cushioning. Man, I’d go again if I could. Look around, don’t miss our weekly gig picks and maybe next time you’ll get to see it as well!

Here’s some fantastic photos from local photographer, Charlie Caley.

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