Yesterday, I tried to remember whether I’ve been to a gig this year that I felt was exceptional or more special than the rest. I really struggled. Partly because remembering is hard, but maybe also because I pay less attention the more gigs I see. Even an average band can perhaps be entertaining for a night, but a great criterion for discovering the special ones is whether or not you’ve willingly decided to listen to them again, at home. I still voluntarily expose myself to the music I heard last Sunday.
Not many people came to see the opening act of the night, a Brighton band with a great single up on bandcamp. Well, their loss, really, TWIN were better than I expected. I like their recordings (Ursa Court is the one I keep going back to), the production on them, I think, is pretty interesting so I wasn’t surprised to be enjoying the performance, but I didn’t expect the band to sound bigger than their records. If you get a chance to see them, do it.
These guys from Southampton are something else. I believe their entire set consisted of three or four songs. Maybe I’m wrong but that’s how it felt. They might have been about five minutes into a song before I realized I know this one! Their songs take a long time to ‘develop’, they always grow gradually out of silence and then there’s a line or a hook that reminds us this isn’t just a jam. I won’t pretend it doesn’t take some patience but the results are rewarding.
The venue really started filling up as Melt Dunes were playing and seemed pretty packed when New Candys took the stage. First of the two bands that came straight from the Fuzz Club Festival earlier that weekend, New Candys provided a surge of energy thanks to more traditionally structured songs with changing dynamics and melodies that develop over the more common course of roughly three minutes, rather than the usual psychedelic ten-to-fifteen. The band didn’t disappoint but the real genius was in their position in the line-up. Spaced-out jams are great, but they can be quite demanding and a gig suddenly seems very long, which makes New Candys’ more rock’n’roll approach seem like a rare comfort.
I knew, from experienced users of The Myrrors, that they can blow minds. The repertoire that’s available online serves as a puzzling taster and made me wonder how it all translates into a live show. An album can seem continuous, but it’s still just a series of separate tracks and the empty space between songs, that’s what disappears when The Myrrors play. Sometimes, when I forget I’m listening to a song, I find myself listening to the style instead and when the band started piling their equipment on stage, I fully expected to see a sitar and maybe a big bag of unknown Moroccan string instruments – I didn’t expect a violin. Playing with expectations seemed to be the theme of their performance. Songs emerge suddenly from sonic tapestries, you don’t see them coming from miles away, which is good, because sometimes I find myself thinking something like: ‘It’s cool that you have a real Moog and I bet you can play around with envelope filters all day, but could we skip to the good part now?’ Not with The Myrrors. I hope you saw them because they’re gone now.
(Videos by Acid Box)
Categories: What We Caught in Brighton