Wish You Were Here… The Black Tambourines and Heaters LIVE


Ollie Thomas recently unveiled a series of photos from gigs put on by Acid Box Promotions and Love Thy Neighbour, and just in case those aren’t enough to make you feel bad for not coming, here’s what we thought of the couple of gigs we saw:

go here to check out all the photos, find your friends, find yourselves, see the light: http://acidboxpromotions.wix.com/acid-box-promotions#!gallery/t21nc


Heaters at Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar

In the middle of Middle Street, neighbouring the ocean, lives a venue; hip and ladling out fresh and piping hot sounds weekly. Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar is undeniably a vital organ to Brighton’s many scenes and with a place like that, you can’t go wrong.

Breathe Panel are first to take the stage and do so looking relaxed and confident. There is little said between the band while they set up, no chumminess, no time wasting. I like it. The four subtly built thick walls of indie driven, alternative rock that gives flavours of a Thom Yorke style sound, with some Albert Hammond Jr-isms. Over anthemic guitars, firm bass and neat, dynamic drum playing, appropriate vocal interjections spotted the indie structures aptly. While closing their set, songs grew loose with a more improvised feel, leaving us wanting more.

watch this space for more Breathe Panel: https://www.facebook.com/Breathe-Panel-640674449356630

Next to the stage is Dull Knife, the alternative, rock duo that chews up old country blues and spits out a distorted loogie of grunge infused biker blues. Rasps, booms and fuzzed out twangs are intrinsic to this dirt-loving style of rock, and the duo show they know. Sounding like Ry Cooder holding live jumper cables, the guitar playing is skilful and riffs are executed with sharp  flair, each song is dense with obvious melody which pairs well with thunderous drumming. The sheer strength of this band’s sound, shakes the unpopular opinion that blues rock duos are now passé. Nothing played with real attitude, skill and passion will ever be passé, that’s why these guys sound so good.

for a somewhat live Dull Knife experience, watch this: https://youtu.be/Dzq_ItTHfqg

The penultimate act is Abjects, who set up quickly without a word. Their heads were down when the hot, punk urgency crashed out of the gate like a horse on fire, taking the punters by suprise. The feel-good surf vibes dilute well into the garage attitude they produce. Above the unyielding, punk strums and thudding rhythms, harmonic “Ooo”s and “Aaa”s sit neatly among a set which gives their Buzzcocks-esque style a little more of a Breeders feel, creating more light in their sound.  There is a dead pan delivery to they’re style live and robotic like movement creates a fitting rigidity within the music. Energy didn’t dwindle as they approached the end of their blistering set, and either did the crowds. Everyone was sweaty, and everyone was happy.

guess what? Abjects are going to SXSW: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tokNkW65XZg

Our headliners are Heaters, an American band serving fans worldwide a tasty hybrid of Californian and L.A psych rock. Once onstage and after sharing some pleasantries with the audience, they broke into a brilliant torrent of gushing psych fused surf-rock. With spanky, slap-backed guitar, solid rock drumming and bass that threads neatly within this knit of the sweet melodies, the three compile a set that Allah-Las wish they had. Sudden rhythm changes, instrument swaps and sharp tempo shifts let the band members show off their high calibre of musicianship and they coincide effortlessly while doing so. Heaters modernise the sounds of Duane Eddy, Count Five and 13th Floor Elevators is such a way, they can avoid being in the shadow of modern psych pioneers.

for a live Heaters feel, go to this: https://youtu.be/D5SoGYR4Spo



The Black Tambourines at The Hope and Ruin

In 1855, 11 & 12 Queens Road was home to a local lager retailer named John Wilkinson. 160 years later, Mr. Wilkinson smiles while he looks down from above; as his once-humble abode is home to Brighton’s finest creative talents as it is now known as The Hope and Ruin.

Hep to the jive and always alive, The Hope and Ruin hosted one hell of a night.

Our opening act; Porridge Radio & The Cosmic Sadness, approach the stage and tune up while a quiet crowd emerges. They open strong and instantly make it hard to breathe for the audience as the weight of the sound they make is heavy. A cluster of fans bob their bodies to the heavy crashes of unyielding drums and abrasive guitar that sync well due to chemistry within the band. Straight but muddy bass weaves its way through the chaos and vocal wails; the style that is signature to Porridge Radio’s sound, hangs high above it all.

There is tremendous emotion emitted from the band, mainly by use of delivery. They move and play with unrelenting conviction, sometimes stumbling and bumping into one another in the heat. And the vocals; almost in pain, cry out lines of repeated provocation as the sound climaxes to a haunting, deflated crash. Sounding like Maureen Tucker in a fever dream, they have an uneasy and weighty softness that always satisfies their fans.

Get Porridge Radio’s latest release ‘Hello Dog Friendly (split w/ West America)’ on Bandcamp for a price of your choice. https://porridgeradio.bandcamp.com/

They play the hardest blues-a-billy around, wear vests with biker leather and put mayonnaise on their fries, it’s The Anomalys. From before the word ‘Go’, the three fly into a noisy whirlwind of blues fuelled rockabilly. Guitars bend, twang and screech in the authentic way as these U.S and European tour travelled trio are bona fide punk brothers that feed off each other’s attitude. Only three songs into the set and the two guitarists; Profundo and Bone, jump off the stage and into the crowd, kicking the energy level up a gear. With a shared height of around 6’6” and communal unpredictability, this bands onstage theatrics dazzled the crowd. At points during the set, heads stopped nodding as they just had to stand, witness and listen to this raw and blistering set.

Get your Anomaly needs on Bandcamp. https://theanomalys.bandcamp.com/

In a rush from playing Cardiff the night before, Warm Brains arrived and with no sound check, they started to play. The angular riffs and off-kilter melodies weren’t as full as they usually would be for a Warm Brains live set as songs had a drab delivery and the band members seemed uninterested in what they were doing. The brattish, brit rock trio were lacking conviction and their noise vibe was inaudible at times. However, there is no questioning frontman and band leader Rory Attwell’s musical integrity and ability as he has been in countless bands before Warm Brains and has had UK Top 40 singles success. It was just an off night for Warm Brains and you can’t blame them as they’re in the midst of a busy tour and a very hard working band. We hope to see you again Warm Brains.

Check out Warm Brains’ new single ‘Now That I’m Boring’. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9knRJP4ON4

Our headliners are The Black Tambourines, a band which are truly alive and real in the world of young music right now. This surf punk infused mod rock is effortlessly spun from the fingertips of the Falmouth four and they’re spunk is unremitting. From the pretty girls twisting in front of the stage to the men in mid 40s nodding in approval at the back, whoever you are, there is no denying the quality of this band’s sound, skill and song writing. Each song was surprisingly notable but songs like, ‘Bad Days’ and ‘Namaste’ really stood out due to their unwritten feel, like the songs were always there. A garage rendition of ‘Bad Moon Rising’ was played spontaneously within the set which gave the already hyped audience another level in which they could relate to the band. ‘I Wanna Stay Away’ was the final song of the night and it was brilliant. This near-scuzz while sophisticated hit track really lets you see what this band can do, and also gives promise to fans that there is more quality rock n’ roll to come.

Get a free download of ‘I Wanna Stay Away’ on Bandcamp. https://theblacktambourines.bandcamp.com/track/i-wanna-stay-away

words by Milo Dunn-Clarke

photos by Ollie Thomas: http://acidboxpromotions.wix.com/acid-box-promotions#!gallery/t21nc


1 reply »

  1. our gigs in brighton are always pretty terrible (various combinations of bad sound, crowd, performance and luck) , it’s some kind of bogey town for me. First good gig i’ve played in about 10 years was the week after supporting telegram at the same venue. maybe the curse has been lifted? who knows…


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