In the preview for this show we claimed that there would be a musical reckoning at The Haunt on the 8th of September. Teen Creeps brought it. Showcasing some real exotic talent in the world of indie rock and roll, they provided the willing talents of Night Beats, The Younger Lovers and Blue Spectre.
Firstly, the term ‘surf’ is thrown around with reckless abandon these days, especially when it comes to naming the associate genres of the chorus-heavy indie guitar rock that has become extremely fashionable of late. So, with ‘surf’ being such a loose descriptor at the moment, how do we know we are listening to authentic surf rock when we hear it? Blue Spectre are the truest point of reference for the classic, Dick Dale inspired surf rock sound of the 1950s and 60s. Blue Spectre are unafraid of the fact that they have no vocals in their musical repertoire, probably because they create such an atmospheric sound with the tools they have. Attacking the audience with phrygian guitar scales and endless use of tremolo, spring reverb and vibrato, the five-piece confidently uses their skilled time changes, innovative synthesiser playing and scarily precise drumming to provide a set list of truly jaw dropping surf rock. I can’t wait to see them again.
Next were The Younger Lovers, who provided a new-wave edge to the proceedings. On stage the three-piece were extremely confident and provided a very passionate array of songs that often pertained to what it’s like to be a young gay man these days. The Younger Lovers brought enough confidence to whip the audience into dancing to their poetic garage rock, all the while making them howl with laughter in between their indie sonnets. Frontman, Brontez Purnell, brought a brash sense of humour to the whole arrangement, often exclaiming little titbits of wisdom such as; “If we had bigger pedalboards do you think we’d be shoe-gays?” or “I’ll give a rim job to the first person who buys me a shot after this!” Purnell shared an anecdote about being on tour in the UK back in 2006, which was pleasing to hear, because if he’s been touring with bands for 10+ years and still has as much energy on stage as he did, he must really love the music. Thankfully, they played as if they love the music, which made their set all the more personal and well received.
The main act of the night were Night Beats. Providing flawlessly rhythmic, guitar driven tracks, Night Beats treated the crowd to their own unique merge of R&B, psychedelia and Texas rock and roll, lovingly described as ‘Rock & Soul’ on their band merchandise and after their performance I, personally, think that we need more Rock & Soul in our homes. Tooled up with animalistic drum dynamics, bone shaking bass lines and guitar tones sweeter than the molasses they’ve been sucking on, the trio filled our ears with politely powerful original rock with strawberry smooth vocal tones. The audience lapped up the obvious effort that Night Beats put into their set and it’s fair to say that there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. The song ‘Sunday Mourning’ was a particular high point, the wholesome vintage delay sounds on the guitar are enough to get me back to any show they play in the south east in the future.
Overall, a well crafted lineup of supremely talented, yet diverse enough musical acts made for a night of music that won’t soon be forgotten.
Words by Harvey Dent