22 February 2011

Ever been to a gig at an Anarchist club before?

I hadn’t before I went to Brighton’s Cowley Club to see Shield Your Eyes, P For Persia and Illness. You have to buzz a bell to get in, and then someone opens a little hatch before letting you in, which was actually a little intimidating. But the place had a brilliant atmosphere – a buzz of conversation and a pint of lager for only £2.50, which both meant it didn’t really matter that I was on my own.

Unlike most shows, this had a real DIY feel to it. Chairs and tables were stacked up against the wall to clear some floor space for the bands, those in charge of the doors were the first band on, all the staff behind the bar at Cowley Club are volunteers, and everyone knew each other – even the music being played through the PA was of other friends’ bands. It helps you to appreciate all the effort that goes in to making the night happen, which in practice essentially means that, at gigs like these, there aren’t many arseholes and most people are just wanting to have a good time.

First on were Illness. I’d seen them once before at One Inch Badge’s Sea Monsters Best of Brighton mini festival at Prince Albert, and also got kindly sent their debut album, Some Vegetable Waste. I’d also blogged about them because, simply, they’re good (here). They’re a tight, energetic, and intelligent band and all three of these came through their instrumental indie rock jams live brilliantly. This was their 8th (I think) night on a UK tour but it didn’t show at all. It’s strange – they’re the sort of band that you wouldn’t expect would be easily accepted by the masses, they like the lo-fi aesthetic and it’s just guitar and drums, but everyone in Cowley really liked it.

Illness - Rich Psychology

Next up were P For Persia. I hadn’t heard them before so I didn’t know what to expect. And I was pleasantly surprised. Their music isn’t the easiest to describe, but among the distorted vocals (shouted through an amped up telephone), synth sounds, guitar riffing, instrument swapping and general noise was a lot of energy, fun and volume. Also included in the set was a moment where lead singer and guitarist dressed up as a sea monster and were subsequently silly-stringed (not a real verb) by the rest of the band. It’s the sort of moment you wish you had a video camera. It was fun and also impressive given that they are touring with Illness. They should be knackered, apparently they weren’t.

P For Persia - Turtles All The Way Down

The lead band were Shield Your Eyes. I got sent their album a little while back and, to be honest, I wasn’t the hugest fan of it (though this is judging from only one listen). Also, by this time my rubbish cold was re-surfacing and my bed was calling. I didn’t last much of their set because of the latter. It was loud, though, which is a good thing, right? Kind of noisey rock with hints of early (actual) emo, math, and post-rock. You’ll have to judge this one for yourselves seeings I can’t, apparently, give any useful input.

Shield Your Eyes - Oranges

The point of this blog post? None, really. Just really to share some good music and express my excitement at the Brighton music scene. Looks like there are some really great things going on.

Illness website | P For Persia Facebook | Shield Your Eyes

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