A quick round up of Day 2 of Sea Monsters 2 then. Where yesterday was folk with a twist, today was very much an indie day.
Proceedings were kicked off by Tyrannosaurus Dead. The blurb in the program said Dinosaur Jr and Sonic Youth, but my ears heard The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, who in the past few years have done a tremendous job of distilling so many of the great guitar indie bands of the past twenty five years. This is by no means a criticism, and I thoroughly enjoyed their set, even if I was a little distracted by the singers visual similarity to a young Buddy Holly. Or maybe he’s just wearing hipster glasses and I’m now old.
The second band of the night were Soft Arrows – sonically, they’re a rockier version of shoegaze, but the setup of the band was akin to the White Stripes – just drums and guitar. Either they were trying to be arty, or they hate photographers, because the only light on stage came from a single light bulb at the guitarists feet. They’re going to have to try harder than that for me to not get the shot I want!
Then we had kraut rockers Cinemascopes, who were fantastic. There’s not nearly enough krautrock around in my opinion, so it’s good to see another Brighton krautrock band, who aren’t treading the same steps as Fujiya & Miyagi. What elevated them about most groups who pick up guitars and make motorik music was the guy to the left of the stage, who spent most of the set kneeling down doing interesting things with loops and samples who defied the male dress code of the evening (skinny jeans, smart shoes, and either a check shirt or a t-shirt bought from M&S) with his hoody and baggy jeans.
Last band of the night were Fear of Men who while they weren’t doing anything especially different to any of the other bands of the night, did so effortlessly and sounding amazing. There was something about the way it all came together – how good the guitar sounded, how much of a better front person Jess was than those leading the other bands, how much more accomplished the songs were, which proved why Fear of Men were the worth headliners of the night.