There’s not enough hours in the day. If there were, we’d be getting around to a lot more gigs. As it is, we’ve already missed the Slytones, and Moulettes have already kicked off by the time we arrive. Since we last saw them back in April, the band are leaner, but stronger. Slimmed down to a mere five members – those who’ve followed them over the years will know that’s quite a low number – the band still manage to sound bigger than ever. The band are more professional too – gone are the minutes lost to fits of giggles inbetween songs. Their set is mainly drawn from this year’s Bears Revenge album, losing some songs which have been staples for a long time, but instead showcasing the talents of the whole band as their newer songs do. One of the great joys of going to see Moulettes play live is the musicianship, which you can only truly appreciate by seeing the band in the flesh. My high point is Assault – a musical battle between violin and cello which is quite frankly breathtaking.
Most of the crowd are here for Arthur Brown though. Arthur’s a Lewesian these days, and that would be just about enough to slip into our remit if we were being generous, but there’s more reasons than that to write about him as well as Moulettes. I should imagine that most write ups of the gig will probably focus on the guitar and keyboard players, their sex (female), and their attire (hot pants and leather trousers respectively). Hearing them play, you would know that they were actually chosen for their command of their instruments. Instead, I’m going to focus on the bassist and the drummer. Drums and backing vocals are covered by Sam Walker, better known as front man of The Muel, who we haven’t written about nearly enough this year. Bassist (and musical director for the current live show) is Brightonian Jim Mortimore, who’s also in Moulettes, and in The Muel with Sam. What makes Jim’s role in the band especially interesting is that his dad Malcolm has also featured in Arthur Brown’s band over the years. It’s the youth and vitality of the backing band which elevate the show above so many bands on the heritage circuit – there’s no decades-old politics or history between the members, so they can just get on with playing fantastic music, covering some of the songs that Arthur’s famous for, including Death Grips, which he tells the audience has been attributed the credit of the birth of heavy metal despite the original recording didn’t feature any guitars, as well as a full hour of psychedelic garage rock. Arthur Brown is still pretty youthful too, for a seventy year old. He’s still got an amazing voice, and he’s still dancing around the stage, flanked by his band and by flamenco dancers which add to the visual element of the show. There’s no flaming helmet tonight, but that’s probably due to the low ceilings in the Komedia. We don’t want to see Dukes at Komedia burning down before it’s even opened do we?