Saturday night was One Inch Badge’s own choice of local bands. There was one change from the original line up – unfortunately Soccer 96 couldn’t make it, but we’ll get to that later. Queues were building up before the doors even opened – After a Source cover and loads of storming shows, The Physics House Band are one of Brighton’s hottest tickets at the moment.
Luo were the first band to play. They mixed glitchy electronica with lush guitars – think Fleetwood Mac’s Albatross remixed by Plaid. It wasn’t all instrumental though – they were joined onstage for a track by Jacko Hooper, who played earlier this week. It was all really lovely stuff, who I’d love to find out more about, but search engines are no help whatsoever (“Did you mean ‘Lou’?” – No Google, if I’d meant Lou, I would have typed Lou).
Next up were The Squadron Leaders, a surf rock three piece. I had a glance at their set list before they started, and wondered how they were going to play fifteen or twenty songs when most other bands were only playing five or six in their allocated sets. The answer was that they sped through their short songs, barely stopping for breath. The crowd loved it, but it was a little dispiriting to hear references to the Pulp Fiction soundtrack – there’s a whole genre out there beyond Dick Dale.
The extra act on the bill following Soccer 96’s cancellation was Ed Prosek, who acknowledged that an acoustic folk act didn’t quite sit with the rest of the bands on the line up. Ed’s Californian optimism meant that he was undeterred though, and the crowd soon warmed to him and his band made up of cello, double bass and mandolin. The highlight of their set was a cover of Paul Simon’s Homeward Bound, currently featuring on a cheese advert. Obviously.
Phoria were on the bill at October’s Source New Music night last year, but I was a bit distracted and didn’t really pay enough attention. What I missed was ambitious, intelligent songs, aiming for somewhere between Coldplay and Radiohead. Epic stuff.
The stars of last night’s show were The Physics House Band though. On paper they could sound difficult – non-standard time signatures, jazz, prog… In reality, they’re a fantastic prospect. Each individual player is a virtuoso, but they aren’t just tremendous musicians individually – together you won’t find a tighter set of musicians. But it’s not all just about the musicianship, their live show is also one of the most energetic in town. Being an amazing band is about being different, and being better, and Physics House Band have that in spades.