Last night’s Source New Music revisited the notion of the night having a curator, rather than being put together as a collaboration between the Source and Brighton Dome. A few months ago Beatabet collective picked the bands that played, last night Innerstrings Light Show did the choosing.
The first band they picked were Reds, an experimental psychedelic collective. Reds gigs are all improvised on the night – everything you hear is for the first time. Their sound is ambitious, droning and dark; a good introduction to the night ahead.
After Reds, Baal Fire played downstairs in the bar area. Baal Fire is one man with his guitar, but to listen to his music you’d think that there was a whole band – the guitar was played with a violin bow then sampled an looped, building up layers of sound. Ball Fire’s tone was glacial – big slow motion, musical landscape to lose yourself in.
Baron were up next upstairs on the main stage. They weren’t quite as psychedelic as either of the previous two acts, but they were a lot more accessible. Their sound had a lot more krautrock influences, song based structures and vocals, but were still quite out there. I was torn though – I didn’t know if I wanted Baron to get some catchy choruses, or properly wig out at the end of their set.
It was all change again at the end of their set, with Pete Fij & Terry Bickers picking up the baton downstairs. Pete and Terry were the highlight of the evening – sure, Physics House Band were the headliners, but I’d seen them a few weeks ago at Sea Monsters. I’d never seen Pete Fij & Terry Bickers live before, so it was a real treat. Their real skill was making it look so effortless. It might have looked like two guys on guitars, but the playing was immaculate, Pete had a fantastic voice, and their songs were great. On top of all that, they were the only band of the evening to make any kind of engagement with the crowd.
The night belonged to Physics House Band though. Fresh from announcing their debut release (see our blog post from last week), the band’s support has never been bigger, and onstage at the Dome Studio Theatre, they’ve never sounded bigger. I’m always transfixed when I see them – not just by the talent and musicianship of any one player, but they way that they all play so tightly together. A mean feat if they were playing music in standard time signatures, let along when they’re playing their take on prog jazz. And it was loud – my god, it was loud – but that just added to the intensity of it all. The combination of the visuals, the music and the volume was truly awesome. Good work Physics House Band, Innerstrings Light Show, Brighton Source and the team at the Dome.