As you may have gathered from our posts, we’re big fans of live music here at Brighton Music Blog. In Brighton, we’re incredibly lucky that there are so many great gigs and so much choice. Last night was no exception, so much so that we decided to go to two gigs. We headed to the Green Door Store where Curxes were first on the bill at Danger De Mort’s monthly night, and then moved on to the Blind Tiger where Milk and Biscuits were headlining.
Danger De Mort first came to our attention in October last year when they put on a show that Nordic Giants headlined. Since then they’ve been putting on a gig every month with a mix of local and national bands, all with great line ups. Last night Brighton Music Blog approved Curxes opened the show. Where their first few releases had been very much in an industrial electro vein (they opened with Souxsie Sioux fronts Depeche Mode style single Spectre) they showed a new side with their Christmas cover of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, and it was this that we were hoping to get get a glimpse of last night. The first part of the set was filled with the early singles – big belting synth epics which only went slightly awry when a lead fell out of the back of the laptop providing the visuals. Because it was cold, because it was midweek, because it was early – for whatever reason – it was a bit quiet, so Roberta took to the middle of the room as her stage, losing herself in the space, giving us an impression of the what the Curxes live show might be like when they’re playing bigger venues. Their new more reflective side was shown at the end of the set, when they closed on quieter aggressive song, showing off Roberta’s voice and showing the band’s newfound versatility.
While I had heard good reports of the rest of the bands on the bill they weren’t from Brighton, and there was another band playing in town who I was also looking forward to. I had only seen Milk and Biscuits once before, playing a low-key support slow at the Green Door Store around the time of their Balcony Times mini-album back at the tail end of 2011. That it’s taken until now for me to see them again isn’t to say the eight-piece took 2012 off – half of them are also in Restlesslist, whose concept album Coral Island Girl was one of our highlights last year. By the time I arrived at the Blind Tiger, the place was getting busy and I spotted quite a few local musicians amongst the crowd – Mary Hampton, Jennifer Left, Nick Hudson, Adam from Fragile Creatures, and probably a whole load more that I didn’t recognise. The Milk and Biscuits onstage yesterday were far more performance based than the band I saw over a year ago – they’ve transformed from a bunch of great musicians playing amongst each other to a fully fledged band who looked out towards the audience in a formation which showed them off well. Musically things had changed too and their set didn’t feature any tracks from their first release. To these ears their new sound isn’t quite so introspective as before. Last year’s single White Noise still sounds quite pastoral, but Milk and Biscuits rock harder than they used to. Local poet Gary Goodman joined them onstage for a few tracks, which added a different dimension to things, his sometimes-cutting observations showing that they’re more than just a band. Overall though, the gig was hampered with poor sound – there was a lot of feedback from the microphones, and the drummer seemed unhappy throughout, no doubt one of the issues of having such a large band. Let’s hope that next time there aren’t the same issues. Next time they’ve even promised an encore too!