We truly are spoiled in Brighton. Not just because of the massive choice of music that’s on offer, but because so much is so cheap. Last weekend we went to Brighton Electric – It was three pound on the door which worked out at a pound a band. Last night Clowns played at the Green Door Store and it was free!
We missed Victorian Hunter – because of a club night being held later on it was an early gig. We arrived at the bar to see a few members of the band still wearing animal heads. Probably a band worth going to see for the visual spectacle if nothing else. We grabbed a pint and headed in to see Frank Melena Band, who are also notable for their outfits – The bulk of the band sported wrestling masks, some wore ladies fur coats, and the bassist wore shorts with matching fur boots and had fairy lights taped around his mask. Musically, the band performed a reasonable set of angry garage punk, at times trying out a bit of politics in the banter between songs to a largely indifferent crowd. A punk band needs a punk audience, which isn’t the audience that were at Green Door Store last night but with the right crowd they raise the roof. Oh and one last thing, don’t go googling Frank Melena to find out who the band are named, because it’s not a who, it’s a what
One of the main reasons I’ll keep going to see Clowns is that every time I see them they outshine all the other bands on the bill. As a unit the band are tighter, the songs have better hooks, and main man Miles Heathfield not only looks like he believes every single word that he sings, but that he wants you to believe it too. Clowns rock hard, but they’re also accessible. There’s humour, but they’re also very dark. Miles’ suit could make him seem aloof, but he always gets in amongst the crowd while he’s performing. These contradictions are their strengths, and they’re what make them so compelling. One of last night’s highlight was upcoming single Love Vigilante, which the band had asked the audience to film on their phones to make the video. If I was in a band and wanted audience video, I’d have done it in a venue with much better lighting – Green Door Store is notoriously dark!
Clowns next gig is at the Con Club in Lewes on 12th April. See you there.