Above Audio Live – Momotaro & Faux Flux

Sometimes at this time of year, especially in the evenings, the seafront isn’t the most inviting of places but these days there’s a reason every Wednesday to head out that way. Above Audio have started holding regular live music nights, some run by the team there, some run by other promoters (we’ve been to a couple put on by Les Enfants Terribles). The main thing in common is that they’ve all had great local line ups.

Faux Flux

Last night we were treated to Momotaro and Faux Flux, two bands who’ve been on our list of acts to see for a few months now. We wrote about Faux Flux’s Come Alive EP earlier this year, and the band had been on the bill at a number of gigs we’ve been to (including most recently IYES last week at the Prince Albert) but for one reason or another hadn’t managed to catch them until last night. More fool us, because live they’re an even better prospect than in recorded form. With drumming as taut and lean as Demelza Mather’s there’s no need for a drum machine and although they’ve recently been touting for a third member to help them out with bass / keyboard duties Alex Ensoll seemed to have everything under control.

Momotaro

Headliners last night were Momotaro, who have been on our radar since the summer. Their electronic dub translated really well to a live setting with reverb drenched samples triggered on various keyboards and on the electronic drum kit. It’s no surprise that Audio had a decent PA which made the bottom end sound great but also left plenty of space for the r’n’b influenced vocals. Momotaro have got some great songs and a setup which not only works well, but is different enough to make a lasting impression. We came away last night thinking we might just have found our favourite new Brighton band of 2013.

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Dog in the Snow / Les Enfants Terribles / Above Audio

Through a series of unfortunate coincidences we didn’t get to see Dog in the Snow live until this month. Gig clashes, not finding out about events until afterwards, timings changing – it was starting to look like we were avoiding them. We managed to put the situation right a couple of weeks ago when Helen Brown played a solo set opening the recent Two Three Four event at Green Door Store. We were so impressed that we decided there and then that we’d go and see her next time she played live, whatever else was on.

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That next time was last night, when Dog in the Snow played at Above Audio. The night was put on by Les Enfants Terribles who have been putting on monthly nights at The Blind Tiger for the last year, but who also hosted a day at the Mesmerist for the Great Escape back in May and are running a stage at this weekend’s Playgroup festival.

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We arrived too late to see support act Thyla, and between bands the lights were up and there was a lot of background chatter. Sadly that didn’t change when Dog in the Snow came on, and the sound wasn’t great either, with the vocals lost in the mix. Talent shone through though, with a quietly confident performance. Musically things were sometimes delicate but always purposeful, with layered soundscapes being created by Helen’s vocals and guitar (which was played with a violin bow on a couple of tracks) and her bandmate’s backing vocals , samples and keyboards. Dog in the Snow are band we’re going to do our best not to miss again.

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