Wednesday night we saw Interlocutor at the Hope.
First up were the new band Octopuses, formed by Adam Bell out of the remnants of Foxes! with Alan and Rob Grice, Alan Odgers and the legend-in-the-making Tom Matthews playing the part of unlikely font man. The band play ragged but fast-paced indie pop, with strong songs and a beefy rhythm section that belies the off-ball keyboard riffs and laconic artless vocals up front. overall a most enjoyable confection and one worth watching.
Next up was the Crayola Lectern playing songs from his forthcoming album, a beautiful psychedelic monstrosity being released on the Bleeding Hearts label. Crayola Lectern is a nervous live performer, trying out one song and stopping when he seemingly couldn’t remember it. But he was accompanied by Alistair Strachan on trumpet and percussion, who gives a rich rewarding texture to the enchanting piano-based melodies.
Finally, the headliners gathered on stage, all dozen or so players with a fantastic concoction of blue-eyed soul led by Alex White, of Electric Soft Parade. A big meaty brass section, some stiff guitar riffs and the superb manic drumming of brother Tom helped to power an excellent collection of songs, including a Steely Dan cover for which Alex sort of apologised and then played a blinder. Billed as an album launch of sorts, it wasn’t quite as the album isn’t finished, but judging from the collection played here it is going to sound amazing. Really looking forward to that one.
So three great bands playing some fabulous new music through a messy soundsystem in a hot sweaty little venue with sticky walls and terrible beer. It was made even more memorable by Chris Tomsett’s brilliant innerstrings psychedelic light show, which is becoming a regular feature at a lot of Brighton gigs these days, so much so that it seems it isn’t really a rock gig without it. All in all, a great night.
(Photographs by Jon Southcoasting)