I do not like to do reviews of songs, gigs, performers etc etc as I am a great believer that their is room for all tastes, levels of ability and the fact that I think it takes guts to put your creative ideas and thoughts out for general display. I am not the purveyor of what may be considered good as everyone’s likes are subjective to them . So for me to attempt to write a review of a night I was lucky enough to attend is quite a step for me.
Sometimes you can lose a little bit of faith in the music scene of today but every now and then you stumble across an unexpected night whilst you pop out for a few beers and come across an evening so well put together in its organisation, friendly atmosphere and unbelievable creative talent on display that it can have the effect of reigniting your passion and love for live music.
I was fortunate to have such a night at the Three Graces pub in Hove this weekend. I must point out that I do know a couple of performers that played that night, but you will just have to trust me that this in no way influences my opinion. Ask most people who know me and they will testify that I say what I mean even if some would think it inappropriate. I just don’t do Bullshit very well.
Opening the evening was Sam Anderson. A relative newcomer to the local scene. I first met Sam when he attended the Brighton Unsigned open mic that we run once a month. He asked me to be put on the list to play and then I completely forgot about him. Later that night I realised my mistake and asked him what sort of stuff he did. He remarked that based on the mood of the night he would do some up tempo numbers and wondered if some others might be able to back him.
We found a drummer, bass and second guitarist and left him to it. What was to follow was a performance of sublime showmanship mixed with unbelievable technical ability. Its not often that you see an audience give performers a standing ovation on an open mic evening.
Sam’s performance for the Gig at the Three Graces was a perfect starting point to get this gig kicking off. As a front person I think you would be very hard pushed many better and I recommend you visit his page to see where he is playing next.
Second act up was a complete surprise to me as I knew absolutely nothing about him. He goes under the name of FULLMARX. I never thought I would meet someone that swears even more than me on stage but it would appear I have a worthy advisory in that department. Playing acoustic guitar on a short chair as he had broken his ribs and was finding it hard to stand. Ably assisted on drums and harmonica by the guys from Southwestside. In his words “I am a writer first and foremost I love to create, sometimes music, sometimes madness”.
His set consisted of his own work which are thought provoking raps that outline the absurdities of our lives played to a groove guaranteed to get your body jerking. Sex Face is a song that guaranteed not to be played on mainstream radio and my personal favourite is a swipe at singing contests with the chorus he tells us he doesn’t have the X Factor. In a nutshell I fucking loved him. Came across as a really decent funny guy. Highly recommended.
Just when you thought you couldn’t be any more pleasantly surprised along the next act going under the name of RIVV a funk soul hip hop five piece featuring the stunning vocals of Elaina Bel. I am led to believe that these guys have not been actually been going as a band for that long, but believe me when I say you would not get that impression. Level of musicianship was to such a high level and the tightness of their play was staggering.
I could go into long and boring description about every song, every note blah, blah, blah, but instead all I will say is just bloody go and see them. The set was one of the finest I have seen for many a year. Its important to go out and explore what is being learnt and created and these young musicians are certainly worth following for the future.
Which brings us to the last act. The infectious, fun and uber talented Southwestside. I shall point out that I do know these guys well and so do have a small element of bias. First met them at a Brighton Unsigned open mic night and now consider them to be friends. They have a beautiful ability to make everyone in the audience feel engaged and you can tell that the band are having a party and we are all invited.
As well as their obvious showmanship the thing that I would like to focus on is the fact that they put this night together. It was what you would wish to see replicated at other events. Atmosphere, sound, lighting, audience participation, quality of acts, jumping venue, no diva assholes, good music, good beer, GOODTIMES.