When I originally looked at the line up for Brighton’s city festival, there was an anomaly. A name that, although familiar, seemed out of place on what is undoubtedly one of the most forward thinking events in terms of future names. That name was Aiden Grimshaw.
That’s right, the X Factor contestant from a series or so ago sandwiched in between bands that will be running through the hype machine as we speak. What was he doing there? Would he deliver? My curiosity was at an all time high. I had to know. But he didn’t show. No explanation – just confused photographers and journalists asking each other if that was him and pointing to the stage. A last minute venue change is the guilty party. Apologies to all. A bitter pill to swallow on my final day but I’m a professional and the show must go on. Enjoy my round up of three bands that most certainly did show up, below.
New Look: Hailing from Canada, this romantically entwined electro double have been grabbing more than their fair share of virtual column inches of late. And while their music does most of the talking, it clearly doesn’t hurt that Sarah Ruba also finds work as a model on the side. It definitely helped quiet a crowd that was forced to wait half hour for their set anyway. When they eventually did start to play it was Ruba who, unsurprisingly, stole the show. Stunning vocals delivered over Adam Pavao’s soundscapes ensured a set that was free of any issues. Although, perhaps, strangely, that was my only issue. It was all very nice but a little too polished for a dark Brighton sweatbox. The eternal optimist, I’m always willing to give someone another chance and I’ll be digging a little deeper in the coming weeks. And listening to more than the FOUR tracks they ended up playing during their perilously short set.
Perfume Genius: Now onto more familiar ground. Perfume Genius is part of the TriAngle Records stable which is forging its own style of subverted pop across the industry and in doing so developing a reputation for being worthy of note. And, with a gig scheduled to play at the cavernous St. Mary’s church – this was certainly not one to be missed. Lush sonic walls filled the huge space and created an almost visceral experience. The undoubted highlight of the festival. The acoustics in a building like that are incredible – a tool to be utilised if the music you’re creating is up to the challenge. Perfume Genius most certainly was.
DZ Deathrays: And now onto the final review. And it couldn’t be further from the eerie, service just witnessed. DZ Deathrays, an Australian punk band, are starting to make a real racket – with the right people taking notice. The amount of noise the two- man outfit create is astonishing. The mosh pit quickly appears at Horatio’s bar – the tired looking venue that sits at the end of Brighton pier – as the whole structure is shook to its foundations. Thinking my eyes couldn’t get any wider, the drummer suddenly deserts his post and jumps into the crowd. When in Rome I suppose. The place goes ballistic. What a set. What a name. DZ Deathrays – the perfect way to end a great weekend.