The last Sunday of every month, the doors of Southampton’s The Alexandra Beer Emporium are opened and graced with the shoes of people that, together, are more like a family than a crowd. Since May Campaign for Quiet have been putting on these monthly events to showcase some of the best music the UK’s south coast has to offer.
The first to take the stage is PLATES – an experimental doom-rock duo hailing from Dorset. Relying heavily on shoegaze tones and synth-led ambience that worked well as a sonic companion to the visual display of lights and colours – even smoke. PLATES‘ opening set was successful in working up an atmosphere for the following acts.
With his band currently on tour with Joanna Gruesome, tonight’s audience were treated with a solo set from King of Cats. Ever the eccentric, songs from Working Out and newest release Microwave Open were reworked acoustically, and occasionally, on banjo. While King of Cat’s high-pitched wails may be at odds with some of the audience’s tastes, the set was short, sweet and went well before the show took a turn for the heavier.
Cold Parting are born storytellers. In the vein of La Dispute, Old Gray and Merchant Ships, their post-hardcore styles of incorporating spoken word with screams stole breath from everybody watching. The perfect balance between soft intros with heavier moments was found without effort. The Southampton native duo’s set was easily one of the most magical moments of the entire night.
Fresh from a tour with Gnarwolves and WOAHNOWS and also supporting the world-famous OPM, Broadbay have been making a name for them on the road. Tonight Campaign For Quiet have pulled a brilliant trick out of their sleeve by having Broadbay play their first ever Southampton show. The Brighton trio kicked in with hugely enjoyable fuzzy punk tunes for people to dance to, and it’s safe to say that Broadbay might make regular stops in Southampton after their alternative approach to indie-pop worked a delight on the crowd.
‘They sound like a heavier Royal blood“ was many people’s initial reaction, but Rickyfitts soon changed their opinion with a guitar laden with reverb and bass pedals and bulky use of percussion. The dynamics between Thomas Dalmut-Rudd and drummer Max Goulding were surprisingly tight, showing why they deserved to be main support for Birdskulls. There even seemed to be diehard Rickyfitts fans who kept themselves reserved throughout the show, just to go mental for their set.
Birdskulls took the opportunity to play songs from the debut record Trickle, which is released through Dog Knight on the 5th October. The energy of the record is not lost onstage, with opening belter “Poltergeist” vibrant as much as its heavy. For many this was the first taste of Birdskulls, and it gave them a giant platform to show who they are before there was a surge to the record table. With substantially massive riffs and bass finding its place in every song, songs like “Silverface” are going to quickly become crowd favourites.
Shows like these are demonstrations of DIY spirit – it’s alive and it’s kicking. Support your scene.