On Monday 16th March, sandwiched between Mother’s day and Saint Patrick’s Day, Echochamp held a show at Bleach, a relatively new venue in Brighton, promising more free bi-monthly shows.
I arrived in the midst of the first set of Sulky Boy. The instrumental was pretty solid indie-grunge, nothing entirely new (at one point someone in the audience simply yelled out “Nirvana!” which, to me at least, summarises it a bit) but definitely with some nice hooks interspersed well among other riffs. I felt it was brought down a bit by slightly drab vocals, again nothing new. My mind wandered, and suddenly noticed that four of the band members were wearing undone flannel shirts and jeans, which doesn’t sound much written down but when swaying about in a crowd and getting absorbed in a song this sort of thing makes your eyes go wide; coincidence is dumb but depressingly exciting.
The next band, Our Girl (Our Girl? Sulky Boy? Another inane observation) were just as good as I remember them being when they played with Bloody Knees and Honeyblood; they soared seamlessly from dreamy to heavy, with a weighted but balanced bass, clever play with distortion and penetrating drum beats, all the while ethereal vocals kept the tracks stitched together and afloat.
Abattoir Blues were second to last. Really I had come after seeing that they were playing, having intended to see them on several occasions. I wasn’t disappointed; they were perfectly moody and pulled their set off incredibly well, considering they were playing without their usual bassist or drummer. Described by some (such as the NME) as ‘post-punk,’ Abattoir Blues (whose name is also a Nick Cave track) thumped hard and steady, filling their slot with the fizz of their unique and surly sound.
Final act BAYY, who are set to play Brighton’s The Great Escape festival, tailed off the night with fuzzy, indie-cum-garage, with laid-back vocals, and featuring the guitarist from Our Girl, leading out some grunge-laced riffs. An overall eclectic sound, summery yet still with that leadenness you get with denser grunge acts, I’d say BAYY were definitely worthy of the finale.
I only heard about this gig a couple of days before the night, and it was definitely worth going to, with an overwhelming turnout (this seemed to surprise the bands more than anyone) and a little mosh & crowd-surfing toward the end (someone bruised my bum and, as always, my glasses got bent up.) For the start to a string of bi-monthly shows, the night was decent, and has definitely left me anticipating the next gig to come.