Live Review: Birdskulls + support (Brighton, 10/10/15)

Despite being a relatively new venue, Bleach in Brighton has already hosted a relentless stream of worthy shows gigs. On October the tenth, Munez, The New Tusk, Rough Hands, Abattoir Blues and Birdskulls crammed themselves and their fans in for the Birdskulls Trickle EP release show.

Munez (Myoonz? Moonz? Munneez?) sparked the gig; a band I’d been meaning to see for a while. I could barely stop smiling at their carefree mixture of party-punk and grunge. Their music was truly fun, and I felt gutted I had missed any of their shows before. They often seem to be playing with another Brighton band called Glen Foye, who they have recorded a split EP with, which is also worth a listen.

The New Tusk, one of the best bands in the scene right now, followed up. This three-piece play some seriously tightly-worked punk; with three EPs under their belt and another in the mumblings, these guys are definitely worth keeping an eye on, as they seem to be gathering more and more of a crowd every time I see them.

In the middle of four grungey, punky bands, Rough Hands ripped in with a heavy set, which, having never really heard or seen them before, I was not expecting. Almost immediately a pit opened up. I hate to get a stone caught in my tooth, but this kind of bothered me; a large space had to made for people to mimic hitting things, the majority of the crowd had squashed away, feeling uncomfortable and unsafe. I admit at first I admired how much these people really felt for this music, but it didn’t really add up – dudes were frantically grabbing the air when there was merely a dribble of feedback playing – with barely any action in the heavy, fast songs that Rough Hands played damned well.

It was about here that the show let loose with Abattoir Blues. These guys have been getting a fair bit of attention, and quite rightly; their choppy, fuzzy post-punk got us all bopping. It’s going to be a while until anyone has as much fun as the lead singer, who was quite probably off of his face. He’d go on to make a couple of guest appearances onstage with Birdskulls, saying something about the bouncers being after him, losing a shoe, constantly surfing the tide of the crowd.

Finally, at the peak of the mayhem, Birdskulls tore out a brilliant set, playing tracks off of their latest EP as well as some classics going back, such as “Rolling Tongue” – due to the frantic crowd, the mic stand ended up in the audience – and “Alley Gorey” off of their 7” split with Bloody Knees. The new EP Trickle sounds just as solid, with slightly rawer vocals, and a reworked old song, “Ghostworld”, which is given a bit more oomph than its fuzzier, older self.

This show was the best re-ignition to going to gigs, with a brilliant party atmosphere, and a really great slew of bands – showing yet again that in Brighton, interesting things are getting cooked up.

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Tom Stevens

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