Sea Monsters Day 6 Review
Tonight’s incredible Sea Monsters spectacle is an all-inclusive OIB Vs OIB showdown. Curated by One Inch Badge, the festival’s sixth day line-up is proof of Brighton’s local talent: spanning a variety of genres and pin-pointing Brighton on the map of globally acknowledged music.
Starting the nights proceedings are Luo, a talented three-piece who showcase the sort of bedroom-electro that too often gets slated. Solo producer Josh directs their exciting manipulation of electronica, using loops and controls to ambush the clashy guitar chords chopping away in the background. It takes a while to understand what they’re doing, but when we do we realise it’s brilliant – and inventive. Guest vocalist Jacko Hooper hops on stage to supply the finishing touch with their collaboration track ‘Mistake’ which goes down well with the crowd.
Next up are The Squadron Leaders, who look ready to rearrange the atmosphere into chaos as they quickly burst into life spearheaded by sax blasts and punk drums. The room is getting hot… to quote an onlooker it’s like breathing “oxygen through armpit hair”. Nonetheless, saxophone solos, G.I. Joe samples and good old fashioned two step persuade the crowd to stick around.
Soccer96 couldn’t make the bill for some reason or other but ever-charming singer songwriter Ed Prosek stepped in with his band. The American soon broke the ice with a hearty attempt at humiliating his Britishness, and we feed off his charisma. Notably, ‘California’, Prosek’s single from the self-titled EP, is a treat that takes us on a journey all the way to the Golden Gate and back. At “our liberty” he introduces his charming band and we thank them whole-heartedly before they descend into ‘Making It Easier’ which traverses up and down, beautifully accompanied by double bass, cello and mandolin.
The stage is set for the last two bands, an air of anticipation about the place. After a bit of tech trouble, the eclectic sounds that infuse Phoria sweep us off our feet. It’s a mix of a lot of things, influenced by the likes of Radiohead and Sigur Rós yet pulled off with distinctive uniqueness. Not the first to plug the Sea Monsters 3 compilation tonight, lead singer Ed announces their prominent track ‘Red’, which is a gentle piano-based electronic masterpiece that urges your head back and forth until you realise it’s over. Vocally perfect, enticing arrangements and sonic youth demonstrate why Phoria have a lot to look forward to.
Last but not least, The Physics House Band show us why they’re headlining and why they’ve been gathering tons of fans recently. The sounds come from technically gifted classical backgrounds, distilled into math rock and jazz fusion simultaneously. The latest edition to an unfortunately small record collection is ‘Abraxical Solapse’, which bursts into life. Energy crackles around the crammed room, as what-the-fuck expressions are etched onto faces. The track shoots off in so many directions – like light reflecting through a prism – but it straightens back out into an eerie guitar pattern that really hits the nail on the head. Overall, an exciting end to a magnificent night.
Prince Albert, Saturday 26th January 2013
Words by Gavin Hughes
Photos by Jon Southcoasting