“We arrived in Brighton today,” announce Flamingods, a few tracks into their set. “And our Thai guitar was completely fucked. We went into Brighton Guitars and they fixed it straight away. It’s so refreshing. London guitar shops are such douchebags.”
Right on! Brighton guitar shops rule! London guitar shops suck! Clever way to ingratiate yourself with the locals. But then Flamingods don’t need to talk to us to do that — we already love them for being such a flaming good live band.
Prior to this, we’ve also been lulled into a somatic trance by excellent support slots from Native Ray and, in particular, the sublimely spaced Brighton/London electronica duo Shinamo Moki. These guys are so hypnotic that when their set ends we don’t even notice, we’re so far out of it. Job done.
So it’s tracks from the new LP ‘Majesty’ from Flamingods tonight. As we’d hoped, it’s like an extended version of May’s Alt Escape gig at Brighton Youth Centre (what do you mean you weren’t there? It was free!), with better sound, and cosmic back projections featuring psychedelic tuc tucs.
‘Majesty’ is very much an LP of two sides, starting off laid-back, light and poppy; a sonic complement to the beautiful paradise-garden cover art. But it’s during the second half where things shift up a gear, with tribal percussion and lysergic, Goat-style exotica joining the party.
By the time they reach the immense ‘Gojira’, the centrepiece of the set, they’ve really hit their stride. For his finalé party-piece, the singer (the one with the twirly hat) leaps into the crowd, rotating like a neutron star, pulling people into his orbit then spitting them out again. It’s all kicking off… and suddenly they’re gone. And we have to rejoin reality.
We don’t want to rejoin reality. We want to quit our desk jobs and go to live with them; spend our days topless playing bongos around a fire on a beach. This is how we assume they live. This is the free-spirited dream they’ve sold us. Who wants reality when we could all be Flamingods?
The Hope and Ruin, Friday 8th July 2016
Words by Gary Rose