First up is Brighton four-piece, The Bright Ones. Making online waves with lead single ‘Does She Make Noise’, the band are set to tour the UK imminently. They explode into opening track ‘We Are The Boys’ with frontman Christian Jegard snarling with the punk rock tenacity of a young John Lydon and the knowing lyrical satire of Art Brut’s Eddie Argos. The enigmatic frontman is supported with doo-wop harmonies from guitarist Danny Curtis and bassist Stewart Brown. Drummer Carl Hayden provides a ferocious tightness that runs the rhythm section like clockwork.
The place is filling up and the vibe is total New York CBGB’s at a Ramones show. ‘Filthy Mind’ follows with a real Elastica flavour pronounced in Danny Curtis’ vicious guitar work. It’s all very sleazy and 90s without being too derivative and the chorus hits hard. Other songs capture the haunting psych echo of The Horrors or Cat’s Eyes and by the time the band drop ‘Does She Make Noise?’ the crowd have been stirred into a frenzy. Surreal lyrics “She’s not heavy she’s a piranha!” cause the kind of mass chant more prevalent on football terraces than rock shows. There’s no doubt these boys are destined for bigger stages.
Telford’s Weatherbird follow and leave our ears ringing with the heaviest UK grunge since Nine Black Alps. New single ‘Johnny Strange’ goes down a storm with frontman Jacob Ball embodying the punk ethos of Ryan Jarman’s angsty little brother.
Last to take the stage is Nightworkers, also from Brighton. Vocalist Jack Moullin is quick to address the fact that they are ‘a man down’ as their keyboardist is in A&E but this doesn’t seem to slow the fantastically groomed youngsters a bit. Set highlight ‘Girl’ opens with the band pulling out the sort of vocal harmonies that made the Mystery Jets famous and chugs along with the swagger of Kasabian at their most 60s sounding.
Guitarist Jamey Exton puts the guitar down and delivers some mesmerising harmonica on the stoned cowboy romp ‘Daydreamer’ and the show closes with Jack imploring the crowd to join the band onstage. This doesn’t take much persuasion. An epic end to a colossal show. Escapism doesn’t get greater than this.
The Loft, Friday 17th May 2013
Words by Andy Baker
Photos by Ashley Laurence