Opus Kink are clearly generating a buzz. This Patterns show has been sold out for months and because the band are born and bred in Brighton (and its surrounding villages), the guest list has clearly been stretched to breaking point with assorted family members, who unquestionably get involved in the fun.
SOURCE arrives to the sound of Flip Top Head having some screeching feedback issues, but they are made of sterner stuff and rise above it. The band continues through a set that is every bit as engaging and musically diverse as the songs that made us fall in love with Black County, New Road from the get-go. The guitarist jokes about having thrown up minutes before taking to the stage due to nerves. The music, however, is confident and clever. We take note that this is a band to watch out for – not least because of trombonist’s dance moves!
The smoke machines then go into overdrive and the primary-coloured lights bath the room in washes of orange, red and blue. A drone dominates the room. Are there musicians in that fog? Is someone being murdered? This is a grand entrance from a band who clearly understand the power of drama and stage presence. One only has to watch their excellent videos or look at their choices of cover photography to get a sense of their flair for striking imagery, but it’s the fact this translates to the live arena that makes this band such a compelling proposition.
Because Opus Kink were tour support for Warmduscher, and the fact Lambrini Girls were on before them, meant we caught their Mutations set last autumn at the Latest Music Bar, and left committed devotees. They have used the intervening period wisely in the practice room, whilst also releasing the most excellent ‘My Eyes, Brother!’ EP (review here).
Wild Bill then tears up the crowd, which never stops moving for a single second until the house lights come on. Angus thanks the support acts, before proclaiming: “As beautiful as they are; they will all be dead soon.” The dust then explodes with the band’s Waits-via-Dr-John clang and the Clash’s fury.
We’d love to describe the virtues of every song in this performance, but they all jostle for attention. Sam’s thundering bass playing is set to kill, while Jazz on keys remains captivatingly on point. Despite our front-row position, we can’t see Fin on drums through the smoke but we can hear him driving things on, while Jed and Jack hit us with the brass.
The encore, when it comes, sees ‘1:11’ turn into a fierce psychedelic rave track, full of live beats and Moog fury, before Angus leaps into the crowd to conduct the audience for ‘This Train’.
The house lights come on, some of the crowd start to leave. A devoted few at the front scream for more. To their credit the entire band return to the stage truly up for it. However, the venue curfew has been hit and the power has been turned off. This night could have gone on for ever. We take solace in the fact they have already announced a Concorde show for later in the year.
Patterns, Friday 2nd June 2023
Words by Nick McAllister
Photos by Alyx Ashton