At the start of the month the Green Door Store showcased some of Brighton’s best rising talent as it hosted the first ever TWOTHREEFOUR festival. We locked ourselves inside away from the mayhem of Pride to check it out.
First up is a solo performance from Helen Gayna Brown of Dog In The Snow. Despite the venue being quiet she creates a beautifully haunting atmosphere and it’s a stunning way to start the festival. Flavia Aliverti aka Foreign Skin follows with her own brand of washed out ambient chillwave. Her Hong Kong roots run through the tracks with oriental instrumentals melting seamlessly into the synthy hip hop aesthetic.
GAPS are getting their fair share of hype online at the moment and judging by this performance it’s well deserved. The duo have a knack for combining natural sounds, tribal beats and warm folk tinged vocals with a throbbing electro current. It’s Fleet Foxes colliding with Jamie XX and it’s brilliant.
The Hundredth Anniversary sound massive today and play a set of highlights including single ‘The Jump’ and b-side ‘34’. They create beautifully realised soundscapes that give way to massive goose bump inducing finales. The band will be playing SoundScreen at the Brighton Digital Festival at The Corn Exchange on 5th September, which isn’t to be missed.
Theo Verney and his band play full throttle slacker rock in a similar vein to Girls and Harlem and the results are explosive. New song ‘Walk It Off’ with its Sabbath style riffs incites mass moshing and they’re a big hit. Shudder Pulps are inoffensive and not without indie charm but it’s Tyrannosaurus Dead who really raise the bar. Aided today by Danny Curtis from The Bright Ones they hurtle through a set of highlights including the Smashing Pumpkins nodding ‘Silver’ and their own ‘1992’ which sends the crowd into a frenzy.
Californian minstrel Ed Prosek provides a moment of folky respite and a chance to catch your breath. This doesn’t last long though as Demob Happy hit the now-packed Green Door Store with some titanic grunge. The largely 90s feel of the day continues with Kill Moon who feel like the sum of Hole, Frankie Rose and Best Coast. Izzy Philips looks the born frontwoman and is magnetic on stage.
Written In Waters headline day one of the festival and they get a massive turnout. People are quite literally scaling the walls inside the venue to get a look at the stage. It’s glitzy and bombastic and tracks like ‘Hymn’ showcase Beth Cannon’s immensely powerful voice. She hits every high note with style and the band end with a seismic face-melting finale that closes the day off with a bang.
Day two and this writer is feeling more than a little weather worn. Still we’re eased in gently by Animal Language who seem to be feeling it as well and ask the few in the venue if they “want to see this band collapse?” Luckily they don’t and the set is short but sweet.
Things take a turn for the surreal early on, as Wild Cat Strike take to the stage in wigs and kimonos. They’re like gentile geishas and we’re rubbing our eyes in case it’s all a hallucination. They are serious though and the psychedelic shape-shifting set feels like watching an amazing impromptu jam.
Birkwin Jersey continues to keep things interesting by conjuring up some terrifically forward-thinking dance. The Green Door Store is livening slightly now and there are some interesting shapes being thrown in the crowd. The Faux Flux performance signals the second show in two days for The Hundredth Anniversary’s drummer Demelza Mather. Last track ‘Come Alive’ from the band’s ‘Come Alive’ EP sounds big and it’s a funky set.
I Like The Go Go play a stormer, rattling through songs at a hundred miles per hour. The duo has the garage rock intensity of The White Stripes delivered with a 70s British punk ferocity. The crowd has been building and it’s pretty packed by the time Telegram take the stage. They look a lot like The Horrors but unfortunately don’t quite pack the same punch.
Fuzzy psych rockers Spit Shake Sisters may just have played the set of the festival and blow the roof off of the venue. Singer and guitarist Harrison Davies looking like a young Kurt Cobain climbs down from the stage with guitar and mic and closes the set right in the middle of the crowd. Our ears will be ringing for a while after this.
The New Union have an epic sound which is well received. It’s polished and professional and they seem destined for bigger stages. Tigercub are a commanding presence with a giant frontman and an equally herculean sized sound. The trio play heavy angst-infused grunge that causes ecstatic fans to create a moshpit at the front. It’s no surprise these boys have toured with Dinosaur Jr recently, this one has gone off.
The hype is realised for Charlie Boyer And The Voyeurs who look stoic and determined as they pummel through a set of Television-meets-Suede style numbers. They already look and sound classic and should be poised for indie stardom.
Closing the festival are Scottish pop punks The Xcerts. Singer and guitarist Murray Macleod implores the massive crowd to forget work tomorrow and cut loose. He also reveals the band has been working on an album that’s 98% written; new song ‘I Don’t Care No More’ seems to go down well. Older favourites are greeted with football terrace style singalongs and it’s an anthemic and celebratory close to a fantastic couple of days of music. Let’s hope it happens again next year.
Green Door Store, 3rd-4th August 2013
Words by Andy Baker
Photos by Joseph Leeder