DIGITALIS + BATTERY OPERATED ORCHESTRA + KID IVY – THE CON CLUB, LEWES 26.10.18
Tonight seems to have been a busy night in the local music calendar as we had a choice of at least three offers from bands and promoters to attend their special nights of music.
Sadly, we were unable to attend them all and so we have to be correct with our decision as to which event to go to. We chose to head out of Brighton and make our way to the Con Club on Lewes High Street as the music headliners were unveiling their first new music release in ten years and so clearly this wasn’t an everyday occurrence.
The launch was from DIGITALIS (Graham Denman & Mike L’Angellier) who were this evening unveiling their brand new 5-track ‘Hold On To Me’ EP.
DIGITALIS were formed in Slough in 1986 and have cited over 30 years of electronic influences. This highly anticipated EP release from the duo, sees them amalgamating all of their previous strengths, including synthpop, Hi- NRG, industrial rave, techno and EDM.
‘Hold On To Me’ opens the EP, with the epic guest vocal talents of Swiss singer Marlene, who also appears again on the second track ‘Could It Be That All Is Chaos’ and she is also sampled extensively on the Extended Mix of ‘Hold On To Me’. The other two tracks on the EP are an Instrumental Mix of ‘Could It Be That All Is Chaos’ and the Club Mix of ‘Hold On To Me’ – Coming in at 25 minutes, this EP is an aural extravaganza for fans of Pet Shop Boys, Kraftwerk, Depeche Mode, New Order, Underworld, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Cabaret Voltaire and Goldfrapp.
The ‘Hold On To Me’ EP is the band’s first release in 10 years, since their highly acclaimed double album ‘Collections Of Conditions’.
So tonight in Lewes, the punters were treated to three decent music acts, who are each occupying their own niche within the music spectrum.
First up were the youngsters, namely Josh Craggs and Jordan Terry who go by the name of Kid Ivy. These lads met at college and then moved down Brighton and are an Indie/Electronica/Alternative duo. Last December they unveiled their debut 6-track ‘Foreign Lands’ EP which is a mix of emotive melodies, progressive electronica sounds and plangent guitar hooks to provide material influenced by artists from all ends of the music spectrum.
The key words here are ‘all ends of the music spectrum’, as the boys set in Lewes started in territory akin to acts such as The XX and The Killers and then we followed the lads through their musical journey and ended up in territory held by the likes of Crystal Castles – it was quite a contrast, but their set was all the better for it. I wouldn’t have guessed at the beginning of their set, that we would have ended up musically where we did. It was unpredictable and a good reflection of the talent of these two young lads.
BBC Introducing have already picked up on the lads and I reckon with the right backing and a decent manager that can pull out all of the stops, that these boys could possibly be heading for singles chart success. They wouldn’t be out of place supporting the likes of CHVRCHES – now there’s a challenge lads!
Tonight’s Kid Ivy setlist reads:
‘MTD’ (from 2017 ‘Foreign Lands’ EP)
‘Gold Rush’ (unreleased)
‘Southcoast Daydream’ (from 2017 ‘Foreign Lands’ EP)
‘Ego’ (from 2018 ‘Ego’ single)
‘Rise Up!’ (from 2018 ‘Ego’ single)
Next up tonight, were the tremendous Battery Operated Orchestra, who have recently unveiled their intriguing Cold War themed new album ‘Snare’ to much aplomb. We discuss the album HERE.
Battery Operated Orchestra aka BOO are Brigitte Rose, who hails from far off distant shores (Tasmania) and Chris Black whose roots lie north of the border (Scotland), but now reside just a few miles east of Brighton.
This husband and wife synth duo are not only some of the very nicest people that I know within the music industry, but they for me are making some of the very best synth music made by anyone from around the globe. So BOO appearing on the bill tonight was pure joy for me. As usual, they did not fail to disappoint and I have to say that they were both particularly on form tonight, with Chris hitting those juicy synth notes and pushing them out into the crowd as in ‘go on and have some of that!’ and Brigitte over exaggerating her dance moves a tad more than usual. It was clear to see that they were indeed really enjoying themselves!
Tonight’s BOO setlist was:
‘Strange Goodbye’ (from 2018 ‘Snare’ album)
‘Perfect Wreck’ (from 2018 ‘Snare’ album)
‘Bella’ (from 2018 ‘Snare’ album)
‘The Sea’ (from 2016 ‘Radiation’ album)
‘Diamond Feelings’ (from 2016 ‘Radiation’ album)
‘Optical’ (from 2018 ‘Snare’ album)
‘Obelisk’ (from 2014 ‘Incomplete Until Broken’ album)
‘Radiation’ (from 2016 ‘Radiation’ album)
‘Fairy Tale’ (from 2016 ‘Radiation’ album)
It now finally time for DIGITALIS to take to the stage, with Graham on vocal duty as usual and Mike heading up everything electronic, the boys were off!
I reckon that it is fair to say that this duo are the relatively unknown Pet Shop Boys, with the same format on stage and music not far off that mark. Tonight their set appeared to have been more dancier than my previous encounters with them and I for one really enjoyed it. No, in fact I will actually go as far to say that this was the best gig of theirs that I have been to over the recent decades.
As far as I could tell, there was a host of newer unreleased material just waiting in the wings and begging to be released to the world. I jolly well hope that the DIGITALIS boys get their ‘priorities’ in order and release ‘Priorities’ as their next single, as it was arguably the best tune of theirs on the night. With the best BOO track being ‘Radiation’ and the best Kid Ivy track being ‘Rise Up!’.
All in all a great night out with great music and great friends!
This evening’s special DIGITALIS setlist was:
‘Self Made Man’ (Intro),
‘It’s A Good Thing’ (taken from 2008 ‘Collections Of Conditions’ album)
‘Feed Your Head’ (taken from 2008 ‘Collections Of Conditions’ album)
‘Why Accept’ (taken from 2008 ‘Collections Of Conditions’ album)
‘Wasting My Life Away’ (unreleased)
‘I’ll Follow’ (unreleased)
‘Is That What You Came For?’ (unreleased)
‘No Control’ (taken from 2008 ‘Collections Of Conditions’ album)
‘Nothing Lasts Forever’ (taken from 2008 ‘Collections Of Conditions’ album)
‘Could It Be That All Is Chaos’ (taken from 2018 ‘Hold On To Me’ EP)
‘Hold On To Me’ (taken from 2018 ‘Hold On To Me’ EP)
If you enjoy synth music like the Digitalis & the Battery Operated Orchestra, then the chances are that you will also enjoy the bands listed below. Simply click on each of the names and they will take you to our concert reviews on those bands: