WINTER GARDENS – THE RICHMOND BAR, BRIGHTON 21.03.19
Last November we picked up on local band Winter Gardens when they were performing only their third ever gig, when they were supporting the fab South Korean outfit Say Sue Me up at The Hope & Ruin on Queens Road, Brighton. Back then, I spied a KLF sticker on Jamie’s guitar and I knew we were going to be looked after musically and I wasn’t wrong.
Winter Gardens are a Brighton based quartet featuring the vocal and keyboard talents of demure twenty year old Ananda – yes it is spelt like that. I can recall her telling me when we first met, that it’s an Indian based name that her mother gave her. She is accompanied in the band by the go-getter guitarist Jamie (Jim), who sure knows all of the guitar-rock poses that are required for photographing one of their concerts, and completing the team are Matt and Alex, on bass and drums.
Already the band are achieving some success as they have been on the same bill as Gary Numan, Echo & The Bunnymen, Modern English and the guys were graced by a DJ set by Dev from IDLES at their debut single launch party for ‘Coral Bells’.
Musically, they have absorbed influences from 80’s post-punk, Factory, Postcard, 4AD, Creation era bands, and mixed it all together to come up with their own blend of shoegaze dreampop.
Tonight, they were appearing at The Richmond Bar located opposite St. Peter’s Church as part of the ‘Deadbeat Disco’ event organised by Strange Cages, which also featured HOLYGLAM, SNAYX and Larry Marks Band. As Brighton is such a musical hotspot, there are often gig clashes and so I was on double gig duty tonight as the venues were relatively close to each other, with the other being the Prince Albert up by Brighton station. I also had a colleague covering another event at the Brighton Centre. I therefore had to select which bands to see tonight and sadly I could only fit in Winter Gardens on this occasion.
The band performed half a dozen tunes and at the start of their set, I must confess that Ananda’s vocals were down in the mix for their opening number ‘Honeymooners’. I politely informed Jamie who I was standing in front of and he requested I go and tell the venue soundman, which I dutifully obliged. Problem rectified and their new single A side ‘Coral Bells’ sounded much better.
‘Tapestry’ and ‘Sweepy’ followed and they were certainly getting well into their stride by now. Then along comes their new single B side, which is a homage to the wonderful Cocteau Twins classic ‘Pearly-Dewdrops’ Drops’ and they are sounding fab. Could this be topped? Onto their final number, which is entitled ‘Hyacinth’ and boy, these guys are really flying. Having seen the band a few times now, tonight’s crescendo building version of ‘Hyacinth’ was the best so far!
If you get the chance to witness this young band perform live, then I would definitely say go and enjoy!
Winter Gardens setlist reads:
‘Honeymooners’, ‘Coral Bells’, ‘Tapestry’, ‘Sweepy’, ‘Pearly-Dewdrops’ Drops’, ‘Hyacinth’.
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