MUNCIE GIRLS + THE E.D. FOWLER BAND + KLAE – GREEN DOOR STORE, BRIGHTON 25.04.19
Thankfully it has finally happened and the Muncie Girls have just played their rescheduled Brighton concert up at the Green Door Store. Their original gig was due to take place on Thursday 6th December 2018, but sadly had to be postponed due to visa issues!
Funnily enough the band aren’t based abroad but hail from Exeter. But I guess being out and about on tour in the USA and then Europe can cause delays and confusion with paperwork at times.
I have to report that tonight’s gig was indeed well worth the wait. I knew I was going to have a fab time as their current album ‘Fixed Ideas’ was chosen as one of our Top 50 Albums 2018 and this evenings gig was to belatedly plug that platter. No less than nine of the 13 tunes from the album were unleashed tonight and I certainly had a ball.
The Muncie Girls tend to deal with short sharp bursts of indie poppy punk rock loveliness as all of the songs on ‘Fixed Ideas’ are shorter than four minutes long and so you get into them and bang, they’ve finished! You play the album all the way through and then crave more and so it goes onto repeat – clever stuff! In fact their debut album ‘From Caplan to Belsize’ which came out in 2016, contains ten corkers, and yes you guessed it, none of them get to four minutes in length.
The Muncie Girls are a trio made up of Lande Hekt (bass, rhythm guitar, vocals), Dean McMullen (lead guitar), and Luke Ellis (drums) and they are signed to their hometown (Exeter) label Specialist Subject Records. Lande and Dean formed the band in 2010 while attending Exeter College. They played their first gigs at the Cavern Club, their local rock venue, and became very involved in the underground DIY Punk scene. The band put on their own shows, as well as fundraising events, and Hekt started a music workshop for women under the name ‘School of Frock’. Ellis joined in 2012, solidifying the lineup.
The band are certainly spreading their word as they have played gigs in the USA, Australia, France, Belgium, Netherlands and Germany as well as touring all over the UK. Brighton was the fifth and last date of their April UK tour and now from 7th May they will be heading out again with a band called The Get Up Kids and hitting the European scene once more on a 13-date excursion.
Tonight at the Green Door Store, the Muncie Girls trio have become a live quartet with the addition of Ollie from Creeper on bass and to my ears they can easily be compared with awesome New Zealand band The Beths, as well as UK acts including Caves, Colour Me Wednesday, Happy Accidents and The Primitives. You could also throw in to a certain degree elements of early Blondie.
I can report that ‘Isn’t Life Funny’ was the best track on the night, but not by miles as there honestly wasn’t a bad song from this band or either of the other two acts tonight. After their set, the Muncie Girls headed to their merch stall and I can report that they were quite busy. I dutifully purchased both albums and got them signed. A couple of nice additions to the ever-growing collection.
The Muncie Girls setlist reads:
‘Locked Up’ (found on 2018 ‘Fixed Ideals’ album)
‘Learn In School’ (found on 2016 ‘From Caplan To Belsize’ album)
‘High’ (found on 2018 ‘Fixed Ideals’ album)
‘In Between Bands’ (found on 2018 ‘Fixed Ideals’ album)
‘Jeremy’ (found on 2018 ‘Fixed Ideals’ album)
‘Bubble Bath’ (found on 2018 ‘Fixed Ideals’ album)
‘Falling Down’ (found on 2018 ‘Fixed Ideals’ album)
‘Isn’t Life Funny’ (found on 2018 ‘Fixed Ideals’ album)
‘Picture Of Health’ (found on 2018 ‘Fixed Ideals’ album)
‘Clinic’ (found on 2018 ‘Fixed Ideals’ album)
‘Respect’ (found on 2016 ‘From Caplan To Belsize’ album)
The Muncie Girls posted on social media “We’ve had a blast playing some UK shows this week. Thanks so much if you came out!”.
Also on the bill this evening was The E.D. Fowler Band who are not a country and western outfit as you may think that they are by a name like this, but in fact an alt rock/pop Brighton based trio made up of Effie Fowler (guitar/vocals), Helen Anderson (bass guitar) and Dave Gridley (drums).
Although they are Brighton based, I hadn’t actually witnessed them live before, but I’m glad that I did, even though it was a mere half a dozen tracks. They pedal songs with stories to tell, stories of the modern way of thinking, that one would expect to hear from an outfit based here. They have a slight retro sound going on with Effie’s vocals sounding not too dissimilar to the unmistakable tones of Brian Molko from Placebo.
I enjoyed their set on several levels. Effie feels every word that is launched out of her mouth with compassion. She also has her guitar on a short strap which means that’s it’s quite a way up her tall slender ‘Thin White Duke’ physique and reminds me how Bobo from IDLES prances around the stage with his axe.
Their debut single ‘Anxiety’ was recorded at Broadoak Studios, Bexhill and signalled a sign of things to come, with ‘How Does It Feel?’ and ‘Coming Out’ which you can tell is a song dear to Effie’s heart, as it starts as a quieter affair and builds as in a right of passage. Yes guys you did save the best to last, in their newest composition ‘A Dread’. Surefire single material that one.
The E.D. Fowler Band setlist reads:
‘Say It With Your Eyes’, ‘How Does It Feel?’, ‘Coming Out’, ‘Anxiety’, ‘She’, ‘A Dread’.
They clearly enjoyed themselves as they have posted: “A massive thank you to Ladyfuzz for having us! Muncie Girls & @weareklae were awesome 🔥Many thanks to all the wonderful people who came for our set and big shout out to Rosie Powell Freelance for these gorgeous photos”.
More information on the band can be found HERE.
First up tonight was KLAE who are a powerful indie five piece outfit from Brighton consisting of Lizzy Coulson, Calum Munro, Joth Taylor, Dave White and Mike Coltman.
Surprisingly I hadn’t seen these guys live either and so it was interesting to see yet another great local band go through their thing, even it was just the seven songs. The KLAE sound consists of driven riffs and thrashing guitars one moment and then atmospheric soundscapes the next. They effortlessly combine harmonising styles to provide a gritty edge to their catchy power pop melodies. Singer Lizzy looks the part and sounds the part too. She gives the band the confidence and knows how to draw the crowds eye, with her heartfelt delivery.
Although as the more their set went on, the songs were moving into danceable zones with ‘Forget It’ being a fine example, and latest single ‘Sidelines’, but final number ‘I Knew It’ really opening the funky rock vibe and being their best track, which will hopefully see the light of day on 7th June.
The KLAE setlist reads:
‘Expectations’, ‘Thoughts’, ‘Problems’, ‘Fake’, ‘Forget It’, ‘Sidelines’, ‘I Knew It’.
KLAE had fun too and have posted: “Wow wow wow! Thank you @ladyfuzz for putting on such an awesome show. Was an honour to open for @munciegirls alongside @the.e.d.fowler.band 🖤”.
Further details about KLAE can be found HERE.
I’m sure the event organiser Lucinda Livingstone from Ladyfuzz was well chuffed with the evening’s proceedings. She seriously knows about the pressures about playing in a band as she has been in a duo called Kamikaze Girls with drummer Conor Dawson for quite some time now. We have reviewed them twice so far – read our reports HERE and HERE. However I can report that from 4th March they decided to change the band name to Cultdreams.
Their official statement reads “Hey Friends, We have decided to change our band name after it was brought to our attention that using the word ‘kamikaze’ could be insensitive to others, given the nature of the word, and its cultural history. We always strive to learn and do better as musicians and people and want to encourage inclusivity and having more conversations when needed regarding cultural issues within music and other areas of life society. From today onwards we are Cultdreams. We’re heading into the studio next week to record our second album and we’re super excited about it! Thanks, big love. Conor and Lucinda, Cultdreams x”
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