CROWS + DITZ + TREEBOY & ARC – THE PRINCE ALBERT, BRIGHTON 04.05.19
Tonight was one of those memorable gigs! I knew exactly what to expect from a couple of the acts, but then was dealt a ‘Brucie bonus’ with the third act!
Headlining this evening up at The Prince Albert were Crows who have been getting it together for 4 years now and the members are James Cox (vocals), Steve Goddard (guitar), Jith Amarasinghe (bass) and Sam Lister (drums).
Things have been going rather well for the guys of late, as they have recently finished touring with Bristol’s favourite sons IDLES. This is how I personally became aware of the band, when we witnessed their awe inspiring set at Brighton Dome Concert Hall on 29th March. Read our three reports of that fab gig HERE, HERE and HERE.
At the Brighton Dome gig they performed eight tunes and this evening we were treated to an extended version of that setlist with a dozen corkers getting an outing. On both occasions they opened with the title track from their new debut album ‘Silver Tongues’, which was unleashed to an unsuspecting world on 22nd March. Watch the video for ‘Silver Tongues’ HERE in order to get a drift from where these lads are coming from.
I can’t help thinking of the sadly departed Ian Curtis of Joy Division, when I hear Crows vocalist James Cox, he just sounds like him to me, whereas I reckon that Fontaines D.C frontman Grian Chattan, looks like Ian Curtis. Whichever way, those are very big shoes to fill indeed and only time will tell if both Crows and Fontaines D.C will be remembered as fondly as Joy Division are 40 years on.
Tonight Crows played the first 7 of the 10 tracks on the album. Listen/purchase the album HERE. It was as you would expect be an energetic performance, with James joining the audience on several occasions, whilst the wall of noise continue on stage from the other guys.
I had the privilege to be positioned right at the very front and wanted to absorb as much energy as I could from the band and so to that end, I placed my hand on top of the speaker during their set and felt the air pulsating through my veins. God it makes you feel alive!
They certainly gave a good account of early tune ‘Pray’ (video HERE) with its heavy metal meets Oasis style as well as newbie ‘Wednesday’s Child’ (video HERE) which highlights the fact that Crows are still where they wish to be.
Their growing epic ‘Whisper’ (video HERE) filled the Prince Albert air as they sounded like a clash between a gritty version of The Editors meets the Sex Pistols cover of ‘I I I I I I’m Not Your Steppin’ Stone’.
It was however, their penultimate drumming led masterpiece ‘Chain Of Being’ that really captured my imagination this evening and was undoubtedly by far my choice cut on the night. I’m sure there’s the primordial energy of Killing Joke or The Mission at their best in here somewhere! Enjoy the video HERE.
I can see exactly why Crows have supported IDLES, Wolf Alice and Girl Band, because they are a force to be reckoned with and are hotly chasing the aforementioned IDLES and Fontaines D.C. Great band – great performance!
Crows setlist reads:
‘Silver Tongues’, ‘Demeanour’, ‘Pray’, ‘Empyrean’, ‘Wednesday’s Child’, ‘Hang Me High’, ‘Itch’, ‘Ghost Tape’, ‘Whisper’, ‘Unwelcome Light’, ‘Chain Of Being’, ‘Crawling’.
More info on Crows HERE.
Main support tonight came from Brighton’s very own DITZ.
God I love this noise rock band! Clearly I’m not the only one as their merch is selling out fast. Check out what’s on offer HERE.
DITZ are our very own quintet fronted by the charismatic vocalist Cal Francis, who has that air of can’t be arsed vocal delivery that some might wrongly mistake as Cal not wanting to be up there in front of us. It’s deliberately delivered so, not that you can really hear the lyrics as his chums Anton Mocock (guitar), Caleb Remnant (bass), Jack Looker (drums) and Archie Brewis-Lawes (guitar) drown him out with their energy.
But for me it’s their live performances that are so thrilling. The longer their sets go on, the more feedback that you get. This culminates at the very end of their eight track set in a room filled with energy filled distortion. It’s enough to make your hairs stand on end and indeed for the first time ever during a DITZ set, that’s exactly what I got – goosebumps on my arms. It wasn’t cold in the venue far from it, it was just the enjoyment of ‘No Thanks I’m Full’. That doesn’t happen to me very often, it’s usually reserved for the likes of hearing ‘Are ‘Friends’ Electric?’ On the radio or ‘Neon Lights’ live.
Tonight, guitarist Anton stood quietly centre stage and just played. I had an inkling of what was coming and was concerned that my colleague might miss the sudden action. Then at the end he exploded and basically beat up his instrument! Very rock’n’roll.
If you see that DITZ are on the bill of a gig that you are going to, then I urge you not to miss them. In the meantime, what you should do is to take a half hour out of your schedule and turn your speaker volume up loud, but fractionally just before distortion and then, click the link HERE and enjoy!
DITZ setlist reads:
‘Total 90’, ‘Two’, ‘Pichael’, ‘Teeth’, ‘Seeking Arrangement’, ‘Role Model’, ‘Gayboy’, ‘No Thanks I’m Full’.
More info on DITZ HERE.
I have learnt during my 40 years of constant gigging not to go to the pub first and get to the gig literally just as the main act is due on, or to stay in the bar of the venue and miss the support bands. This is a crime! Want to meet your mates beforehand, then do so before the doors of the gig venue open.
Tonight was a classic case of this. When you see a name Treeboy & Arc it conjures up a couple of grime artists or rappers – wrong! They were my ‘Brucie bonus’ tonight.
Treeboy & Arc were touring with Crows and you can see exactly why. When they came onto the stage, I turned around and was greeted with one of the guys sporting a Killing Joke t-shirt of their debut album cover. I had the exact same t-shirt back in 1980 and wore it to death and the many punk gigs that I attended. I can recall the neck lining had sagged due to the many pulls in the moshpits. Tonight’s t-shirt however was pristine. Maybe they are printing them again? I need to find out.
This Treeboy & Arc quintet hail from Leeds and certainly packed a punch during their explosive eight number set. They produced so much energy, that I was honestly wondering whether the other two bands would be able to compete. (For the record – yes they did).
It was nice to see a Korg synth as part of the equipment and for me, this added an extra dimension to their sound, which as indicated by the aforementioned t-shirt, did indeed have nods to Killing Joke. This could be heard from the off with opener ‘Midnight Mass’ – listen HERE.
I detected a vocal delivery at times similar to Mark E. Smith as well as sounding a tad like a heavier Gang Of Four, especially on their ‘Selma’ track – hear it HERE.
They finished their set with the IDLESesque ‘Austere’ which also harks of tones of early PiL. I’m certain fans of both bands will enjoy Treeboy & Arc. I reckon these guys will go far. My only regret on the night with this band was talking to them afterwards, only to find out that this is their third time in Brighton, having previously performed at Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar (RIP) and the Green Door Store.
Treeboy & Arc setlist reads:
‘Midnight Mass’, ‘Selma’, ‘Fashionable Life’, ‘Box Of Frogs’, ‘Plastic Front’, ‘Whittled Down’, ‘Concept’, ‘Austere’.
In summary, it wasn’t a main band with two supports, it was three acts of equal billing in my mind. Fab night out. Well done to promoters One Inch Badge for putting them on.
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