THUMPER – Brighton concert of the year?

Posted On 09 Mar 2020 at 3:39 pm

THUMPER’s Alan and yours truly at Patterns, Brighton 07.03.20 (pic Cris Watkins Photography/PunkInFocus) (click on pic to enlarge!)


THUMPER are a band that deserves to be as big as IDLES and Fontaines DC. It seems they are currently under the radar of many folk at present, but surely it’s only a matter of time before they break through…or smash through more like!

Our concert tonight at Patterns in Brighton was organised by Ban The Disco promoters and featured the very best music performance of the year so far and that’s a bold statement, considering how many bands I have already witnessed this year.

THUMPER, who hail from Dublin, were performing their thirteen concert in fourteen days on their current UK tour in Brighton in support of their latest single ‘Ad Nauseum’ which was unleashed on 28th February, and the sextet were clearly aiming to go out on a high.

THUMPER’s vocalist Oisin getting up close and personal with a fan at Patterns, Brighton 07.03.20 (pic Cris Watkins Photography/PunkInFocus) (click on pic to enlarge!)

Tonight’s eight track set commenced at 9:04pm and concluded at exactly 10pm and for 56 minutes the band mesmerised the whole crowd. The unit comprises Oisin Leahy Furlong (lead vocals/guitar), Alan Dooley (guitar/vocals), Alex Harvey (guitar/vocals), Dav Campbell (bass), Stevie D’Arcy (drums) and Shane Holly (drums).

It’s not only myself flagging up THUMPER as THE band to see, but also in attendance tonight was punk legend Jordan Mooney who has posted after the gig “Anyone anywhere who gets the chance to see this band. GO. Their name is THUMPER and they will not disappoint on any level”.

Seems The Irish Times have high hopes for the band too, as their journalist Tony Clayton Lea has gone on record stating “THUMPER are the future rock and roll icons we’ve been waiting for. Four guitarists stage front and 2 drummers, they create “a sonic thrust impossible to ignore”. Plus The Undertones lead singer (and Today FM DJ) Paul MacLoone, has described the THUMPER sound as “Raucous tunesmithery”. Whereas Golden Plec announced that “THUMPER has quickly become one of the most exciting live bands in Ireland. They leave an indelible mark in your memory after a performance”, and IMPOSE Magazine says that THUMPER are “New, exciting, revolutionary, and outright inspiring”.

THUMPER live at Patterns, Brighton 07.03.20 (pics Cris Watkins Photography/PunkInFocus) (click on pics to enlarge!)

It’s evident that there’s tons of love out there for THUMPER, and anyone who has so far had the good fortune of witnessing them perform live, will totally understand why the band are topping the “Ones To Watch” lists and constantly selling out shows.

The future of rock and roll looks bright when these wide-eyed rock stars perform. For instance, check out the video for the new single ‘Ad Nauseum’ HERE and also ‘(You’re Bringing Me) Down’ HERE and you can see the real potential that they have.

THUMPER had draped their large banner across the rear of the Patterns stage, thus blocking out a majority of the strip lighting, which was a good thing for the photographers and the punters as they could clearly see the band. They not surprisingly opened with the new single ‘Ad Nauseum’, which most certainly set a marker for the rest of the night. The quality of the whole set was high, with no duff numbers whatsoever.

THUMPER live at Patterns, Brighton 07.03.20 (pic Cris Watkins Photography/PunkInFocus) (click on pic to enlarge!)

Their two drummers were dictating the beat in a Sigue Sigue Sputnik style, whilst the guitars and bass threw out everything that they had to offer. I have always been partial to bands with two drummers as they look so cool and balanced, like The Glitter Band, Adam & The Ants and Sigue Sigue Sputnik used to have. THUMPER tunes are in the main not three-minute wonders, but jostle you along and then blast in your face as they go up a gear or two.

THUMPER offer up bubblegum pop through a wall of sonic death and their reputation for raucous and frenzied live shows certainly kicks into play this evening. Frontman Oisin Leahy Furlong has the crowd eating out of his hand. At one point we all had to crouch down and jump up again when the music blasted back into play. The student age crowd, were especially loving this part and there was a wave of positive emotions flowing through the room.

I was particularly fond of tonight’s version of ‘In My Room’, which was only really eclipsed by their final number ‘(You’re Bringing Me) Down’. I enjoyed the band member jaunts into the crowd which certainly nullified the use of the metal crowd control barriers. This was a truly memorable Saturday night out in Brighton and I trust that THUMPER will return again, hopefully sooner than later.

We headed off to their merch stand and T-shirts and CD’s were purchased. Happy days!

THUMPER live at Patterns, Brighton 07.03.20 (pics Cris Watkins Photography/PunkInFocus) (click on pics to enlarge!)

Thumper setlist:
‘Ad Nauseum’
‘Greedy Guts’
‘Unwritten’ (Natasha Bedingfield cover)
‘The Loser’
‘In My Room’
‘Topher Grace’
‘(You’re Bringing Me) Down’

Find Thumper on the web:
Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Bandcamp / YouTube / Spotify

Support this evening came from Heirloom and BAD LAWS.

BAD LAWS live at Patterns, Brighton 07.03.20 (pics Cris Watkins Photography/PunkInFocus) (click on pics to enlarge!)

First up were BAD LAWS who are a young unsigned 4 piece Dark Pop outfit based in Brighton who formed in October 2017, and consists of Lucy Hinton (vocals), Daniel Bright (guitar), Travis Powers (bass) and Josh Caplin (drums)

BAD LAWS look to derive sounds from modern pop music accompanied with heavier groove laden riffs. Their debut release ‘Circles’ gained over 1000 streams in it’s first day. The band have honed their sound and have already secured support slots for Soft Kill and Elephant Gym as well as performing at Brighton’s Haunt (now CHALK) and Concorde 2 venues, plus they have played at Bad Pond Festival and Alternative Escape.

Tonight they notched another support slot under their belt and performed a seven tune set that began at 7:24pm and concluded dead on 8pm. Being of tender years, they are still a very much work in progress band, however you are already able to find their material on Spotify.

Vocalist Lucy announced ‘Fill The Void’ as their angry track and indeed it has some energy, but my preferred tune was their final number ‘Break’. They suggest that their music will also be enjoyed by fans of PVRIS, Wolf Alice and BLOXX.

BAD LAWS setlist:
Does It Feel Good?’
‘I’m Not Myself’
‘Take It From Me’
‘The Time It Takes To Miss Someone’
‘Play Nice’
‘Fill The Void’

Heirloom live at Patterns, Brighton 07.03.20 (pics Cris Watkins Photography/PunkInFocus) (click on pics to enlarge!)

Main support tonight came from Brighton based quartet Heirloom, who are Jane Rivers (vocals/guitar), Jade Taaffe (vocals/bass), B D (keys/guitar) and Nick McGregor (drums). They refer to themselves as a “Cinematic-Garage band”.

The Brighton & Hove News Music Team first became aware of Heirloom when they performed at the inaugural ‘Utopia’ mini-fest at the Green Door Store in June 2018. After that we saw them live back in January 2019 at The Hope & Ruin as part of the popular ‘Triptych’ mini-fest.

Heirloom could easily be enjoyed by fans of Demob Happy (who they have supported), The Brian Jonestown Massacre and Goat Girl. They have previously released two singles in 2018 ‘Come On Down’/’Bunny’ and ‘Speak In Tongues’ and will shortly be releasing ‘Curtain Call’, which is not the same tune at The Damned’s epic.

Back in January 2019, my friend Julian conveyed to me after their performance at The Hope & Ruin that he enjoys watching Heirloom play live as their performances build and build and indeed this evening, this is still the case with the latter tracks for me hitting the mark, especially their final number ‘Speak In Tongues’.

The bands alternate vocals style between the tall Jane and Jade (with her seriously cool Danelectro ‘56 Single Cutaway Bass) works rather well. Jane has such a powerful delivery akin to early Birthday Party material that you can easily be transfixed. The Nord Electro keyboard is always welcome in any lineup I watch as well. We shall be enjoying the band again soon when they support Juniore in Brighton.

Heirloom setlist:
‘Painted Feted’
‘Sleep Well’
‘Curtain Call’
‘Speak In Tongues’

Spotify / Soundcloud /Facebook

Gig flyer

Heirloom setlist (left) and BAD LAWS setlist (right)

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