PVA + NUHA RUBY RA + MUCK SPREADER + LAMBRINI GIRLS – THE PRINCE ALBERT, BRIGHTON 10.6.21 & ARTIFICIALLY YOURS – THE PIGS PALACE, HASTINGS 11.6.21
London based label 1-2-3-4 Records are currently roaming North, South, East and West around the country with a selection of truly varied music artists in tow. So far they have been north in Manchester, Stoke and London and over the past few days they have headed south to Sussex to play live in both Brighton and Hastings.
First up was here in Brighton on Thursday night at The Prince Albert at 48 Trafalgar Street. God I’ve missed this place! Prior to lockdown, it seemed as though we were often based here with the continual amount of solid acts playing live nearly every night. I was pining for a couple of jars of Burning Sky Arise, which is produced not that far away at Place Barn, The Street, Firle, BN8 6LP. Although sadly I know that the beer is only rented on a short-term basis, so thankfully we had secured our seats in The Albert right by the door and so the toilets were only a few steps away – It’s me age you see!
Everyone had been shown to their socially distanced seats by The Albert’s Will Moore and his team, so there would be no mosh pit tonight with punters crunching on broken beer glasses at the front. It’s not going to be that type of gig. And we were off…..
First up at 8:07pm were the shy and retiring Brini’s! That’s the Brighton based trio, the Lambrini Girls, which comprises of vocalist/guitarist Phoebe Lunny, (who incidentally is also a member of the superb Wife Swap USA), bassist/backing vocalist Fox Foxington Fox aka Fox O’Reilly and drummer Catt Dampier aka Catt Jack.
The Brini’s sound is neither light nor fruity unlike the Perry drink from whence their name comes from. In fact you get knock back raw, face melting garage-punk and ruddy well like it. But the Brighton & Hove News Music Team present, already knew what was in store as we have had the pleasure of their company on a few occasions.
Being a night of four sets, it was the case that The Brini’s one was all too short. In fact they gave us a mere handful of tunes and thus left us all at the end wanting more! If it’s more that you want, then head along to The Rossi Bar on Queens Road on 24th June from 8pm and you won’t be disappointed as they are playing a headline set and it’s a mere £3 on the door!
Back at The Albert and The Brini’s opening number ‘Sex Toy’ was so well received that after it had finished there was a rapturous applause as folks were indeed so happy to be able to hear live music again.
Next up was ‘Big Dick Energy’ and during this number Catt got off her drumming stool and moved around the front whilst still playing and then stood up on her drum set and was still thrashing those stix – Impressive stuff!
Punters might well remember the next two tracks ‘Help Me I’m Gay’ and ‘White Van’ as vocalist Phoebe dispensed with her shorts and top and played guitar and sung in just her bra and panties. There was, as she cheekily pointed out to us at the end, some nipple action going on, but hilariously our photographer missed both “slips”.
Their truly energetic ragged punk set ended with recent single ‘Homewrecker’, which you can check out HERE. This performance was sure going to be a hard one to follow!
Lambrini Girls setlist:
‘Big Dick Energy’
‘Help Me I’m Gay’
Well, where do you go from there? For myself, it was downwards! A view not necessarily shared by everyone in the room I hasten to add! It was now the turn of a mysterious live seven-piece going by the name of Muck Spreader.
This ragged male combo dropped their five track ‘Rodeo Mistakes’ EP on 4th September last year and in Brighton they might have played some tracks from this, or their imminent debut album, but it is hard to say as there was no real setlist as such, it was all improvised.
The instrumentation for this funky jam session consisted of bass guitar, guitar, drums, saxophone, trumpet, and a fancy modern DG20 Digital Midi Guitar as well as vocals. This is a band that could have turned up on Factory Records back in the early 1980’s, with their blend of freeform funky jazz and talky vocals. Think early Public Image Limited but not, if you catch my drift.
The new eight tune album drops at the end of this month and it will be available in a limited edition of 500 units on 12” red vinyl – Check it out HERE. For me, they represented the title of their album… ‘Abysmal’.
Muck Spreader setlist:
As Monty Python said “And now for something completely different!” It was now the turn of the intriguingly named East London Avant-punk queen Nuha Ruby Ra.
The equipment that was left on the stage was covered in ruby red drapes and several small mobile LED white strobe lights were carefully positioned on the stage by Nuha’s chums prior to her arrival. Clearly the atmosphere and setting was crucial to this set.
Nuha Ruby Ra, who was lovely when I twice spoke to her, has been spending the last few months cultivating a dedicated following and racking up an impressive catalogue of collaborators from around the world. On 5th March this year, she released her seven track debut EP ‘How To Move’ which you can snap up on limited edition 12” transparent red vinyl HERE.
Her press information states that she has been: “Cutting her teeth in various musical projects and art collectives, Nuha Ruby Ra is a performance powerhouse sharply focused on her own artistic vision. Regardless of who joins her in the studio or on stage, it’s a beast tamed and conducted by her. Equally adept to presenting these sermons with a chaotic, pulsating seven or eight person live band as she is stripping it right back to herself, the music is something that can be effortlessly moulded to suit her mood. Constantly evolving and always adapting”.
The Albert punters were treated to a memorable solo show. This kicked off with Nuha entering the stage clad in a long ruby red mac, tall white boots and an expansive graffiti style white shirt which was emblazoned with “I show you how to move” on the back. This presentation was rather striking, made even more so by the epileptic strobe lighting. Clearly this is someone who the crowd will find it hard to take their eyes off.
She began with the first track on her EP, which is ‘Intro’. This 82 second offering sets out her stall. Imagine you are at the cinema and the opening credits boom out, but in a sci-fi horror stylee, then add a tongue flicking horror vocal on top – which I have heard being used in Egypt by truck loads of ladies travelling through the streets as they announce a wedding – and there you have it.
I guess this counts as a PA gig, as for the eight tune set it was vocalist Nuha accompanied by her backing tracks via the soundsystem. This was a wholly captivating art package performance with her experimental work being accompanied by her movement and flowing emotions. Sometimes she would use two mics at the same time, which created an eerie echoing effect. She moved with the pounding and chugging electronic beats akin to The Prodigy meets tribal voodoo, imagine Gazelle Twin mixed in with Grace Jones.
Nuha Ruby Ra setlist :
‘6 In The Morning’
From our seats at the front of The Albert, we were able to witness London’s PVA setting up their equipment. Nuha’s drapes and lights had been taken away by her chums and thus allowed PVA band members Ella Harris, Josh Baxter and Louis Satchell to set up shop.
Oh my, it was looking very favourable for my electronic music taste! Ella brought on her Korg prologue polyphonic analogue synthesizer along with a Roland TR-85 on stage left (our right), and Josh was setting up the ASM Hydrasynth and Roland box, plus guitar on our left, and Louis was doing the drums with Roland pads in the centre. I was certain that I was going to be in for a treat……I wasn’t wrong!
PVA are signed to Ninja Tune’s taste-maker label Big Dada (Young Fathers, Kae Tempest, Roots Manuva etc.). They initially formed in the aftermath of a house party in 2018 and the three-piece have since earned a fearsome reputation as one of the capital’s premier live outfits, garnering hardcore support before even setting inside a studio.
The group meld industrial miasma, new-wave, post-punk and a focused pop swagger in one pungent multi-genre cocktail, which has won them fans up and down the country, as well as recent support slots with the likes of Squid, HMLTD, Dry Cleaning and The Orielles.
On 7th August (2020) PVA released ‘Divine Intervention (Gum & Ginoli Remix)’, which saw play-listing at 6 Music alongside deserved international press support – perhaps captured most succinctly with an excitable “God, it’s good” from The Guardian.
This was followed on 20th October by their debut 4 track EP ‘Talks (Remixes)’. which witnessed the production duties of the mercurial Dan Carey (black midi, Bat For Lashes, Fontaines D.C.).
Exactly a month later (20th November) saw the unveiling of their debut 12” vinyl in the form of ‘Toner’, which teems with excitement and never for a minute does it sit still, skipping between ideas with instinctive ease, bringing to light a broad palate of sounds and influences. Notably, on Mura Masa’s remix, Harris’ previously inconspicuous line “the best is yet to come” is reluctantly brought to the front. Perhaps then, this serves as a reminder that although seemingly fully-formed already and among the glorious chaos of ‘Toner’, this is simply the first chapter of a book we’ll be re-reading for years to come.
On 11th March 2021 they dropped ‘Talks (Remixes II)’ with the remixes coming from black midi’s DJ Dairy and Squid’s INK.
The Albert punters were now primed for PVA, tonight’s headline act. We were going to be served eight solid numbers without any dip in quality whatsoever! Fabulous stuff!
First up was a trio of really bouncy beats with Ella on vocals, ‘Untethered’, followed by last year’s singles ‘Divine Intervention’ and ‘Talks’, which to me carried a slight Scandinavian vibe. ‘Comfort Eating’ was up next with its Haircut 100 ‘Favourite Shirt’ (Boy Meets Girl)’ style funky riff. All very enjoyable so far!
Next up was ‘Project Bunker’ with Josh taking the vocals lead. This track has a truly meaty Belgian New Beat backbeat – fabulous! Much chair dancing was had during this one! Could it get any better? Yep!
‘Sleek Form’ from their ‘Toner’ EP was delivered next. Oh my God! This tune made the hairs on my arms stand erect and the back of my neck tingle! This is usually only reserved for ‘you know what’ and when I hear tracks including ‘Are ‘Friends’ Electric?’ (Tubeway Army), ‘Born Slippy’ (Underworld), ‘Neon Lights’ (Kraftwerk) and ‘Temptation’ (New Order). ‘Sleek’ tuuuuuuuunnnnnne!
PVA’s set was concluded with ‘Bad Dad’ and ‘Exhaust/Surroundings’, the latter of which saw Ella take control of guitar duties. This track was our photographer Cris’s favourite track.
A truly wonderful performance and seriously looking forward to seeing them live again in Brighton when they support ‘band of the moment’ Dry Cleaning at the Concorde 2 on Wednesday 2nd March 2022.
Find out more about PVA HERE.
The 1-2-3-4 Records tour continued the following day in Hastings at The Pigs Palace (which was a late change of venue from His Place) with Artificially Yours replacing the Lambrini Girls. We briefly dropped by to check out that set too.
The gig on the seafront road was running rather late and there were sadly a number of venue/artist confrontational issues which we won’t go into as we are not aware of ALL of the facts from ALL sides concerned, but I know that the previous night in Brighton passed without any hitches. This was the first ever time I have encountered such a situation in my 43 years of gigging!
Eventually the male duo of Artificially Yours were equipped to start their performance and they threw shouty echoey distorted vocals at us accompanied with a box of electronic tricks. I’m sure the venue’s sound quality did the artists no favour.
Artificially Yours have dropped their brand new self titled album on 1-2-3-4 Records on 4th June. Check it out HERE.
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