IAMWARFACE + THE PINK DIAMOND REVUE – GREEN DOOR STORE, BRIGHTON 31.7.21
We were certainly in for a COLOURFUL night out in Brighton this evening, as we were invited by BLUE Door Music Productions to attend their GREEN Door Store gig which featured The PINK Diamond Revue, in support of IAMWARFACE. We grabbed our RED and WHITE wines and headed through the curtain to witness some mighty fine sounds!
It was fabulous to get out again in Brighton with folks and old friends and acquaintances, not that everyone in the team was able to. Sadly, some who should have attended this evening had ‘pingbacks’ and were forced into isolation, others are choosing to avoid compact venues and thus staying away, whereas a couple were revelling at festivals elsewhere.
Thus, we were in a quandary – which gigs do we attend? Our decision was narrowed with the cancellation of the Nancy & The Dolls (FKA The Sex Pissed Dolls) gig at the Concorde 2. This left our Brighton choices as IAMWARFACE at the Green Door Store and IDestroy at The Prince Albert. Decisions! Decisions! Hold on a minute, the venues are only about 200 feet apart! We could literally run between the venues in relay fashion in order to catch as much of each band as possible. Now that’s a plan! We acquired the stage times from both promoters and indeed this WAS possible between us! Thus, the following report is of the full set from The Pink Diamond Revue as well as most of the IAMWARFACE performance. You can read our report on the IDestroy concert HERE.
First up at the Green Door Store this evening are the London and Reading based The Pink Diamond Revue, who we last saw performing live in Brighton only three months ago, but that was for a special ‘live video stream’ down at the Concorde 2. It was just us, the bands, and the staff. How would they fare this time in front of a live audience?
The Pink Diamond Revue are unique. It’s fair to say that these guys are a case of once seen, never forgotten. Eccentric? Positively! Captivating? Affirmative! Enjoyable? Definitely!
The line-up consists of two contrasting guys. Guitarist, Tim Lane, who is the smartly suited, distant-vacant staring, guy liner wearing, chisel-edged featured ‘Thin White Duke’ era Bowie lookalike and reserved t-shirted drummer, Rob Courtman Stock. Also on stage, as ever, is the top half of a female mannequin known as ACiD DoL, who is sadly showing signs of general wear and tear. Clearly there is a Pet Shop Boys or Soft Cell type of clashing personalities going on here, with one being extroverted (in the style of Neil Tennant and Marc Almond) and the other introverted (Chris Lowe and Dave Ball).
A Pink Diamond Revue concert is always an event. They make an effort and are backed by a stream of vintage films and images projected onto the large backdrop behind them. This is very Kraftwerk-esque and keeps the eye continually entertained as one switches a gaze from the band members (including ACiD Dol) to the ‘happenings’ behind them. This is made all the easier as there are no ‘live’ words in a PDR concert. There are just the random 1950’s US sci-fi movie style statements, which is part of the band’s appeal. You can see what I mean by enjoying one of my fave tracks of tonight’s set, the all too brief, but titillating ‘Go Go Girl’ – watch the official video HERE.
With the Green Door Store lighting this evening, you feel as though you are at an event, whereas when we kept bursting into The Prince Albert, the lights were still stuck on the bloody ‘burn out’ red with nothing else, which is rather poor to be honest. Time for a change, I think!
How does one best describe The Pink Diamond Revue sound? Well I guess you could always listen to or purchase their 4 track limited edition 12” vinyl single from their own Bandcamp page HERE and do the same for their 10” black vinyl of ‘Diamonds Are Forever’ / ‘Miss Lonely Hearts Rude Audio’s Lonely Surfer Remix’ on All Will Be Well Records HERE.
Or you could arguably describe them as an electro-amalgam of 1987-89 ‘Music For The Masses’ era Depeche Mode; the electro-psych vibe of TVAM; ‘Peter Gunn’ flavour Art Of Noise; the sound and poses of Sigue Sigue Sputnik and lashings and lashings of Sheep On Drugs imagery and sounds that the likes of Marc Almond would adore.
However, the way they see themselves is: “A world where ‘60s film soundtracks meet sampladelic acid house in a baggy-punk rathole somewhere in Interzone” and “Live band fronted by ACiD DoL, a model from another dimension”. Right then, that’s cleared that up then! And so to tonight…………
The band took to the stage to great cheers. Clearly music fans were out to have fun in Brighton on a Saturday night. The uneven floored room was filling up nicely with eager punters of varying styles and ages.
Tonight, Rob quietly sat and stared ahead as he constantly drummed away with his red fanned drumsticks in the background, whilst ACiD DoL – who even has a song named after her – was craving the attention by discarding her hats and glasses that the Duane Eddy style 1959 vintage tattooed guitarist Tim, was carefully placing on her from time to time during the choreographed set. She was not on her best behaviour this evening, as Tim carefully moved her via the assistance end of the head of the guitar.
After every song had finished, Tim shouted “Thank you” as he held his outstretched arm ending with a ’victory v’ sign with his fingers, towards the crowd, Applause and cheers were thrown back at him. This went on for the whole set.
My choice picks from their set would be ‘Miss Lonely Hearts’ and ‘At The Discotheque’, but in fact there wasn’t a dud track in their whole set. The Pink Diamond Revue simply let their music do the talking.
There’s certainly not enough releases to date by this intriguing outfit, as there is only a 12” of ‘Miss Lonely Hearts’ and a 10” of their cover of the epic Sean Connery James Bond ‘Diamonds Are Forever’ theme made famous by Shirley Bassey in 1971. However make a note in your diaries for 22nd October 2021 as they will be dropping their next single, ‘The Fuzz Guitar’.
Once again, a very enjoyable ten song set this evening. I would see them again live at the drop of a hat as they are currently one of my favourite bands! I hear that there are talks of returning to Brighton later in the year! Put my name down!
The Pink Diamond Review setlist:
‘New Kind Of Life’
‘Don’t Lose Your Head’
‘The Fuzz Guitar’
‘Miss Lonely Hearts’
‘At The Discotheque’
‘Go Go Girl’
More info on The Pink Diamond Review can be found HERE.
It was now time for IAMWARFACE to take to the stage for their energy filled set. We also last witnessed them performing in Brighton only three months earlier at the same ‘live stream video shoot’.
IAMWARFACE were formed in London around half a dozen years ago by singer/producer Matt Warneford. The other members are Lou Matthews (guitars), Tom Howe (DJ/synth), Mike Smith (bass) and Adam Stanley (drums). They are best described as an electro rock band and the name of the act is a metaphor for Matt’s own original style of bombastic high-energy groove based electro-rock, which has been affectionately branded “Rocktronica” by none other than legendary Virgin Radio host Eddy Temple Morris.
The band have supported Gary Numan on tour and anyone that is aware of Numan’s recent heavy industrial sound, which has brought him renewed chart success, and that of Nine Inch Nails (NIN), will have some idea as to where IAMWARFACE are coming from. They have stated that their inﬂuences include Depeche Mode, Gary Numan, Kasabian, Muse, Nero, Queens of the Stone Age, Tears For Fears, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Black Keys and MGMT. I would flag up that if your music choice includes darkwave and industrial like Psyche, Project Pitchfork, Diary Of Dreams, Front Line Assembly, Clan Of Xymox and also the heavier side of Depeche Mode, then IAMWARFACE are most definitely for you!
The debut IAMWARFACE album titled ‘Year Of The Dragon’, was released on 6th September 2019 and is a really consistent work of art. Grab your 12” blood red vinyl album HERE.
Tonight, the Green Door Store concert room was relatively nearing full capacity, but I reckon they could have squeezed in about another 20 or 30 folk. But in these difficult times, then the extra space is more than welcome by everyone. The all-ages crowd were by now relatively well watered and vacated away from the bar area as they passed through the curtain towards the stage area. They were certainly up for being entertained and vocalist Matt is never one to shy away from the limelight.
During their eleven track set, the quintet looked rather striking, especially frontman Matt’s bright red hair and smudged black mouth makeup, which reminded me of the mad Joker from recent ‘Batman’ films. The other band members’ occasional use of black make-up added to the industrial vibe. As before, the lighting certainly complimented their heavy full-on rounded industrial sounds. The Prince Albert take note!
Amongst the songs witnessed this evening, I was fortunate to catch my favourite IAMWARFACE tune, which is ‘Say My Name’, incidentally it is their album opener. Sing along now…“Kick it in wind it up, Let it go and find you maybe, Aaaaaah Aaaaaah, If you Lose it now just say my name, I’m Comin back to find you baby, Aaaaaah Aaaaaah”. Once again, it was delivered as always with much gusto as were the other compositions that we witnessed this evening.
At one stage, Matt was parched from all the singing and requested some water from the bar, but in the meantime, accepted a third of a pint from the crowd. Hmmmm fingers crossed eh?
IAMWARFACE surely deserve to be bigger than they currently are. Surely it’s a matter of time? Frontman Matt certainly has the stage presence and they have an air of an act that surely must headline something like the annual dark music ‘Wave-Gotik-Treffen’ festival in Leipzig, Germany at some stage.
The IAMWARFACE setlist reads:
‘Wake Me Up’
‘To Die For’
‘Say My Name’
‘Take The Shot’
‘Fear The Future’
Fancy a decent Saturday night out in Brighton? You may wish to check out the next Blue Door Music Productions gig at Brighton’s Green Door Store which will be taking place on Saturday 21st August. It will feature LES BODS and Little Triggers. Purchase your tickets HERE.
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