Brighton’s grassroots music camaraderie on show at The Hope & Ruin

Posted On 20 Aug 2021 at 12:41 am

CUTTING TIES live at The Hope & Ruin, Brighton 18.821 (pic Cris Watkins Photography/PunkInFocus) (click on pic to enlarge!)

CUTTING TIES + H_NGM_N + LAMBRINI GIRLS + MAKING FRIENDS – THE HOPE & RUIN, BRIGHTON 18.8.21

Tonight, there were four decent local bands on offer at The Hope & Ruin on Queens Road. The event was originally scheduled for Friday 16th July 2021, but thankfully it’s now post covid and all systems are go!

Headlining the bill were CUTTING TIES, with support from H_ngm_n, Lambrini Girls and Making Friends.

We arrived at around 7:30pm as we wanted to cover all of the bands and were greeted by a mass of early twenty somethings out on the street in front of the venue. Very few were smoking as they were grabbing the last fresh air of the day prior to heading upstairs in order to give their ears a bashing. Our Hope & Ruin Pale Ales were purchased and we headed upstairs to join them.

Making Friends live at The Hope & Ruin, Brighton 18.821 (pic Cris Watkins Photography/PunkInFocus) (click on pic to enlarge!)

Kicking off tonight at 7:51pm were melodic skate punks, Making Friends, who unleashed their ‘A Beginner’s Guide’ 4 track EP back in May. Check it out HERE and have a listen to their other material on their Bandcamp page HERE.

Ryan Mansell of Making Friends live at The Hope & Ruin, Brighton 18.821 (pic Cris Watkins Photography/PunkInFocus) (click on pic to enlarge!)

Making Friends consists of Ryan Mansell (lead vox/guitar), Daniel Farrell (lead guitar), Bill Laken (bass/vox) and Pete Thomas (drums/vox). They are Brighton based and formed less than a year ago and take inspiration from bands like Captain Everything, Lagwagon and Belvedere.

Daniel Farrell of Making Friends live at The Hope & Ruin, Brighton 18.821 (pic Cris Watkins Photography/PunkInFocus) (click on pic to enlarge!)

During their 32 minute set, which concluded at 8:23pm, the quartet raced through at 200mph no less than thirteen Green Day-ish compositions, which were culled from their recent releases as well as performing tunes from their debut album, which is to see the light of day some time during 2022.

Bill Laken of Making Friends live at The Hope & Ruin, Brighton 18.821 (pic Cris Watkins Photography/PunkInFocus) (click on pic to enlarge!)

Ryan was a natural frontman and enjoyed sharing banter with his bandmates as well as the crowd. He has a warmness that people picked up on and thus the band went down rather well indeed. Pete’s drumming was the backbone of their songs with his fast skipping drumming beat. Their set was powerful all the way through and was relatively tight considering they are a new band. I reckon a highlight of their debut album will be the intricate bass-work performed on ‘Planet Zoo’.

Pete Thomas of Making Friends live at The Hope & Ruin, Brighton 18.821 (pic Cris Watkins Photography/PunkInFocus) (click on pic to enlarge!)

Making Friends setlist:
‘Goodbye Forever’ (found on 2020 ‘A Beginner’s Guide’ EP)
‘Whatever Happened To My Enthusiasm?’ (found on 2021 ‘Bonk!’ EP)
‘Money Making Millionaires’ (set to appear on 2022 as yet unnamed debut album)
‘Fall To The Pavement’ (set to appear on 2022 as yet unnamed debut album)
‘Ignore The Exit’ (set to appear on 2022 as yet unnamed debut album)
‘Happy Complaint’ (found on 2020 ‘A Beginner’s Guide’ EP)
‘Early Grave’ (found on 2020 ‘A Beginner’s Guide’ EP)
‘Short Story…’ (found on 2021 ‘Bonk!’ EP)
‘Ant’ (found on 2020 ‘A Beginner’s Guide’ EP)
‘Hooked On A Feeling’ (Blue Swede cover)
‘Planet Zoo’ (set to appear on 2022 as yet unnamed debut album)
‘Minutes’ (set to appear on 2022 as yet unnamed debut album)
‘Bonk!’/’Useless’ (both found on 2021 ‘Bonk!’ EP)

If you missed Making Friends tonight or wanna see them again this week, then head on over to The Pipeline at 6 Little East Street, Brighton, BN1 1HT on Saturday 21st August, as they will be sharing the bill with Captain Trips, Discover A Fire and On A Hiding To Nothing. Event details HERE.

One band down and it was evident that the venue’s lighting was adding to the atmosphere. On offer were four banks of sixteen composite circle lights behind the band, as well as a trio of circle units of five lights each on either side of the stage, coupled with four large circle lights shining down onto the bands at the front of the stage. The sound was relatively good as well and the whole package added to the punter’s enjoyment.

Lambrini Girls live at The Hope & Ruin, Brighton 18.821 (pic Cris Watkins Photography/PunkInFocus) (click on pic to enlarge!)

Next up at 8:37pm were the shy and retiring (sic) Lambrini Girls who state on their Bandcamp page “Imagine your nan is in the boot of your car with a croissant in her mouth and hears bikini kill for the first time. That could be you. It will never be us as we are not bikini kill and we are not your nan. We are Lambrini Girls. Bon appetite xoxox”.

The Lambrini Girls are a Brighton based trio consisting of Phoebe Lunny (vocals/guitar), Fox Foxington Fox (bass/backing vocals) and Catt Jack (drums).

Phoebe Lunny from Lambrini Girls live at The Hope & Ruin, Brighton 18.821 (pic Cris Watkins Photography/PunkInFocus) (click on pic to enlarge!)

The Brighton & Hove News Music Team are certainly no strangers to this lot – Find our review of ‘The Brinis’ live at Brighton Dome HERE and check out their latest tune ‘Homewrecker’ HERE.

A little late to the stage this evening due to Phoebe and Catt having to go Fox hunting, as in the bassist was temporarily occupied elsewhere. That sorted and they were off, ‘as sorts’ as Phoebe delivered ‘Gay Panic’ in her own inimitable Noddy Holder shouty style. I had initially thought it was called ‘Gay Planet’, now there’s a decent name for a tune!

Fox Foxington Fox from Lambrini Girls live at The Hope & Ruin, Brighton 18.821 (pic Cris Watkins Photography/PunkInFocus) (click on pic to enlarge!)

By track three there was the ‘drum stool debacle’ where Catt was unable to get it at the right height. Cue an improvised ditty from Phoebe titled ‘I Don’t Know How To Make Someone C*m’. This spread some joy and we were treated to a ‘part two’ later in the set.

Clearly still not 100% happy with the stool height, Catt decided to leave the drum set and go off stage diving for the next tune, with Cutting Ties frontman Alessandro stepping in to fill her place. If you aren’t already aware, the Lambrini Girls performances are always chaotic but most definitely enjoyable. For instance, bassist Fox sat on the floor for most of the next song and one of the Monakis boys joined them on stage. A little later on and (once again) Phoebe was down to just playing guitar in bra and panties and a little nip action was ‘accidentally’ delivered.

Catt Jack from Lambrini Girls live at The Hope & Ruin, Brighton 18.821 (pic Cris Watkins Photography/PunkInFocus) (click on pic to enlarge!)

During the performance of their single ‘Homewrecker’, Phoebe got all of the crowd to crouch down for a while and then all spring up in the air like Jack-in-the-boxes. This worked well. I had seen this idea before at Confidence Man performances. It certainly gets the crowd going.

For their final number ‘Craig David!!!!’, both Catt and Phoebe went off stage diving and were paraded around the venue whilst another different drummer took to the stage to assist. At 9:09pm it was all over. Beware! None of the songs are about ‘Flora’ spread.

Lambrini Girls and friends live at The Hope & Ruin, Brighton 18.821 (pic Cris Watkins Photography/PunkInFocus) (click on pic to enlarge!)

Lambrini Girls setlist:
‘Gay Panic’ (unreleased)
‘Big Dick Energy’ (unreleased)
‘I Don’t Know How To Make Someone C*m’ (short improv) (unreleased)
‘Help Me I’m Gay’ (unreleased)
‘White Van’ (unreleased)
‘I Don’t Know How To Make Someone C*m (part 2)’ (short improv) (unreleased)
‘#Dontstealmyart’ (unreleased)
‘Homewrecker’ (found on 2020 ‘Homewrecker’ single)
‘Craig David!!!!’ (unreleased)

H_ngm_n live at The Hope & Ruin, Brighton 18.821 (pic Cris Watkins Photography/PunkInFocus) (click on pic to enlarge!)

The main support for CUTTING TIES this evening were H_ngm_n, who are Chris Childs on guitar and vocals and James Martin on drums. They refer to themselves as “dirty emo pop duo making noise from the South coast”. You can check out their 6 track ‘Brightr’ EP HERE. Visit their Bandcamp page HERE too.

At 9:27pm the Brighton based duo were off! “Blimey! That’s quite some noise for just a duo!” my notes read. Clearly the lads have been chomping at the bit (or if you prefer ‘champing at the bit’) to get out again and play live and indeed tonight is their first performance since last February.

Chris Childs from H_ngm_n live at The Hope & Ruin, Brighton 18.821 (pic Cris Watkins Photography/PunkInFocus) (click on pic to enlarge!)

I have to honestly say that of the four bands tonight, H_ngm_n were the pleasant surprise. I can recall witnessing Chris playing live in another band a few years back at The Latest Music Bar and wasn’t really taken by them, but tonight was totally different. His vocal delivery on every song was melodic and could be heard above the banging drumming from James.

Each tune had its anthemic qualities and would most certainly be enjoyed by Linkin Park and Green Day fans. If only they were to be ‘discovered’ by one of the major record labels, then there is serious chart potential here.

James Martin from H_ngm_n live at The Hope & Ruin, Brighton 18.821 (pic Cris Watkins Photography/PunkInFocus) (click on pic to enlarge!)

A H_ngm_n set is more structured that a Lambrini Girls one, in particular, I noted the way James occasionally held the cymbal after hitting it in order to stop the sound, which was a pleasure to watch but a confusion to the eardrums.

A highlight of their set was ‘Ghost’ with its chugging beat, which can be located on their ‘I Don’t Wanna Go Home’ extended play from 2018. The other two tunes of choice were their final numbers, which were also culled from the same EP, namely ‘Empty’ with its rock ballad intro and the anthemic ‘Matchsticks’. At 9:58, they were done! Yep, loved to see these live again!

H_ngm_n live at The Hope & Ruin, Brighton 18.821 (pic Cris Watkins Photography/PunkInFocus) (click on pic to enlarge!)

H_ngm_n setlist:
‘No One Will Ever See Things The Way I Do’ (found on 2020 ‘No One Will Ever See Things The Way I Do’ single)
‘Back At The Start’ (found on 2015 ‘Lions, Tigers & Velociraptors’ EP)
‘Happy Birthday’ (found on 2018 ‘I Don’t Wanna Go Home’ EP)
‘Hungover’ (found on 2017 ‘Hungover / Rope Bridge’ single)
‘Ghost’ (found on 2018 ‘I Don’t Wanna Go Home’ EP)
‘Rope Bridge’ (found on 2017 ‘Hungover / Rope Bridge’ single)
‘Empty’ (found on 2018 ‘I Don’t Wanna Go Home’ EP)
‘Matchsticks’ (found on 2018 ‘I Don’t Wanna Go Home’ EP)

CUTTING TIES live at The Hope & Ruin, Brighton 18.821 (pic Cris Watkins Photography/PunkInFocus) (click on pic to enlarge!)

It’s now a quarter past ten and time for this evening’s headline act to arrive on stage. Brighton based CUTTING TIES consist of Italian import via Russia, Alessandro (vocals and guitar), along with Bury St. Edmunds import Sam on second guitar, (who incidentally went to the same school as Catt Jack from the Lambrini Girls), Jack (bass) and Ben (drums). They were last up at The Hope & Ruin on 19th December last year for a seated table socially distanced gig. Mind you that certainly didn’t stop the guys rocking the place. The Brighton & Hove News Music Team were there – Read our report HERE.

Alessandro from CUTTING TIES live at The Hope & Ruin, Brighton 18.821 (pic Cris Watkins Photography/PunkInFocus) (click on pic to enlarge!)

On 25th June, the lads uploaded their latest seven track release ‘Demos III’ – Listen to it HERE. Check out the rest of their music on their Bandcamp page HERE.

I must start the CUTTING TIES review by flagging up their tall slim frontman, Alessandro, who was ever present right at the very front during the other trio of bands’ sets and singing along to almost every track. Clearly he knows all of their music very well and it was great to see him supporting other local talent. There were others in the youngish crowd, but he was the one dancing and shouting away all through the sets. Little wonder then at times during his own set that his vocals were a little quiet. Worn his vocals out already no doubt, but when his mouth was actually right on the mic, then all was well.

Sam from CUTTING TIES live at The Hope & Ruin, Brighton 18.821 (pic Cris Watkins Photography/PunkInFocus) (click on pic to enlarge!)

CUTTING TIES opened with their take on a jangly-guitar led ‘White Riot’-eque ‘One Day’ from their 2019 ‘Baby Steps’ EP – singalong now “The summer will return”…

This eclectic blend of personnel are arguably a somewhat perfect blend of good old-fashioned 1977 punk, coupled with nouveau punk and a tinge of heavy metal.

Track two was their rockin’ ‘IMD’ single, which I still don’t know what it stands for, but hazard a guess I would say ‘I Might Die’? The band certainly weren’t dying on The Hope stage tonight and the crowd luvved ‘em. A decent size non threatening mosh pit was in evidence in the centre of the crowd and grassroots music fans were out to have some fun.

Jack from CUTTING TIES live at The Hope & Ruin, Brighton 18.821 (pic Cris Watkins Photography/PunkInFocus) (click on pic to enlarge!)

During the set, bassist Jack announced that his mum had passed away exactly two years ago tonight and he gave thanks to her, stating that she was “a strong tenacious and f*cking kind woman” . The crowd rallied and sang “Jack’s mum”, which was a lovely touch. He also thanked his girlfriend, who was standing immediately in front of us.

Of the dozen songs performed this evening, only ‘Volo’ (which is Italian for ‘flight’) remains unreleased, despite the fact they have been playing it for a couple of years. I feel a release coming on!

My girlfriend and I agreed that ‘It Doesn’t Get Better’ (from their new ‘Demos III’ EP) would most certainly cut the crust at the annual Rebellion Punk Music Festival in Blackpool. Now there’s a thought guys!

It was 11:02pm and CUTTING TIES had concluded their enjoyable set. The crowd banned for more, but it was all in vain due to the curfew.

And so the happy revellers headed out into the night with their ears buzzing and hearts filled with joy.

Ben from CUTTING TIES live at The Hope & Ruin, Brighton 18.821 (pic Cris Watkins Photography/PunkInFocus) (click on pic to enlarge!)

CUTTING TIES setlist:
‘One Day’ (found on 2019 ‘Baby Steps’ EP)
‘IMD’ (found on 2020 ‘IMD’ single)
‘The Crying Song’ (found on 2021 ‘Demos III’ EP)
‘When Am I Going To Sleep?’ (found on ‘When Am I Going To Sleep?’ single)
‘When I Wake Up In The Morning’ (found on 2019 ‘Baby Steps’ EP)
‘Sleep Well’ (found on 2021 ‘Demos III’ EP)
‘Who Are We Now’ (found on 2021 ‘Demos III’ EP)
‘Sunshine’ (found on 2021 ‘Demos III’ EP)
‘Volo’ (unreleased)
‘It Doesn’t Get Better’ (found on 2021 ‘Demos III’ EP)
‘Romance With A Russian Woman’ (found on ‘Romance With A Russian Woman’ single)
‘Use Your Phone’ (found on 2021 ‘Demos III’ EP)

And last but not least, a big thanks goes out to Brighton concert promoters Sugar-Free Music for organising tonight’s rockin’ event and only charging punters £3 in advance or £5 on the door in order to watch (and enjoy) four decent local bands!

Gig flyer

The running order and performance times

CUTTING TIES setlist

H_ngm_n setlist

Lambrini Girls setlist

Making Friends setlist

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