‘234 FEST’, GREEN DOOR STORE, BRIGHTON 18 & 19.9.21
The team at the Green Door Store were certainly celebrating their 10th birthday in style as they hosted the ‘234 Fest’, (as in based in Units 2, 3, & 4) which was a free entry two-day mini festival to highlight the plethora of exciting new local talent.
The ‘234 Fest’ was just like a mini Great Escape, with the bands performing around half hour showcase sets on Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th September 2021.
Day Two – Sunday 20th September:
The Brighton & Hove News Music Team are today back at the Green Door Store, but this time we have increased our ranks for this wonderful free two day event.
We are based at the venue all day, which is located beneath Brighton Railway Station, and as a result managed to steer clear of the many disgruntled Leicester City fans. Their team was beaten by The Seagulls and now we are fourth in the Premier League Table – Happy Days!
Indeed, it is happy days here too, despite the initially rainy weather, we again arrive in time to catch all of today’s ten bands’ full performances.
Drinks purchased and we set up shop again at the front of the venue. First up at 2:06pm are Hutch who we saw at the same venue as recently as 25th August, when they were on the bill with Fruity Water and Seadog. Today, the venue is already more packed than it was the same time yesterday and so this bodes well for all of the bands that are performing today and obviously for the takings for the Green Door Store.
Hutch refer to themselves as “yacht-rock soft-psychers”, Their compositions chop and change beats several times within most of the tunes. Last month I stated that “Their ‘sound’ could possibly be conceived as an amalgam of the final work of The Jam interspersed with The Beatles with the 1965 hit ‘California Dreamin’’ from the Mamas and the Papas”. Thus they appear to be a band out of time. This afternoon, however, I would hasten to add that there’s certainly a tad of Scritti Politti and Orange Juice in there somewhere. It’s all about ‘Sandworms’ with this lot. I’m certainly warming to this new band and they were a good choice of act to kick off day two. They concluded at 2:37pm.
Next up at 3pm was guitarist and vocalist ELLiS⋆D and his three mates on guitar, bass, drums. Of late, ELLiS⋆D has been a name banded around the Brighton scene and this afternoon is my first encounter, so I can decide for myself what the buzz is all about.
The vocal style strangely reminded me of a combination of Kirk Brandon of Spear Of Destiny, Martin Byrne of Talking Heads and Thom Yorke from Radiohead. There was some neat footwork on show today. Musically I would cite their sound as a 21st century version of early Roxy Music, but for fans of The Darkness. Whereas ELLiS⋆D states that the inspiration is “from the early work of fellow solo artists Ty Segall and Waxahatchee, as well as lo-fi pioneers Guided By Voices”.
Any rate, here is a toe tapping indie artist with his band that seems to have that ‘X Factor’, but I certainly wouldn’t want them appearing on the show of the same name. Their tune ‘Elastic’ whizzes along very nicely thank you. More please. Sadly concludes at 3:31pm.
After a half hour break, we welcome onto the raised Green Door Store stage Out Of Love at 4:01pm. The all male quintet refer to themselves as “Just some mates playing some riffs”. Their format is vocals, two guitars, bass and drums. This afternoon is their third ever live show having previously played in Milton Keynes and London on the two days previous.
From the very off I clocked that they sounded like Stiff Little Fingers and a heavy version of The Alarm. Their tunes are catchy and I reckon that they would go down well on the ‘Introducing Stage’ at the Rebellion punk festival in Blackpool. I’m not convinced that their name fits their sound, but they were lovely and loud and I most certainly would love to see these guys playing live soon in the near distant future. After 29 minutes they concluded at half past four.
Following on from that was a new sound to the mini-fest that was delivered by the striking Tally Spear and her two chums. They start at 5:03pm and Tally looks striking in her red outfit and matching red guitar. The guys are on drums with drum pads and guitar and keyboards.
I would describe the ‘Tally Spear’ sound as indie rock with pop chart potential. ‘What I Want’ and ‘Already Gone’ are the first two tracks and these allow us to hear her great vocal range. Today is her first ever Brighton show for this London based act. Her new single ‘Fun House’ was performed, but I must say that the trio of following numbers were even better than that. There’s definite potential here and with a tad more confidence, Dua Lipa might have some competition. Let’s see where this music journey takes her? The 26 minute set drew to an end at 5:29pm.
As per yesterday, we had one act causing mayhem in the bar area instead of on the main stage. Today it was the turn of modern punk rock trio SNAYX (pronounced ‘snakes’) who began at 5:31pm. Their format is loud bass, loud vocals, loud drums. You want loud, raw energy, ferocious live sets and visceral, hard-hitting bass riffs, then these guys have it by the bucket load.
The ‘slightly arrogant’ vocalist has a bottle of wine on the go during the half hour showcase and he joins the crowd on more than one occasion and instigates a mosh or two. The bassist looks like a man possessed. There’s a definite buzz about this band today with the photographers well on the case. This was a very in-your- face performance that the crowd absolutely loved, although not my fave band so far to be honest. Guess I’m in the minority here, but having said that, these boys certainly rock. The singer climbed on to the bar just as ‘The Lambinis’ did yesterday. “SNAYX In The System” indeed. Last two numbers are the bounciest. Sleaford Who? Ended 6:01pm
Moving swiftly back into the main concert room, and five minutes later at 6:06pm the SLANT quintet are upon us. They themselves say that they “are an inter-galactic powerhouse” who draw “glam-rock back out of the ether and merging it with a riot grrrl energy”. They released their debut single ‘Haircut’ last year which was followed up with the alt-pop/disco track ‘La Danse’. Both of which get an outing today.
Their format is guitar, bass, expressive drumming and somewhat quirky perfectly harmonious female dual vocals, which results in toe tapping energy. They played a track called ‘Poly’ which hopefully was about about Poly Styrene the singer as opposed to the synthetic aromatic hydrocarbon polymer ‘Polystyrene’. The girls made good use of their megaphones during ‘Nightcrawlers’. They finished at 6:37pm. Catch them in Brighton at The Prince Albert on Wednesday 27th October, when they will be supporting the absolutely brilliant Irish band ‘Thumper’, who are for fans of IDLES and Fontaines D.C.. Purchase your tickets HERE.
It was time for tea and so we visited the pop-up ‘plant based’ food stall within the outside area of the Green Door Store and munched on our “not really chicken” and rice with spicy chilli sauce wrap. We swiftly washed that down with a beer and bang on 7pm it was the turn of Brighton grit pop trio snake eyes to entertain us.
These guys offered us an energetic set of indie punky style tracks in a bass and vocals, plus guitar and vocals, and drums and vocals format. The venue was now as packed as yesterday night and the happy punters were enjoying their 27 minute set. The basslines were meaty at times and a bit Nirvana, although the vocals were nowhere near the Cobain levels. The drums were decent too. In fact, the longer the snake eyes set went on for, the better they got. They vacated the stage at 7:27pm.
Wife Swap USA were to grace the stage with their presence next, at 8:02pm. This Brighton based sextet are astounding live. If you ever get a chance to go and see them, do! Tonight was frontman Harry Saunders birthday and you just knew that he and his chums were going to be living life to full and there was to be much crowd surfing by him, drummer Catt and guitarist ‘Cowboy’ Matt.
Obviously the room was packed and anticipation was sky high as it always has been ever since their debut performance at The Hope & Ruin on 6th December 2019. We were there back then, and Tuaca on a stick was the offering to the front row of the crowd.
Tonight, there was the usual amount of gay abandon in more than one way or another, with trunks, panties and bras on the go. The music is rather entertaining and always brings a smile to my face. It’s not too cerebral, with tracks like ‘Too Sad To W*nk’ and the like. I would hazard a guess that the venue was actually the busiest that it had been all day. The crowd crouched down when instructed by Harry and jumped up again like jack-in-the-boxes. The smiles on everyone’s faces was evident. Another success! 8:28pm they relinquished the Green Door Store stage.
I did feel a little sorry for the next band, LibraLibra as they were never going to match that chaos, but I guess that they are getting used to it, as this isn’t the first time that they have followed on from ‘Wife Swap’.
The quartet of Beth Cannon (vox), Joe Caple (drums), Daniel Martell (guitar) and Guy Jones (bass and keys) arrived two minutes early at 8:58pm and ‘bang!’ Beth’s vocals hit you like a steam train. Gosh! She certainly gives it 110%. I would suggest that this band are purveyors of raunchy dancy rock and the crowd loved them. If ‘X Factor’ or ‘The Voice’ did indie rock, then these would be in with a chance. Although, sadly not quite my personal cup of tea. The band mingled with the crowd and all was well with the world until 9:32pm.
The final of the 20 acts of this year’s ‘234 Fest’ were Holiday Ghosts who took to the stage bang on 10pm. They operate a slightly unusual vocals and drums, plus two guitars and bass format. These guys were definitely intent on ensuring that the climax of the ‘234 Fest’ would go out on a high with their swinging, shuffling rockabilly style drum tapping surf beats.
And so the crowd bopped merrily away! There were to me elements of ‘Good Vibrations Records’ post punk sounds with the addition of a tiny smidge of The Undertones meets The Shadows played at 78rpm (ask yer grannie). Boy can these katz swing! My mate ‘2 cans in hands’ Jules was right, they are great, but don’t let Sam from the band near helium balloons before a gig as he virtually lost his voice as a result.
The ‘234 Fest’ finished at 10:35pm.Roll on next year!!
For further information, visit thegreendoorstore.co.uk
To view yesterday’s ‘234 Fest’ report, click HERE.
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