VOLLEYBALL + PASTIL – THE HOPE & RUIN, BRIGHTON 30.9.21
Tonight we headed off to The Hope & Ruin located on Queens Road in Brighton as it was a hive of activity. Upstairs there were performances by Sei Still and Psychic Lemon, which was put on by local promoters Acid Box and downstairs in the ground floor bar area there were sets by Volleyball and Pastil courtesy of Love Thy Neighbour promoters.
In this review, we shall be focusing on the events downstairs. The review of the upstairs gig can be read HERE.
We arrived at the perfect time as the first act, Pastil, were just about to start. The time was bang on 8pm and this young all male quintet, who I believe have recently graduated from BIMM, took to the stage. Well I say stage, there isn’t actually a stage as such, it is simply the back right hand corner of the room. Thus they were on the same level as us and so we could get up close and personal with them as they ploughed through their handful of tunes.
Pastil comprises Rob Smyth (lead vocal/guitar), Eugene Algar (lead guitar), Noah Fox Synth (guitar), Oscar Godfrey (bass) and Max Feighan (drums). Rob Smyth is the songwriter in the outfit.
Pastil offered us slouching bass lines, punchy drum grooves and smooth vocal melodies with their laid back groovin’ sound. It is said that they take influence from artists such as King Krule and Connan Mockasin to craft their sonic palette. Pastil takes the distinct, bubbly sound of bedroom-pop and merges it with the saturated grit of alternative rock.
Clearly it is early in these guys musical career and indeed this is only their second ever live performance, with their debut being down the road at The Rossi Bar back on 18th August. This is work in progress and with more practice they will get even better. The punters watching Pastil are as young as them and so they have a following already. Could this be the band that is ideal for some late night smoothing? Anyway, after 25 minutes the lads were done and got their due applause.
Check out the Pastil collaboration with Renzo, which is titled ‘Blurry Days’ HERE.
‘Lounge’ (Courtney Barnett cover)
Find them on Facebook.
After around a half hour interlude, it was time for Volleyball to do their thang! They kicked off at 8:58pm and performed for 39 minutes and in that time they gave us ten of their compositions.
Volleyball are Rudi Falla (guitar/vocals), Hugh Fotherkill (keys), Tom Greenwood (bass/vocals) and Thom Durrant (drums). They are a London-based modern psych band. It is said that their music slips between the bold, the booming and the catchy in order to submerge people in dreamy soundscapes. But at all times their songs are psychedelically infused and offer polished production.
Volleyball and their universe has been built throughout the lockdowns, knitting together the look and feel of the music. Their first ever gig was back in early June this year at the New Cross Inn in London. It’s become important for the band to innovate the approach to releasing music wherever they can. Volleyball has received support from the likes of Huw Stephens (BBC Radio 1), Abbey McCarthey (BBC Introducing), Apple Music (New in Alternative, New In Indie) and Spotify (Modern Psychedelia, Hot New Bands).
The band have just dropped their ‘Re-works’ EP on Bandcamp. Find that and their other releases HERE.
Tonight at The Hope & Ruin, the lads were clearly happy to be out playing again and you could see this in their music. It wasn’t overpowering, it flowed along pleasantly, with recent single ‘Aloosh’ being a lead example, whereby you find yourself singing along to “It used to be everything” and the “woo-hoos”. It’s toe tapping stuff.
There’s a distinct retro sound with their work, especially on ‘Not For Today’, their penultimate tune with the standout line “My best friend said lets go to the ocean”. This gives me the vibe of if only The Happy Mondays were hippies in San Francisco, then this is what they would sound like. Their final number ‘Slide’ was a good choice to conclude their set on, with the catchy chorus “you can’t decide for me with lies, I try so hard to forgive the last time”. Songs of longing and wishing the summer was still with us!
I hope that these guys return to Brighton so that we can enjoy another set from them.
‘I Follow The Sun’
‘Water On Water’
‘Not For Today’
Find out more at volleyballmusic.com
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