‘MUTATIONS FESTIVAL’ (DAY 2) – THE BRUNSWICK + THE OLD MARKET 5.11.21
Thankfully these are within easy walking distance of one another, with both being located in Hove.
The Brighton & Hove News Music Team collected our day two wristbands from The Old Market and referred to our Mutations Festival programmes for the plan of action and headed off to The Brunswick to start our adventures for the day.
Here are our reviews of day two of Mutations Festival and they are shown in earliest to latest order. Enjoy………
FRIDAY – 5TH NOVEMBER 2021:
MARGOT – 4:20pm to 4:50pm at The Brunswick (Upstairs)
DANIEL GOD DAMN BYROM – 4:50pm to 5:10pm at The Old Market Bar
PEEPING DREXELS – 4:50pm to 5:10pm at The Brunswick (Downstairs)
LOW HUMMER – 5:10pm to 5:40pm at The Brunswick (Upstairs)
TINYUMBRELLAS – 5:30pm to 5:50pm at The Old Market Bar
MEMES – 5:40pm to 6:00pm at The Brunswick (Downstairs)
BESSI – 6:10pm to 6:30pm at The Old Market Bar
VENUS GRRRLS – 6:10pm to 6:40pm at The Brunswick (Upstairs)
ĠENN – 6:30pm to 7:00pm at The Brunswick (Downstairs)
BASSIE GRACIE – 6:50pm to 7:10pm at The Old Market Bar
FEET – 7:10pm to 7:40pm at The Brunswick (Upstairs)
FOLLY GROUP – 7:30pm to 8:00pm at The Brunswick (Downstairs)
HOTEL LUX – 7:30pm to 8:00pm at The Old Market
BILLY NOMATES – 8:20pm to 9:00pm at The Old Market
BAXTER DURY – 9:30pm to 11:00pm at The Old Market
We opened up the day at The Brunswick in their upstairs room. I have been to the venue before, but this was my first ever concert in their main concert room. Margot took to the stage and the lead vocalist informed us that this was their first gig in Brighton, although their drummer used to go to Sussex University. The unit consisted of five guys who were manning the drums, bass, first guitar, vocals, and second guitar. They sounded a tad like Orange Juice and The Smiths on the vocals and for their overall sound you can add into the mix Richard Hawley and et voilà you have Margot, with their melodic jangly guitar pop tunes. They played their new single ‘Wait For You’ which came out on Monday. No doubt fans of Postcard Records are aware of this quintet. Check out their recorded output on their Bandcamp page HERE.
Daniel God Damn Byrom at The Old Market clashed with the Peeping Drexels, so we stayed put and ventured downstairs to see Peeping Drexels who are another 5 piece lad band with the same vocals, guitar, guitar, bass and drums format, but with added keys. Although this lot are a tad younger and noisier, they are an ideal band to play in a basement. I noted the slight IDLES influences on the first tune. Tune two however, got funky with the first use of the keys which suddenly turned them into New Order. Hmmm there’s potential here. Vocal delivery on track three was a mixture of Shaun Ryder meets Cal from DITZ. There was also some mighty fine bass slapping going down, and no wonder the room was packed. Their final number started with a glam rock foot stomping style crescendo and then it went off into DITZ territory and thus saved their best to last. Check them out on Bandcamp HERE.
We ventured back upstairs to take in the delights of Low Hummer who are a sextet from Hull consisting of drums, keys, bass, guitar/vox, guitar, and vox/guitar. Their opening number had a decent David Bowie backbeat. Track two was a rather catchy slice of indie pop rock. The girls vocals reminded me of B-52s as the overall track was quite like them. They supported The Manics recently and so are already on bigger bands radar and judging by this afternoon’s performance I can see why. They played ‘The Real Thing’ off their debut album ‘Modern Tricks for Living’, which dropped in September. This track had a drumming and keys led bouncy beat, with even the cowbell making an appearance, it’s very Squid by all accounts. ‘Sometimes I Wish’ the penultimate had a similar chunky beat to their opening number, and I kept thinking of 1980 Bowie and in particular ‘Fashion’. Check out their album HERE.
As we had stayed at The Brunswick, this meant that we were unable to see Tinyumbrellas performing live at The Old Market. According to the official Mutations Festival programme it states that Tinyumbrellas has been creating her own brand of daydream indie pop on her bedroom floor in Norfolk. Check her out on Spotify.
We headed back downstairs in The Brunswick to see the MEMES who are a male duo hailing from Glasgow. They started up immediately on our entry. The guys were wearing spray paint booth protective clothing suits and are made up of guitar and vocals plus a bass and the backbeat comes from a laptop. These boys are really loud in this basement cellar. There is definitely more than a passing nod to Pop Will Eat Itself in there. Track three was nice and fast, and punks would certainly love it. Track four was more of the same with added Sleaford Mods thrown in for good measure. Track five went at a blitzkrieg pace and I absolutely loved it, as it reminded me of a heavy version of Sigue Sigue Sputnik. For their last track the vocalist enquired “Do yoos like a bit of German Techno?” and so it was to be. I would see these again at the drop of a hat. In fact I wanted them to replay their whole set again. Find out more about MEMES HERE.
There was thankfully a ten minute break between bands at The Brunswick – cue comfort break. Next up in the very busy room were the Venus Grrrls who are a Leeds based quintet who use a Roland Gaia synth which was put to good use on their intro. The other instruments are the more conventional drums, bass, guitar/vocals, and second guitar. I reckon there’s a heavy Florence and The Machine influence with this lot. Today they dropped their brand new four tune ‘Potions’ EP, which features ‘Hate Me’, ‘Sudocream Queen’, ‘Goth Girl’ and ‘Glisten’. I can remember them playing the lead track and they took it down for one song with a tune about mental health called ‘Amy’ which showed off the singer’s vocal prowess. Listen to them on Bandcamp HERE.
We bolted downstairs to catch ĠENN (which is pronounced Jenn), who had literally started their set with an instrumental tune called ‘Island Blues’ (as a trio) which morphed into ‘Like You’ as their petite Maltese vocalist, Leona Farrugia left the crowd and joined her bandmates, who are Janelle Borg (guitar), Leanne Zammit (bass) and Sofia Rosa Cooper (drums). They serve alternative post-punk madness with a fun twist which is fresh out of their DIY framework. There’s just no getting away from the fact that although Leona is slight, her voice is giant and so the girls gave a truly powerful performance for such a small confined space. It was electric in there. They played a low number, which I am reliably informed had the ‘Black Beauty’ TV show riff in it. You can catch them live in Brighton at The Hope & Ruin on Monday 6th December, when they will be joined by Cabiria and Currls as support acts. Purchase your tickets HERE. Visit their website www.genntheband.com for more information.
We thought it was about time that we go and check out what was going down at The Old Market next, so sadly we had to miss FEET, Folly Group and Bassie Gracie who were performing whilst we were walking between venues. We arrived at The Old Market having previously missed Bessi as well as the aforementioned Tinyumbrellas.
First up of our chosen trio of acts at The Old Market was Hotel Lux, who were followed after a 20 minute break by Billy Nomates and then it was over to headliner Baxter Dury.
Hotel Lux were a normal looking five man outfit who gave off the lad next door aura. Their format was drums, vocals, bass and lead guitar and guitar/keys. They kicked off with a track called ‘The National Team’ which set the tone for their toe tapping foot stomping eight song showcase performance which included a couple of brand new numbers called ‘Common Sense’, and also ‘Point Of View’. The venue was quickly filling up and the lads were offering the punters Britpop sounds with Blur style storytelling spoken style lyrics. Their latest release is their ‘Barstool Preaching’ EP which features a trio of previous singles, those being ‘Tabloid Newspaper’, ‘Eddie’s Gaff’ and ‘Ballad Of You And I’. To be honest, I didn’t really take to their sound, but you may well do, in which case you had better check them out on Bandcamp.
Post-punk singer/songwriter Tor Maries aka Billy Nomates has been on a constant upwards trajectory ever since the release of the ‘Billy Nomates’ LP in 2020. Tonight, she and her laptop, which was proudly scrawled with her name, were endeavouring to fill the vast Old Market stage. From the outset, the sound was noticeably quieter, as the music was only on her laptop and there were no live instruments. This was a PA gig that would have been better suited to the smaller Brunswick as opposed to here. Mind you I reckon that venue would be packed as the Hove crowd were digging her energetic karaoke keep fit video style set. Tor bounded around and built up quite a sweat, but I really didn’t like it. I remember seeing Divine doing a similar thing decades ago and that ‘was’ entertaining as you often looked forward to the banter in between tunes. Find out more about Billy Nomates HERE.
It was now finally time for the Mutations Festival day two headliner Baxter Dury to take to The Old Market stage. Bloody hell, he’s grown up and now has grey hair! Whatever happened to that little lad standing next door to his dad Ian on the front cover of the 1977 classic ‘New Boots and Panties!!’ album? Blimey, tempus fugit! Baxter is now 49 years ago. Funnily enough, I had witnessed his dad’s out outfit The Blockheads performing at this very same venue on 14th June 2019. Baxter surprised us all by taking to the stage by himself dressed in desert rat garb, which gave us lot a chuckle. Part way through the first song he was joined by the band, which was a drummer, guitarist, bassist and keyboardist on a Jen synthetone SX1000. Baxter took out a maraca from his pocket on the third number (which I think was called ‘Leek’) and twisted it and it lit up. That’s a new one for me! Baxter certainly has a quirky stage presence with his jerky movements with a beat akin to the Talking Heads. I noted that he wore a gold medallion around his neck that exactly matched the giant one on the backdrop. Tonight the crowd loved him as he got up to his usual antics, but before we knew it, it was time to head off home and look forward to the delights of day three of the Mutations Festival. More on Baxter Dury HERE.