UV-TV + PARIS BLUE – THE PIPER, ST. LEONARDS-ON-SEA 9.4.22
I must confess from the outset that I have very much been looking forward to catching New York’s DIY and post-punk crossover band UV-TV performing live here in Sussex, ever since last May when I was sent a review CD of their latest album ‘Always Something’ which came out on PaperCup Music. It immediately shot an arrow into my heart and so you can guess where this review is going…………..
Sadly, none of their 9 UK tour dates were taking place in Brighton and so a necessary trip along the coast in the bright Spring sun was the order of the day. The band’s venue of choice was The Piper which is certainly starting to make a name for itself in the local area with many gigs now lined up on their books. I was fortunate to grab a free parking space a short distance away from the venue and I made my way there. Pint purchased and upstairs I dutifully went after meeting up with some friends.
I pushed the thick soundproof door to gain entry and immediately spied a merch table. Someone was going away from here a little lighter in the pocket. I have to be honest in stating that this concert wasn’t very well promoted and this was reflected in the numbers present. UV-TV deserve to play to audiences the size of the Concorde 2, which I believe is 600 capacity. The Beths and Peter Hook & The Light both filled the joint this week, and this is where UV-TV should be at. People take note….UV-TV are a great band. I shall explain……..
Right then, if you are a fan of any of the following, then UV-TV are for you. By my reckoning, if we are working on percentages then their sound is 50% The Primitives (UV-TV covered ‘Really Stupid’ on their 2017 ‘Go Away’ EP) , 25% The Darling Buds, 8% The Passions, 6% Blondie, 3% The Cranberries, 2% Echo & The Bunnymen, 2% Moon Duo, 2% The Cure, and 2% The Jesus And Mary Chain.
UV-TV’s latest long player ‘Always Something’ was penned and recorded during the intense isolation of early 2020 and is the first fruits since the band’s relocation to New York (from Florida) and with new drummer Ian Rose as a full-time member, who joined founder members Rose Vastola (lead vocals/bass) and Ian Bernacett (guitar/backing vocals). This is an album that finds the band grappling with the overwhelming darkness of the time it was made in, while embracing the feeling of the world falling apart all around them, the resultant record is one that walks a fine line between beauty and chaos with remarkable results. The release completes an exhilarating trilogy of releases following 2017 debut ‘Glass’ and 2019’s ‘Happy’. ‘Always Something’ offers the listener some of their most complex and accomplished material to date and thankfully this afternoon they give us eight of the nine tunes found on the album, with only ‘Plume’ being omitted – Happy days!
This afternoon at The Piper, UV-TV took to the stage at 2:17pm as a quartet, the addition being Grace Scott on Fender guitar. Ian Bernacett was also in possession of a Fender guitar and taking care of the backing vocals, and centre stage was Rose Vastola on lead vocals and Fender Mustang bass. Ian Rose was to the rear holding the fort and very much driving the beat of all of the eleven compositions with his drumkit and Roland drumpads. It should have been twelve numbers, but a late start from the beginning meant that their proposed penultimate number ‘Hear’ from their debut 2017 ‘Glass’ album had to be dropped as indicated by The Piper’s sound guy – Oh blast!
The lighting for their performance was not spectacular and easily forgettable. The only light was emanating from the camera flash being wielded by the keen lead singer from the support band.
The performance lasted 44 minutes (until 3:01pm), but I could have easily stood and watched the band play every song they have ever recorded with glee, which must be around 30 tracks!
They opened with ‘Distant Lullaby’ from the new platter, which was the first of six in a row from the exciting current release. The pick of these being ‘Holland Sunday’, which is from the same mould as The Passions ‘I’m In Love With A German Film Star’. Track after track and they were a very tight unit indeed. There honestly wasn’t a dud in the whole set! Every one, and I honestly mean every one was a belter!
After ‘Holland Sunday’ they played the current album title track ‘Always Something’ which reminded me of the drumming by Moon Duo. I really enjoyed this but this was eclipsed by the song of the afternoon, that being ‘World’ from the 2019 ‘Happy’ album. This tune I had never heard before but its wall of noise with crashing guitars overlaid with Rose’s vocals atop really grabbed me. So much so, I had to immediately lean forward and ask Mr Bernacett which tune it was. To which he informed the room.
They performed a really tight set, which culminated with a special treat of the world live debut of a new as yet unnamed tune.
About a year ago The Primitives were meant to be playing Brighton, but I believe due to poor ticket sales the concert was pulled, which was a real shame. Well now we have a new young band that are applying the same sound for this decade and I for one love it! I can’t get enough of their sound, hence the merch stand being raided after their wonderful set and instead of myself forking out, my dear friend treated me to their two albums – what a jolly decent fellow. He didn’t go home empty handed either, with vinyl in our hands we made our way out into the beaming sunlight.
Rose Vastola – lead vocals/bass
Ian Bernacett – guitar/backing vocals
Ian Rose – drums
Grace Scott – guitar
‘Distant Lullaby’ (from 2021 ‘Always Sunday’ album)
‘Overcast Forever’ (from 2021 ‘Always Sunday’ album)
‘Back To Nowhere’ (from 2021 ‘Always Sunday’ album)
‘I Don’t Mind’ (from 2021 ‘Always Sunday’ album)
‘Holland Sunday’ (from 2021 ‘Always Sunday’ album)
‘Always Something’ (from 2021 ‘Always Sunday’ album)
‘World’ (from 2019 ‘Happy’ album)
‘Severed Hand’ (from 2017 ‘Glass’ album)
‘Wildflower’ (from 2021 ‘Always Sunday’ album)
‘Superabound’ (from 2021 ‘Always Sunday’ album)
‘New Song’ (unreleased and untitled)
Further information on UV-TV can be found by visiting uvtvmusic.com
Kicking off proceedings this afternoon were local Hastings band Paris Blue, who were a late replacement for Brighton’s heavy Post-Punk band Mules, who unfortunately had to pull out shortly beforehand due to illness.
Paris Blue are a young outfit who have been together for a mere eight months and prior to this afternoon’s performance have only played six or seven gigs so far. Thus their sound is very much work in progress. This Post-Punk band tells me that they are very much influenced by Bloc Party and that they recently dropped their debut single ‘A Modern Horror’ which gets an outing this afternoon along with half a dozen other tunes.
They open with ‘Pinocchio’ which is so-so, but the following number ‘Ginger And Lemon’ certainly rocked. This gave charismatic frontman Leo the boost and so he left the stage area and joined us punters for the following number, which was titled ‘Circle’ and he certainly gave it his all with his Squier Cyclone guitar. As did Riley on bass, who has a rather animated style, oh the joys of youth!
Just when they started getting rocky, they brought things down several pegs with a quieter number called ‘A Tout Alors’. We learned that their usual drummer is Honor Wilson, who was formerly in the band of the moment, Hot Wax, was unavailable for today’s gig and thus local outfit Blabbermouth loaned their drummer Harry Giles for the afternoon. Leo informed us that they only had one practice session with him, but I can honestly categorically state that if Leo hadn’t told us, none of us would have been the wiser as his performance was spot on – well done Harry.
Their final trio of numbers were ‘Glitch’, ‘A Modern Horror’ and ‘Don’t Show My Friends’. Considering they had a stand-in drummer, it was a relatively tight set by a band who are very much finding their style and direction.
Paris Blue today are:
Riley McCarthy – bass
Leo Nakamura Wear – vocals, guitar
Joe Stephen – guitar
Harry Giles – drums (on loan from Blabbermouth for this gig)
Paris Blue setlist:
‘Ginger And Lemon’
‘A Tout Alors’
‘A Modern Horror’
‘Don’t Show My Friends’
For more information on Paris Blue visit their ‘linktree’ HERE.