SUNFLOWER BEAN + LIME GARDEN + PRIMA QUEEN – KOMEDIA, BRIGHTON 11.4.22
Monday night at the Komedia saw the final night of Sunflower Bean’s UK tour to promote their 3rd album, ‘Headful Of Sugar’. They were more than ably supported by Lime Garden and Prima Queen. Three very good bands who each in turn got louder from the stripped back folk sound of Prima Queen through the funkier indie sounds of Lime Garden to the rock noise of headliners Sunflower Bean.
Opening Monday night at the Komedia was Prima Queen. Prima Queen is an all-female indie/alternative rock band fronted by song writing duo Louise Macphail (from Bristol) and Kristin McFadden (from Chicago).
Instead of the full band, Prima Queen was a two piece for tonight with just Louise and Kristin on vocals and guitars. Also missing were their Stetson hats.
Their short, but varied set included slide guitar on their second song, ‘Invisible Hand’, and a spoken word track simply accompanied by a violin. The penultimate song in the set was their latest release ‘Chew My Cheeks’, which will appear on their debut EP, and finishing with a track called ‘Mexico’.
Prima Queen’s stripped back set was very good. A bit of country folk pop crossover, similar to First Aid Kit, they combined vulnerable and nostalgic story telling with some very sad lyrics of lost love and people passing away. Not hi-energy party tunes, but very impressive.
They took to the stage minutes after the doors opened, so there were only a few people for the start of their set. If you missed them this time around, Prima Queen will be back in Brighton for The Great Escape Festival with the full band.
Prima Queen are on Facebook.
Next up after a short break was Brighton’s Lime Garden, who are.
Chloe Howard (vocals, synth and guitar)
Leila Deeley (guitar)
Tippi Morgan (bass)
Annabel Whittle (drums)
Almost impossible to label, and why would you. The band have described their style as “Electronic dance music meets guitar band wonky slink pop”. Their songs cross genres and styles from indie, rock to funky dance tracks, which may be the result of the band members coming from different musical backgrounds. They manage to create a fresh sound that’s both uplifting yet at the same time laid-back.
Their set switched between styles and tempo. The funky second track, ‘Fever’, followed by the more sober ‘Funeral’. Singer Chloe then invited the crowd to boogie to their latest release ‘Marbles’. Next up was the rockier number ‘Surf n Turf’, to give an indication of the mix of styles.
There were two constants throughout Lime Garden’s set, fun and quality. The band seemed to genuinely have fun playing live, which spread to the audience. While the whole band gave a great performance, especially notable during their set was the quality of Leila’s guitar playing and her ease at setting the musical style while she sometimes looked in a world of her own.
Another polished performance suggests a promising future for this local favourite. Their indie guitar sound created a very good atmosphere in the audience. Well worth checking out at The Great Escape Festival.
Lime Garden setlist:
‘Surf n Turf’
‘Sick And Tired’
Lime Garden are on Facebook.
The headliners, Sunflower Bean, are an alt-rock band from New York, who are:
Julia Cumming (bass, lead vocals)
Nick Kivlen (guitars, backing vocals)
Olive Faber (drums)
So keen to get going, the band started playing, while Nick’s mic was still being tested. No hanging around, or going off stage for a few minutes waiting for equipment checks. This didn’t diminish the opening of the set, and set the tempo for a fast energetic performance.
A heavier sound from headliners Sunflower Bean tonight, both compared to their recordings and even their performance the previous week at the Electric Ballroom, Camden. It was still a varied set with loud rock numbers and a few slower songs like ‘Otherside’.
Leading from the front, vocalist and bassist Julia gave a great performance. Her star quality and stage presence in particular was undeniable. Her vocals aren’t your usual rock vocals. There’s a unique slightly country sound to her voice at times. She shared more of the singing with guitarist Nick than previous times I’ve seen them. She was backed by some superb rock guitar from Nick and full-on drums from Olive.
Mainly playing tracks from their forthcoming album, ‘Headful Of Sugar’, released on 6th May, there were some old favourites such as ‘TwentyTwo’ and ‘I Was a Fool’. The set ended with an encore which saw Julia leave the stage and take her bass and perform in the audience.
A very good end to their UK tour. You can tell it’s a good gig, when the band doesn’t play your favourite track of theirs, ‘Crisis Fest’, and it doesn’t detract from your enjoyment. Moved from Concorde 2 to the Komedia, it wasn’t a sell-out gig, so if you missed Sunflower Bean this time around, they did say they’d be back in the UK in the fall. Well, they are from New York.
Sunflower Bean setlist:
‘Headful Of Sugar’ (from ‘Headful Of Sugar’)
‘In Flight’ (from ‘Headful Of Sugar’)
‘TwentyTwo’ (from ‘Twentytwo In Blue’)
‘Otherside’ (from ‘Headful Of Sugar’)
‘Roll The Dice’ (from ‘Headful Of Sugar’)
‘Baby Don’t Cry’ (from ‘Headful Of Sugar’)
‘Easier Said’ (from ‘Human Ceremony’)
‘I Don’t Have Control Sometimes’ (from ‘Headful Of Sugar’)
‘I Was A Fool’ (from ‘Twentytwo In Blue’)
‘Who Put You Up To This?’ (from ‘Headful Of Sugar’)
‘Beat The Odds’ (from ‘Headful Of Sugar’)
‘Wall Watcher’ (from ‘Human Ceremony’)
‘Somebody Call A Doctor’ (from their debut EP, ‘Show Me Your Seven Secrets’)