HALLAN + SHADY BABY – THE PRINCE ALBERT, BRIGHTON 22.11.22
One thing’s clear: being the first band of a Tuesday evening doesn’t mean playing for a half capacity room – at least not if you’re Shady Baby. Signed to Nice Swan Records, Shady Baby released their first double A-side earlier this year with singles ‘Lonely Town’ and ‘Come To Life’.
The Brighton-based four piece consisting of Sam Leaver and his old childhood friend Laurie Debnam, with Nick Varnava and Tom Jackson packed out The Prince Albert from the get go. Starting off the evening with the energetic ‘Let It Slide’. You know it’s going to be a good evening if you struggle to get to the front to take photos, and this was definitely the case already when Shady Baby took to the stage.
Having played with Hallan before in France, Shady Baby kicked off the gig expressing their appreciation for the headliner before diving into the rest of their set with a tightness that we’ve come to expect from them, taking the audience through their newer material like ‘Feel It Too’ and single ‘Lonely Town’ (the riff lives in my head rent free).
Their musicianship and stage presence are complemented nicely by their effortless ability to connect to the audience in between songs. Before the last song, friends of the bassist (Nick) urge him to play shirtless – he eventually obliges to a roaring crowd. They finished their set strong with their single ‘Come To Life’, followed by ‘Under Duress’ and ‘Held In’.
This was their last show of 2022, but make sure to catch them next year as they have some exciting gigs and festivals coming up. In the meantime, their 7” vinyl is available through their Bandcamp HERE.
Sam Leaver – vocals and guitar
Laurie Debnam – guitar
Nick Varnava – bass
Tom Jackson – drums
Shady Baby setlist:
‘Let It Slide’
‘Starting To Slip’
‘Feel It Too’
‘All Too Late’
‘Come To Life’
Fun fact: the last time Hallan played in Brighton the singer dislocated his knee during the performance. It instantly becomes clear why – the sheer magnitude of frontman Conor’s stage presence is really something to look out for. Having just started their UK tour ticking Winchester and Norwich off the list first, they take their Brighton fans by storm with an eclectic set containing fan favourites as well as new materials and a cover.
They eased through the first part of their set including the 2021 single ‘Hands Up’ as well as their latest releases ‘Sich Übergeben’, the 7” vinyl of which has been long sold out. This synthy single is immediately followed up by ‘Modern England’ – an ode to the disillusioned reality we live in, which is even more relevant now than when it came out in 2020.
The band’s professionalism and ability to adapt becomes evident when during ‘Money Talks’, their other latest snappy single, the mic XLR disconnects during part of the song. The frontman continues playing unfazed and manages to plug it back in before the next verse hits. It doesn’t disrupt the performance and I doubt anyone not in the front row would have ever noticed – we just continued dancing.
Jammed in between their long-time fans jumping at the front, the gig was nothing short of what you’d expect from Hallan – relentless energetic punky goodness that will ring in your ears for long after the end of their set. A smooth powerful performance that has left me wanting to see much more of them in the future.
More fun facts: their Albert gig was the 100th gig of their drummer Adam, which of course we celebrated accordingly. Signed with Nice Swan records since 2020, Portsmouth legends Hallan are continuing their tour in January and February across the border, playing six shows across France. Keep an eye on their socials for their next UK (and hopefully Brighton) dates.
Conor Clements – vocals
Josh Ransley – guitar
Josh Tweedale – bass
Adam Mills – drums
‘Orwell’s Idyllic Future’
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