SAMANA + THE LEANING + EVA LUNNY – THE HOPE & RUIN, BRIGHTON 19.1.23
Triptych is an annual series of three music events and three EP record releases brought to you by Brighton’s finger on the pulse label and promoters ‘Love Thy Neighbour’. ‘Triptych VI’ was held at The Hope & Ruin on Queens Road in Brighton on Thursday 19th, Friday 20th and Saturday 21st January.
Over the past five Triptychs, Love Thy Neighbour have carefully selected a trio of its favourite artists and bands who all performed showcase sets on the night in question to eager Brighton music lovers who gathered on the first floor of the venue. The artists have always greatly varied in style, but have one thing in common, namely, they are all on the way up!
To accompany the event, each night had a vinyl record release featuring a chosen song from each of the acts performing on that evening. These vinyl releases have immediately become seriously collectible as they have been limited to a mere 15 copies available for purchase each night! Yes, that’s correct, just 15. So across the three nights there are only a total of 45 pieces of sweet vinyl, so collectors take note! Triptych 2023 is no exception and this year’s artists are all featured on three very limited-edition track 7” vinyl offerings.
The nine acts included are:
Night 1: Thursday 19th January – Samana | The Leaning | Eva Lunny
Night 2: Friday 20th January – Speedboat | Polite Bureaux | New German Cinema
Night 3: Saturday 21st January – Welly | The Famous People | Ladylike
Usually when I turn up to a concert the stage is set up with a drum kit, guitars and maybe keyboards or a synthesiser and these days a laptop. The stage at The Hope & Ruin on Thursday looked a bit different with a harp centre stage. This was because opening proceedings for the three evenings of ’Triptych VI’ was harpist Eva Lunny.
Eva Lunny is a harpist, composer and ambient music producer from Brighton. Her music is inspired by the likes of Aphex Twin, Tim Hecker and Brian Eno, as well as renowned harpists Dorothy Ashby and Alice Coltrane.
Eva’s instrumental set of five tunes started with a very quiet intro, and the audience upstairs at The Hope & Ruin respectfully fell silent.
Eva’s first two numbers were ‘You’ and ‘Improvised Lullaby’ which were beautifully crafted. For her third song of the evening, Eva created a magical enchanting soundscape of raindrops from her harp. The final tune of Eva’s set was ‘Finally Home’ and was a more mellow, slower tune. The mix of ambient soundscapes and neoclassical pieces gave variety to Eva’s performance.
The audience’s reaction and clapping at the end of the set was louder than the soft beautiful music of the performance. A good sign that Eva’s set was very well received.
Check her out on Soundcloud.
With Eva’s harp packed away, the stage had a more contemporary set up for a guitar band ready for the next act, The Leaning, who are a five piece band with a sound between psych-noise and surf pop.
Local band The Leaning were formed by Sam Jordan, an ex-ballet dancer, and Ez Stone, a tattoo artist, when they met while digging a hole during a summer of manual labour. Subsequently and for live shows, the larger group is made up of a rotating musical collective.
There was a delay to the start of The Leaning’s set due to technical issues with cables. Once resolved, lead singer, Sam Jordan, joked “That was “The Hum”” referring to the extra sound check.
The Leaning’s set proper started with ‘Long Lost Lagoon’ from their latest EP ‘The Long Lost Lagoon Collection’. The Leaning took the opportunity to showcase some of their new material. One of their new numbers ‘Angle Of The Moon’ had a very melancholy feel of a break up song.
Musically The Leaning’s sound had a similar feel to bands such as The Magic Numbers, Mumford & Sons and The Waterboys. At times there was a country music influence with a country guitar twang on some songs.
It was a good set by The Leaning, with one of the main features being the quality vocals of Sam Jordan. His powerful voice suited both the louder up-tempo songs as well as the slower more reflective one in their set.
Based on the crowd’s reaction, The Leaning are gaining a good following on the local gig circuit. They got a great reception at the end of their set. Unfortunately, because of the delay at the start of the set, there wasn’t enough time for that “one more song”, which the crowd wanted. They’ll have to wait until 22nd February, when The Leaning are back at The Hope & Ruin as part of February’s “Hidden Herd Presents”, which also features sets from Rosie Alena, Jelly Cleaver, and Ladylike. You can purchase your tickets HERE.
Check out The Leaning on Spotify.
Sam Jordan – lead vocals
Ez Stone – lead guitar, vocals
Fred Helmer – bass
Declan Haughian – drums
Jamey Bullers – keys
The final act of the first night of ‘Triptych VI’ was Samana. Samana was realised in a mountainous forest, during a year-long journey Rebecca Rose and Franklin Mockett undertook across Eastern Europe. For the live show at The Hope & Ruin, Samana were a five piece-band.
Samana’s performance started with a dreamy, mystical intro with chanting setting the scene for what was to follow.
Several of the songs were led by the keyboard player with the volume and tempo increasing as other musicians, especially the drummer being brought in. There were very atmospheric fade outs on most tracks in Samans’s set.
Rebecca took lead vocals, but the singing duties were shared to a degree with backing in the form of mystical chanting by other band members.
To give a flavour of Samana’s material, one new song was introduced as being written about the Montenegrin worship ceremony they witnessed in the mountains there. This explained the monastic chanting on this song. Another song ‘Harvest’, a more upbeat song, was about following your individual instincts. Their final song of the set and most recent release ‘Two Wrongs’ was about the American freight train community. Alternative lifestyles and being at one with land feature in many of Samana’s lyrics.
Their penultimate song of the set was very different from the rest of their set. A lively number, during which Rebecca broke out into dance. Samana’s set closed as it started with mystical chanting.
The lighting, as well as the sound, of Samana’s set deserves a mention, as it complemented the spiritual feel of the music very well. Although the crowd thinned out a little after The Leaning’s set, those who stayed for Samana’s performance were engaged and appreciative of what they experienced.
Check them out on Bandcamp.
Samana are multi-instrumentalists:
Rebecca Rose – lead vocals
Franklin Mockett – backing vocals and chanting
Overall, the first day of 2023’s Triptych event was very varied with three vastly different artists. It was good to experience different music, which I wouldn’t normally see. A successful start to ‘Triptych VI’ showcasing not only upcoming artists but diverse musical styles.
Read our report on ‘Triptych VI’ Day Two HERE.
Read our report on ‘Triptych VI’ Day Three HERE.