WELLY + THE FAMOUS PEOPLE + LADYLIKE – THE HOPE & RUIN, BRIGHTON 21.1.23
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
Opening the final night of ‘Triptych VI’ was Ladylike, a Brighton-based four-piece band. They consist of Georgia on vocals with Archie on bass, Spencer on synth and guitar and James on drums. Their “dream wave new gaze” is a playful yet shifting sound, featuring an almost dissonant melody, reeled in with angular bass lines and forceful rhythm. I saw Ladylike support The Paranoyds at the Hope & Ruin last year, and was looking forward to seeing them again.
Onto Saturday’s performance. Ladylike’s opening song ‘Losing Pace’ was a melodic tune with indie jangling guitars. Singer Georgia opened their second track, ‘Language Unknown’ singing just with backing of the synth. This song built with a soaring frenzied guitar finish. James on drums did a good job of setting the tempo during songs and throughout Ladylike’s set as a whole. This changing and quickening pace differentiated Ladylike from pure shoegaze or dream pop.
The song ‘Shame’ again started as virtually a solo vocal by Georgia, whose voice is more sassy and stronger than those of other female vocalists often described as “dreamy”.
‘Left Out’ was an interesting number and example of the band’s shifting sound with hints of country, and guitar parts that were both intricate and at times bordered on rock riffs. Whereas on the next one ‘Motorcar Racing’ the keyboards were more prominent, with hints of 80’s synth music. It was the fastest track in Ladylike’s set. Maybe there was a clue in the title ‘Motorcar Racing’.
Ladylike’s last song ‘My Own Thoughts’ had a false start. Not to miss an opportunity to plug the limited-edition vinyl at the event, on which this track featured, Georgia quickly suggested “Buy the vinyl and you’ll be able to hear it properly.” Take two and no hiccup, on what was a very good song and the poppiest of Ladylike’s set.
Ladylike seemed to have grown in confidence since I last saw them play, with a more assured sound. The audience showed quiet appreciation through Ladylike’s performance. The loud applause at the end, was a good indication that Ladylike’s set went down well with the crowd.
Ladylike are back at The Hope & Ruin as part of February’s ‘Hidden Herd Presents’, which also features sets from Rosie Alena, The Leaning and Jelly Cleaver. You can purchase your tickets HERE.
Georgia – vocal
Archie – bass
Spenser – synth and guitar
James – drums
The Famous People
Next up on Saturday night at ‘Triptych VI’ was The Famous People with their “jangle jank” sound. This Male and female-fronted band were formed in a small bedroom at the back of a Brighton seafront flat during 2020. The Famous People combine deliberate slur with unintentional eloquence, harmony-laden throughout with the oddly organised discordance. Their love of the late 80s/early 90s indie music is combined with a 2020s touch.
Background complete, back to Saturday night’s performance. The first song of The Famous People’s set had an understated mellow guitar intro, with Alfie Beer taking the lead vocals.
Their next song was more like previous The Famous People performances, I’ve seen. The jangly 80’s guitars were back in a more up-tempo song. The other feature of The Famous People’s sound, the interplay of vocals between the two singers, was more noticeable. Alfie’s louder, direct style was perfectly complemented by Bowie Bartlett’s haunting vocals.
The Famous People’s third song ‘Cynical’ had a heavier intro, with Scott Pearce’s good bass line kicking in. Alfie’s and Bowie’s singing matched the musical loud quiet and fast slow nature of this track, with Bertie Beer setting the tempo on drums. At the end of the song, it slowed right down, before bursting back into life. The band were very excited as this track was on the limited-edition record for the event, and was the first time they’d appeared on vinyl.
Bowie took the lead vocals on the next track. Her sweet voice juxtaposed Alfie’s screaming later in the song. Another example of how the vocal parts by Bowie and Alfie, despite being very different, worked together.
At this stage in the set, dancing was breaking out in the audience as well as on stage. Scott on bass preferring a discreet shuffle of his feet to Alfie’s highly animated moves. Scott and Alfie have a good self-effacing banter between themselves. Between two songs, Scott asked Alfie why he was taking so long to retune his guitar, to which Alfie jokingly pointed out Scott had only four strings to tune on his bass.
The Famous People closed their set with their “gigantic hit with 2,000 hits on Spotify”, (their words not mine), ‘Sultry Summer Blues’. Mid-song the band each went off into different musical directions, in an improvised break out, before coming back together to finish the song.
The Famous People’s Spotify hits have gone up significantly after their Triptych appearance. I enjoyed The Famous People’s very entertaining performance and it got a good reception from the crowd too.
Check them out on Bandcamp.
The Famous People:
Alfie Beer – vocals and guitar
Bowie Bartlett – vocals and guitar
Bertie Beer – drums
Scott Pearce – bass
Back after ‘Hidden Herd Presents’ only three nights before at the same venue, Welly returned to The Hope & Ruin as the final act of Triptych’s three nights. Comprising two vocalists, three guitarists, and a keyboard player, Welly have a lively dance sound with a little of the 80s guitar sound from the likes of Orange Juice and fun of Madness thrown in. Their fun lyrics are based around observations of everyday life. The front person and lead singer, Welly himself, has the charisma and confidence you’d expect from a more established artist.
Fin, who is to Welly what Bez is to the Happy Mondays, returned to the line-up for Saturday’s show. Jacob had also replaced the guitar string broken on Wednesday night. (More on broken basses later in the review.) So, with a full line up, repaired instruments and their matching PE kits, Welly took the stage again to ‘Our House’ by Madness.
The opening song of Welly’s set was about holidays. When lead singer Welly asked for holiday destinations from the audience to include into lyrics, there wasn’t the normal flurry of answers. Undeterred Welly launched into the song with their usual energy and fun.
Without a traditional drum kit, Welly plays an electronic drum pad, which he used both as an instrument and for a game of guess the next animal noise. Welly does like his sound effects, which add to the light hearted fun of the live show. Welly announced ‘Home For The Weekend’ would be their next 7” single. Other favourites such as ‘Me And Your Mates’, ‘Shopping’, and ‘Flowers’ were included in the set.
As mentioned, Jacob broke a bass string on Welly’s last outing at The Hope & Ruin earlier in the week. On Saturday the strap of his bass broke. A bass guitar mishap isn’t going to stop Welly in full flow. Lead singer Welly stood behind Jacob reaching around to hold the bass, while Jacob played the rest of the track. Before the next track and while some band members replaced the bass strap and fashioned the broken one into a headband for Jacob, Fin filled in reading horoscopes on request from the newspaper.
With bass guitar patched up, normal service resumed. In Welly’s case that was danceable fun and catchy tunes. There was some particularly energetic dancing going on in the audience in front of the stage.
Although the back-and-forth banter between Welly and their audience is a key part of their live sets, the band doesn’t rely on it. When the chat wasn’t as free flowing as other gigs, they still had the musical talent and material to pull off a lively, fun performance. Welly had the back up of a sound clip of audience applause, which wasn’t needed as the crowd really got into the music. Welly were an excellent choice to close the three nights of showcasing new talent, with everybody having been thoroughly entertained.
Check them out on Bandcamp.
Welly – vocals and percussion
Lois – synth and maracas
Joe – guitar
Matt – guitars
Jacob – bass
Fin – egg shaker
Overall, the final night of 2023’s Triptych event was very lively. As with all three nights, there was a good mix across the three bands. Ladylike’s “dream wave new gaze” crossing over between dream pop and indie; The Famous People with their 80’s indie guitar inspired “jangle jank” sound and Welly’s infectious sense of fun and highly danceable tunes. All three local Brighton bands gave confident, quality performances collectively giving a great night’s entertainment.
The three nights of Triptych showed what impressive new talent is emerging in the city. I’m sure we’ll be hearing much more of these bands in the near future.
Read our report of ‘Triptych VI’ Day One HERE.
Read our report of ‘Triptych VI’ Day Two HERE.