Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Live Review :: End Of The Trail Records Showcase :: Latest Bar, Brighton - Sep 11 2017



End Of The Trail Records Showcase: Elias Kopp, Tuck Shop, Family Jools, Sweet Facility, Youth, Stone Cold Fiction

Latest Bar, Brighton 

September 11 2017

Words/Pictures: Steve Willcox

End of the Trail Records, a local Sussex independent label, can sure pull rabbits out of the hat. And this showcase night of six acts at Brighton's Latest Bar venue curated by them, looked an interesting prospect on paper, and live - it was.

Elias Kopp

Elias Kopp, a four-piece from Chichester and Brighton, are first up in the opening position. Only two months together as a band, they might have been forgiven for being a little shaky. But these managing to pull out a great set, with charismatic frontman Elias' softly melodic voice and harmonies by Miruna. Clever, well thought-out lyrics combined with laid-back indie vibes have already ensured them local radio support with 'Saviour', so one to keep an eye on.

Tuck Shop

The five-piece Tuck Shop have so much energy, and frontman Harrison has so many octaves to his voice that the foxes outside were wondering what was up. Think Axl Rose at his highest pitch and you'll understand what I mean. Twitching rhythmically around the stage, he was like the proverbial cat on a hot tin roof. The band presented a clever mix of soul and rock, in a kind of Soundgarden channelling James Brown way. One number, 'Simon and David', about two flatmates and drug use, was well, a memorable gift for us all out front.

Family Jools

End Of The Trail signings Family Jools are an alt-Americana pop band from Bristol now based in Brighton. George Sims' storytelling delivery is clear and precise which is refreshing as the words have meaning. Good riffs throughout and musically good. With their latest single 'American Dream' just out it wad a good chance to show off their woozy, bluesy style to the one or two music biz execs in for the set.

Sweet Facility

Sweet Facility exuded something of a retro, Hendrix like vibe it is to be felt when they arrive next for their set that's full of contained energy and proper dance-along songs. Guitarist Matt is a natural showman, while vocalist Luka (who also played bass) has an impressive voice that reminded me of Ten Tonnes. Luka obviously loves Haim too, if his bass face was to go by. I can see these guys going places, and seeing as they've only just left music college, that's saying something.


Main act of the night was Youth, a heavy indie pop group from Tunbridge Wells and Brighton. The haunting lead guitar and a pumping bass and anthemic vocals were great, and Jack Mackey's voice, perfectly blending with the lead guitarist Sam's, and with songs like the newly written 'Fire' (making it's debut here), show Youth have more than just youth on their side. A tight and edgy band that brings to mind the style of Eliza and the Bear, but with a rockier edge.

Stone Cold Fiction

Closing the proceedings were Bath/Bristolians Stone Cold Fiction - whose drum kit was the staple mainstay of all the night's bands - giving up some alt-punk rock'n'roll. Their self-titled EP (released earlier this year) provided much of the set along with some pretty fine guitar work that veered between the upbeat riffs and off-kilter elements, and heavy rock dude licks. A bit jagged at times seemingly trying to draw a number of disparate styles together. The 'keep it simple' adage might be one for them to look at in future.

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