Saturday, February 03, 2018

Live Review :: Asylums + Duke Of Wolves + Grymm :: Sticky Mike's Frog Bar, Brighton - Feb 2 2018


Asylums + Duke Of Wolves + Grymm

Sticky Mike's Frog Bar, Brighton

February 2 2018

Words/Pictures: Steve Willcox

As part of the Independent Venue Week, I find myself heading for Sticky Mike's Frog Bar, one of the main venues supporting live music events in Brighton, for a Sugar-Free Records promoted night.

First on stage are Grymm, a three-piece local act. A slightly heavier indie rock group, fusing a post-rock/grunge sound, so not my cup of tea regards genre, but their musical ability is sound and the way they interact with the crowd - despite the lack of one; always the bugbear of being the early, first on  - putting out 100 per cent with only 10 people watching, is no mean feat, and their rendition of Estelle and Kayne’s ‘American Boy’ was enjoyable.

Duke Of Wolves follow them. Down from the Smoke, the four-piece have cut a swathe through the scene since their inception in 2016 and become a major player with some big gigs/festivals and radio play. Lyrically clever, with clear vocals from Jim, it was a joy to witness. The rest of the band were musically on point and that sound brought 50 more people in from upstairs. Highlight songs during their set were ‘Take Me Up’  - which made good use of some crowd chanting - ‘Hollow Eyes’ and personal favourite, ‘ Without A Name’.

Headliners Asylums are always a band worth seeing, and this Essex outfit certainly have no trouble causing organised mayhem on stage with their DIY indie-punk vibe. No strangers to the scene they’ve come from across the ‘warta’ (Thames) to especially lend support to #ivw18 and the importance of maintaining venues solely for live music. The venue has now filled out nicely, and set opener, ‘I’ve Seen Your Face In A Music Magazine’, sets the tone for the evening with Luke Branch’s rapid fire vocal delivery combined with high energy thrashing guitars and beats.

After a few more songs the crowd have started to move more freely releasing their inhibitions and therefore the set becomes more immersive. ‘Sunday Commuters’ shows what a great guitarist Jazz Miel has become, with some fine riffs and showmanship, combined with both drummer Henry Tyler and bassist Michael Webster seriously making some tunes perfecting the line up of musicians here.

Tonight they bring out two new songs, ‘Missing Persons‘ and ‘Slacker Shopper‘, which both show a new 2018 direction, while still maintaining the original Asylums sound. Ever the consummate frontman, Luke’s now somewhat legendary stage moves range from jumping in a guitar pose fashion to thumping on the ceiling and making moves towards the barriers, before finally launching himself precariously into the crowd and landing adoringly into its arms then brought back again during final song ‘Millenials’. It's all good entertainment, and shows the unique love and passion this band has for its fans, and vice versa. Great stuff.

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