Saturday, February 24, 2018

Live Review :: Puma Blue + Lucy Lu + Chloé Bodur :: The Hope & Ruin, Brighton - Feb 22 2018


Puma Blue + Lucy Lu + Chloé Bodur

The Hope & Ruin, Brighton

February 22 2018

Words/Pictures: Steve Willcox

There's a 'sold out' sign on the door of Brighton's Hope & Ruin for Puma Blue's show here tonight, and I'm not sure if that surprises me or not. Until earlier this month, the South East London singer-songwriter Jacob Allen, aka PB, had managed to evade my attention, until a recent Little Indie Roundtable on which I was reviewing that week, included his latest single ‘Only Trying 2 Tell You’. His chilled  jazz vibe with hip hop broken beats was a real find - and hence why I just had to come and check out the man live.

Warming up the crowd, Chloé Bodur’s early set quickly gets the room moving in rhythm to her laid back jazz style, and her understated vocals. This Brighton band brings funk laden guitars along with 19-year-old Chloé’s soulful voice. R&B flavoured debut single ‘Glory’ was recreated as good live as it was when recorded last year.

London-based producer Lucy Lu is a side project of Puma Blue’s Luke and Ellis Dupuy, with a new single, 'Fakery', hitting the boards, there is an edgier jazz indie sound here, which brings the crowd to its capacity of 150. This time we have added saxophone from Jazzi Bobbi which adds so much to this line up; these songs actually make you want to dance - despite what’s on offer on their Soundcloud page. My favourite tune of the night was the slow ‘Golden Prairie’.

Headliners Puma Blue is frontman Jacob Allen’s solo project with other gifted artists who have a similar passion for the lo-fi, indie-jazz-gaze. ‘Moon’ starts the set with ‘Want Me’ closely following which brings the emotion pouring from Jacob's heartfelt vocals, with soft drums from Ellis Dupuy. Numbers such as the hazy number about loneliness, ‘Soft Porn’ - from last year's debut EP 'Swum Baby' - bring whoops from the audience so obviously there are quite a few who have caught on to this young artist. This obvious fan favourite, with its laid back bass from Rudi Creswick and slight guitar from Lucy Lu, is a real standout.

Keyboardist and saxophonist Harvey Grant shines during new song ‘Midnight’, a more synth driven shoegaze ballad. The sparse, soulful vocalled 'Only Trying 2 Tell You’ is hard to resist. “I'm terrified of the lies I've let swim into my head / Sometimes at night I talk to you even though you're not there...” sings Jacob evocatively in the heartbreak song. As the final song of the set it is worth the wait - but one that only leaves you wanting more.

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