Monday, May 28, 2018

Live Review :: Oddity Road :: Bau Wow, Brighton - May 26 2018


Oddity Road / Alibi / Suncharmer / ARXX

Bau Wow, Brighton

May 26 2018

Words/Pictures: Steve Willcox

After being one of the Alternative Escape venues last week, it's a return to Brighton's Bau Wow for a Modern Age Music hosted night of four new bands. Unfortunately, upon arrival it was clear things weren't quite going to plan, as the venue is half empty and it transpires there's a sound desk problem and help has had to be called in. All in all, it makes for a late kick-off, and subsequently every band has to cut at least one song from their set.

Not exactly the most auspicious of starts, but thankfully it doesn't seem to faze opening act, local Brighton two-piece, ARXX, who proceed to make the best of  things and produce some great tunes, with Hannah Pidduck belting out her punk/country tones to the audience - ‘Intervention’, from their 'Daughters of  Daughters' EP released a few months ago, has got just the best riff imaginable, the kind that you just can’t help not to move to - and drummer Clara Townsend hitting those skins like a heavenly demon.

Tunbridge Wells seems to have developed a great emerging music scene with Lady Bird and tonight's act, Suncharmer, being the forerunners in the area, after of course, Slaves put the town on the map. Suncharmer are foremost an indie band who lean to the progressive rock side of the genre with some rather over-long guitar solos for my liking. Maybe not to everyone's taste, but one can still appreciate the soulful vocals of Paul Crisp as he cuts through the tunes, with ‘Misled’ and ‘Filthy Telepathy’ being highlights.

From further along the Sussex coast, Alibi from Hastings were a revelation. With an enjoyable set, it was amazing how they coped with all manner of bad luck befalling them, from collapsing mike stands to microphone cut outs. ‘Simple Man’ showed what a good vocalist Maxi Williams is, with some nifty beats from drummer Wesley Brown in the mix. ‘Space’ is probably their most recognised track with a blend of guitar melodies and some dirty bass going on.

Sheffield’s Oddity Road are the main act tonight. This band has been slowly building up their own firm fanbase and support in the 18 months since Little Indie first introduced them here, including opening for The Sherlocks. Bringing along their frenetic indie sound, guitarist Jack Heath can produce a riff that gets you hooked alongside vocalist Dan Brennan’s down to earth lyrics, makes this band unique in the current genre. They come over as enthusiastic, and you could sense the set was enjoyed as much by the crowd as the band - there was even the smallest moshpit ever seen....comprised of all two punters! I’ve ever seen. Set highlight ‘Don’t Hold Me Down’ is actually a damn good song with enough hooks in it to keep this reviewer enthralled.

Considering the start of the night with its problems, all four bands managed to turn it around and pull out the stops for an enjoyable show.

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