Cape Cub + La Lune + Llovers + KLAE
The Hope & Ruin, Brighton
June 15 2018
Words/Pictures: Steve Willcox
Sam Tucker's Close Up Promotions have lined up a worthy bill here tonight in Brighton, and it couldn't be a more perfect balmy evening as I make my way up from the seafront to the venue. On arrival, however, there were problems that delayed the start by some 30 minutes - great for those wanting to get in some more drink and chat time, but rather annoying for others with other commitments, like getting home before the last train has gone.
Once things are sorted, local "gritty pop" five-piece KLAE known for their indomitable spirit on stage, apply some of that to being first up. Vocalist Lizzy Coulson is engaging and connects with this mixed crowd of around 60 people. ‘Expectations’, their latest single, is played with great effect, but with the two new band members, I personally enjoyed the new direction and dynamic brought to ‘Forget It'. They’ve obviously taken along their whole combined families, as it seems half the audience departs the room at the end of their set.
Llovers from Teeside bring along some dreamy indie pop to these shores, and during ‘I Don't Mind’ there is a perfect union of harmonies from both guitarists, Jack Davis and David McNab, along with best synths set-up I have ever seen - all neatly contained in a metal briefcase.
‘Feeling Sound’ brings a dancing flavour to their set with some great vocal textures and bass lines, whilst driving through the beats and brings out the crowd's urge to tap its collective toes in time to the song. New single ‘A Second With You’ cements their love with this audience as it's the band's first time in Brighton. As a whole, Llovers are a tight unit with great stage presence and a comedic repertoire which went down well with the crowd. Well worth seeing.
Another local Brighton offering is the synth heavy La Lune. The solo project of the ethereal vocalled singer-songwriter and producer Olivia Judd - joined by a three-piece band - who has just released her debut EP, 'Bliss' - a title which encapsulates the vibe perfectly. Latest single ‘Love/Sick’ goes down well, but after a few songs the set gets a little stuck in repetitiveness, until ‘Grape Soda’ refreshingly changes it with a brooding take on a dance number and surprisingly it worked. ‘You Keep Me Sane’ was a toe-tapping joy and for this reviewer the best of the set as the melody was spot on.
Final act of the night are Newcastle’s Cape Cub who bring an air of a band that are one notch ahead: “slick and professional” would be the apt description here. ‘All I Need’ starts their set with an urgency and unfaltering display of technical musical skill and vocal dexterity of frontman Chad Male.