Thursday, August 09, 2018

Live Review :: Sal Paradise + Foundlings + Seafoam :: The Prince Albert, Brighton - Aug 8 2018


Sal Paradise + Foundlings + Seafoam

The Prince Albert, Brighton

August 8 2018

Words/Pictures: Steve Willcox

After what seems like ages since I last reviewed a band, I find myself at the Prince Albert Pub in Brighton which is a small venue tucked away behind the rail station, but one which has a rich history of live music prowess.

The three-piece Seafoam are a newly-formed indie dream-pop band from Buckinghamshire, who it seems will soon be moving here to the seaside permanently; on listening to them here tonight, can only say what is the Home Counties loss, is Brighton's gain. I will admit that at first I wasn’t quite how I felt about them as they were just like your average laid-back indie band. But once I heard the single ‘Outside’, it seemed to bring the band alive for me and from then on they had a great set with plenty of melody and guitar riffs. Their set ended on a soon to be recorded track called ‘Raymond’, which stood out with lots of guitar flourishes, clever lyrics and some spoken word thrown in,. Watch this space on these.

Foundlings up next were the real band of the night I had been hearing good things about and wanted to see the most. They’ve only been together for a year and already been creating waves, recently catching the eye and ears of BBC Introducing. Starting their set with ‘Fall Out’, they soon get this crowd swaying along to Matthew's infectious guitar melodies and Amber’s soft vocals. New single ‘Horizon’ gets some instant love from the crowd and hearing played live is what makes this reviewing job such a pleasure sometimes.

Bryan’s bass and Olly’s drums make for a tight rhythm section and this allows Matt's guitar flourishes to blossom during ‘Misery’.  ‘Enemy’, with Amber’s haunting voice combined magically with the rest of the band, is a set highlight. Closing their with ‘Sister’, it makes for a satisfying ending which soon results in the audience clapping in appreciation.

Evening headliners Sal Paradise are based in Brighton and have been gigging for a year around town , so it's surprising I’ve never heard of them before, which is something I instantly regret right from their kicking off with ‘Cults’, an instrumental wall of sound using synths, drums and guitar reverb to full effect and which fills the room, bounces off the walls - and brings out the sweat of anticipation in this crowd. ‘Modern Acid House Vampire’ is a blast, with guitarist Gianluca using a placid audio mic to give his voice a ‘radio’ effect whilst the band thrashed out the whirlwind of a song.

It is only on the third song in, when Robson Hawkins takes to the mic, that I realise he was the main singer when he started to use every inch of floor space and moved about it like his life depended on it. ‘Fever’ shows a more refined indie-country/ blues edge to their set, sounding a bit like local Brighton band, Of Empires in the process, while ‘Shot in the Dark’ opens with some blistering guitar work and then a sudden drum beat turns the song to its melody and the audience start to move along with the tune. Drummer George seems to be the lynchpin in the group, and I could see the hunger in his eyes as he set the timings for the others to follow.

Ending with ‘Raygun’, it gives Robson the opportunity to snake into the audience and writhe on the floor getting the final notes to pour out of his guitar, much to the amazement of this crowd.
Crossed somewhere between Artic Monkeys and BlackWaters this is a band with promise.

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