Sextile + Ditz
The Hope & Ruin, Brighton
September 19 2018
Words/Pictures: Steve Willcox
Just before Storm Bronagh hits Brighton, Los Angeles' very own hurricane force, 80s glam punks Sextile, bring a touch of California to the coastal resort.
Tonight’s support are Brighton’s own grunge rock band Ditz. Soon to be sharing a bill on The Coathangers UK tour, and recently played on Radio 6’s Steve Lamacq show, vocalist Cal informs us with a wry smile that “Ditz are the number one support band in the area.”
They kick off with ‘I Am Chris Martin’ with its blistering guitars and drums, this obviously pricks the ears of the pub downstairs and the audience grows in numbers quickly - maybe thinking it's the other 'Chris Martin' in the building, who knows.
Not quite this reviewer's cup of tea, but for the genre they sound the part and current single ‘Seeking Arrangement ‘ gets the crowd moving along with Cal's scathing vocals and cutting guitars riffs. On their last song ‘No Thanks I’m Full’, they have an intriguing way with the echo delay switch through the guitar, bringing some real edge and chills to the end of the song.
Sextile have been storming the alternative scene for a while now, being the brainchild of Brady Keehn and Mellisa Scaduto. With a new EP, entitled ‘3’, to promote, they bring their pink/EBM take on indie to The Hope & Ruin. There's less of a crowd than they truly warrant here tonight, but the energy exerted during first song ‘Current Affairs’ electrifies the crowd thatbate here and already we have dancing in the aisles. Mellisa on a cut down drum set, rhythmically bangs away as Brady runs about the stage like a boy with a new toy; his delivery spot on as he coaxes the best out the audience. With a high energy 80s glam punk trend throughout, this band are reminiscent of early Sigue Sigue Sputnik and modern boys HMLTD.
Also on synths/guitar is Quincy, who with her electric blue hair, is both a very visual touring member, as well as an accomplished player as she demonstrates during ‘Sterilised’ where she excels at her multi-instrumental skills. From their new EP, ‘Paradox’ is played with its twisting lyrics and 80s synth loops which bring fresh meaning to getting messed up on the dancefloor as it becomes Studio54.
The highlight comes during ‘Disco’ when both the girls played dual drums, with Mellisa on skins and Quincy on electronic drums, and Brady bounded across the stage like a man possessed. Ending their set with an impromptu ‘Hazing’ they left this building with a new fan base. If you want something to take you to your dancing limits, then you must see these guys.