October 25th, 2011
by Tim Newman
The gig started with Toe. But before they came on we were subjected to choral, opera and 20s music, which was a pleasant change from the sort of nonsense you often get between bands.
Toe consist of a man with a Mac, a dreadlocked drummer and a bassist. I know it’s my problem, but I just don’t get on with noise music. I always feel that the complexity of the knob-noodling is lost in the sea of the sound produced. Just like death metal, there’s a lot going on, but all you hear live is…
Either way, it’s fun to see the bemused faces of middle-aged guys as this sort of thing comes on, and then their slow and embarrassed walk outside for a cigarette, desperately trying to tell the rest of the crowd with their eyes that they just want a fag and they really are down with this shizzle, they’re just a bit tired or wotevs.
I don’t think there had been any drug taking by the band on this particular occasion but at some point in the past, I reckon between one and three members of this band have taken some/all of the drugs.
Image: Bekkie Kershaw
Ragweed [above] graced the stage next, and I always appreciate a band that looks like they are enjoying themselves. Tom on guitar was stood in a wet patch on the stage, which added an extra dimension of excitement as we wondered whether he would be able to stay upright as he squirmed and writhed around the arena.
They played a Bleach-esque set with gusto. The drummer was a stand-in, and a very good one: he played tight without apparently being able to hear the guitar at all. That’s a tough position for a drummer to be in, but he nailed it.
As is often the way in small venues the guitar could have been louder, but the thundering bass made up for it. They also had a song about a dead cat – who doesn’t like that sort of thing? More people in the audience would have heightened the ballsy performance, but I suppose you just can’t rely on Brightonians to come out of their houses on a chilly October evening.
Cautionhorses were last up. They had great onstage banter; one snapshot conversation went like this:
Bassist – “Are you wearing eye shadow?”
Guitarist – “I was a Zombie earlier”
Bassist – “A very pretty Zombie”
The songs weren’t half bad too. Kind of a post-punky math rock I suppose, with some twinges of the Pixies and maybe even a whiff of Rage Against the Machine in one of the numbers.
All three of them had a go on the vocals, but it wasn’t overkill. The drummer was another fine one, he didn’t have a ride cymbal but that didn’t phase him at all, he smashed away nonetheless. The guitarist busied himself moving tippey-toed around the space where the crowd should have been, like a puma looking for a packet of biscuits in the noon day sun.
The song Sex had an ace breakdown, which they should have done longer coz it was fresh. And one song had the lyrics “jungle primates” in it, I think. I’m a sucker for nature lyrics.
Maybe I’m biased because they’ve got Horse in their band name, but I liked these guys.