Last month saw Brighton underground garage band Vyypers launch their debut EP “Smile Train” with style in Preston Streets Ouch Bar, which is fast becoming established as a venue for local bands. With a variety of support from Atlantic, Don Komodo and 20Egyptian, the night proved successful, attracting a strong crowd despite falling on a Sunday. Having not heard any of these bands before, I popped down to grab a taste of Brighton’s indie scene and some of the cheap rum that was on offer.
The opening support, 20Egyptian, are a 4 piece indie band. Rhythmically tight and musically solid, they choose to open with an instrumental track, which honestly felt like it could’ve done with some vocals (Luckily, this isn’t the case with the rest of their set). As the venue becomes more and more crowded, they switch it up a notch, their faster songs turning out to be their strongest, successfully getting people moving.
“Their faster songs turning out to be their strongest, successfully getting people moving.”
On Facebook, 20Egyptian list Arctic Monkeys as one of their major influences, and unfortunately this is all too clear in their music – one of their songs sounds uncannily like “Brianstorm” and they incorporate plenty of Arctic Monkeys style breaks throughout their set.
The five members of Don Komodo are on stage next. These guys are have a more laid back vibe to their music, and sound best when they’re playing funky. Although some of the audience has shifted to the bar and outside at this point, Don Komodo exhibit good stage presence and crowd control. For some strange reason, their music made me want to go and buy a kebab, although in hindsight this may have been because of the rum that I’d drank. The last song of their set, “Run Away”, is the most memorable, with part of the chorus still bouncing around my head as they leave the stage.
The band of the night for me are Atlantic. This five-piece combine alternative rock with live sampling and spoken word on stage. Opening with a spoken word piece against a backdrop of sound, their set progresses, with several of their high-octane tracks containing breakdowns over which their resident poet performs. Their combination of spoken word and music works very well despite the occasional microphone sound issue – their set feels almost like a story, and there is something strangely inspirational about hearing the words “I am aware” chanted over alternative rock.
Garage rock outfit Vyypers are on last. Their music can pretty much be described as rhythmic distortion, and they stand out as an act who seem more focused on energy and crowd movement than sound; a requisite of their genre which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, especially live. At this point, Ouch Bar was filling up with people, and they performed a lively set to launch their new EP Smile Train (which is available here) to cap off a decent night.