SAINT AGNES/ THE BLACK DELTA MOVEMENT
Hope and Ruin, Brighton 6/4/18
The Hope and Ruin is the sort of venue where your feet stick to the
floor and drunk blokes spill their pint over you. A proper old-school
band room above a pub that my former home of Cambridge sadly lacked
in recent years, the sound quality remains excellent in this tiny
dark cavern, giving a ferociously loud burst of energy when support
act, The Black Delta Movement, start their set. This four-piece from
Hull are as tight as the lead singers jacket and as exciting
as his little moustache. With garage rock being their genre of choice,
its easy to compare them to Black Rebel Motorcycle Club or Brian
Jonestown Massacre, even when they weave in a bit of Paul Wellers
Walk On Guilded Splinters and The Doors The End
to one of their songs.
Pic : Tom Arran
Plugging their new album Preservations,
TBDM get the approval of several kids shouting for more at the front,
not to mention an older man in a leopard-print peaked cap, and seem
genuinely humbled. I am here by myself as everyone I know seems to
have kids and the plus one is on a business trip but I wouldnt
have missed this. Whats more, I wouldnt be able to hear
much after their set to make conversation anyway. Gloriously noisy,
TBDM are also very polite when I hold the door open for them at the
end of the night. Lovely.
And picture this Saint Agnes is a place in Cornwall, a beautiful
place where not much happens (except when this band played there),
where golden sands meet blue seas and Poldark sits on a horse admiring
the view. Saint Agnes The Band are the antidote to everything beautiful,
a big black hole that would see Aiden Turner pushed to his fate and
then pick at his eyes for afters. Another quartet, Saint Agnes look
every bit the East London group that they are guitarist with
a medallion adorning a slightly bare chest under distressed leather,
mysterious female singer complete with heavy fringe and negligee.
Thats not to say that they are another hipster flash in the
pan. Their performance is incredible, as they enter the stage with
the audience still talking amongst themselves and the drummer gives
a little smirk before jolting everyone silent with a crash. A drunk,
slightly chavvy looking bloke shouts that they sound like Nirvana.
They dont. Putting me in mind of one of my favourite underground
bands of yore, The Bookhouse Boys, or maybe even The Kills, Saint
Agnes also have similarities to the art of David Lynch in their songwriting
style- sometimes romantic, sometimes sensual, always completely mesmerising
and, of course, quite unhinged and utterly unfathomable. This is the
Witching Hour tour after all, and its title track relies
on Hammer Horror keys, a slight soft rock vocal from the
guitarist and a juddering stare from the sinewy frontwoman as she
floats amongst the crowd. Throw in a harmonica on occasion for a touch
of the blues, and you have what is one of the best live acts around.
I cant believe that the show was only a fiver. Catch them before
their ticket prices ramp up.
Thanks to Josh at 9PR for getting me in for the gig.