On the unsuspecting industrial estate just a stone’s throw from Brighton station, inside the inconspicuous New England House concrete tower block lies the location of last night’s Sofar Sounds Birthday Relaunch Party – in the HQ of Brighton-based fat-free frozen yogurtists Lick.
Surrounded by quirky pictures and photographs, fluorescent Lick lips sign (reminiscent of Rolling Stones), a projector, deck chairs and the Lick-mobile – a bicycle with a frozen trolley for portable delivering of delicious frozen Lick tubs – the musicians seemed to blend right in with the American High School vibe – imagine Power Rangers crossed with Saved By The Bell and you’re almost there!
The first act was the eccentric French-speaking American raised Marianne Dissard who was only a Swan dress short of Björk. Currently couch-surfing across Europe whilst playing a string of tour dates, Marianne’s songs were diverse, ranging from serene in the opener to quite angry in the following track – almost with a Sex Pistols meets Rage Against The Machine style performance. Despite her confetti, poetic French language and disco-ball-come-helmet, she still felt more like a musical petit pain and not a full-sized baguette, not quite reaching her potential just yet, but being well on the way to doing so with a truly captivating performance, just requiring a little bit of work on her backing track production.
Following on was Youth Club, an upbeat indie pop 6-piece from Southend who really reminded me of an old favourite local band called Two Spot Gobi. Their music is very catchy, melodic and not over-egged – subtle backing vocals and a real feel-good vibe like Jason Mraz or Jamiroquai. I’m still singing their songs today so they are definitely one to keep an eye out for! They’re even playing the BBC Radio 1 Big Weekender this year, so it seems that somebody somewhere must agree with me!
Check out their ‘Brothers EP’ on Soundcloud below. The tracks ‘Breathe’ and ‘People’ which were played from the EP last night were both fantastic with strong melodies and real head-nodding toe-tapping funk. I hope you enjoy the EP as much as I have.
Finishing the night off with some gusto, after an interval for complimentary Lick froyo, were 5/7ths of Bosco Rogers. Their surf rock groove was quite authentic with hammond organ keys and grungy distorted sounds from the lead singer’s Barth’s Rickenbacker. With a tall blonde bashing a tambourine and singing BV’s, the bassist chugging along and a cajon to finish, this stripped back setup still packed a punch with their snappy lyrics and hook lines.
You can listen to a track off their new EP ‘French Kiss‘ which is to be released on 27th April Worldwide below.
Check out my review of the last month’s show – Sofar Sounds at Hotel Peliroco.