I can’t remember who it was that said the best accidents happen at night, but what I do know is that it certainly applies here. A few nights ago I encountered one such accident after stumbling unknowingly into The Cowley Club in Brighton to watch Negative Measures (awesome band, check them out) and accidentally discovering a bunch of brilliant new bands. What I saw was enough to put down any preconceived notions that “rock is dead” or that “they don’t make bands like that anymore”. I just had to scribble something about it and when Chris Taylor of Cpt. Prang told me they were playing my local venue the day after, I mentally cancelled all my plans and began my homework on the bands.
While I was gutted to miss the multi-faceted openers; Kesagake, no-one could’ve kicked the night off better than Ebola-la’s. When you’ve got a name like that, songs titled “Got 99 Problems But Living In A War Zone Ain’t One” and choruses such as “Oh when the dole comes rolling in, I’m gonna be at the cash point, with my credit card and PIN”, you know exactly how the set is going to pan out.
The Brighton two piece, consisting of a drummer and a guitarist both sharing vocals, clatter along at a ridiculous pace. In parts it feels like the whole performance could fall apart at any moment but the two keep bringing it back together. You can tell by their performance that this night obviously means a lot to the band-mates and self-proclaimed “Lambrini enthusiasts” as guitarist Mig practically spits his words at the mic, underpinned by the rumble of Fred’s drums. It’s a great combination and ultimately, this band are a gem in the underground scene and really, genuinely fun, good-time punk rock. I look forward to spending many nights in dingy bars along the south coast watching these two.
Tonight marks night five of Cpt. Prang‘s UK tour. Having just released their excellent debut; Prangin’ Out, Vol. 1 last week, the brilliantly titled Falmouth foul-mouths played a gloomy, scathing set that transitioned from the thrashing fury of bassist Charlie Horne to the lurching, crooning frontman-ship of Chris Taylor. Beginning with EP opener “Court”, the band gradually ground to a halt by slowing down the heavy-as-balls riff before splitting the track with spoken word. In fact, this is something that crops up continually across the EP; itself a meeting point of the Nirvanas and Pearl Jams of grunge and the the Black Flags and Minor Threats of punk.
The sludgy “Pretty Little Things” (check out the video below) has the room swaying to the indictment of modern society while the haunting call of “Supply and demand, supply and demand” in “Scrippy Pills” is heckled back. It’s “Snake” however, where Taylor writhes across the stage in an all-too-appropriate manner, that showcases Prang at their best. “Human Safari” closes the set to high-octane zeal where Horne and Taylor are basically facing each other off. This band are brilliant. Get behind them or miss out.
Headlining the night were Brighton’s punk-faithful four-piece Red Terror, clearly born and bred in the school of classic hardcore. Vocalist Joey Reeves stands tall over the audience, brushing the ceiling with a foot-high mohawk as bassist Siri Crawford charges through the crowd to the back of the venue with a wireless bass. All the while, guitarist Jed Downey and drummer Connor Godfrey relentlessly abuse their instruments, providing the backbone of Red Terror’s sound.
On true punk form, the band tear through “Jeremy Corbyn Ate My Homework” without the sound issues present the night before. An appearance of the Sex Pistols’ “Bodies” also an enthusiastically crass response. It’s their rendition of the Dead Kennedy’s “Nazi Punks Fuck Off” that takes the cake here though, meeting somewhere between Napalm Death’s cover and the Kennedy’s original. Not unlike the Bolshevik movement some 100 years ago, Red Terror possessed an aura of menace and confrontation in their performance. Thankfully, what differentiates them from the actual Red Terror is their sense of fun and exuberance that accompanies their sonic assault. Similar to openers Ebola-la’s, there is much enjoyment yet to be had in grungy bars with this lot.
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