Live Review

Mazes, Milk Maid + Fear Of Men, The Hope, Brighton

Brighton, you are spoiled.

As much as heading to gigs can be about discovering a favourite new band whilst they support your favourite current band, no-one’s ever going to complain that a live line-up is too good. Though there was the risk of this evening being a disappointment given the high expectations most would have had going to see three of 2011’s most hotly tipped British bands, few will have left feel anything less than satisfied.

Fear Of Men make as much of an impact as you’d hope from one of the UK’s most exciting bands right now - and the crowd are entirely affixed on them from the off, left deadly silent during and between each and every one of their distorted, nostalgic pop songs. Probably helped by being the cover-stars of the latest issue of local magazine Source, Brighton turn up early in numbers to see an excellent and rounded set from the four-piece. With a mix of material we already know (the pick of the bunch arguably ‘Ritual Confession’) as well as some new efforts (with comparisons draw-able to the interesting pop sounds of Summer Camp), it’s a set from a band starting to feel like ‘the real deal’.

Milk Maid continue the trend, sounding like a band really enjoying themselves. With vocals considerably cleaner and clearer than previous live showings, bassist Martin Cohen - while backed more than adequately, not least by the satisfyingly noisy riffs of the guitar - is left able to shine up front, with every single one of the ‘Yucca’-released tracks coming off in all their scruffy, excellent glory.

After a shaky start from the headliners, Mazes find their stride a few songs in to eventually deliver a fun and punchy set. Although largely playing material from debut album ‘A Thousand Heys’, the band also preview an upcoming single - along the same lines (but also of the same high quality) as what we’ve come to expect - and bring in Fear Of Men’s Jess for guest vocals on ‘Bowie Knives’. It’s a sweaty, raucous, and enjoyable showing from the band, who - despite the excellent line-up - certainly prove why they are headlining. Ending the set in a manner which suits the evening to a tee, frontman Jack invites one half of local label Sex Is Disgusting, who have previously put out releases by both Fear Of Men and Mazes, on stage with him to share vocal duties - with the rest of the crowd needing little invitation to join in. Brighton, you are spoiled.

Tags: Mazes, Features

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