Monday, April 28, 2014

A Day In Brighton

After a meandering train journey that took in Littlehampton and Pulborough, complete with flooded fields, we pulled into Brighton Station and I headed down the hill to meet Offsprog Two and her partner.
Offsprog One made her a brilliant Sean Paul cake for her 21st birthday, which almost tops her Alan Partridge, but not quite (the hideous fluffy grey sideburns take the biscuit). The town was swarming with police because of the EDL march but none of the thugs were about, just a lot of excited cops doing Manoeuvres and Strategies. 'Reverse, reverse! No! Yes! Orright! Stop!'
I gazed at the spectacle for a while before moving on.
I had to stay the night because the trains were so awful and my hotel was a million miles away from town, or at least it felt that way with a Telecaster on my back. But actually it was nice to walk along the seafront and look at the identical terriers that everyone seemed to have, being walked on the pebbles in the early evening. I made a mental note never to take any children to play on the beach at any point in the future, considering the quantity of dog-dump that was probably hidden amongst the flints.
Ugh. Perish the thought.
I watched the Nightingales, who are a bunch of amazingly friendly people, sound checking (sorry about the picture quality) before going for another wander- the air is just so fresh in Brighton and I wanted to drink my fill of it.
The gig filled up fast. The band have had some ace reviews for their new album and I reckon there ended up being around 150 people there by the time they came on.
I have to say, even though it was fairly daunting playing to so many black-clad chaps, they gave me a fair hearing and I was delighted that Bongo Pete and Way Out Woolfie were there to cheer me on. Offsprog One and pals showed up too and I could see their hairstyles standing out against the punkier grooming of the black-clad chaps (who, as I have mentioned, gave me my share of black-clad claps at the end of my set) (sorry).
Ted Chippington was the other support and I found him to be highly entertaining; I wasn't sure whether his confession to being daunted by the lighting was part of his act or not: Ted had to contend with disco lights or something like that, and a bigger sea of black-clad chaps as the room filled up.
Seamlessly, the Nightingales segued on to the stage and took up their positions. Robert had been eyeing up a fluorescent yellow-green shirt during the sound check but he was dressed in his Birmingham Council chic. They started up with a bang and roared through their set, song following song in a relentless tumble of noise and passion. I love the fact that they are such complex musicians yet so un-flashy at the same time; and there are so many ingredients in those songs! Walking bass lines pass by in one song, rockabilly guitar clangs through another, Fliss taps smartly on the hi-hats and then moves on to thrash the hell out of the kit, and over the top of it all, Robert croons, baas, snarls like a chainsaw, talks us though it, vocalises like no other.
'Bryan Ferry?' mused a chap standing next to me at the bar: 'No, much better'.
Everyone sings, but Robert is the un-star star: he is focused, in control, authoritative.
I want to go to his school! They learn better things there!
I have the first Nightingales album, Pigs on Purpose. I loved them then and I love them now; in their music is hidden the throes of Black Country heavy metal, the JB's of Dudley noise reconstructed into an entirely different personality and performed by four people who are all fascinating to watch.
Go to see them now!

 Pics all by self apart from one of self which is by Spinninchilli.

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