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234 Fest @ Green Door Store – Sunday 24/3

03/04/2014 By James McLarnon

Morning Smoke 3The singer-songwriter idiom has been around since time immemorial. How to do something a bit different? Well, O. Chapman makes the ballsy move of playing in the GDS bar itself and has the audience sit on the floor. It immediately alleviates the stress of the first set of the day. As he’s playing over the speaker system his voice is coming from all directions and evokes the feeling of being tucked in to bed by fancy effects pedals. (CK)

There is a sudden feeling of being at a BIMM end of term gig for Rainslicker. Frusciante chops, on-stage air guitar, lyrics like “turn it up and write a song about it” and key changes Westlife would find a bit noticeable. It’s not our place to make value judgements about bands. But you can if you want. (CK)

The frontman of Morning Smoke may be the most ‘2014’ looking person in Brighton right now. Reid brothers regalia, Danelectro and a head of hair with a mouth nudging out. MS are noticeably the first big murderous rock band today. Opener sounds like the fast song you get on nineties Sonic Youth albums. Tame Impala looms heavily but there is a general meatiness going on that steers them into their own territory.  And other bands take note, that is a bass player. (CK)

The Food FightersThere is a somewhat surprising set of food pun based covers from – get ready for it – The Food Fighters in the smoking area. It’s a horrible idea but they are charming enough to carry it off. You’d have to be pretty oblivious to ignore two cowboys standing on a table singing about cheese.

Pink Lizards are a seedy sordid and debased blues-rawk band. That is what they do. That is in fact all they do, and they are very good at it. Take it or leave it motherfuckers. (CK)

You can make a bass sound like a guitar but you can’t get a decent low-end out of a six-sting. Skirts know this. They also know their rock onions: super-colossal riffs, songs called ‘Fuck All Night’ and those drums. They wear their influences on their sleeves, there is a plundering of The Stooges ‘No Fun’, and then they throw sweets at the audience. Pretty good. The general consensus was that they are better than Royal Blood. How about that? (CK)

Winston & GoldsteinLike Adolescent on the Saturday an early evening electronic set was a really welcome change. This one came in the form of ex-Kins solo project Winston and Goldstein. Unlike Adolescent this set wasn’t designed for a dance, coming across as indebted to more shadowy underground types such as Laurel Halo or Hype Williams. Not everything hits but when it does it is clear that Jacqueline Collyer is an outstanding talent. Give her recently released In The Eyes of The Other, a listen; it’s an enveloping, other worldly album, unlike much else out there. (JM)

There aren’t many more reliable live outfits currently in Brighton than Spit Shake Sisters and true to form their frantic 30 minute set of garage rock gems is a highlight of the weekend. There are serious echoes of The Beatles and The Stones in places – one riff is very close to ‘Jumping Jack Flash’ and the last track borrows the bass line from ‘Daytripper’ — but it’s hard to criticise a band who are as much fun as the Sisters. The addition of keyboards is a nice touch and the band are rewarded with one of the biggest crowds and best receptions of the weekend. (JM)

Two girl/one boy London three-piece Fever Dream thankfully get the best out of the PA for a set of dark, moody shoegazey post-punk. Their third track is a belter mixing a massive Peter Hook style bassline with some My Bloody Valentine guitar work whilst the next track sounds uncannily like a Psycocandy era Jesus and The Mary Chain playing ‘No Cars Go’ by Arcade Fire. A very impressive thrilling, visceral set. (JM)

Laurel’s clearly headed for far bigger things than this room and it would be churlish to say that her voice isn’t solid and that her full band set up of drums, keys and cello don’t do the well constructed songs justice. It just feels a little out of place on this bill in the distressed surroundings of the Green Door Store. She’s the kind of beautiful that is actually distracting — long blonde hair, pouting lips and high cheekbones — and her James Blake meets Lana Del Rey sound is just a little too pedestrian for this writer’s taste. (JM)

Gengahr 4Of all the guitar bands playing over the weekend, it appears that Genaghr are most likely to penetrate the mainstream. It’s a double edged sword though, their light, breezy melodic indie rock tracks in isolation are pleasantly diverting with the vocalist’s excellent falsetto recalling a less difficult Wild Beasts, however, over the course of a half hour set it all starts to merge into one. A greater sense of light and shade dynamics would make them more memorable. (JM)

The Black Tambourines were an excellent choice of headliner. Their youthful vigour injects a spirit of mischievousness to their punked up Brian Jonetown Massacre-isms which spreads to the crowd. Unfortunately, befitting of a band so rabble rousing, this writer’s notes and recollections were hazy at best, having spent the majority of the set pogoing to their glorious noise. (JM)