Catapult, Cha Cha & Riot Riot @ The Prince Albert, 11th November
The Prince Albert pub is one of the few venues that has consistently been in the centre of the Brighton music scene, showcasing the best of Brighton’s creative talent including The Kooks and The Maccabees. Tonight, The Albert hosted three bands hoping to emulate these local heroes.
Cha Cha (myspace.com/wearechacha) take to the stage first. Dimly lit, the room feels like the Red Light District. One of the three frontmen, Alex asks, “is my guitar too loud?” before the band turn up their instruments and launch into ‘Seventies Casualty’, a guitar duel with a back and forth chord progression in the vein of Bloc Party’s ‘Banquet’. The band constantly swap vocal duties and all sing choruses, giving them a big sound and making the performance refreshing. Guitarist Chris switches to an organ, and the band begin ‘End of the Ceremony’ with a menacing bass line, finishing with a breakdown that sounds like something from a Quentin Tarantino film: there are a lot of elements to Cha Cha’s music.
The next band are markedly different, there is little banter between songs, and they play a Ramones-like set: fast and aggressive. Riot Riot (myspace.com/riotriotband) sound like The Hives on cocaine, they play punk-influenced indie music, lead guitarist Elliot injecting melody into the songs with his Slash-style soloing. Debut single, ‘When Tonight Kicks’, is a ready-made teenage anthem, with lyrics about working all week and the seedy, violent side of a Friday night out in town. Set-closer, ‘2am Girlfriend’, a new song, marks the evolution of the band with a deliciously melodic guitar lick.
The final band, Catapult (myspace.com/catapultuk), are a power trio in every sense of the word. The drummer drives the songs with energy and animation while charismatic frontman Sam gets the crowd going, all back from the bar, leading them through Northern-tinged indie anthems. ‘We Are So Young’ has an epic operatic quality and makes standing still impossible. At the core of this band is powerful drumming, and the set ends with a frenetic drum solo and a wall of feedback.
This is indie music, but not by numbers.