Words by Orla Donoghue
After waiting in line for two hours for CHALK to open the doors next to Brighton’s windy seafront in mid-October without sufficient layers, it’s safe to say I was freezing before I got into the venue. Being a massive fan of beabadoobee, me and a friend decided that we wanted to be right by the stage when she performed, meaning we should aim to get to the venue at around 4pm , since the doors opened at 6. We, however, were obviously not the only ones with such an idea! The que was an early reprersentation of beabadoobees incredible fanbase!
Luckily, as soon as the supporting band, Pretty Sick, started playing, I no longer felt cold, feeling returned to my toes and I forgot how irritated I was getting with standing around for so long. The mix of punk and female grunge was aptly manifested through this great band’s instrumentals and barely audible singing. All members of the band easily fit into the crowd of people at the gig, and just in Brighton in general, with 90s ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’-esque clothing along with interesting hairstyles and make up.
The band were incredibly effective at hyping up the audience and preparing them for beabadoobee, as well as giving us all another great female-run grunge band to listen to. Their rock songs made us all jump and dance and shout, whilst their slower songs encouraged us to “make out with the person next to us” – they joked.
After Pretty Sick had concluded their short set, the irritation of having to stand around for another 30 minutes or so in a crowd that allowed for no space for manoeuvre returned. However, as soon as the audio from one of beabadoobee’s latest songs started, all adrenaline kicked in again and the room was encompassed by screams. ’10:36′, bea’s first song, was a great way to start. It’s combination of shouting extracts, guitar solo and angry lyrics had the effect on us (mainly) youngsters of collective angst. This was a running theme throughout the set, but starting on this high only had a greater effect in making us all more excited for what was to come.
Jacob Budgen, the lead guitarist in bea’s band was absolutely phenomenal. His ability to add even more depth to the instrumentals as well as providing insane guitar solos most definitely aided in the atmosphere and general excitement of the gig. The solos in ’10:36′, ‘Talk’ and ‘Dye Red’ were particularly great. Every solo conveyed so much angst, anger and general grungey emotions, it’s no wonder everyone was screaming as soon as he would start playing. At the end of the gig, when all band members threw something at the audience, I even caught Budgen’s towel, a unique momento to the evening.
Even before entering the venue, it was clear to see the type of people that listen to bea’s music. It’s fair to say, as someone who was wearing both, that there were copious amounts of Doc Martin’s and eyeliner in that room, as well as a fair few late teenage to early twenty-year-old girls who would happily be groupies for the band. Despite all the realistic stereotyping, it did create a large feeling of collectivity within the venue. Even though everyone was packed incredibly tightly together, we were all able to make at least one friend at that gig through comparing favourite beabadoobee albums and asking each other which song we were most excited for her to play. Going to gigs and having that experience is definitely one of the best parts of going to live music concerts, and is such a staple of being young.
Beabadoobee’s sound incorporates many facets from the music that many of her listeners grew up with, including Green Day, Avril Lavigne and Bikini Kill. The nostalgia perpetuated through these similar songs enables us to feel some sense of community and collectivist grunge. Going to this gig was a great experience as it allowed us all to share angry and angsty emotions, as well as allowing us to rekindle our love of 90s and early 2000s punk music. This concert will most definitely remain high up on my list of favourite gigs I’ve ever gone to.