21 May 2016

Night Beats, Melt Dunes & Maths and the Moon @ The 1865, Southampton (live review)

Arriving from Seattle, Washington, Heavenly Records' heaviest signing Night Beats poised themselves as the ultimate rock 'n' roll stage. Blue jeans, facial hair, and hats that didn't come off under the lights. It's the kinda thing that normally makes me just cringe, really. But the thing is, despite the flirting with the cliches that Night Beats do ever so dangerously, is that they're absolutely insanely good, and can really get away with it.

Maths and the Moon - a local dream-pop outfit - strolled through a dreamy set of aqueous shoegaze numbers, in preparation for their forthcoming second record Familiar Strange, which all sounded pretty promising, before Melt Dunes (our favourite Southampton band, whom we'll have an interview with very soon) blew the lid off the thing with a set of dark, angry psychedelia. Starting with a dynamic, energetic number, the band's set quickly snaked it's way through preposterously heavy sections and ridiculously atmospheric, slow bits that in turn bled in to apocalyptic riffs.

Night Beats marched on, two of them in hats and the drummer in a Night Beats t-shirt, and the night felt like it could have quickly taken a self indulgent turn for the worst. But really, as soon as they were into their set, any doubt was left behind. From the outset, as the three members of the band positioned themselves in the shape of an equilateral triangle, they kicked into a set that showcased so much chemistry and ability. The whole set saw the Seattle trio flaunt this incredibly thick, reverby classic garage rock sound, with dashes of bluesy noodling every now and then.

They rampaged through a set of about forty minutes in length, during which their set showed off a lot of material from their newest LP Who Sold My Generation. The highlight, however, didn't come right til the end, after the band were cheered on for an encore, politely obliging, breaking into a particularly intense, noisy version of Egyptian Berry, the barnstorming closer from their new album. Closing the night with their noisiest song, the band got a brilliantly authentic Nuggets-style sound from their oh-so-beautiful vintage guitars and the two vocalist's whiskey soaked voices, leaving everyone craving just a tad more. Night Beats came from America, and won the (all too small) 1865 crowd over, proving that they're just about the peak of garagey rock 'n' roll in 2016.

Words: Calum Cashin