HAUT GAUCHE CLUB + OHMNS + HUMAN INVENTION – LE CAVE BAR, BRUNSWICK, HOVE 23.10.21
Surprisingly tonight was my very first gig there and I wasn’t sure what to expect from this bustling pub and popular music venue, which was built in the 1930s. Brunswick is a charismatic building striking with traditional curved bay windows, turreted roofs and brass crittall style windows. Much of the original paneling (the same as used in the Orient Express) has been salvaged and restored throughout the building. They have two areas that can accommodate music, the main wing at street level with a capacity of 130 and the Cellar Bar in the basement. Being a loud punk rock night, we were confined to the hidden Cellar Bar.
With drinks purchased from the main bar at street level, we bypassed the restroom and carefully descended the steps into the bowels of hell to the compact Cellar Bar, which as you would expect is a cellar with a small bar.
The first tonight are HUMAN INVENTION which is a Brighton-based post-punk hardcore noise group made up of Andrew Burton (guitar and vocals), Matt Powers (bass and vocals), Mat Brannagan (guitar) and Danny Barnes (drums). The quartet formed last year and tonight was their fourth concert.
These almost middle-aged gentlemen opened their shop at 8:27 p.m. and blasted punters with their noise mark, which was as you would expect a good ol ‘decibel due to the nature of their chosen style as well as the tomb-shaped room. The longer their set lasted, the more compact the room became and, therefore, the better they improved.
Vocal duties were shared between guitarist Andrew and bassist Matt. I sometimes thought Matt’s tones were a bit similar to Robert Smith from The Cure, but the music was most definitely different. They blew up their set of seven songs, which included a still unnamed composition midset. They ended their set with an instrumental number entitled ‘Wasteland’ and after 29 minutes, at 8:56 p.m., they were done.
List of Human Inventions:
‘Old no. 1 ‘
“Frankie and Cator”
Find them on Instagram.
On the concert advertisement before tonight, the main act was billed as OHMNS, but they were the next to take the stage instead of last.
In their hometown of Liverpool, the OHMNS have helped form part of a wild but fertile kraut-infused punk garage mini-scene with their explosive, raucous and at times completely wacky live performances. It looks like they’ve also put together a garage punk fanzine with other bands on the scene, which is pretty admirable. Discover the fanzine HERE.
Tonight was OHMNS’s very first time at Brighton & Hove for this male quartet and they opened their account at 9.20pm and performed eleven numbers selected for the bustling cellar bar room. The lineup includes Quinlan alias ‘Brisket’ (vocals / guitar), guitarist Kendall alias ‘Dadhug’, bassist Ali alias ‘Krazz’ and drummer Kingy alias ‘Mumkiss’. I believe their nicknames are a cryptic set of bowling references.
Their raucous garage rock set started with “Nightmare Trail” who saw bassist Ali’s ominous vocal prowess. Fortunately, the next number ‘Dece Bece Crece’ saw guitarist Quinlan take over, but his was initially a bit quiet compared to the instruments. However, this problem was quickly rectified by the sound engineer at the back of the room.
To be fair, the offbeat beats emanating from OHMNS were extremely average on some songs and much better on others. There is a vintage punk to screaming punk vibe that comes down with this bundle and they kept their best numbers until the end. The best being the final number ‘Curfew’ and after a close second was the penultimate number ‘Tito Puente’. They finished beating our ears after 31 minutes and started tidying up at 9:51 PM. It’s time for another beer after that!
If you want to know what they look like including their latest single ‘Tommy Knockers’, then go to their Bandcamp page HERE.
OHMNS song list:
‘Dece Bece Crece’
“Wrong way home”
“Paul is sure”
“Shot of punches”
“View from here”
‘My boy was there’
By default, tonight’s title act had changed to the Brighton-based Marvel. TOP LEFT CLUB which presents the two members of SKINNY MILK, namely Johnny Hart (bass and vocals) and Tim Cox (drums) as well as MacDaddy (guitar) and Jimi Dymond (YAMAHA Reface DX keys and vocals instead of bass), Young Francis Hi Fi.
TOP LEFT CLUB kindly performed their 20 song set for us tonight, which started at 10:08 pm and ended 40 minutes later. So, calculating the average timing, each track would only last 2 minutes or less, which vintage-style punk rock should be.
It was my second serving of TOP LEFT CLUB this month and based on my first meeting I knew exactly what I was going to get …… a really awesome set! The guys again this time certainly didn’t disappoint as I heard five tracks that I hadn’t heard the last time I met them. Their first live performance was behind closed doors during lockdown, when the guys performed for the FourFace video cameras at Concorde 2 in July. Their three songs will hopefully surface on the FourFace Digital channel very soon.
I am totally amazed by my vinyl copy of Top Left Club’s ‘Shoulders at 90’ debut album, which can be found on their Bandcamp page HERE.
They can also seriously cut mustard live. Here is a group that really needs to be seen by the masses at the annual meeting. Rebellion punk festival held in Blackpool. It’s the mecca of punk and the biggest punk gathering that these shores have to offer and TOP LEFT CLUB deserves to share the stage with the most established punk bands. Punks will be immediately taken aback as they don’t walk the scene with their studied leather jackets, split t-shirts and ripped jeans. Oh no, this lot wears shell suits as a total juxtaposition of their heavy sound. Rest assured, TLC is 100% retro punk. They are the purveyors of a sound that until now had only been heard on punk vinyl records recorded until February 1977. They captured that nostalgic sound to perfection. Of course, it could have something to do with the fact that their first album was written and recorded in Johnny’s living room in just 8 weeks.
Tonight’s set started with Jimi saying “We are TOP LEFT CLUB, you are the people of the basement” and the guys adopted a capital ‘T’ shaped body pose, which is the first of their trio of moves, “Get up, hide, 90” we were informed by Jimi. This joins the title of the album ‘Shoulders 90’.
The quartet have been prolific lately and already have enough material for a second album, which everyone agrees has already been recorded. I can’t wait for this one. It’s fair to say that any tracks performed tonight that aren’t on their debut album will more than likely come out on the follow-up, which is certainly not a tough second album.
Their ‘sound’ seriously reminds me of the Heartbreakers, the early Damned (especially Johnny’s vocals), the Ramones, the Stiff Little Fingers, a heavier version of The Clash and The Stranglers, as well as the vibe of the Rezillos mixed with the New York Dolls. , and the Stooges.
The notable songs from tonight were ‘Teddy Biscuits’, ‘Shitbag’ (even if the voices were missing a few seconds at the beginning), the “Ballroom Blitz” –esque ‘Initial hum’ and ‘Slugs’ with its intro which looks a bit like the Siouxsie & The Banshees version of ‘Helter Skelter’. They are a joy to see and that includes Jimi’s echo style announcements between tracks.
This is a group not to be missed and so I warn you guys are going to blow up their exciting game to the lucky bettors at Hope and ruin on Saturday November 6. And get this, it’s a free entry concert as it will be held at the bar on the street level and not in the concert hall upstairs. Things start at 9 p.m. We’ll see each other there!
Club setlist top left:
“Shake my brain”
‘Tie me Up’