Live Review: The DSM IV, White Witches + Big Slammu at The Prince Albert, Brighton

I always forget that the live room at The Prince Albert in Brighton has moving lights on the floor. Then I go in and try to walk without falling over. Add in scorching heat and my balance is well and truly distorted. However, once the bands start to play, there’s an attack on the senses in a much better way.

First up, locals Big Slammu grace the stage with ear bending riffs and much rolling on the floor. A call for ‘any requests?’ results in an unexpected reverb filled rendition of the first verse of ‘Wonderwall’. The crowd is suitably warmed up mentally as well as physically now.

Next, the pace changes as White Witches join the proceedings with a heady mix of post glam punk and some dance moves of which a northern soul aficionado would be proud. Despite the leanings to past genres, it feels fresh and energised. Vocalist Rory spends much of the set jumping in and out of the crowd with high kicks flowing; the room is a very happy one. Tracks from their debut album Heironymus Anonymous are well received with significant recognition for ‘Secret Club’ and closing song ‘Savages’. White Witches may well be one the best new bands around; definitely one to check out live if the opportunity arises. If you need convincing, their bio reads ‘(the band) bonded instantly over a shared passion for Roxy Music, Bowie, Gainsbourg, Prince, Ballard, Sparks and Didion and a vehement hatred of the Tories’ – that works for me.

Finally, to add to the chaos, The DSM IV storm into the room. Much lauded as the new project of Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster frontman Guy McKnight, it surely won’t be long before they’re just referred to by their own name without the need for connection. With heavy synth reminiscent of early Human League and a compelling vocal, there is once again much interaction with the audience and a feeling that a raw hybrid of the past and present is unfolding before your eyes. When a man with a mullet has the audience straight up pogoing around him it’s hard not to smile.

This is what Brighton does best – intimate, overheated, packed venues with a mix of bands who take you by surprise with their sheer talent and an ability to make complete strangers talk to each other in the crowd. A solid night all round; I needed to leave early but I couldn’t.
Review & Photography by Siobhan O’Driscoll

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