Gig Review: The Residents, St George’s Church, Thursday 7th February 2019

When a gig is promoted as a band’s first and last in Brighton it implies a certain heritage.

Avant-Gardists The Residents are celebrating their 50th anniversary and with recent bereavements and the onward march of time, they appear to be nearing the end. The irony of a band who have guarded their identity so absolutely is that behind their masks we don’t know who they are.

Playing at a church adds another level of oddness as from the outside looking in it appears that there’s an ecclesiastical event happening and those in attendance range from those who’ve themselves celebrated a 50th of one kind or another to hipsters and teens imbibing booze from plastic pint pots. Testify! A large cross hangs from the altar over a large inflated balloon which images are projected onto. A band of four enter the altar area. Describing the sound of a band who have made many albums in many different sonic styles is challenging but here goes…

Industrial/Techno/Pop/RockNRoll/Blues/Post Rock/Music Concrete. It’s all these genres and none of them. It’s a parallel sound which touches upon them and goes somewhere different, otherworldly. When they return for their encore, a line remains from their final song. Long and sad. Tonight was anything but. Playing nearly two hours we gorged greedily and could have had another two hours. The veneer of anonymity cracked a little as they waved to the crowd as they left the stage. The Residents are human. A little bit anyway.

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