Gig Review: Beak>/Snapped Ankles, The Concorde 2, Tuesday 21st May 2019

You forget how far the Concorde 2 is from the centre of Brighton but after giving my legs some moderate exercise I arrive at the venue. Next to the merch table was a selection of crisps, snacks and finger food provided by Beak> as a loving tribute to an earlier gig at the venue.

For a lot of people, their introduction to Beak> is via their drummer’s previous band Portishead. There are some similarities but Beak> are a strong brew regardless of past associations. The genius of Beak>  live and its three members, drummer Geoff Barrow, bass player and guitarist/keyboard player Will Young is that their demeanour and humour is that of a pub covers band. Bad jokes and light piss-taking of each other is the order of the day whilst the music they present in the raw is vibrant and strong. A dancing baby parented by psych and krautrock. From the last album, >>>> the highlights were The Brazilian and Brean Down. Unlike tonight’s support act, Snapped Ankles, where the live arena helps their music come alive more, Beak> visually are three blokes playing music with disco lights illuminating them. They sound great, and their dry humour comes through but as a live draw, you weren’t gaining much more than if you listened to the album at home. By being such string musicians the live versions of the songs didn’t change, warp or mutate compared to their studio brethren. Good rather than great but thank you for the crisps. Other bands take note!

Opening act tonight was Snapped Ankles. Visually think The Green Man meets 70s Doctor Who space monsters. Civil Engineers returning via a pagan intervention. The singer was measuring the distance from stage to merchandise stand. 30 metres if you wanted to know. Sonically it’s a rhythmical version of psych. People were dancing to and around Snapped Ankles. Tribal was the vibe. A return performance is already booked for the Autumn. You owe it to yourself to check them out but especially live where the surrealness comes to the fore.

Psych is in rude health and two good to great gigs within a week (the other being W.H Lung) in Brighton. More of the same, please.

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