Various Cruelties @ The Hope

Hand’s stamped and beers ready the Hope crowd prepared for a night of rock n roll, punk and whole lot in between. Headlining were the newly signed Various Cruelties, setting out on their UK tour off the back of an impressive festival season, having also supported the likes of Mumford & Sons and The Vaccines, evidence they’re as well connected as they are talented.

The night kicked off with local Worthing lads Chemical Smile thrashing it out in their floral patterned attire. Images of an Ordinary Boys all grown down came flashing past your eyes, only spurred on by the knowledge they grew up in the same seaside town. Vocally though, it was a little more Morrissey and a little less Preston. Highlights included the rocked up version of ‘Everybody Loves You’ that received welcome whoops and hollers from a receptive home crowd as it came to it’s overdriven end.

Things headed down a synthier path with The Gaa Gaas taking the stage and starting with a bang, or whistle, straight out of an alien Sci-Fi B movie. It wasn’t all lasers and synth though with their bass punching well above it’s weight. A few guitar distortions and mic problems later, the gig-goers were asked if they wanted to go louder. With Spinal Tap like images of an amp cranked to 11, up the volume went as The Gaa Gaas one again descended into the gothic tinged synth rock they’ve laid claim to.

The wait was over, Various Cruelties emerged from the back of the venue and walked onto the fluorescent green stage. There was an air of confidence that for such a freshly formed act, reeks of forthcoming success. After an awkward conversation with a fan who quite explicitly asked for a happy birthday, probably (read definitely) after having one too many they kicked off with the bass led ‘shabby motown pop’ of Neon Truth. From the first swooping drawls of lead singer Tim O’ Donnell’s distinct vocals it was pretty clear how they’d generated so much buzz so quickly. The band, spurred on by a crowd having jumped 6 feet closer, continued on into their set with the melancholic ‘She’s The One’ before bursting straight into their new single and Soccer AM favourite ‘Chemicals’. The performance whilst intimate retained the feeling of an act that knew they were onto something. Probably the same something that enticed new label Hideout to snap them up so early in their career. From this performance, it’s easy to see why.

Photos courtesy of RMaynardPhoto