Sissy & The Blisters @ The Hope

Things started eerily quiet upstairs at The Hope. Quiet enough to grab a pint, have a sit down, a nice way to end the week sure, but not what’s expected from one of Brighton’s best and bravest venues!

Luckily it was quick to change, Live Like Kings snatched up the first support slot. Things started calmly with an acoustic solo performance from front man Adam O’ Neill. He was soon joined though for a run through of their particularly lauded live set. The subsequent raw, yet emotive set, remained punctuated by the thumping bass lines that hold Adam’s drawling vocals within the ranges of his unique vocal style. No songs epitomised this quite like the energetic ‘Harmony’, a song fittingly dedicated to Adam’s 6 year old daughter. The bluesy folk felt reminiscent of fellow Brightonian The Agitator, before his political outrage  and double percussive troop. Their set went out on the uplifting and energetic note it started with. Soon to be released track ‘She Wants Me’ closed them out, a slow but no less engaging tale of love gained and held, but above all, a great introduction to some more of Brighton’s passionate unsigned scene, and an even greater start to the night.

Live Like Kings – She Loves Me [right-click to download]

Things took a heavier tone when local lads Goodluck Jonathon, opposed to the Nigerian president, set up their keyboard and assortment of guitars. Not much later they had the venue full to the brim with their dedicated fan base. It would seem they can really pull a home crowd, as was evidenced by them dedicating a track to ‘all of you guys that asked for a dedication’. Nothing really gets the crowd going like three guitarists going hell for leather, and Goodluck Jonathon are clearly quite aware of this. They provided an atmospheric set from their new album, thick with ominous synth, brash guitar and frantic vocals that completely immersed the room before coming to a crashing, cathartic finale.

Goodluck Jonathon – Broken Heart [right-click to download]

It’s always a pity to see a crowd leave half way through an evening, but that’s what seemed to happen after Goodluck Jonathon bade thank you and fair well. Perhaps the allure of a Friday night on the town was enough to distract fellow gig-goers from the headliners. Those less attracted by the ‘glamour’ of West Street however were treated with a stellar performance by the most experienced act of the night. After the initial preparation and slapstick balancing of an electronic organ that seemed older than the Hope itself, the headliners were ready. They kicked off with new single Let Her Go. The driving beat and out of control chorus’ getting the remaining audience shaking hips and tapping feet. Nothing though, that could quite compare to their charismatic frontman’s gangly swaying. An interesting lesson was to be learned though, that being, regardless of how skinny jeans can be, they’re always capable of falling down. What of course ensued was a hilarious amount of flashing and trouser hoisting. Wardrobe malfunctions aside though, Sissy & The Blisters’ performance reeked of an experience and charisma. That alongside their unique sound that sits somewhere between rock n roll and a funeral, it’s easy to see why they’d garnered such a reputation up in the big smog. If only more people had got to witness it down here by the seaside.

Sissy & The Blisters – Gangs Of Three