Live Review: Munich and Black Black Hills

6 Feb


Prince Albert, Friday January 27, 2012

The week-long Sea Monsters festival aims to showcase of the cream of Brighton’s musical crop and day five didn’t disappoint.

At a sold-out and sweltering Prince Albert, Black Black Hills – formerly known around these parts as Pope Joan –  wasted little time in showing why Radio One was sniffing around last year’s single ‘A Drowning’.

Their captivating set of bass-heavy, dramatic doom-pop showed both ambition and skill.

Flanked by two sets of keys and synths, the enigmatic and lively singer Samuel Aaron orchestrated proceedings from the front as ‘Evelyn’ took the theatrical nous of early Echo and the Bunnymen and gave it a sinister and eerie underbelly.

They are at their best, however, towards the end of the set when they let rip and become more unhinged with some wild Nick Cave-esque preaching, brooding bass and scything keys that send shivers down the spine. It’s sinister yet sassy, arty yet accessible.

Headliners Munich might not have Black Black Hill’s creative originality, but what they do have is an abundance of soaring stadium-sized anthems.

Some might say that epic indie has been done to death, but few have done it this well.

The likes of ‘Just Like You’ are instantly addictive shout-alongs, which would equally be at home as an indie-disco floor-filler or the euphoric backing track to goal of the month on Match of Day.

Despite the heat, singer Stuart Slade refused to tame his live-wire routine as their swaggering set climaxed with ‘St Louis’, a track so contagious you were still humming it on the walk home.

These two bands might have very different styles, but their performances had the same outcome: They both nailed it.


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