Lost Horizons isn’t a redemption of such for Simon Raymonde and Richie Thomas, but it is certainly a second go at doing something they dearly love: playing, creating, and touring music again. Raymonde told us in our exclusive interview that, “We both realised we would like to do it, just for fun. We never intended for it to go this far. We’re all up there having fun.” This mass enthusiasm and exuberance radiated off both all night at their Brighton headline show, in which they took a backseat and heralded some of Brighton’s finest musicians for a genuinely lovely night of music.
With an excellent line-up of music expected, Crayola Lectern opened the enchanting night of music. Performing as a duo, they played an eclectic set of psychedelia that sounded both old-fashioned and modern at the same time. As if David Bowie, Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd, and Jerry Goldsmith had formed a supergroup, Crayola Lectern created an aura around them as if they were playing in their own little world. It was the perfect start to the evening and, already, created an atmosphere that was enticingly offbeat and excitingly off-the-cuff.
Next, of course, was one of our favourite Brighton bands Penelope Isles. The first time they’ve played our shores since announcing their debut album, Until the Tide Creeps In, out in March on Bella Union, there’s a new-found confidence about the band that is a joy to watch. Having cut their teeth this summer at such prestigious festivals as End of the Road, the band have certainly found their niche and that falls somewhere between Beach House, Radiohead, and Grandaddy. With a lot of new songs that had us chomping at the bit for March, as well as favourites like ‘Cut Your Hair’ and ‘Round’, Penelope Isles have enough in their arsenal to take on the entire world.
After two such brilliant acts, Lost Horizons made their way to the stage to a delighted crowd. It has to be said, thus far the band have chosen their venues sublimely. First, with the Rialto Theatre back in November, and now with Komedia, the sit-down affair adds to the proceedings immeasurably. Making it easier to sink into the glorious music, it’s not only a night that is perfect for the band, but it works so suitably for the audience too.
No doubt the highlight of the night came from ‘The Tide’, which was described by Raymonde as,“The first time they’ve ever performed this live because no one else could sing it like Phil McDonnell”. True enough, the Artificial Pleasure singer is incredibly impressive. Like a fusion of David Bowie and David Byrne with a steelier gaze, he blew the house down with his astonishing vocal performance and, quite frankly, brilliant attire. This is what Lost Horizons is about: it’s a collective of incredible musicians performing for the sheer love of the music.
With Hilang Child, Fiona Brice, Dog in the Snow, Beth Cannon from LibraLibra and Asya Fairchild of Blush all performing throughout the night, this was a genuine chance to see some of Brighton’s biggest talents. Yet, brilliantly, this was never about ego or plugging their music, it was always a collective of musicians. Make no mistake about it, Lost Horizons have the chemistry and love for each other some bands don’t find ten years into performing. Yet ultimately, what’s most impressive is that Lost Horizons is a genuine celebration of Brighton and the music that inhabits our beautiful city.