Brighton-based Loyal describe themselves as, “A band, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma” and that’s certainly the appeal of the band of many, many members. Racking up over ten million plays on Spotify, as well as little social media and interview presence, Loyal let their music do the talking for them and their single release party for new track ‘Patterns that Fall’ at Patterns was a delight. With a fusion of r’n’b, hip-hop and soul, Loyal are a sleeping giant and it’s only a matter of time before the whole country is set alight by their soulful grooves.
Support on the night came from Brighton’s Ralph TV, who kickstarted the year with their brilliant, eponymous EP. Essentially a slacker pop outfit with exuberant soulful melodies, they eased in the small Patterns crowd with a delightful set of off-beat pop beats. A grooving set, it’s good to see Ralph TV big in the Brighton gig scene after a quiet summer. With a similar sound to the likes of Nature TV and Method Actress, it seems the world of slacker meets indie-pop has finally hit our shores.
Once Loyal made their way to the stage, it was clear that Patterns is a venue that is perfect for the collective. Having cancelled their London launch show in favour of their new hometown, it proved a wise decision. There’s a danciness to the band that, in the fluorescent confines of Patterns, creates a real nightclub atmosphere. With a live band behind them, it’s a more party atmosphere than their more laid back singles suggest. Like Jamie xx meets Clean Bandit, there’s an exuberance and addictive earworm tendency to the band that made it impossible not to dance to. Biggest single, ‘Light Up For You’, in particular, sounds like a track that you’d imagine Diplo would create.
Having only released their first single in 2016 – ‘Blue & The Green’, which sounds as brilliant as ever – there’s a tightness and consistency to the band that many can’t obtain. Every single has been a blast, and here, they sound phenomenal. ‘House For You’ is a club banger in the vein of Gorgon City, while ‘Tower over All’ is a quieter affair that evokes Slenderbodies. Already, there’s a diversity to the band that is incredibly unique. From electronic ambience to euphoria, there’s a Loyal song for every occasion and it makes their live show an unpredictable beast.
Ending on the song that created the night, ‘Patterns that Fall’, is a real step forward for the band. With added depth, that recalls The xx at their danciest, it’s a real mood builder that escalates until its very end. With beautiful vocals coming from three different singers on stage, it’s something that should be messy and ill-conceived but, like everything Loyal have put their hand to thus far in their career, it’s a real knockout. As a collective, Loyal are exceptional. Fantastic musicians, with a real togetherness, their Patterns show was an absolute delight.