My-Hi – Brighton Electric – 2nd December 2017

My-Hi – Brighton Electric
Photo by Liam McMillen

After appearing on the Brightonsfinest radio show and releasing single ‘Revival’, it’s been a pretty big week for Brighton rockers My-Hi. To celebrate, they grabbed loads of friends, three other bands and descended upon their local haunt, Brighton Electric, to put on a single release party. Impressive as it is to promote their own show, they also smashed their headline set with their loud, brash rock ‘n’ roll inflections.

Opening on the night were Murmur, the Brighton-based band that has received plays on BBC Introducing in their native Midlands. The obvious influence here is Nirvana, with even their recent single ‘Fragile’ evoking ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ with its chorus of “It’s contagious”. They’re a decent band, but at times frontman George Mills slips into replication of Kurt Cobain, rather than being influenced by him.

El Moono, on the other hand, glide into the heavier side of alternative rock. Sporting complex riffs and brash, harmonised vocals, they received a great reaction from the crowd including the first moshpit of the evening in the tiny room. With influences from math-rock, to prog-rock, to grunge, they’re able to create a colossal sound as well as being a tight live unit.

Hake were arguably the band that had the most indie inclination. Whether that was on recent single ‘Every Time’s’ jangly, discordant riff or on closing song ‘Event Horizon’, which sounds like Britpop meets grunge, they’ve clearly got one foot in the 90s. Likewise, ‘Off the Space’ reminded me of Pixies or early Radiohead. They are an impressive live unit with clear influences in indie-psychedelic, but with an earthy, gritty, abrasive edge.

When My-Hi arrived on stage there was a genuine palpable excitement in the audience, as if they were about to see their favourite band. Opening with ‘Void’, they smashed into their set with steely, barbarous intent. Second song ‘Metabolize’, one of the finer songs of the set, saw lead singer Daniel Veal talk-rapping a section of the song like the nu-metal of the early 2000s. Second single ‘Cats Play’ is a ferocious tune, with an extremely savage, volatile chorus.

‘Revival’, the song that this night was all for, was worthy of such a night. With a grime-like bassline and screeching vocals, it’s reminiscent of some of Rage Against The Machine’s greatest work. It’s also evocative of Dinosaur Pile-Up’s latest album too, so it’s certainly in great company. With increased changes in tempo, too, it went down with the moshing crowd well.

Going to Brighton Electric and not being in a band feels like infiltrating a cult of some sort. Everyone seems to know each other, there’s personal jokes thrown around at will and the bands are probably the most comfortable they will ever be. This has a knock on effect as I don’t think any of the four bands would have made any new fans, but it gives them the perfect opportunity to hone their sound in front of a willing live audience. In addition, there’s a community vibe to the evening, with everyone supporting each other’s art and, in nice moments throughout the night, bands offered their guitars for others when their strings had broken. For My-Hi though, it can be seen as nothing more than a triumph to put on their own gig, sell it out and then headline it with bustling, thrilling, moshy sensation.

Liam McMillen