Scuffle – The Quadrant, Brighton – 23rd March 2018

Photo by Iain Lauder

How old I felt as I walked up the narrow stairs of The Quadrant pub, where I’m greeted by the pair collecting tickets on the door playing the game Buckaroo and the question, “What’s your favourite emoji?” Drawing a blank I stupidly reply “The poo”, and before I could rethink my answer my arm was being tagged and I had been given an unwanted conversation starter on a Friday night still in its infancy. These added theatrics all give hints to what kind of band the headliner is – a band that aren’t happy to settle for the norm, a band that are driven to stand out in a congested crowd.

Though there was rain on the windows, the Friday night heat was high in the small and sticky venue. The floor was already bouncing, and the people were bobbing around the room to the infectious sounds of Tiger & Flies. Is it indie? Is it disco? I think they are still trying to work it out, yet the obvious thing was that it made you want to dance. As a relatively new band to Brighton’s music scene, this young trio are already creating quite the underground rumble around their name and it’s easy to see why. With only their voices, a bass, a guitar and drums in their armoury, they put their talents on show to the enthusiastic and animated crowd.

Without so much of a pause for thought, Scuffle were on stage and already forcing themselves onto you with their dizzying jazz-punk combo. You get the feeling these guys wouldn’t wait for anyone, which is fair enough when you have the dominating, intriguing, and damn right wicked swagger of this quartet. The set moves from flowing mellow jammers to the high-octane raucousness in a beautiful oxymoron of itself. The contrast seemed to be a theme, with the set going from one end of the spectrum to the other without much thought, but there’s no doubting its appeal. The room obviously agreed, feeding off the raw, untamed attitude the band emit. Tops came off and a mix of moshing and crowd surfing moved the room from side-to-side – Scuffle certainly had this young crowd excited.

There were times when they came across too cocky, for better or for worse, but this can be forgiven being as they are still cutting their teeth as musicians. Scuffle are a band with a hell of a lot of promise – the songs are strong and never failed to get a reaction from the crowd and I feel they can go as far as they dare dream.

Iain Lauder