Superorganism – Concorde 2, Brighton – 28th October 2018

Photo by Liam McMillen

After their triumphant debut Brighton show at The Haunt back in March, and subsequently huge showcase at The Great Escape Festival, we weren’t expecting to see the multi-national collective back in Brighton so soon. Nevertheless, their return at Concorde 2 was another joyous experience with the band and one that further reinforces the magnificent nature of their debut record. Playing every single track from the album, this was a brilliantly bizarre showcase of the eponymous record that wonderfully closed the chapter on their outstanding first period as a band.

Whether it was just because people wanted to get out of the cold, or they were desperate to get as close as possible to the stage, Concorde 2 was extremely busy even at the opening of doors. It was lucky, too, both for the spirited audience and support band CHAI, as this performance will lead the large majority of the on-lookers to go home with a new favourite band in tow. Signed to Heavenly Records, and with debut album PINK released in August, there’s a sense of poptastic fun to the Japanese quintet that seems to be a running theme for 2018. Performing the likes of ‘N.E.O.’ and ‘Hi Hi Baby’, as well as a raucously entertaining mash-up of The Tings Tings and ABBA, this was an electric performance that you don’t often see from a support band. Full of fun, with energy in abundance, CHAI will be your next favourite band.

With opening visuals welcoming Superorganism on-stage, as well as a backing track narrating the band’s arrival, this was already lightyears away from their Haunt show. “We’ve been to Brighton a few times now, we played The Haunt which was a disgusting venue but a cool show” lead singer Orono stated mid-way through their set. Indeed, I think they would have preferred Concorde 2, too, because it offered up a better space to showcase the visual side of Superorganism. Throughout, with a screen exhibiting surrealist images, it was much more than a musical performance, it was an experience to get lost in.

This is the beauty of a Superorganism gig. Like getting lost in a beautiful bubble of indie-pop for an hour, they’re a collective that thrive and strive to craft their own world and do so incredibly well. From opening song ‘Sprorgnsm’, with its lyrics: “When I grow up, I wanna be/A superorganism, come on give it to me”, which was dutifully and harmoniously sung back to them in ecstasy, the eight-piece collective create a zeitgeist that only they, and their enthusiastic and youthful audience, belong to.

As such, it means they can get away with eccentric manoeuvrers that other bands wouldn’t. Most of this comes from lead singer Orono who, it has to be said, has become an extremely confident lynchpin for the band since we last saw her. An exceptional presence up on the stage, which is even more impressive considering her diminutive stature, she looks like she’s loving every second of it. Whether she’s hyping up the crowd for ‘Night Time’ or ‘It’s All Good’, or performing an extraordinarily peculiar cover of Weezer’s ‘El Scorcho’, she’s a pocket-rocket brimming with both nervous energy and mystifying force.

A set that grew and grew until its epic finale with ‘Relax’ and debut single ‘Something for your M.I.N.D.’, which saw audience members brought onto the stage and balloons thrown into the crowd, this was a party atmosphere from start to finish. Built on dreamy pop energy, idiosyncratic dance moves, and some of the finest indie-pop songs in years, this was always going to be an epic occasion but I don’t think anyone was ready for the intense carnival vibes the sensational eight-piece brought along to Concorde 2.

Liam McMillen