Teleman – Concorde 2, Brighton – 9th October 2018

Photo by Jamie MacMillan

The second bite of the apple is proving even juicier than the first. Following the sad demise of highly-rated indie-popsters Pete and the Pirates, three fifths of the band eventually reformed as Teleman. Since then, three albums have brought something that their previous incarnation mystifyingly never managed – commercial success to match the critical acclaim. This year’s Family Of Aliens sneaked (just) into the Top 40 charts, and continued that rise in fortunes.

With an eye-opening support from C.A.R. (aka London’s Chloé Raunet), tonight gets off to a perfect beginning. Ranging from straight-up synth-pop to an eccentric edge that is reminiscent of Sparks, she is an effortlessly interesting artist. Heavily beat-led, there is no shortage of dancing bodies amongst an already healthy crowd. That is even before the main act begins, a band that have taken a form of post-punk revivalism and breathed new life into it with irresistible beats calling all to the dance-floor.

Arriving to ‘Plantasia’, the lights barely rise above darkness as the familiar beats and riffs of ‘Fun Destruction’ and ‘Tangerine’ kick the evening off. It’s just massive fun, right from the start, ingenuity and incredible musicianship dancing hand-in-hand. ‘Repeater’ isn’t so much built on angularity as it is a musical version of Spiderman. The track moves up, down, backwards, forwards, round the corner and back again. “That’s my favourite to playsays frontman Thomas Sanders afterwards, “It’s three minutes of joy.” He’s not alone in that sentiment, not least with Pete Cattermoul (bass) who has an ever-present grin for nearly the entirety of the night.

The vocoder-led ‘Submarine Life’ follows, sci-fi red strobes sweeping the room, the hypnotic beat building and merging into pure electro-pop delight. The banger rate remains high. The phenomenal drummer Hiro Amamiya propels ‘Cactus’ onwards, the infectious and intoxicating ‘Steam Train Girl’ helping to turn the venue into even more of a sweatbox. Teleman often manage to sound like several different bands within the space of one track, with changes of tempo and mood happening at the flick of a switch, and ‘Fall In Time’ acts as a perfect representation of a band who are able to juggle several different styles seemingly all at the same time.

Concorde 2 is one of those venues where you can easily see how engrossed the crowd are by one glance at the bars. Throughout the entire set, tumbleweed flows through them. There is just not one second to be missed. ‘Song For A Seagull’ is dropped into the set (how could it not be in Brighton?), its slowed down intro able to hold its own with any great synth-pop collection. ‘Düsseldorf’ is, of course, the huge crowd-pleaser of the night (amongst fierce competition) with its message of: “I love everyone that I meet tonight” ringing unerringly truer than ever tonight.

Jamie MacMillan

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