I was on my own for our third BrightonsFinest night at The Hope, with the rest of the team ensconced in recording sessions or gallivanting off on holiday. It turns out they missed out on a great turn out and a really fantastic night of entertainment. I had not even heard our headliners Time For T before the soundcheck, but they immediately caught my ear and I could tell they were going to be fantastic. First up though were Prisoners Cinema, who kicked off the night well. Their front-man is a good folk guitarist playing some interesting picking styles backed up by a percussionist on cahon and a cellist. Unfortunately, for my taste, there was too much time wasted between songs which took my attention away from the music, interrupting the flow and preventing me from being able to get drawn in. Although their music had a lot of potential charm I think they need to work on their stage craft.
On second we had Paperhawk – it is hard to believe they’ve only been together since January, displayed a strong air of confidence and some excellent songs with an extremely engaging performance. I loved the vocals of their demure and alluring front-woman playing an engaging alt-country style which was a lot more solid sounding than the demos we booked them on the basis of, backed well by a solid drummer and bassist. Their guitarist appeared to be the leader of the band, and he also has an EP of his own material which is an impressive selection of instrumental guitar pieces. They are very intelligent and there’s obviously a lot to come form this young emerging group (who I believe have all met as students at BIMM which actually says a lot for that college).
Next up were The Gypsy Switch, a group I’d seen a while back supporting The Mojo Fins at The Pavilion Theatre (now The Dome Studio Bar). Since that show they have improved massively – coming on in leaps and bounds. Their singer, Anton, is now an extremely engaging and excellent front-man. He had a really nice wry, cheeky way of relating to the crowd which was very much appreciated and enjoyed. Previously I thought that they had a tough time navigating through all of their influences, but now they are much more able to move seamlessly between the genres they have at their disposal, without it becoming jarring as I had found before. They have now become the complete package: a really good band to watch and enjoy – they will no doubt get better and better. They were a worthy, crowd-pleasing support for Time For T.
Last on were the excellent Time For T – this band had the audience in their hands from the word go, I found them to have a high level of musicianship, they connected with their audience really well and they’ve got one or two real corker songs in their set. They have lots of charm and play energetic, jaunty folk songs with excellent lyrics and lots of spirit. Their set was strong from start to finish; they started out quite low key and built to a fantastic crescendo. I was particularly taken by their last two numbers; the penultimate song had a very notable violin solo that has stuck in my mind. They were warmly received by a very lively, largely female following and the crowd kept growing throughout their set, with lots of eager late arrivals pulling me back to the door when I would have rather been enjoying their set! I expect this band will make some serious waves if they can get themselves on the festival circuit next year.