Fresh from January’s Freedom’s Goblin, which we called “Inspired, exciting and different – and for die-hard fans this is like Christmas has come early”, Ty Segall hit Brighton’s Concorde 2 for an incredibly intimate sold-out show. So much so, that there we scalpers, touts and rogue sellers handing out fake tickets outside the venue. Those that did make it into the venue, though, witnessed an artist on top of their game who made the Concorde 2 mosh, vibrate and sweat like few artists have done before. This was a special show, almost perfectly packaged for a Brighton crowd.
As an opening to a set you’d be hard pushed to find one faster, heavier, and nastier as ‘Wave Goodbye’. The Slaughterhouse cut, released under the Ty Segall Band moniker, is an intense, red-blooded banger that evolves into a savagely bellicose, machine-gunned finale. Follow-up, Freedom’s Goblin lead single ‘Fanny Dog’, an ode to his beloved pet dog, keeps the tempo as high as possible with its headbanging barbarity, while the swarming ‘Finger’ washes over the crowd with its broad, singalong hook. Within three songs Segall exhibited eight years’ worth of music, from 2010 to 2018, and showcased just how consistent a performer he is.
It wasn’t until about a third of the way through, however, when the one-two of Hot Chocolate cover ‘Every 1’s a Winner’ and ‘Despoiler of Cadaver’ where Segall really sent the crowd into the dizzying heights of both euphoria and despair in equal measures. It’s outrageous what Segall has managed to do to Hot Chocolate’s disco-funk classic, as he turned the now iconic cover into a headbanging groove monster that saw the crowd almost literally bounce off the walls. Likewise, ‘Despoiler of Cadaver’ showcased another sleek, crushing funk track in which the chorus of: “Despoiler of cadaver!”, sung by Segall in falsetto, was roared back to him by the entire Concorde 2 crowd.
Much of the gig was dominated by new record Freedom’s Goblin, but the crowd just didn’t seem to care. This is, of course, partly down to their love and adoration for Segall but, also, simply because it’s one of his finest records to date. Whether it’s the authoritative power-pop sensation of ‘5 Ft. Tall’, the bombastic grunge of ‘Alta’, or the old-school boogie-woogie of ‘My Lady’s on Fire’, it was just about the perfect demonstration of Segall’s latest record, and sheer quality as a musician, as you’re likely to get.
Ending fittingly on Freedom’s Goblin final track ‘And, Goodnight’ was a masterstroke. Serving as a surreal, dreamlike finale, it saw both the crowd and Segall enter a quasi-meditative state that was only broken by the final crashing of his guitar. There’s no gimmicks here. It’s just a collection of incredibly impressive musicians, led by Segall, whose guitar playing is mesmerising all night long, performing dirty, grunge-fuelled bangers from the start, middle, and end of Segall’s short, but awe-inspiring career thus far. There’s no doubt about it, Segall is a mastermind of music and, importantly, one that can bring it both in the studio and in the live sphere. It doesn’t get much better than this.