Wildflowers – The Hope – 4th September 2013

Headlining the new monthly gig from BrightonsFinest’s ‘Breakout’ night was country/folk-pop band ‘Wildflowers’ with support from folk singer songwriter ‘Nick Williams’ and quirky, psychedelic-folk band ‘The Victorian Hunter’. Unfortunately the original headline band ‘Native Roses’ had to pull out only days before the gig due to ‘unforeseen circumstances’, however – with Wildflowers being bumped up to headline slot with the last minute addition of the Nick Williams – the gig was set to be a cracker!

The Victorian Hunter are a new band to hit the venues of Brighton, adorned with animal masks ranging from zebras to deer and sporting Victorian style jackets, The Victorian Hunter were not only visually striking but their sound was extremely impressive too. Their finale track ‘Black Water’ was definitely a favourite of mine, with it’s low-fi production, catchy melody and experimental use of accordion & flute The Victorian Hunters are certainly ones to watch out for on the Brighton scene.

Nick Williams, I thought, was an interesting choice to follow straight after the lively Victorian Hunter, however, I couldn’t have been more wrong. Delicate and melancholic lyrics were entwined with cheery, mandolin driven chords which worked beautifully and drew the crowd in into an intimate performance. Nick was not only a consummate performer and writer but also possessed a wonderful manner on stage, which made the audience feel extremely warm and at ease in his musical world. It turns out that they normally have a double bassist playing with them, however due to such a late booking, she wasn’t able to make the gig. At one point during the set, after Nick had apologised for their missing bassist, the drummer offered to play both guitar and drums at the same time to make up for the lack of instrumentation, which was a exciting and unexpected surprise in the set and was rewarded with a huge round of applause from the audience. BrightonsFinest highly recommend Nick Williams’ new EP ‘Anniversaries’.

Wildflowers ended the night with an absolutely cracking set. With a mixture of mandolins, acoustic guitars, keyboards, drums, electric guitars and strong vocals, the Wildflowers really stood out as a band worth keeping a close eye on this year. Every song they belted out was strongly written with; hooks left-right-and-center, uplifting chorus’, clever lyrics and wonderful stage presence. Front woman Siddy Bennet has to be one of the strongest performers I have ever seen Brighton produce. With the perfect mix of natural stage presence, power and wonderfully crafted story-telling but without the arrogance some performers unfortunately possess. Both Siddy, her sister Kit and the rest of the Wildflowers were all strong performers and you could tell each member was truly passionate about the music they were creating from their united energy together on stage.

All in all, BrightonsFinest’s first night @ The Hope was incredibly successful and very enjoyable.