The Alchemy ft Dan Cox & The Blackbirds, Igloo, ContraTelic

July 22, 2018

Mid July in Brighton, and The Alchemy hit up a small venue tucked away in Manchester St, The Latest Music Bar.

For anyone who's never been there, on the main floor is a reasonable sized stage, but we were all downstairs in the basement as what must be the main music stage area...and the setup isn't too bad, but one of MANY small venues in Brighton sadly struggling to fill the room...and tonight was no exception.

The Latest Music Bar is currently the home for Brighton Peers Promotions, although they are not affiliated with the bar.

(Pic Left to Right: Dan Fullylove, Dan Cox, James Brett, George Blackbird hiding on drums)

First up we had a fairly new and young band Dan Cox and the Blackbirds who managed to retain a cocky onstage swagger mixed with being genuine nice guys. The set was remeniscent of late 90's early 00's British Indie Rock, almost Artic Monkeys meets The Wombats..Brighton band The Kooks wouldn't have been unimpressed.

They stepped up after the originally billed ANKR had to pull out.

This is still a young band with room for growth, they played their heart out with Dan Fullylove on lead guitar breaking the first guitar string of the night. For the tracks that Dan Cox sits out playing rhythm, Dan F borrowed his..the final track where both guitars were used, fortunately only 5 strings were needed!

Would I go to watch this band again? Well Brit Indie Rock isn't really my thing..but, I would happily stand and watch them again if they happened to be playing, and anyone I come across that is into Brit Indie, I'd point in them in the right direction. 

Next up we had slightly more seasoned band IGLOO who originally formed in 2012.

I have seen these guys perform at Worthing's Bar 42 in the past, and with a mix of Brit Indie, meets slight stoner meets Post-Punk fueled with lyrics that have something to say, you need to be we have your attention?

This band in many respects reminds me slightly of Portsmouth based Tirana, who are also a 3 piece with a similar sound, and are brave enough to use the stage to pass on a message.

However IGLOO have hard hitting drum beats...I was exhausted just watching Will Chapman beat the living hell out of the skins, and heavily soulfull bass grooves courtesy of Pearse Hemestretch, and of course Mark Barnes's screaching vocals and guitar licks. This is a band I don't think I'd tire of watching or listening to. There are some REALLY good rock bands across the South Coast, we are spoiled...but there is something about IGLOO that makes them different. Maybe because they'd be a fit on a rock night as much as a punk night. If you haven't seen it!!

Mark Barnes & Pearse Hemestretch

Will Chapman

Two bands down, another to go before headline act The Alchemy took to the stage.

Next to stand up and be counted were ContraTelic who are newly formed just this year, but already have launch a debut EP ‘Irregulate’.

Joe Robinson - Vocals & Guitar

At the time of writing, I am surprised at how young this band is...they work together well. However further research suggests they have been playing together for 5 years before forming the band...explains a lot.

The band are Brighton based, but take a more traditional Hard Rock feel to their sound, and look to bands like Biffy ClyroDelta Sleep & Arcane Roots as influences.

This is a band I'd like to see more of, and at such a young age of the band, and of it's members (Joe & Ben 20, Willis 19), I think these guys have time on their side to mature into the scene and really make a name for themselves alongside other South Coast rock bands such as Stone Angels, Icarus Falls and Graces Collide.

This was the second band of the night to break guitar strings, up stepped Mark Barnes to save the set by loaning his pride & joy.

Ben Hoyle - Bass

Willis Gumbrell - Drums

So for the moment we had all been waiting for...THE ALCHEMY!!

Rhys Taylor - Lead Vocals & Guitar

Canterbury Kent based The Alchemy are a fresh new, 4 piece exponent of the new breed of English Rock bands that seamlessly blend the attitude of big guitars with big samples and synths.

Aside from airplay on Metal Meyhem Radio (ahem) they have also featured on Scuzz TV and Kerrang TV with the 2017 anthem Blackhole Passenger (probably also my song of 2017).

The guys have been locked away for the past 8/9 months recording the new album which is now finished and is having the final tweaks made. If you haven't seen these guys play, they have such electricity in both their songs and on-stage presence...the same energy you'd expect at a High Rise gig.

Rhys sings every note with such conviction that if he sang the sky was pink you'd believe him!! Joining him on stage was Luke Welch (the one with the tache :-) ) - Guitar & Vocals, Alex Porro - Bass, Synth & Vocals and Sam Ewen on Drums.

For such an up and coming band why were they playing such a small venue? Well simple... they love playing.

Luke Welch
Alex Porro

Sam Ewen

Rhys Taylor

Unfortunately their set was cut short 3 songs in due to a technical mulfunction, Rhys's amp wasn't playing ball which mean't that with lead guitar not working, the set was dissapointed as everyone was (myself included..I didn't get to hear Blackhole Passenger dammit!!), I know that the band themselves were mortified...but, I do not doubt they will play Brighton soon as part of the album launch tour coming later in the year.

The band have 2 more dates to play before the album launch, August 3rd Shed Leicester, and then August 17th The Black Heart London.... keep an eye out for this band!!

After giving the boys a hand taking the gear to the van, that was me done for the night....until next time


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