Saturday, 22 May 2010

Just a Quiet One In a Brighton Pub...

...Or perhaps a very loud one instead. The pub? The Pav Tav, Brighton. The loudness? An Alcopop! and BSM records free showcase as part of Brighton's immense Great Escape festival. This was my first face to face introduction to some of the great Big Scary Monster's family, which began with a brief meeting with 'The Daddy' of the family, Kevin Douche. This was down to the fact that my great journalisty friend had managed to secure an interview with him, and was kind enough to invite me to go and have a listen and a chat. What I learned was a brief history of BSM, which began with a 17 year old Kevin Douche deciding that saying 'Hey, I've got a record label' sounded pretty cool, so he started saying it, and only worked out what was involved when people believed him. Good job they did really, as now he has signed several fast rising bands from around the country, and is even spreading stateside with BSM USA - the label really is becoming a big, scary monster. It is important to note, though, that it is still very much a DIY, one man show - CD sleeves are printed and glued by hand, hundreds of emails are slogged through for hours - it isn't always a glamorous job. For the bands too, they have to juggle practice and touring with jobs, and sometimes university. After the showcase I witnessed, I think it should be said - thanks for the effort guys!

First on, around 4 in the afternoon, the first of the Alcopop! bands took to the 'stage', which was basically a cornered off bit of pub floor. Elephants gave a really confident opener taking a shine to one particular member of the audience, when front man Owen mused how 'there aren't enough Simons...' Perhaps not the next big philosophical brain, but we'll forgive him that much as the band continued to rock through their very catchy song collection. Stagecoach followed, they didn't have the easiest set as the pub's fire alarm tried to steal the limelight, but despite that they seem to be the band everyone's talking about since, with Radio 1's Huw Stephens tweeting 'Stagecoach was ace' - pretty good praise from someone who knows his music! I tend to agree, and especially liked the end-of-set-madness when various band members decided to ditch the stage in favour of climbing around on the bar - rock 'n' roll!

After a break for a couple of hours, it was BSM's turn, churning out the musical delights, getting progressively louder, with the sensitive acoustic set from Shoes&Socks Off, a beardy display from Men, crazy-guitar-weilding-with-some-unsuccessful-crowd-surfing from Hold Your Horse Is, an ear-drum testing set from Grown Ups, finally finishing off the evening with young Talons. After seeing the great set from the latter band, I couldn't help but wonder if, when sending their sons off to violin music lessons, their parents ever envisaged their sons would end up using their skills to produce killer post rock tunes?

I left the pub in a happy daze, which I'm sure wasn't just down to vodka, safe in the knowledge that I had just tapped a great new source of music, and excited to get my ears on some more. Every band played to such a high standard, and when they had finished they got right back to the front row to cheer on and heckle their musical peers. I have a feeling that in a short while, getting to the front at these guys' gigs won't be such an easy feat.

To read the full interview, and tonnes more reviews, take a look:
To check out Big Scary Monsters; blog, music, merch:
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