BPREVIEW: Sun Club @ Sunflower Lounge 30.01.16

Sun Club by Shervin Lainez

Words by Ed King / Pic by Shervin Lainez

Main with web colour bcg - lrOn Saturday 30th January, Sun Club will be performing at The Sunflower Lounge, with support from Callum Pickard & the Third Look.

Doors open at 7:30pm, with tickets priced at £6 – as promoted by Birmingham Promoters. For direct gig info & online ticket sales, click here.

Out n’about promoting their first full length LP, the curiously titled The Dongo Durango, Sun Club play at The Sunflower Lounge on their first of six UK dates – ending up at (the even more curiously titled) Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar in Brighton. What could possibly go wrong..?

Sun Club - UK/European Tour 2016Born and raised in a Baltimore basement or two, Sun Club are the happy amalgamation of brothers Shane & Devlin McCord with neighbor Mikey Powers, plus friends Kory Johnson and Adam Shane. Cutting their teeth on the colloquial circuit, for the first two years Sun Club mostly played friends’ parties and toured people’s basements’ before moving into established venues. But the five piece have finished taking their ‘baby steps’, having now supported acts such as FIDLAR and Fat White Family, as well as being invited onto the Sweetlife Festival bill in May 2015.

But with the release of Sun Club’s debut LP,the focus is just making music that you feel strongly about, and about releasing it’; The Dongo Durango (…a well endowed city in North West Mexico? Colorado?) is glorious eleven track endevour of unashamed psychedelic Surf Rock. OK, ten tracks – the title song is a 15sec request to check out someone’s birthday suit. And Sun Club come from Baltimore, so perhaps it’s not Surf Rock.

For that matter I’m not sure you can use the term ‘psychedelic’ post 1977. But it is fun, lots of fun; DIY drum echoes, punchy melodies, washed out guitar riffs, with Mikey Powers’s vocals foot stomping a polite Punk march over the top. And like drop kicking a My Little Pony, once you start it’s a little hard to stop.

In fact, whilst we’re on the subject of fighting with neon haired plastic toys…

‘Tropicoller Lease’ by Sun Club

Sun Club perform at The Sunflower Lounge on Saturday 30th January, with support from Callum Pickard & the Third Look. For direct gig info & online ticket sales, visit http://birminghampromoters.com/Events/sun-club-2/The Sunflower Lounge - BR web colours, cropped

N.B. All ‘quotes in italics’ are taken from an interview with Mikey Powers for www.baltimoremagazine.net – to read Lydia Woolever’s article in full, click here or on the highlighted quotes above.

For more on Sun Club, visit http://www.sunclubband.com/

For more from The Sunflower Lounge, visit http://thesunflowerlounge.com/

For more from Birmingham Promoters, including online ticket sales, visit http://birminghampromoters.com/

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BREVIEW: Victories at Sea @ Hare & Hounds 21.01.16

Victories at Sea / By Joëlle O’Toole - Birmingham Review

For the full Flickr of pics, click here




Words by Helen Knott / Pics by Joëlle O’Toole

Victories at Sea / By Joëlle O’Toole - Birmingham ReviewVictories at Sea have an eye for detail. They are fastidious about everything, from the sound of their snare drum to their matching black clothes.

It’s the main reason it took them almost six years to release their debut album, Everything Forever, as apparently they only manage to write four new songs a year. But this obsessiveness is arguably both their biggest strength and biggest downfall.

I’m at the Hare & Hounds, the place where Victories at Sea launched Everything Forever back in October 2015. And the first thing you notice about Victories at Sea live is that for a band with only three members, they take up a lot of space. Massive analogue synths jostle for position with guitar pedals and a laptop, alongside the traditional guitar, bass, drums set up.

Perhaps surprisingly given their name (which, for some reason, led me to expect an evening of expansive Post-Rock) the sound all this equipment generates is that 80’s revival stuff made so popular by bands like Interpol. Imagine a dancier Editors and you won’t be far off the mark.

Indeed, Victories at Sea have supported Editors on a number of occasions and in some large venues. I can imagine this working very well – the band have a commercial sound, and are both confident and professional live performers.  Songs like ‘Up’ and ‘Florentine’ (which could both easily be found on a Foals album) are certainly catchy and no doubt thoughtfully structured.

Victories at Sea / By Joëlle O’Toole - Birmingham ReviewThe trouble is the sound is so slick and controlled it starts to feel overproduced; nuances between songs get washed away in thick waves of reverb. As my friend said to me afterwards, “I enjoyed it quite a lot considering they only have one song”. Even adding computer samples doesn’t really help matters; in fact, as it makes it more difficult for the songs to change tempo or time signature, it actually only serves to exacerbate the problem.

And there isn’t enough bite or soul present tonight to elevate the songs above anything more than Indie dance floor fillers, for this member of the audience. Of course there’s nothing wrong with that per se, and certainly the people dancing at the front of the packed crowd are having a great time. But there are bands around at the moment, Savages for example, who are approaching this type of music in a more interesting way to me.

It would be good to see Victories at Sea be a little freer, more organic – to give their songs the space they need to breathe.  And they write good songs. But perhaps they could be a little less obsessive in their search for perfection.Victories at Sea / By Joëlle O’Toole - Birmingham Review

And as for album number two? Well, getting it out before 2021 will be a huge step in the right direction.

For more on Victories at Sea, visit https://soundcloud.com/victoriesatsea

For more from Static Caravan, visit http://www.staticcaravan.org


For more from This is Tmrw, visit http://thisistmrw.co.uk/

For more from the Hare & Hounds, including full event listings & online tickets sales, visit http://hareandhoundskingsheath.co.uk/

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