Maximalism!: Concorde 2, Brighton, 15 Dec 2010

Maximalism! is the brain child of Thomas White, singer/guitarist/drummer/keyboard player with Electric Soft Parade, Brakes, The Pure Conjecture and a solo act as well. Despite being one of the busiest people in music he found the time to organise this fundraiser for the Martlets Hospice at the Concorde 2 in Brighton.

First up was The Pure Conjecture, an 11 piece band featuring members of Electric Soft Parade and British Sea Power and fronted by Matt Eaton from Actress Hands. The band play a weird form of soul music, somewhere between Dexy’s Midnight Runners mark 1 and the E-Street Band if they had come from Newhaven rather than New Jersey. They sound pretty good and it is a very enjoyable set. Eaton isn’t the most natural of front men, but he pulls this off pretty well.

The Pure Conjecture

The Pure Conjecture

Up second, somewhat earlier than expected, is the brilliant Field Music, the band who released Neon Filler’s top album of 2010. Playing as a five piece, with the addition of a dedicated drummer, they rip through a short but pitch perfect set of songs largely drawn from their Measure album. Freed up from drum duties (although a second smaller set of drums gets used intermittently by the Brewis brothers) we get the addition of an acoustic guitar on some of the songs. this adds some additional texture to the songs and they sound great. There really isn’t a less than excellent song in the set, but special mention should go to ‘The Rest Is Noise’, a great performance of one of the songs of the year.

Field Music

Field Music

I never paid a lot of attention to Electric Soft Parade one they first arrived on the scene, close to a decade ago. On the strength of tonight’s performance I’ve been missing out. They play a confident and and upbeat set of quality pop music and really seem to enjoy playing as Electric Soft Parade after a bit of a hiatus. Their one hit ‘Silent to the Dark’ sounds great and a partisan crowd gives them an enthusiastic homecoming. They are joined on stage by Guy from The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster (who had to pull out of playing the event) for the final few songs and it is a very entertaining set.

British Sea Power

British Sea Power

British Sea Power prove to be a bit of a conundrum tonight and play a not entirely successful set. The good songs are great, ‘Waving Flags’ is one of the best songs of the last few years, but the weaker songs sound pretty weak tonight and it is C- set at best. It seems churlish to criticise though as all the bands have given their time up for free to support the charity and by that point in the evening I was starting to tire and might not have been giving the band my full attention.

Weariness meant I didn’t stay to see The Chap (although others have given them good reports) and the DJ sets that went on till 2am. I’d had a great night of music though and it was well worth the ticket price even without the charity contribution.

Good bands, a great atmosphere and a charitable cause it has to get a 10/10.

By Dorian Rogers

Share

Dorian