Acid Box bring Automatic from the USA to Brighton at The Hope and Ruin with local bands The Family Faith and PoliteBuro. A great Tuesday night out!
Since the release of their Stones Throw debut album in September, the band have soundtracked Hedi Slimane’s Paris Fashion Week show for Céline, toured the US, and opened for legendary post-punk band Bauhaus’ reunion shows at the Hollywood Palladium. “Signal” was chosen as an album of the year by Norman Records and Resident Music, who described it as “inventive, enticing and new”.
It’s been a rapid rise for the band – they kicked off the summer of 2019 by signing to Stones Throw, BBC Radio 1 chose them for the Indie Show’s Next Wave, debut single ‘Calling It’ was released to critical acclaim (described as “brooding pop with post-punk lashings, best listened to in the darkest corner of the club” by NME, Paste said it reflected “the anxieties of punk music in equal measure with the desperate-for-connection mentalities of club music” and DJ noted “strong traces of ESG, Bush Tetras, The Waitresses and Lizzy Mercierr Descloux all present”). The trio released second single ‘Too Much Money’ with a cameo in the video from Thee Oh See’s John Dwyer, then played at the iconic Desert Daze Festival in California.
This was the first visit to Brighton for Automatic, and I have to say that if you thought no one goes out on a Tuesday Night – think again! The Hope and Ruin was jammed tonight.
Automatic: Lets meet them…
Izzy Glaudini (synth and vocals)
Lola Dompè (drums and vocals)
Halle Saxon Gaines (bass and vocals)
There are just the three of them, bass, drum and keys – not a guitar to be seen! I read somewhere that Lola said “Also there’s a lot of bands with too many guitar solos that I’ve become bored with.” Overall it is a kind of minimal sound you get at times but what you have is a swirling sound from the synths, some solid bass and fabulous drumming. You top that off with the unique vocals of the individuals and then you mix them up for the on point harmonies. Possible answers to the inevitable “who do they sound like?” question could be bands like Kleenex, Visage, OMD, Suicide, and Neu. But that is a rough guide, you will have to make your own call as these guys are most definitely unique.
Automatic: The Set
I was sent a link for their album “Signal”, a couple of tracks in and I was hooked and so glad I went to see these guys play. Their set lasted just under the hour and they managed to squeeze in some 13 songs which is good going!
First song into the set was Highway, a track from the album along with I Love You Fine. Highway is a fine way to start, it seems to fuse a New Order/Joy Division/John Carpenter (Assault on Precinct 13) feel and is mainly instrumental apart from one lyric “Drive All Night” repeated. A fabulous opening selection. Then two more Electrocution which was swiftly washed down with the fuzzing synths and echo reverb settings for Champagne. The packed in crowd were so up for this tonight and applauded each song strongly, and we bopped along to this one as the bass and drums powered the whole song along. Damage was up next. It was good to hear the guys chatting and sharing an insight or two with us throughout the set.
Izzy certainly is a keyboard wizard, constantly adjusting and moving switches and buttons. Her keyboard virtuosity shone out tonight. The band as a whole seemed to be aiming for a more intimate approach tonight. This relaxed and chilled atmosphere and the music certainly endeared them to the crowd. And then the wonderful bassist, Halle. The sound mix favoured the bass notes and what she played was clear and crisp. We were teased with bass samples throughout the set I Heard it Through The Grapevine and Psycho-killer -esque were tucked in there. Brilliant and engaged the crowd as the samples were recognised.
A track called Humanoids was up next and at this point I realised we were being delivered the new album – live! Humanoid and Cover it, were up next. Lola had a few tech issues with her drum kit, all quickly sorted out. She did get to her feet for the last song bringing with her a drum pad as she took centre stage and took the lead vocal reigns. The track Signal was up next, and again strong drums and bass at the forefront as this powered up, and is the title track of the album. Too Much Money was next and we were told last songs of the night. Thankfully Izzy confirmed the guys will come back to Brighton which went down well with the crowd.
Last song of the night was Suicide In Texas. This as I mentioned previously saw Lola move up. This one with the whooshing synths and that bass had the Hope and Ruin crowd bouncing. Their music is edgy but has an almost nostalgic quality to it. The songs all have a solid structure and flow to them. Brilliantly played. In short, the performance was sharp tonight.
Automatic are only in the UK for a few days. Catch them if you can.
Automatic are on Facebook – here.
Automatic have a Bandcamp page here.
Guests: The Family Faith
A nice set from these guys, The Family Faith are Brighton based and are Martyn – Bass, Drum-Machines, Synths / Luke – Guitar, Synths / Jo – Vocals, Guitars.
A 30 minute set full of good solid tunes. They describe themselves as “Post-Punk”, Guitars, Synths, Singing, Bass, Drum-Machines, Good, Bad, Happy, Sad. An interesting set, some instrument swaps saw Luke take up guitar as well as laying down some solid synth fills. Some of the tunes are complex affairs and much time was spent on buttons and pedals to achieve that sound they were after. An Interesting outfit and if you like your music synth/guitar these guys are worth checking out.
The Family Faith are on Facebook – go give them a like!
PoliteBuro are a Alternative Post-punk band from Croydon, Bradford, and Surrey. They are a band based in Brighton. They say “To find out come watch us. We write about todays Britain”. And yes they are most definitely worth a watch. A good solid rocking performance from these guys. They will offer up something different and enjoyable. Vocalists swap around, bass, solid drums and guitars all came together to give us a damn fine 30 minute set.
PoliteBuro are on Facebook here – check them out as they have more dates at The Hope and Ruin.
A great night of live music – a great selection of bands from ACID BOX – who are on the WWW here.
Thank you to Automatic and all the bands for a great Tuesday night out – a Tuesday!! Brilliant job.
Thanks to The Hope and Ruin
Thanks to Acid Box
Thanks to Ellie – Prescription PR
Please note all original images / video are copyright, please do not copy. If any of the featured artists/promoters/venues want copies of the images – or more if available – please just get in touch.
All original pictures / video – copyright to IANB/MEDIA WORKS/ SCENE SUSSEX – Ian “The Lens” Bourn 2019.
Got an event coming up? Need some gig photography, promo shots, previews or reviews? – please get in touch! See you down the front – come and say “hi!”