Storm Ciara: Fallen Leaves settle in Brighton.

Fallen Leaves: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Fallen Leaves: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

The Fallen Leaves and Who Killed Nancy Johnson returned to Brighton to put in a solid night of live music. Spinningchilli do it again despite storm Ciara.

The return of The Fallen Leaves to Brighton

Making my way to the venue it was clear people were not going out in big numbers. After being advised to stay indoors and only go out if necessary it looked as if people had taken that advice. Such a shame as local promotion team at Spinningchilli had put on a top night of live music. They had put on Who Killed Nancy Johnson and The Fallen Leaves at The Green Door Store.

So good to see the Leaves guys back in Brighton. You can never have enough of these guys. Infectious isn’t the word! The last two visits from The Fallen Leaves had been sell out performances.

What does the Fallen Leaves Manifesto say? Rob reminds us –  “No jeans. No t-shirts. No cover-versions”. The Fallen Leaves believe in the DIY punk ethos. Song, Sound and Performance are all.  As the self-proclaimed champions of the glorious underachievers The Fallen Leaves ask you to remember …… “Simple and easy are not the same thing.”

I missed the guys when they last came to town sadly. But not tonight! The Fallen Leaves had blown into Brighton carried by Storm Ciara. The inclement weather and the warnings had pretty much cleared the Brighton streets of people and sadly this meant the numbers were reduced slightly at The Green Door Store.

Reverend Rob Green Vocals with an English accent

Sir Robert Symmons Sniper guitar

Matthew Karas Bohemian bass

Brett Buddy Ascott Dangerous drums

The set ran for just over an hour and was packed with exciting songs from the extensive catalogue of releases from The Fallen Leaves. A new live album has been recently released, and the set was made up with many of the songs from that. We got a heady mix of perfect punk rock guitar from Rob Symmons,  a powerful bass delivered with style from Matthew Karas, and all topped off with a generous lashing of damn fine drumming from Brett Ascott.

Rob stands center stage controlling events with his very tall radio hall style mic, perfectly matching his stature. The Fallen Leaves treat everyone to an hour of their own beautifully crafted sound of riff laden guitar-driven punk, theatrics and theatre. We had some Leaves classics. A quick clear of the throat and Rob Green, clutching four maracas, led us off with Prodigal Son.


Two classics in a mix…

The bass riff from Matthew led us into I Made A Mistake. It always reminds me of the old Hamlet cigar advert and the R Valens song Framed covered by Alex Harvey. It’s a great song. Lots of Guitar sniping from Sir Symmons. The classics were all there tonight and Rob Green gives himself a break from the vocals of Shining as he pours himself a mug of tea from his flask. The two Robs lining up the crowd with their shooting stick and guitar. Green Eyes FC was in there, as Rob Green “lit up” his e-cig, and with that infectious chorus line, it really is a perfect live number.  Motorcycle Girl ramped things up as did Lavender Girl.

Photo by Ian Bourn. Everything stops for tea and an e-cig!

Photo by Ian Bourn. Everything stops for tea and an e-cig!

Rob will blow smoke rings, he will utilise his shooting stick to mow down the audience! And all the while dropping in some chatter and proceeding to take us through a catalogue of Fallen Leaves material.

The smaller than usual crowd gave the guys warm appreciative applause and we had a two song encore and the set closed with Trouble. A brilliant classic performance from The Fallen Leaves. One would expect nothing less from them and they never disappoint.

So if you like Punk / Mod / Garage / Beat  The Fallen Leaves are a perfect fit for you! Well played Gentlemen!

And Finally…

“The best group in England” – “Yes, That right” said The Fallen Leaves.

You can find the Fallen Leaves on the internet thing here.

It was an absolute thrill to have a signed copy of the new album Maximum Minimum given to me for doing some of the sleeve photography. Thank you so much chaps, that meant a lot, thank you – I will treasure it. Had it on a few times now and it really is a joy to listen to. Fabulous sound and quality – its like being there! If you love The Fallen Leaves – grab a copy before they go!

Who Killed Nancy Johnson? (WKNJ)

Guests for this evening were the punk outfit from Reading. I have seen these guys a few times now and I am always staggered with the ferocity and power they deliver during their sets. We were chatting quietly outside before the set, and then all hell was let loose!

WKNJ photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

WKNJ photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

The best live UK band you haven’t seen yet! Who Killed Nancy Johnson? let me tell you dear reader they are a​ ​high-energy and heavy ​​punk band whose influences include The Stooges, The Ruts, Buzzcocks, The Rezillos, Alkaline Trio, Tsar, Ash, Lit, Rival Schools, The Drills, 3 Colours Red, Weezer, Sabbath. Their songs are all original, fast, damn good and loud!

Its been a while since we last met up, and the urban legend in Brighton is that WKNJ were the last live band to play The Pelirroco Hotel! Did I mention they are loud? They are fast. They are rather good.

Stefan Ball – Vocals,

WKNJ photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

WKNJ photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Pete Moulton – Guitar/Vocals

WKNJ photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

WKNJ photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Mark Wren – Drums/Vocals

WKNJ photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

WKNJ photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Dawid Bychowski– bass guitar

WKNJ photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

WKNJ photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Stefan had informed me last time we met that the music had got harder and tougher. He was right. This is hard as nails rock and roll. Make no mistake WKNJ are a punk band, sometimes leaning into post-punk, sometimes hardcore, sometimes post-hardcore. Occasionally there’s a nod to goth. The lyrics are sometimes political and sometimes philosophical – then it gets fast and vicious. A punk band.

The guys are doing pretty well with a load of gigs coming up, some new music with a new album coming up real soon. Cannot wait for that! It’s always a blast to catch up with these guys. They love what they do with a passion. Plenty of pre gig laughter and banter but strap them into their instruments and they become an unstoppable force. Peter had just recently replaced his amp, and he had that sound howling at us tonight.

WKNJ photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

WKNJ photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Stefan before the set prowled the venue like a caged tiger, or a boxer before the big fight. He paced and circled the crowd as they came through into the performance area at The Green Door Store. The band kicked off with Rothmans, Not Lizards and They Reap.

Some newer material served up tonight. Every song laced with buzzing and howling guitars, thumping bass lines working with the pound of the drums. All topped off with the vocal work from Stefan. Most impressive!

WKNJ photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

WKNJ photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Stefan is a perfect front lead for his band, a punk ringmaster, he frequently peers out into the audience making eye contact with as many people as possible. He has his own mic stand now. He leans on it, drops it and plunges it into the stage – all the while delivering a powerful vocal performance. He does not stop. A song I hadn’t heard before a self titled belter called Who Killed Nancy Johnson? The short but blistering set came to an end with Six Fingers and Trash. Thanks guys, my ears are still nipping!

A Video…

WKNJ live in red lighting! Turn it up!!

Who Killed Nancy Johnson? are worth checking out here. Catch them if they play near you! And we can reveal that a new album is close, real close which is exciting to hear.

And so the night came to a close. Both bands packed away quickly in order to beat the arrival of storm Ciara. Glad to report everyone made it home even if members of WKNJ got home to find the power was out. Not sure if it was the storm or if in fact they had blown a fuse on the main power grid!

Spinningchilli presented the night. They have been up and running for about 10 years organising a few punk & post-punk gigs in Brighton. You can find them on Facebook and the WWW. Their events are always well run and you are always greeted with a warm welcome.

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All original pictures / video – copyright to IANB/MEDIA WORKS/ SCENE SUSSEX – Ian “The Lens” Bourn 2019.

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