Swimming with Piranhas in Brighton

Piranhas 4 – live in Brighton

Magic! That is all…. magic! Bob Grover lead the Piranhas 4 onto the stage at Concorde 2 (superb choice of guest slot from Joy. promotions team). The Piranhas 4 were guests of The Damned for two consecutive nights.

The Piranhas formed in 1977, and were originally part of the Brighton punk scene, first coming to prominence when DJ John Peel started playing their single “I Don’t Want My Body” on his BBC Radio 1 programme, but achieved their biggest success with their cover version of the South African kwela song “Tom Hark”. This had been an instrumental hit in 1958 for Elias & His Zig Zag Jive Flutes, and had already been covered in a ska style by Millie Small and by Georgie Fame on his 1964 EP “Rhythm & Blue-Beat”. With new lyrics written by the band’s frontman “Boring” Bob Grover (allegedly en route to the recording studio), and with Pete Waterman on executive production duties, it was a Top 10 hit in the UK Singles Chart in 1980.

The Piranhas 4 – The Band

Presently the line up consist of

Bob Grover, guitar vox
Gary Browne, guitar vox
Bon Bessom, sax
Ken Brotherston, drums
Stu Wagstaff, bass

And there you have it – the line up! I had first met Bob at an intimate gig at the Montpelier with the line up from that time, a few years ago now. Then again at Undercover Festival in Brighton where we shared a beer or two. A delight to talk to and equally delightful to watch him play.

Bob Grover - Piranhas 4 - pic by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Bob Grover – Piranhas 4 – pic by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

The Piranhas 4 – The Set

As I list the songs played, I can still hear bob and his wonderful band playing the songs in my head and that dear reader doesn’t happen very often! They are infectious to listen to and even more so watching them live. Jilly was the first number played. Their music is just damned good fun, and actually so is going to see them live! The crowd, like many of us had no doubt headed to Concorde 2 straight from work and Piranhas 4 gave you the opportunity to forget all that. pop on those dancing shoes and prepare to sing, and the crowd tonight did just that!

Boyfriend, Happy Families and the wonderful Space Invaders came up next. Bob had warned us it was only a short set, about thirty minutes and so, me, and the crowd, were determined to make the most of every second.

Saxophone, ( the previously mentioned) I Don’t Want My Body and Fiddling While Babylon Burns came up next. The band sounded really tight and the Concorde 2 sound guys had done a great job on balancing and mixing the sound. The sounds Bob gets from his guitar and pedal board set up are astonishing.

A quick look at my watch confirmed the worst! It was nearly over. Two glorious tracks followed Pink Elephants and Getting Beaten Up.

Bob Grover and Stu - live at Concorde 2 - pic by Ian Bourn for Scene Susssex

And so as the clock counted down, Bob announced there was time for just one more. Ken hit up the drums and people seem to best know and remember The Piranhas for their 1980 Top 10 smash hit Tom Hark. And here it is! Live!! The crowd lapped it up as the Sax kicked in with a fine Ska bass rhythm and Gary along with Bob on his guitars and box of tricks and vocals poured it all into this one for us tonight!

Piranhas 4: A Video

The Piranhas 4 – Live!!

The Piranhas 4 – Live!! Tom Hark!

Posted by IANB's Media Works on Monday, 1 July 2019

Turn it up, clear the furniture and well just dance!

As I said at the beginning Magic! The band sound great and fingers crossed they keep on doing what they do. They do it well, with love and they put a smile on your face. Can it get better than that? Thank you Piranhas – really enjoyed that short but oh so sweet set.

Keep up to date with all things Piranhas 4 – here!

The sell out nights were promoted by JOY. A great job guys and having the Piranhas Four as guests was an absolute spot on choice. Joy. are independent concert promoters & event organisers based in Brighton. They have been organising events in the UK for 12 years with some of the best artists in the world. Follow Joy. on social media & sign up to their mailing list to get all the news on some of the best gigs & events in your area. Joy are on FACEBOOK.

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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!”


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