The Fallen Leaves blow into town! Brighton got a solid night of live music. Spinningchilli do it again!
“The best group in England” – “Yes, That right” said The Fallen Leaves.
The Fallen Leaves have got to have been one of the best-kept secrets in UK Rock’n’Roll – Ian Bourn – Scene Sussex
The Fallen Leaves. Brighton Sat 20 November at The Prince Albert. Spinningchilli promoting the event.
The Fallen Leaves
The Fallen Leaves are a British garage rock group that formed in Richmond, London in 2004. The group was formed by Rob Symmons (guitar) and Rob Green (vocals) with Paul Myers (bass). The current line-up features drummer Brett Buddy Ascott ex of Mod/Punk band The Chords, and bassist Gareth Evans.
So good to see the Leaves guys back in Brighton after the Pandemic that ravaged the music scene. Now, I can assure you, you can never have enough of these guys. Infectious isn’t the word! The last visit on which I saw The Fallen Leaves was just as Storm Ciara was about to hit, and we had all been advised to stay indoors. Tonight The Fallen Leaves were back with another of their 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.”
The Fallen Leaves: WHO DO THEY THINK THEY ARE?
Reverend Rob Green Vocals with an English accent
Tea and a chat:
So good to see the guys again, So we had time for a chat before the gig. I had bought a friend along to see the Leaves, I had pre-warned that they would fall in love with these guys by the end of the evening. Anyway we chatted with The Leaves, both Robs, for a while about the Pandemic and how they had got through it. It appears we had all had “it” to varying degrees, but had thankfully made it through. We chatted about music in general and touring and both Robs said they would love to tour China or Japan. I agree with that, these guys would go down a storm over there. So, if any promoters are reading this, or if a band are looking for a tour partner then these guys are well up for it. The Fallen Leaves have got to have been one of the best-kept secrets in UK Rock’n’Roll. Lets send the word!
Sir Robert Symmons Sniper guitar
We then got onto chatting about the band line up. Matthew has since left the band, but both Robs were happy to welcome in Gareth Evans. Gareth was an early member of the band and previously left The Fallen Leaves in 2009. But now he is back! Welcome home Gareth, great to see, meet and hear you play!
Gareth ‘Mountbatten’ Evans: Rock and Roll RnB Bohemian bass
And so we chatted about the set list, and how Gareth’s arrival gave the band a chance to look at their itinerary for live performances. Both Robs took turns to answer “no” as I asked if Lavender Girl, Prodigal Son or Motorcycle Girl were still in the set. They went through some of the earlier material from previous albums that are now included, and a newer song!
Brett Buddy Ascott: Dangerous drums
The set tonight was a shorter one, and ran for just under an hour. It was jam packed, a little like the venue, with exciting songs from the extensive catalogue of releases from The Fallen Leaves. A new live album has been recently released, and the set included some of the live material from that. We got a heady mix of perfect punk/RnB/rock guitar from Rob Symmons (Subway Sect), a powerful bass delivered with style from Gareth. A bass string broke and thankfully a bass from supporting Cult Figures was passed onto the stage. And its all topped off with a drummer who is playing hard these days, also with the 79’ers, he served up a generous lashing of damn fine drumming, his name? Well its Brett Buddy Ascott (The Chords)!
The ever-dapper Rob Green stands centre stage controlling events with his very tall radio hall style mic, perfectly matching his stature. The Fallen Leaves were about to treat everyone to an hour of their own beautifully crafted sound of riff laden guitar-driven punk, RnB and of course the theatrics and theatre. Waistcoat buttoned up, apart from that bottom button.
The Fallen Leaves: The set
The guys took to the stage to a huge cheer. The Albert was pretty packed. it was a sold out gig, and it was really warm in there and the night was still oh so young! First off the line tonight was Did You See Her, Begin Again and Everywhere She Goes. Fabulous to see the bass man Gareth jumping and pulling off some good old rock moves. The new line up seemed solid and working perfectly together.
Rob strikes up that guitar with that distinctive sound for many of the tracks, it is a unique sound you will not forget. Rob and his faithful Fender offer up a sheer majestic wall of guitar riffs, tight soaring solos and rhythms. The sound soars out of the amps and speakers. It is so rich in texture, its wonderful.
Rob Green gives himself a break from the vocals of as he pours himself his regular mug of tea from his flask into his Leaves mug during the set, I Made A Mistake. He will sip from the mug, his eyes scouring the crowd. Shining is up which takes us into the wonderful newer song Green Eyes FC, with the infectious chorus that will bother you for days! Rob holds up the lyrics, with the words to the chorus “Oooh la la la lee” which at one point he brings up the wrong side with “Gabba Gabba Hey”. Brilliant.
The sound engineer at The Albert, and his mix, worked well tonight, a great sound. If they would only shift away from that solid red/pink lighting!
There was no Prodigal Son tonight so a quick clear of the throat and Rob Green, clutching four maracas usually reserved for that song, used them later in the set.
The Fallen Leaves played faster, louder and tighter tonight in Brighton than I think I have ever seen them do so before. I think that the set included songs from all of their albums and tracks not played live for a while. The Fallen Leaves perform a superb mixture of punk, mod, 60’s garage and beat, thus if you can imagine a cross between The Who, early Doors and The Ramones, then you are part of the way there, only part of the way I hasten to add!
Another prop tonight was a rather cool walking stick, or what I think were called shooting sticks. He uses it for resting his arms and “gunning” down the now cheering audience, or with an air of nonchalance hangs it around his neck. His vintage microphone stands tall, also a prop. Rob will try to blow smoke rings from his e-cig whilst smoothing those vocals through the set. I think he came close with the smoke rings but two large fans seemed to frustrate those efforts!
International Brigade and the all out rocking I Made a Mistake signalled the end of the set. Fabulous stuff. The large crowd had other ideas however and up went the loud chant of “One More Song”, Brett held up two fingers, the crowd obliged “Two More Songs!”. Rob Green then held up three fingers, and by now you get the picture. I think we got up to seven before Rob said, with his smile, it was usually him telling the crowd what to do, not the other way around!.
Encore and a bow
Ok, so we got two more songs. Sylvie Says and another great one Trouble marked the end. The crowd roared with appreciation as the guys came together for a well deserved bow. A stunning nights work.
The the self-proclaimed glorious amateurs and champions of the underachievers is something they once claimed to be. Tonight we witnessed a recharged, seriously top professional garage RNB outfit. Thank you for stopping off guys and taking us on your wonderful musical glorious trip. This guys look as meticulous as they sound.
You gotta love The Fallen Leaves, and my friend, if you remember from the beginning, fell head over heels with these guys and their music and promptly shot off to the Merch stand for a T and a slice of vinyl. If you get the chance to see The Fallen Leaves – GO! They have some dates up in London in the New Year.
The Fallen Leaves can be found here on the web, dates and releases and a merch shop.
Amazing shows from Fractured and Cult Figures, both bands set up the evening perfectly. Two bands, two sets both went down a blast with the assembled audience.
FRACTURED: Post-punk, post-everything band originating from Reading in early 1980’s now settled in Brighton. Performing live now!
CULT FIGURES: 40 years of life experience, whilst still embracing the accessible three P’s of the early days – punk, pop and psychedelia.
Click on images to enlarge
Thanks to Shelley and Phil Guild for pulling this wonderful night together.Promoted by the wonderful Spinningchilli who are on Facebook
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All original pictures / video – copyright to IANB/MEDIA WORKS/ SCENE SUSSEX – Ian “The Lens” Bourn 2021.
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