After their support tour with Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Fear of Men brought their own brand of angsty jangle pop to the Brudenell.
Before their headline slot though, was the surprisingly impressive support Flowers. This London trio channel the lofi reverb-drenched guitar sound of Galaxie 500 with echoing female vocals which are nothing if not cerebral. It’s commonplace in today’s media to class any female voice as “amazing” (anyone who’s ever watched that X Factor drivel can testify to this) but the Flowers singer truly was. It was so good in fact that a couple of songs were just her singing without any instrumental backing, and they were just as strong as the rest of their set.
Next, Brighton’s Fear of Men took to the stage. Rather appropriately, the stage was bathed constantly in an icy blue light which matched the tight female harmonies and Cure-esque guitar and bass sounds. A highlight was “Luna” where frantic guitars swooped and the band fell effortlessly into synchronised swaying. I confess myself distracted at one stage as a member of the crowd pointed out that the guitarist looks like Benedict Cumberbatch with a hipster haircut. Jess Weiss’ croon constantly moved from seductive to soaring at a moment’s notice, her motionless head seemingly independent from her swinging body. The songs were good, if slightly repetitive, with a couple seeming formulaic. The song that stood out was set-finisher “Inside” which after being typically echoing and icy finished by the guitars being whipped into a noise frenzy before cutting out simultaneously followed by the band turning and leaving the stage. More than anything, it was a shame that the most refreshing moment of the night came a second before the band put down their instruments and vanished.
photo 1: Eleanor Hardwick
photo 2: thesnipenews.com