Live Reviews

Paint It Black – Live

Free Butt, Brighton

I used to spend a lot of time in the Free Butt many years ago, saw heaps of ace gigs within its (then) small grubby walls. Now the place is very different, sanitised and soulless. But as someone once sang… “Those times have changed, and so have I. I stopped my dreaming… I know I can’t go back”. Indeed…

Anyway, the draw of meeting up with good friends and strong music to boot pulls me back to the ‘Butt. And, on at a shade past 8pm, last-minute additions to the bill, South-East quartet Serf Combat, turn in one of the strongest sets I’ve seen from them. Their hyper-melodic ‘Raygun-esque tuneage came over really well, sounded crisp and sharp and their drummer particularly did a fine job pounding the skins. Positive start.

I know nothing about Ceremony, but they introduce themselves as being “from California”. Now, I’m always reluctant to judge a book by its cover, but I’m thinking these 4 irregular guys do not have a Beverly Hills, Malibu Beach or bourgeois boho-Santa Cruz sheen… and more likely come from some run down hick town where there isn’t a lot going on. Their set is full-fuckin’tilt hardcore in a short/fast/furious Crossed Out / Infest style mixed with “My War” era ‘Flag angst, and moments of dark/theatrical TSOL. Oh, and the crazed singer charged around and postured like Darby Crash trying to impersonate Glenn Danzig… can you picture it??!! Ha!! Yes, a lot going on! I can’t say I was exactly blown away/totally convinced. But they were memorable all the same.

Philadelphia’s Paint It Black have long cemented their reputation with strong melodic hardcore, coupled with smart/honest/intelligent lyrics, and an incredibly energetic live show. And don’t we know it! They come bouncing on to the stage and literally explode with their action-packed anthems and rousing sing-a-longs. It’s hard not to be rapidly enthused. Early on singer Dan Yemin makes it very (very) clear the audience are as much a part of this gig as the band, participation is actively encouraged, and if you are going to grab the microphone out of the singers hand to sing your heart out to your favourite song, then that is exactly what you are going to do. Go ahead! Get on the stage! No rockNroll bullshit posturing going on here, just straight from the heart good-time hardcore jams that fly by at pace, and is over far too quickly. Ah well! Was great while it lasted!

Pete Craven.