Brudenell Social Club was packed for this free gig to celebrate the launch of Department M’s self-titled mini album and Lowtalker, the latest EP from Menace Beach. The night began with a support slot from Imp before Department M and Menace Beach joint headlined the event.
Imp have recently released their own album Moon Coastal Maine and their set showcased songs from this recent release. Their musical style fell somewhere between the two headline acts and the lead singer’s vocals were strikingly similar to those of Menace Beach frontman Ryan Needham. They ended a fine and varied set with their most impressive song ‘Airwaves’.
Department M were the first of the joint headliners to play. Their atmospheric mix of thumping drum beats and both high and low pitched keyboards perfectly complemented lead singer Owen Brinley. Brinley’s vocal were reminiscent of Paul Draper from Mansun as they glided over the creative instrumentation. Throughout the set they showed a great flair for experimentation with technology which added to their creativity and edge.
Department M keyboardist Liza Webster is also one of the founder members of Menace Beach and she returned to the stage alongside the rest of this outfit to complete the night. Their fuzzy, distorted, grunge style accompanied by a crisp psychedelic video backdrop provided a great finale. Their set comprised of tracks from the two previous EP’s and also the entirety of their new EP Lowtalker. As you would expect with this collection of musicians from highly respected bands their live performance was of the same high quality as their recordings. Ryan’s vocals were flawless and Nestor’s thudding drums were more prominent than on the EP’s. This really made you appreciate the complexity and skill within his work, and his sweat band and shorts highlighted the sheer physical energy he puts into a performance.
To see three local band of such a high quality and not have to pay for the privilege is something that should be cherished. Even if it had been the price of some of the regular admission fees at Brudenell Social Club it would have been well worth the investment.
(Photo of Menace Beach from Beacons Festival 2013)