Hookworms - The Brudenell Social Club - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab

Hookworms - The Brudenell Social Club

by Andy Brown Rating: Release Date:

The Brudenell Social Club is rammed full and so it should be, as tonight its Hookworms hometown album launch for their debut long-player, Pearl Mystic. From what I've heard the band themselves were surprised (and pleased, obviously) that so many people had turned up; they needn't be so modest though, as their fearsome live reputation precedes them. If the chance to see Hookworms play live (for free!) weren't tempting enough, the deal was further sweetened by the perfectly placed support acts; Mick Flower and Cold Pumas.

Mick Flower is something of a local legend and one of the finest experimental guitarists you could hope to hear. Flower is joined on stage by Bilge Pump's able sticksman Neil Turpin (who's also been adding his drum skills to Yan Tiersen's group recently). It's a genuinely impressive performance: two musicians completely in tune with each other performing at an astonishingly accomplished level. This isn't just music you can admire, however. As Flower glides between rock riffs and intricately beautiful passages, it's impossible not to get sucked into the performance. The jazz time-signatures and instrumental nature of the performance may not be up everyone's street, but I'm pleased to report that the ever-enthusiastic Brudenell crowd seemed to love it.

Now it's time for Brighton's Krautrocking juggernauts, Cold Pumas. Cold Pumas are signed to the reliably tasteful Gringo Records alongside tonight's headliners and have just recently released their debut LP, Persistent Malaise. The band's songs have a momentum to them that's impossible to resist, the emphasis firmly on motorik beats, repetition and energy. At times the band's intense and energetic performance is reminiscent of Joy Division (their raw live performances rather than the otherworldly recorded output). The songs from Persistent Malaise sound great, with 'Sherry Island' and 'A Versatile Gift' shining as bright as they do on record. Cold Pumas are a real thrill to watch.

The anticipation has built nicely as hometown heroes Hookworms take to the stage. The band get things off to a suitably stunning start with the dizzyingly brilliant, 'Away/Towards'. The song builds endlessly to ever more intense and euphoric peaks. MJ screams into his reverb soaked microphone and throws himself wholly into every noise-laden, psychedelic moment of the band's performance. It's utterly mesmerising stuff and shows why there's been quite a lot of interest in the band recently.

They make a lot of other bands look lazy and uninspired. We get a barn-storming rendition of 'Form & Function' and by the time they throw themselves into 'Preservation', MJ has pretty much shouted himself horse. They even treat us to the Krautrocking brilliance of 'Teen Dreams' from their self-titled EP. There's no encore but there really doesn't need to be. Hookworms have put their heart, soul and buckets of beer-scented sweat into the last hour (I lost track of time but it was something like that) and you really can't ask for much more. Viva la Hookworms!

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