Saturday, 27 July 2013

Dinosaur Pile-Up at The Hope, Brighton

That’s right, I actually have a gig to review! I was beginning to get slight withdrawal symptoms as the last show I went to was Senses Fail way back in May (I kept my promise to see them again in the UK after the drunken LA debacle). So happily on Saturday night I found myself at The Hope in Brighton in the presence of the mighty Dinosaur Pile-Up.

This was made even more exciting by the fact it was my first live Dinosaur Pile-Up experience, and you always remember your first time! Minds out of the gutter people, you know exactly what I mean…

Dinosaur Pile-Up was formed by frontman Matt Bigland (formerly of Mother Vulpine) in 2007 and if Wikipedia is to be believed, he chose the band’s name based on that moment in King Kong where a stampede of dinosaurs trip and roll down a hill, causing what can only be described as a dinosaur pile-up. Matt decided then and there that it would be the name of his next band and he delivered on that promise.

Debut album Growing Pains was released in 2010 and was my introduction to the band. It immediately drew comparisons with nineties grunge (never a bad thing in my book) but was by no means lacking in originality. You may remember Hey Man which I featured as Today’s Soundtrack back in May, well one listen of that and I was hooked.

Growing Pains has been a mainstay on my iPod for a while now, so naturally I had high hopes for its followup Nature Nurture, which was released last month. It had a lot to live up to and honestly on first listen I wasn’t sure it quite cut the mustard. (Trust me that is no insult, it just means it was hovering somewhere around ‘brilliant’ rather than ‘genius’ in my mind). But turns out it just needed a few more listens and now I’m obsessed.

As if the outstanding music isn’t enough, you have to love a band who are selling vinyl and cassettes at their merch table. These guys understand presentation and I’m a sucker for that kind of attention to detail.

So back to the gig. The Hope is a tiny venue in Brighton, in fact the word venue is a rather grandiose way to describe a room above a bar. It was dark, cramped and about 100 degrees – the kind of gig where even propped up against the bar there is only a handful of people between you and the band. You might as well be on stage with them.

The result was an hour and a half of pure unadulterated Dinosaur Pile-Up. A passionate performance that almost made you forget that you were sweating pure beer and had been forced to switch to pints of water – a performance that blew not one but two amps!

The crowd was a sea of topless sweaty guys, the staff was standing on the bar shouting at guys hanging from the lighting rig one minute then moshing with them the next, and regardless of technical difficulties and a crazy audience (largely made up of the support bands I believe) they kept playing like pros.

As you know I’m not a fan of huge venues, and after a few O2 experiences, Brixton Academy seems decidedly cosy, but for once it was nice to re-live the teenage years and see a band play a venue the size of my living room and really give it their all.

I didn’t just see Dinosaur Pile-Up last week, I quite literally lived and breathed them. When we finally pushed our way outside we were sweaty and bruised but grinning like idiots. My god they kicked our arse. And you can call me sadistic all you want, but I loved it.


Ps. We caught some of the support from local band Tigercub and they were fantastic! Well worth checking out. @_TiGERCUB

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