After months on tenterhooks, the day is finally here. Tonight is Hidden Herd Presents: Swimming Tapes – our sophomore show on the south coast – and the blistering Friday sun falls through the cracks of Brighton’s Green Door Store. Some of our best-loved new guitar-pop bands are in tow this evening, and the cobbled venue rapidly fills in a flurry of anticipation.
First to emerge on the vibrantly lit stage are brilliant Brighton foursome Nature TV, whose sizzling slow jams give us wanderlust from the first note to the very last. Breezy guitar lines, timeless melodies and blasé slacker vibes in the vein of Mac DeMarco combine throughout, with frontman Guy Bangham’s cathartic vocals providing a unique warmth like a swill of scotch at sundown.
It’s an apt aperitif ahead of Portsmouth psychsmiths Sad Palace, who deliver a blistering set brimful of indie-pop brio. At moments they recall the likes of Gengahr and Superfood, and like those bands, their enviable arsenal of tunes also feel destined for far-flung festival fields. Progressive, kaleidoscopic and funk-tinged, their stellar stint in front of a swelling crowd is nothing short of electrifying, with the hooky ‘Honeycone’, the majestic ‘Melody Crux’ and phenomenal ‘Frostbeat’ proving to be absolutely colossal in the flesh.
Then come emerging indie juggernauts Thyla, who’ve had an exhilarating 2018 so far thanks to a brooding release (‘I Was Biting’) and an avalanche of hype. The fact they have a vast array of plaudits is of little surprise though, because the Brighton favourites bring a barrage of new wave-inspired anthems that are instantly impressive and sound whopping in the intimate surrounds. The pristine vocals of frontwoman Millie Duthie are the band’s centrepiece, adding an ethereal layer to the alt-rockers’ thunderous sound à la Pumarosa, and the combination is most dazzling on dreamy recent single ‘Tell Each Other Lies’ which is a rapturous highlight.
Then it’s over to one of Hand In Hive’s biggest exports and tonight’s headliners Swimming Tapes, who duly deliver and transport the bustling Green Door Store to warmer climes with their hazy sun-bleached music. Laced with a tinge of nostalgia, the London-based quintet’s triumphant slew of shimmering ditties are floaty from the get-go, recalling Local Natives with their honeyed harmonies and Real Estate with their surfy twang. Their stellar show overspills with hook-packed numbers from their recently recorded debut LP: ‘Queen’s Parade’ is effortless and evocative, ‘Alison’ is sparkling and soothing and ‘Set The Fire’ is glistening and galvanising. It’s a sheer masterclass in nuanced wide-eyed jangle-pop from start to finish, and a testament to the wondrous act that Swimming Tapes have become.
Join us for our next Brighton show, Hidden Herd Presents: Artificial Pleasure with support from Youth Sector and Playing House, on Saturday 5th May at Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar. Tickets available in store at Resident and online via DICE.