Photo by Carina Kehlet

Through a string of fun videos, green painted escapades and shit-hot singles, Brighton’s Gang have cemented themselves as one of the most exciting new garage-rock bands in the country. Combining heavy guitars with fun, short songs, putting them at the top of a bill in the dark depths of the Crofters Rights was always going to be a great move from promoter Gravy Train.

Before the main act however, a carefully curated line up of supports were assembled to whet the audience’s appetite.

First up, Insomnichord present something different to Gang’s darkness. Looking and dressed like a secondary school-trip from the 60’s that had fallen into a worm-hole, Insomnichord are a Bristol prog-rock band with a touch of the psychedelic. Their half hour set is only about 5 songs long, but the twisting, morphing nature each composition make it seem longer. Though the Horrors-like synths, washed guitar tones and tight rhythm section create captivating soundscapes at points, often the change in pace and dynamics feel too clunky. But the band’s enthusiasm, musicianship and ability to adapt (especially the drummer, whose kit seems to disintegrate during the show), means that Insomnichord’s potential is there for all to see.

Leeches are probably the band that sound closest to headliners Gang, and not just because they’re also three piece. The band take hints from garage rock, slacker pop and heavy rock, mixing it up into a potent band. Despite only a handful of shows, the Bournemouth band are confident, loveable, have great heads of hair, and bring the best out of their undeniably catchy songs. Debut single ‘Inside Voices’  stand out, as well as the second to last track, whose drum rises and crunchy guitars are reminiscent of early Black Sabbath.

Another band that share Sabbath’s love of sludgy, doom-laden guitars is Bristol’s very own The Karma Repair Kit. Despite having not reared their heads for the while, the four piece have not lost any of their blistering energy. Singer Jamie Thomas’ growls are matched by the ferocity of the out-of-control guitar wielded by Alex Hill. Latest single ‘Mood Swinger’ lands best, but a new song with some math-rock undertones points towards a new evolution of the band.

Then, out of the darkness, finally emerge Gang. The trio have no cohesive look – with trackies, curtains and chin-beards all being sported – but combined together, the band look like a weird nu-metal act. While their dark garage sound shares little with the aforementioned genre, their almost self-sabotaging constant pissing around and refusal to take themselves seriously is perhaps indebted to the late 90’s movement. The band’s music shares a similar space to King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, though more brash, though it’s easy to forget the music if you catch a look of the bassists constantly shifting facial expressions. But if that’s what’s needed to get him to play like he does though, he can pull as many expressions as he likes. He plays chords on his bass more often than not, creating a dark, solid foundation to allow the guitar to experiment on. When it’s the drummers turn to take lead vocals, the front two piss around, grinning mischievously, pushing and kissing each other, but not missing a cue.

Unlike the bands before them, there’s no extended numbers; instead the set is lean and to the point. The issue is that, between all the pissing around, sometimes you feel that point gets lost. The songs, that sound sharp on record, are often dragged too deep into the mud. But that almost seems the aim; Gang want to push buttons, experiment and have fun. And in that they succeed.

Listen to ‘Dead’ below