fri 21/06/2024

Snayx/Shelf Lives/Monakis, Patterns, Brighton review - storming, punking triple-header | reviews, news & interviews

Snayx/Shelf Lives/Monakis, Patterns, Brighton review - storming, punking triple-header

Snayx/Shelf Lives/Monakis, Patterns, Brighton review - storming, punking triple-header

Fired-up three band package tour hits the south coast with a communal sense of fury

Snayx' Charlie Herridge turns upside downAll photographs © Roz Shearn

Patterns is a small, low-ceilinged, underground, seafront venue. Tonight it would be a feast for any passing ancient succubae who happens to feed on raw human energy. From 7.00 PM until 10.00 PM, the room plays host to a package tour of three rising bands. Their short, vim-filled sets are hard-wired to a thrilling, relentless punk intensity.

monakisFirst up is Brighton four-piece Monakis (pictured left), fronted by bare-topped tattooed, bass-playing James Porter, who has a touch of Bon Scott about him. The band have just driven down from Glasgow, he tells us, and are glad to be home. They ramraid into a set that channels Bleach-era Nirvana by way of The Ruts, featuring songs such as the raging “Driptease” (“Everything’s fucked!”) and the grinding rock of “Long Tall Sally” (not the Little Richard/Beatles song, well, not recognizably). The guitarists wear white vests. One of them sports a Johnny Ramone hair do.

Porter’s voice switches between hoarse Cobain and an Oi-style geezer-snarl. He tells us they’re going to play a cover of Smashing Pumpkins’ “Zero”; “Do you know it? Too bad!”. Their version is lean, tight-riffed and combative, while “Ride” is slower, abrasively tuneful, and enters Nevermind territory.

shelf livesMonakis are a wake-up. The crowd is equally made up of two age groups; twenty-somethings clad in the regalia of long-gone 20th century countercultures, and BBC 6 Music sorts, in their fifties and up, who probably remember punk the first time round. They mingle and anticipate and buy gear from the merch stall.

Second on the bill are Shelf Lives (pictured above right), a London-based duo fronted by dryly amused Canadian Sabrina de Giulio (pictured below left), clad in a knitted acrylic blue crop-top. Their opener, “I Don’t Like Me You”, sums up their vibe. “Why am I offended by the way that you breathe,” she sneers, “I hate people and people hate me.” Beside her, eventually stripped to the waist, is guitarist Jonny Hillyard, moustachioed and with a nose-ring, the rest of the music, the beats and effects, supplied by backing tracks he sets going at the press if a button.

shelf lives 2De Giulio’s sardonic persona and black wit is the centrepiece, with the music driving, catchy, splenetic electro-punk. She focuses on a middle-aged guy with thinning pink hair by the stage who’s looking intently at his phone. “He came right down to the front to check his emails,” she says derisively, and later sings a song at him, nose-to-nose.

They fire out banger after banger, “Shelf Life”, “Skirts and Salads” (which she introduces by saying “How do you like your girls? I like mine nice’n’crispy”), the deadpan contempt-fuelled ennui of “I Don’t Think I’ll Go Out Today”, and they close with a new one (I think) a hedonist rock’n’roll blast with a chorus that runs “We get fucked up on a Sunday afternoon/We don’t get up on Monday.”

Like Monakis before them, they are partly a response to broken Britain, to cost-of-living times, but it’s headliners Snayx who make this most explicit, notably when they dedicate doom-riffing “H.A.N.G.” to their “dear friend Rishi Sunak and his massive bunch of thieves”. Its lyrics growl of being in a cage on the minimum wage; “With all the corruption, they need a reaction, well, I say we hang them all".

snayxThe band, from just up the road in Seaford, consist of frontman Charlie Herridge, clad in a black Fred Perry, tattooed, bare-chested blond skinhead bassist Ollie Horner (pictured right), and blond female drummer Lainey Loops. Horner jerks about playing his bass like a guitar, like Lemmy did, providing the primary music, with a smidgeon of additional backing tracks.

They start with “Boys in Blue”. The two guys have gym bodies, a primal energy, as they swig at Buckfast bottles. There’s a well-muscled testosterone violence to their stage presence, but it’s channelled into a roaring, righteous rage, not a reactionary threat, an urgent communality, faintly akin to what Henry Rollins used to do, long ago. This is emphasised by the way Herridge jumps into the crowd to mosh while still singing (pictured below left), or the section when they start a chant for “Larry the Badgeman”, an older ponytailed man who then walks the crowd handing out badges showing a bone-nosed pig-head, with the words “WE ‘R’ BRIGHTON CRAWLERZ”.

snayx2Snayx’ sound has a bludgeoning funk, their musical presence redolent of an amalgam of Slaves, Sleaford Mods and early Red Hot Chili Peppers. Their songs are righteous shout-alongs and this crowd knows all the words. Someone is onstage filming them. There’s a sense, as we bellow along to “Better Days” and their scorching anthem “Work” (preceded by a query as to whether there are any bankers in the house), that this is a band on the cusp.

They close with “Fakes”, a party-sounding tune. “I know we’re in a basement,” says Herridge, “but I’m sure there’s a floor below – BOUNCE!” And they do. And both support bands all rush onstage, spraying bottled beer and wine over the crowd, hurling themselves into the stage-front melee . Eventually, the song segues into a manic version of The Prodigy’s “Breathe”, with Herridge singing it born aloft, lying on his back, crowd-surfing. He clambers back on the stage, whacks the ceiling, off which falls a small chunk, and then they’re gone.

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Below: Watch the video for "H.A.N.G." by Snayx

 

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