Brighton-based jazz fusion four-piece, Calico, chose their support wisely at the event hosted by Sugar Free Records at the Hope and Ruin. Although the genres were very different, the contrast between each band illuminated them and made them each shine individually. Alternative Rock band, Hot Moth were followed by psychedelic trio, Jouis whose locks flowed along with their trippy three part vocal harmonies and unusual six string bass.
The sample of Paul Harvey’s essay, (or at least, an updated version of it) ‘If I Were the Devil’ set the tone and mood for Calico’s set and showed that they meant business. These were not the self-conscious, self-hating band I saw at the Green Door Store last year. They were polished, tight and professional, blending fantastically well with one another despite the rather complicated rhythms played by Graham Burgess (drummer and astrophysicist!).
Although some of the songs like ‘Flow’ have pleasant, keyboard-led meanderings, (played by Chris Martyr), they refuse to let your mind wander with the sudden changes of time signature, (showing their love of math rock), surprising guitar solos (played by Daniel Nixon) and bursts of trumpet (played by Lewis Husbands).
They were promoting their latest single ‘Trappist’ which is based around a staccato keyboard riff. They are now a four-piece having lost a bass player and this changed their music from being melody-led to being more focused around the bass and sub-bass sounds of the keyboard producing heavier and more exciting music.
What they couldn’t give the baying audience in quantity (they had played us all their songs), they made up for in quality. Having supported jazz pioneers Mammal Hands and Vels Trio, they were more than ready to showcase their own unique blend of electronica, jazz and rock in their best gig to date.