This is the sound of Isolation
Inca Babies
Inca Babies

The Hope, Brighton - 1st November 2014

If there appeared to be a familar feel to the latest Isolation Night, held on this occasion at The Hope, it is that two-thirds of the bill was exactly the same as that of June last year, with the Inca Babies once again trekking down from Manchester to entertain us, along with the Go Go Cult, who made the trip from their heavily fortified farmhouse in Reading. Let's face it, if you have a winning formula, then why change it? New to the bill were Brighton's own Red Raucous who opened proceedings and proved to be a top choice. It would be difficult to pick three bands who complemented each other so well, leading for a terrific evening and incredible value for money (if we say so ourselves).

Getting the show underway, the venue is already filling up nicely when Red Raucous take to the stage and toes are soon tapping to their western influenced rock. Though there is a country tinge to their sound, the trio have a nicely heavy sound, infused with the spirit of the electric blues and some straightforward powerhouse rock and roll. And they play great, too. Drummer Will Moore is brilliant to watch, his idiosyncratic style keeping the audience mesmerised, while guitarist Mark Benjamin proves he is no slouch, running through a myriad of styles, with singer/bassist Johnny F adding the depth to the sound and driving the songs on. They deservedly get a great reception and sell some records on the merch stall. If you missed out, their album is available on Bandcamp here.

Next up are the Go Go Cult who decide tonight to slap on the make-up in honour of the recently departed Hallowe'en, forgetting that today is All Saints Day and they should be playing hymns, or at least 'Never Ever'. No such niceties from these boys, though, and the Cultophonic Hypno-ray is soon spinning on stage, washing minds and forcing the growing number of lost souls in the audience to submit to the sound of their Voice. With a truly excellent second album recently under their belts, the Cult offer up a set of their finest moments, including new tracks 'Bring Forth The Guillotine' and the brilliant 'Bring Out Your Dead' as well as old favourites such as 'Nosferatu Crawl' and 'Beware The Lair Of The Go Go Bear'. Their tight rockabilly punk is the perfect frame for showman Go Go Nige, who ends the night on the floor in front of the stage as 'This is The Voice Of The Go Go Cult' dies messily in a violent explosion of drums and guitars. Both Go Go Cult albums are available from their record label, Western Star.

The Inca Babies are also promoting an impressive new album, The Stereo Plan, and tonight they are in blistering form: harder, edgier and more driven than we have seen them for some time. Opening the set slowly with new track 'Last Plane From Saigon', this only serves to lull the audience into a false sense of security before the band explode into 1984 single 'Grunt Cadillac Hotel', one of their greatest ever moments. Singer Harry Stafford is electrifying, clambering all over the stage and anything else he can find to mount, slashing at his impressive new guitar, while the Incas' untouchable rhythm section fill the venue with pounding beats. The set list is well chosen, with a seemingly endless stream of great songs pouring out, 'The Stereo Plan', 'My Sick Suburb' and debut single 'The Interior' driving into the stand-out track from the new album 'Panthers' which not only showcases Stafford's lyrical dexterity, but the virtuosity of drummer Rob Haynes and bassist Vince Hunt. Another early thundering single 'The Judge' paves the way for three new tracks, 'Devilfish Anarchy, 'Ghost Ship' and 'Damnation' before the storming 'Some Kinda Reason' and the quivering 'Superior Spectre' introduce the band's apocalyptic last single 'Scatter'. The audience are completely drawn in; there's some serious shapes being thrown in the front ranks with both band and their followers completely immersed in the crushing torrents of sound. With no pressure on time, the band are called back to stage with Haynes introducing the thrashing encore of the classic 'The Lung Knives' as Stafford's voice begins to desert him. This is played at a thousand miles an hour and brings the best of nights to a fitting conclusion.

Our grateful thanks to all who attended; your help in supporting alternative music is appreciated beyond all measure. We can only do this with you behind us. Three great bands and a great evening for less than ten quid. Or stay in and watch The X-Factor. You reap what you sow.

Red Raucous live at The Hope
Go Go Cult live at The Hope
Words and Pics by Adam Hammond
Reviews July to September 2014
John Peel Night 2014
Southsea Fest 2014
The Pop Group live at Sticky Mike's
Inca Babies Interview
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