An Alcoholic's Day After


The Green Door Store, Brighton - 23rd February 2016
The last time Money played Brighton in November 2013 to promote their remarkable debut album, The Shadow Of Heaven, an audience of around forty people attended, with most of the city's indie-going punters heading off to the Concorde 2 to catch Savages at play. This time around, the Manchester quartet manage to miss their erstwhile nemesis by a couple of days and it is a much fuller Green Door Store (though not a full one) that witnesses this most fascinating of bands trail through their second album, the endearingly-titled Suicide Songs. And death appears to be the theme of the night with both support band Bernard & Edith, as well as Money's Jamie Lee, suffering from painful hangovers in the wake of the previous night's display in London.

"I've spent all day with my head down the toilet," proclaims Greta 'Edith' Caroll whose appearance has the hue of white emulsion. She's fifteen minutes late on to the stage and has had enough just three tracks in. "Im sorry I'm not very good tonight. I'm trying not to throw up," and the duo depart just one song later. In truth, the band sound fine; Caroll has a stunning voice that beautifully frames an intriguing blend of dream-electro-pop and it is a shame their offering is so drastically curtailed. Keyboardist Nick 'Bernard' Delap looks on bemused and you get the impression he has seen it all before.

Lee also pleads a hangover, and again he is white as a ghost, but it is difficult to imagine him spending a lot of time in the sun despite his proclivity for getting naked. He manages to see the set out, however, and puts in a performance of such grace and passion that you can only conclude suffering is good for his soul.

Lee claims he wanted the new album to sound as though it was 'coming from death', and he clearly bares his soul throughout, yet for Lee death appears not to be twisted, fragile frames passing in confusion in a nursing home, but poets raging against the dying of the light to the serenade of trumpets and string quartets. The darkness of the music is draped in a sombre elegance that repels grief and smothers pain and manages to sound uplifting rather than despairing, a remarkable achievement interestingly mirrored by Spectres with their similarly-themed Dying album, musically a world apart.

There's plenty of life left in Lee, however. He sings beautifully and passionately, plays guitar, and, in truth, he is a born entertainer, totally engrossed in his art whilst clearly loving standing in front of a crowd. As the band opens into the glorious 'Night Came', he decides to leave the stage to join the audience, returning only for the guitar outro, with the immaculate Charlie Cocksedge concentrating on the piano, and it sounds radiant. The inclusion of a cellist and violinist throughout adds a serene edge to Lee's carefully mapped out musical patterns, while bassist Nick Delap (it's his birthday) and drummer Billy Byron play with commendable restraint and style. There is little here to complain about, though Lee is not content with 'Suicide Song', promising that "you'll never hear a song that short from me again. I don't know what the f*ck I was thinking," and blaming the rather unattractive lighting for spoiling the night as the set ends on 'A Cocaine Christmas And An Alcoholic's New Year'. It has been a mesmerising performance from the band; lighting can enhance a show but Money transcend the need.

Calls for an encore bring Lee back alone and he accompanies himself on the piano as he struggles through the debut album closer 'Black' which he hasn't tackled for some months. As he forgets the words, he ad libs to laughter; the man takes his music seriously but its power lies in its humanity and Lee is certainly no prima donna.

Bands such as Money are few and far between, bringing style and elegance to realms where others only grope around in the darkness. Try and catch them if you can, they are a rare treasure.


Photos: Gary Packham

Money at the Green Door Store
Words by Adam Hammond
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