The Green Door Store, Brighton. 27/2/11

This is my first proper gig in Brighton. I’m on my own because the only reliable plus-one is a hundred or so miles away. I arm myself with a pint of cider, step tentatively through a little curtain into the band room carved out of an old warehouse. Funnily enough, what I’m greeted with is a complete replica of any backroom in my hometown of Cambridge. The crowd are stood silently goading each other to move while a lone older gentleman bops rather unrhythmically to my right, a faint dank smell in the air.

The Good Natured are on already and Sarah McIntosh and her big hair soon steal my attention away from the fairly maudlin audience, complementing the over-emphasised English accent, synths and drum machines which dominate the trio’s ‘popnoir’ sound, a bit like La Roux’s bratty siblings. A glitterball hangs above, a thick layer of dust noticeable. It doesn’t stop the band’s posing and posturing, however; Sarah’s brother, Hamish, is on bass and a man simply known as ‘George’ on drums. Recently signed to Parlophone (yet I find out later they’ve been around since 2008), The Good Natured are electropop at a promising stage, born to emerge from indie obscurity, however briefly. What I like most is their interactivity. During ‘Dead on the dance floor’ McIntosh gets into the throng, a marionette jerking in and out of onlooker’s faces, before beating an explosion of glitter out of a well-worn drum she happens to have to hand. During ‘Skeleton’, taken from the E.P of the same name released last summer, the ‘woah oh’ chorus making me gloriously giddy as I drink my cider too quickly amongst the weird mix of chavs and indie kids that are quickly gathering and politely clapping. There’s a tall man at the front as usual. I am disgruntled that the band didn’t get a better reception.

The Whip really are magnificent despite the lukewarm response they also first receive. Preceded by ridiculously bright lights for such a small venue, blindness is forgotten as the opening bars of Brian Eno’s ‘The Ascent’ mystically announce the Mancunians’ arrival; the glitterball suddenly comes to life, its pretty shapes marking the start of what, in the end, feels like an intimate house party. Like The Faint thrusting against The Rapture who are sucking off Kasabian, The Whip deliver what is a major musical arsekicking- more synths and drum machines but this time vying with heavy disco bass while hands are raised skywards and sweat is poured. Having been around a few years themselves, known for their mixes for The Editors and Hadouken and single ‘Trash’ which has been used as a soundtrack for various things, tonight the two boys and one girl are showing off a new album all of their very own. Tracks like Movement’ and ‘Keep or delete’ are effortlessly driving examples of what they do best on ‘Wired together’ and what The Whip lack in originality is made up for in passion. Featuring a singer with the unlikely name of Bruce, here is a band that are to joy what Morrissey is to pain; euphoric, fun and wonderful and the first thing in the long winter months that has made me feel alive. As I left the venue, there is a lone man playing an oboe bathed in the light of Trafalgar arches and I can’t help but think what a magical world we live in if you dare to explore it. The Whip rescued me from a boring night in front of the telly on a school night. Thank f-ck for that.

Anna C