Red BitsEdit this event
Brighton's tiny Marlborough pub theatre is a 19th-century music hall in miniature, all grubby red velvet and hard-backed chairs. It seats about 60 at most, and comes as a blessed relief after the last few nights of Brighton gigging - I've endured a bunch of hyped, crowded and pricey shows so disappointing I almost wished I was back in Camden's stinking sprawl.
Red Bits is a man with a guitar. It's Charlie Peverett, former singer with Flying Machine and part of the 'Gilded Palace Of Sin' team who promote much of Brighton's decent live music (although they're not involved with tonight's gig). Charlie plays simple strummy guitar and is something of an unassuming presence, shielding a dry wit behind a low key delivery. He is blessed, however, with a voice from a higher place. Indeed, he's in the Buckley league - in control of every nuance, yet rich and spacious. He's a star in the making; a brilliant singer with enough good songs to fill far bigger spaces, yet he hasn't even a recording to his name yet - not even a demo. It matters not; Red Bits is an outlet that should be nurtured.
Which makes him hard to follow onstage, except with a marked contrast. Monster Bobby is the sole practitioner of a brand new genre (and hopefully by naming it here I'll feel at least a touch of ownership). Basically, he strums hard and either sings frantic lovesongs or delivers witty observational comedy. This edgy guitar and plaintive tone is accompanied by some sensational sampling and top-drawer homemade beats, chucked in live from a small black box sat on a barstool beside Bobby as he performs.
So (and here's that new genre), what he's doing is antifolktronica(©). And it's a direct mix: Monster Bobby is the acerbic hammering of Jeff Lewis, or a posh, young Hammell On Trial mistreated and filtered by Four Tet or Manitoba. If that's not enough to whet your whistle, then get back in your dull rock box. Then, a happy accident: the equipment fails halfway through a song about _Bobby's equipment failing and he's left stuck there, amid waves of laughter, while the PA is fixed. Finally, he ends the song to a huge cheer from the small audience. A small triumph maybe, but one in keeping with a theme, for tonight - considering the special venue, _that voice and a sparkly new mish-mash of a genre - _is_ a triumph of an evening, and one that not even a freezing walk home along the seafront can sour.