Jungle Explorers at The Blind Tiger

Posted on 21st, July 2012

I had a great evening on Wednesday at the Blind Tiger Club in Brighton. Megan Clifton from The Beautiful Word asked me to come and take photos for a fancy dress gig with four Brighton bands. In the event the lighting was not great for the stage… nor was the position of the bands very easy, but I worked it as an event shoot, photographing the many beautiful and beautifully dressed guests. Thoroughly enjoyable, and a great chance to hone my “house-style” as an event photographer. The same techniques are entirely applicable in a wedding, for instance. Train into Brighton from Haywards Heath was easy… though I always have to watch the time to make the last train home.

I enjoyed all the four bands. Elk are a very new, BIMM-based band featuring three girls at the front of the stage, and four guys at the back. To suit the jungle theme, the boys went for monkey costumes, the girls went more for feline make-up with little black dresses. Nice rocky/folky sounds, including a cover of Fulsom Prison Blues. Good stuff – I hope they keep at it, getting more relaxed on stage, and their sound and look will carry them far.

I am already a fan of The Beautiful Word: their “Mystery Pop” is a surprisingly varied mix of the tuneful, quirky, harmonious, whimsical, touching and amusing. Having recently played at T in the Park, and with Playgroup Festival coming up (having been postponed from August to September), they appear to be on the brink of the success they deserve. Costume-wise they seemed to be caught between the tigers and a tiger-clad caveman. All very photogenic.

Third up was the Flash Bang Band. Apparently, in an equal opportunities age, jungles are now fully open to penguins. The band were clearly anxious to take flight, though, and they were the loudest of the night, with a poppy-punky power-trio sound that held real tunes and had people on their feet.

Finally along came Kings Mews. I was seriously impressed by the latiny-jazzy feel of this horn-driven five piece band. Sometimes eclecticism can produce a washed out, directionless sound: in Kings Mews’ case the opposite is the case, with a distinctive sound that was as good to just listen to as it obviously was to dance to. Highly recommended.

A full set of pictures, including the “event” type ones, can be seen on my facebook page here.

Websites for the bands are: Elk, The Beautiful Word, Flash Bang Band, Kings Mews.