LIVE REVIEW – Spanish Love Songs / Pkew Pkew Pkew / Goodbye Blue Monday / All Better @ The Hope & Ruin, Brighton, 7/5/2019

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For regular visitors of Brighton, they will know the Hope & Ruin as the home Beelzebab.

But it also plays host to one of the cities many music venues, where tonight it was the turn of Spanish Love Songs to take to the stage and wow the crowd.

All Better

It was down to locals All Better to kick-off proceedings. The three-piece punk band displayed a range of catchy riffs and hooky choruses.

Despite a couple of minor technical issues, the trio seemed very polished and worthy of much more than an opening slot, but it later transpired it was guitarist Chris Childs who was one of the promoters of the evening.

Following shortly after were self-proclaimed Scottish misery-punks Goodbye Blue Monday.

Goodbye Blue Monday

With influences from Against Me, A Wilhelm Scream and the Descendants clear for all to see, it was safe to say the quartet aren’t reinventing the wheel.

It may have been the fact that they were a little drunk / hungover, but it seemed like the message the band was trying to portray seemed to get lost in translation a little bit.

Pkew Pkew Pkew

When Canadian natives Pkew Pkew Pkew stepped on stage the room upstairs of the pub had started to fill up a bit more, and there was finally the crowds energy started to match that of the bands.

Smashing through songs like ‘Mid-20s Skateboarder’, ‘65 Nickels’, and ‘Point Break’, they ramped the tempo up and the joy radiating from the band was starting to ooze into the audience just into for the main event.

By the time Spanish Love Songs started setting up there was a change in atmosphere, as the room started to fill up – some fans even taking selfies with guitarist / vocalist Dylan Slocum.

Spanish Love Songs

From the opening line of Nuevo’ the audience was putty in Slocum’s hands before bounding straight into ‘Sequels, Remakes and Adaptions’, when the energy levels increased tenfold.

Despite struggling glandular fever and proclaiming “I’m sorry my spleen might explode” Slocum delivered every not flawlessly.

With additions of bassist Trevor Dietrich and keyboard player Meredith Van Woert since the last time the band were in town, there was a more all round feel to the bands performance as they played their hits from ‘Schamlz’, latest single ‘Losers’ and even a cover of Phoebe Bridgers’ ‘Funeral’.

As the set drew to a close to chants of one more song, guitarist Kyle McAulay joked there was nowhere for there to walk off and back on to.

The band put a vote to the audience of whether to play ‘Buffalo Buffalo’ or ‘Aloha To No One’ going with the former to huge sing-a-longs.

Spanish Love Songs may have a reputation of playing sad songs, but the only sadness was that the evening had to come to an end.