Playing live is no big feat for a band like Vivian Girls. Thereal challenges come in transpiring their raucous, one-take energyinto recordings.
But an element of on-purpose carelessness in theirfirst two albums (the self-titled debut and 2009′s Everything Goes Wrong)has won them a cult status in the UK and overseas and they’ve stayedtrue to their guns. To see Vivian Girls in a live setting for thefirst time can only bring excitement; you expect everything the albumsbring but with the intensity gone tenfold.
The Freebutt crowd treats them like a joint headliner; packing outthe small-capacity venue a good hour and a half before the mainentertainment ensues. Most-accessed recording Found Love In AGraveyard, played penultimately, stands out, bringing forth anall-consuming blend of male and female vocals, each soaked in reverbbut rarely drowning out one another. The vocals are a consistence,alongside bare-knuckle guitars and equally raw drum patterns – theymaster an alternative beach party sound like not many others canjust now.
As Vivian Girls commence, they are notably tighter and moreassured that their support. But that’s a given when inexperiencedfaces do battle with a band that’s been touring (with their current,drummer-replacing line-up) for a solid year. The crowd does little interms of bouncing off the tightly-enclosing walls of the Freebutt, butthis gives the band an opportunity to debut three new songs, at leasttwo of which are noticeably drawn out when compared to material on the band’sfirst two records. (The longest song on the self-titled album was no morethan three-and-a-half minutes long.)
As the set gathers momentum, more pacey and perhaps more widelyadored numbers make their way into the set list; Tell The World inparticular gets the biggest “bop” of the evening, whilst I Have NoFun shows the band at their most worked-up stage.
But perplexingly, the audience do not so much as nod their heads inappreciation. Rapturous applause following each song cancels out anyidea that Vivian Girls aren’t impressing, but for this suitablesetting, it seems wrong to have such a static response to such jarringgarage punk.
Vivian Girls – Share The Joy
Vivian Girls @ Freebutt, Brighton
Vivian Girls – Everything Goes Wrong