The recent heat wave has meant not even the normal sea breeze that flows along the Brighton Sea front can save the Concorde 2 from being the oven that it is tonight. Not that many seem to care, since they’re getting to see one of Canada’s finest up close tonight.
Opening a show for your heroes is always a daunting task. But Time Is A Thief seem to do a good job of it. A relatively disinterested crowd eventually pays attention to what seems to be the Irish lads own take on the pop infused punk of tonight’s headliners, despite their front man throwing the same hand gesture after every song. Their first Brighton show does manage to gain them a few more fans however.
As returns go, Billy Talent’s sold out Brighton show is perhaps one of the more impressive. Their first gig in a year, and the first time drummer Aaron Solowoniuk has performed a full set since his heart operation a few months back, you would expect the intensity in the cramped and moist Concorde 2 to be reaching breaking point. What you would not expect is that, despite their break, this band is still as tight as ever, still buzzing with the excitement and energy that have made their live shows a must see, and doing all that without putting a single foot wrong.
Ben Kowalewicz’s mesmerizingly camp moves at the front are part of the reason this band has become synonymous with quality performances, and there is no let up tonight. “Are you guys hot as fuck out there? Cos we’re hot as fuck up here so the best thing to do is to carry on being hot as fuck,” he remarks about the sweltering south coast heat. And carry on they do, a set spanning their three albums, tracks like ‘This Suffering’ and ‘River Below’ snuggle cosily up to even their brand new track ‘Viking Death March’, which is premiered tonight with news that the album will be out in September with a tour to follow. It’s a different flavour to their normal poppy hardcore sound, more a bouncy rock affair, but it still has the BT stamp all over it.
‘Try Honesty’ is as good an excuse as any for everyone to sing at the tops of their voices, before ‘Fallen Leaves’ and ‘Red Flag’ see us out. With Download just round the corner, it’s good to see the rest has done them the world of good. Billy Talent are as good as ever, and the future looks bright for the Canadians.
By Iain Currie