Live Review: Otherkin – Brighton

Otherkin

Hope & Ruin, Brighton, 29th October 2017

Words: Lewis Cockle
Photos: Chloe Hashemi

One might say that Brighton’s Hope & Ruin was a slightly odd choice for a band that could quite easily pack out a larger venue, as Otherkin have been doing whilst on tour for their debut album OK. However, as a relatively legendary venue for live music, the choice is understandable. Unfortunately, the crowd was rather sparse this particular evening, but Otherkin managed to handle this quite happily, and despite the space going, were able to get the ‘crowd’ going. In true Halloween spirit, they entered and exited the stage to the sound of a siren, with a band-wide black & white theme.

I have a soft spot for any musician wielding a Fender Jazzmaster, so I was naturally pleased to see the rhythm guitarist was in possession of one. Fear not, though, as there was no jazz to be heard at this event. Otherkin have an upbeat punky vibe, which is nicely rounded out by the obvious synergy between the bassist and the drummer, which makes for a very satisfying soundscape. Serious props to the rhythm section of Otherkin, there were parts where I thought the bass guitar was part of the drum kit.

The band are really interactive, both through the expressive lyrics and music, and involvement in the crowd. The lead singer frequently jumped into the audience guitar in hand, to shred amongst the fans. He even managed to get a minor pit going, which is no small feat in a crowd of 15 or so people.

Otherkin are currently touring their album OK (which is very good and you ought to listen to it), and a couple of tracks really stood out as live versions. Treat Me So Bad, which is perhaps their most popular song, was great, and the band was really tight throughout – they definitely know it’s the most popular track. However, my favourite song of both the album and the night has to be 89 which really jumps out at me. It reminds me of a couple of different bands from different genres, but essentially has a great mix of fast and slow, heavy and soft, then there’s the key change in the chorus which never fails to make me smile. The performance was great, as ’89’ is perfect for jumping around, and the bass line is magical, and clearly super fun to play going by the expression on the bassist’s face.

If you get a chance to see this band, you should take it. Their first album has been successful, they have a great attitude, and they are really fun to see live, even when the venue is quiet (which should tell you a lot).

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    Popped Music has been going since Feb 2010.

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