“I really like the rain” drawls dreadlocked vocalist/guitarist Eric Tormey “It washes the anxiety away – and I’m a very clean young man”.
This isn’t necessarily what you’d expect to hear from Gang – sludge-lords, uncut guitar string enthusiasts, and one of Brighton’s latest incredible offerings. They are creators of nasty sounding psychedelia in the best possible way, with whining guitar riffs that undeniably channel Sabbath and Wand – the latter who were supported by Gang for a string of UK dates to close 2016. As far as atmosphere is considered, the dark attic of Fallow Café is a more than suitable space for tonight’s show.
Latest single ‘Enough Nothing’ sees drummer Jimi Tormey – Eric’s brother – take over lead vocals, whilst bassist Joe Hunt writhes around, churning with every funky note he produces. Gritty and grungy, Gang are Demob Happy’s little brother – less raspy, more harmonious. Nirvana comparisons, too, are unavoidable – but don’t be fooled into associating the trio with stereotypical acts. It’s a struggle to contain Eric, who runs over to shred on the stairway – unfortunate to anyone who wants to come up. He exudes Brightonian charm, sporting a singular dangly earring and high-waisted, Simon Cowell-inspired trousers – a slight contrast to Hunt, whose Adidas trackies and ’Friends’ t-shirt make for the ultimate stoner combo.
‘Animalia’ is the night’s ultimate crowd pleaser, a banger that sees Eric yell so loudly that globs of spit fly out of his jaw. 2015 was the singles release date – yet almost two years on, there’s still no sign of an EP making an appearance any time soon. Musically, it’s safe to confirm that the trio are biding their time; but after all, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Aside from the talented musicianship, their appreciative attitude is what also makes Gang so endearing. Eric compliments how “lovely” tonight has been for the three, thanking us for paying them with our time, “more valuable to us than your money”. ‘Dead’ sees them out with a brutal and savage bang, with Eric screaming “I don’t want to feel better, I want to better feel!” to a raucous and sweaty room.
It’s fair to say that grunge is on the rise once again. The current 90’s obsession – spearheaded by dirge-revival acts such as Kagoule and Tigercub – shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Brighton is, without a doubt, the city that doesn’t stop giving; let’s just hope that Gang follow suit.