Grave Lines / Pascagoula / Ensemble 1 @ The Hope & Ruin, Brighton, 3rd November 2022

To anyone who loves to mosh in Brighton, having this show at The Hope & Ruin was, to say the least, a bold choice, as they tend to do more indie gigs than metal ones, however when it does happen, it’s full of surprises. It was also very exciting to have Grave Lines back in town since the launch of their latest effort, Communion, released last summer.

Grave Lines / Pascagoula / Ensemble 1 @ The Hope & Ruin, Brighton, 3rd November 2022

The set started at 8pm sharp with local two-piece Ensemble 1 with a lovely psychedelic noisy sound, some powerful drums and catchy riffs. Their power definitely resides on the loops they use as a backbone to their unique and entertaining sonics. Some guitar tapping here, some big tambourine there, it’s a jolly good mix for anyone who likes experimental noise music with a spoonful of math-rock.

a lovely psychedelic noisy sound, some powerful drums and catchy riffs…

Having followed these guys for quite some time, it was a pleasure seeing them play again. Their second song – whose name slips my mind – was super groovy, showing the duet’s versatility. They got skills! The last song of the night could have its place in ArcTanGent because it was so entertaining. Short but sweet, the 4-song set was the perfect warm-up for what’s coming next.

Ensemble 1 @ The Hope & Ruin, Brighton, 3rd Nov 2022 - Photo by Nessie Spencer
Ensemble 1 – Photo by Nessie Spencer

Twenty minutes later, the second band of the night, Pascagoula, came through with Valve Kilmer, a hardcore-ish belter of a song. Ross Sargean (vocals) screamed to the mic, to our faces, to the pole in the middle of the stage, on the floor, as if his life depended on it. Neophytes seemed to be taken aback by the theatrics (especially For Self Defence and Kiss The Ground) but for those who knew them well, it was everything you would expect from a Pascagoula show, and we were happy with it.

Ross Sargean (vocals) screamed to the mic, to our faces, to the pole in the middle of the stage, on the floor, as if his life depended on it…

The only surprising thing is the lack of moshing. Wriggling on the floor, half-joking with the audience. Their drummer Mikey was just stunning, I just fucking love the way they make every beat raucous, adding more violence to violence (End Signal, Insecurity). They started a brand-new song, untitled as yet, which was a pretty cool one to witness. It reminded me, in moments, of early-Unsane stuff, which is right up my alley. The slow drumming, the flawless bass and the raw riffs of Dave H-S, it ticked all the right boxes for me. But as soon as their set ended, I realised that not everybody was agreeing with me. It was too this, too that, too much, too shambolic. Oh, well… To each their own, I suppose.

Pascagoula @ The Hope & Ruin, Brighton, 3rd Nov 2022 - Photo by Nessie Spencer
Pascagoula – Photo by Nessie Spencer

Jake Harding (vocals) and his troubadour lads from Grave Lines started the show with the gruesome intro to Tachinid, despite obvious mic problems – which started around the end of Pascagoula‘s set – was fixed mid-song and the festivities could restart. The audience was definitely on the quieter side, no real movement from the crowd, apart from the fellow musicians and the few photographers on site. ‘Grave Lines rocks!’ said one guy in the pit.

It was a real treat to have most of tonight’s set list dedicated to their latest effort, Communion…

Axeman and former Brightonian Oliver ‘Irongiant’ Hill invited folks to come closer, hopefully, so we can see some action here. It was a real treat to have most of tonight’s set list dedicated to their latest effort, Communion, released by New Heavy Sounds back in July. Harding‘s crooning voice works so well on the slower songs like Argyraphaga. Another one that impressed me tonight was bassist Staggerin’ Matt who would switch his Kerry King-like bass for an acoustic guitar.

Grave Lines @ The Hope & Ruin, Brighton, 3rd Nov 2022 - Photo by Nessie Spencer
Grave Lines – Photo by Nessie Spencer

The combo with Harding is comforting and inviting, even if the lyrics aren’t the funkiest, to say the least. Broodsac is the one that really got people starting to move. The song sounds heavier live than on the album and Sam Chase’s drums were just ooomph.

The last hurrah is Gordian followed by big cheers after a very good heavy, sludgy evening. But, please, Brighton, for the love of Lemmy and everything you hold dear, I don’t care if this is a midweek gig, just do something next time you have bands like these coming near you.

Ensemble 1

Ensemble 1 @ The Hope & Ruin, Brighton, 3rd Nov 2022 - Photo by Nessie Spencer
Ensemble 1 @ The Hope & Ruin, Brighton, 3rd Nov 2022 - Photo by Nessie Spencer
Ensemble 1 @ The Hope & Ruin, Brighton, 3rd Nov 2022 - Photo by Nessie Spencer
Ensemble 1 @ The Hope & Ruin, Brighton, 3rd Nov 2022 - Photo by Nessie Spencer

Pascagoula

Pascagoula @ The Hope & Ruin, Brighton, 3rd Nov 2022 - Photo by Nessie Spencer
Pascagoula @ The Hope & Ruin, Brighton, 3rd Nov 2022 - Photo by Nessie Spencer
Pascagoula @ The Hope & Ruin, Brighton, 3rd Nov 2022 - Photo by Nessie Spencer
Pascagoula @ The Hope & Ruin, Brighton, 3rd Nov 2022 - Photo by Nessie Spencer
Pascagoula @ The Hope & Ruin, Brighton, 3rd Nov 2022 - Photo by Nessie Spencer

Grave Lines

Grave Lines @ The Hope & Ruin, Brighton, 3rd Nov 2022 - Photo by Nessie Spencer
Grave Lines @ The Hope & Ruin, Brighton, 3rd Nov 2022 - Photo by Nessie Spencer
Grave Lines @ The Hope & Ruin, Brighton, 3rd Nov 2022 - Photo by Nessie Spencer
Grave Lines @ The Hope & Ruin, Brighton, 3rd Nov 2022 - Photo by Nessie Spencer
Grave Lines @ The Hope & Ruin, Brighton, 3rd Nov 2022 - Photo by Nessie Spencer
Grave Lines @ The Hope & Ruin, Brighton, 3rd Nov 2022 - Photo by Nessie Spencer
Grave Lines @ The Hope & Ruin, Brighton, 3rd Nov 2022 - Photo by Nessie Spencer

Words & Photos by: Nessie Spencer