Review - Off The Record Independent Music Festival 2018

We walked into the Brunswick in Hove just after 4.15pm as Chris Roche was finishing his impromptu performance, filling in for a last-minute cancellation. Electric guitar in hand belting out a tune that made the audience whistle. Awesome Chris.


We’d already missed the early acts who were Lee Ainsley’s Blues Storm and Fighter of The Nightmen. Both awesome bands that had woken the audience up, and got them ready for the night of rock. The confident swagger of the vocalist from Fighter of the Nightmen had the crowd talking and the Brunswick was buzzing.


Next was Greenness with the panache of a 60s French film, with modern synths and guitars. Dark green folk psych rock, with spine chilling attitude, mesmerised the crowd. Joined by a vocalist, bassist and drummer the two headed Greenness hypnotised the crowd into submission, using the power of sound.

Heading back into the pub for a pint the Brunswick was starting to fill up with bands, fans and rock lovers. Pint in hand amongst the ecliptic crowd, friends to the right and friends to the left, a true Brightoneon Saturday afternoon. Bands mixing with fans and musos mingling with everyone. The Brunswick is an awesome venue.


Back into the gig room for Shotgun 21. Thrashing new wave rock guitars with a post punk kick, that made the walls vibrate. We were getting closer to the mosh pit. The guys whizzed their way through the set, leaving us with bleeding ears and smashed brain cells. Now that is what you call rock.

A quick set change made room for 40 Shillings on A Drum. I’ve seen these guys play acoustic which is awesome, but I’ve never seen them plugged in. What a treat. Pirate punk rock with piano keys, beautiful picking guitar all held together with vocals filled with stories of the wanted, unwanted and insane. The guys played new tracks and old favourites alike, the crowd was dancing and the mosh pit was swashbuckling. Loved it.

Time for another pint, the bar was heaving, and a good time was being had by all. More amps, guitars and equipment were arriving by the car load. Caaw started their set and we ram raided our way back in. Caaw are the raven of the group. Holding the crowd’s attention with a double bass and jazz sound. Caaw expertly melted delta blues, dark folk and rock blues together with their own unique twist. We all wanted the lead singers’ hat. Where did they get that saw from?

White Dog hit the stage without a lead. With an 80s indie rock pop sound this traditional 4 piece gave us indie with unique stamped all over it. Guitar solos and keys mixed together to create a set full of infectious melodies and eclectic indie vibes.

IAMWARFACE arrived at the Brunswick with their usual vibe of enthusiasm and mingled with the bar before their set. Smiles and hugs around, the crowd grew, and we went to find our spot in the gig room.


IAMWARFACE, standing room only. Pinned in we waited patiently for IAMWARFACE to turn on electric, and they did. Rock electronica awesomeness, unashamedly selling their music on a street corner, these guys pull a punch and then rub it better. The crowd danced and yelled in appreciation. Matt Warneford left the stage to smooze with the crowd and the visual experience of flying dreadlocks and sparking drums was electric. IAMWARFACE did the usual showtime of electronica rock that they have perfected, the crowd loved it, so did I.

Another drink and time for 1 in Five. Mike on guitars. Mike is Off the Record, the guy that relentlessly put this night together for all us rock indie and electro lovers to enjoy. At this point I would like to say a big thank you for a fabulous day out at the Brunswick, same again next year Mike. Jay on vocals, Chris on guitars and keys, James on Bass and Martin on drums these are the 5. Playing hard rock blues these guys know how to twist the music around the dark and powerful vocals. Lyrics full of thunder stories and guitars that are unleashed to rock. A powerful guitar solo by the crowd surfing Mike unleashed the mosh pit mayhem with style. 1 in Five gave us a true gutsy rock blues penultimate set.

And so, for another hat! Tenderhooks, the headline act. Alternative rock blues with melody and a catchy singalong appeal, these guys gave us a wholesome slice of rock blues cake, with a hat on top. A great way to end a fabulous evening with old friends and new friends alike.

What happened in Off the Record stays in Off the Record! Until next year that is!

 Photos © Andy Voakes Music Photography


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