Review: Together Pangea @ The Hope & Ruin, 4/2/16

The garage rock scene that was born out of LA California hasn’t really settled in Britain yet. Whilst the music has certainly been imported, a UK tour for many of the bands is a rarity over this side of the pond, with the only exceptions being bigger bands in the scene such as FIDLAR or The Black Lips. So when Together Pangea, one of the key bands in the Garage Punk movement, popped over to the other side of the Atlantic, no-one knew what to expect. And at the start of their set in Brighton’s Hope & Ruin, in a traditionally English fashion, the attendees aren’t really sure how to react. ‘Do we jump around? No-one else is jumping around so it’s probably best not to…’ This level of awkwardness is maintained for the first two songs in the set as everyone awkwardly shuffles and head bops to the fast paced surf punk of Looked in Too from their new EP titled ‘The Phage’ and Does He Really Care.

However when the first few chords of hit song Sick Shit kick in, the atmosphere immediately changes. A cheer roars up from the crowd as they join in chanting the all too familiar self-deprecating lyrics. As soon as the first chorus drops the awkwardness is shattered and the whole room is bouncing into a wild frenzy. It’s not long before there’s a pile of people sprawled over the floor unable to get up, half from not being able to see straight and half from the adhesive properties of whatever was spilt there last. To finish the song front man William Keegan leaps into the fray, tumbling into the pile of people with his guitar in tow. At this point in the show all the pints people have been holding have been dropped and spilt over the floor, turning the front of the venue into a macabre beery slip and slide.

Whilst a few people are preoccupied thrashing around in the spilt beer re-enacting the opening scenes from ‘Saving Private Ryan’, the band launch into Badillac and new song Praise. Meanwhile people have already started to climb the scaffolding to the building, possibly to avoid the alcohol fuelled ice rink that’s below. By the time Offer comes around the beer has begun to dry up and people flood back towards the front of the stage, spilling more drink and undoing all the work that evaporation did for them earlier. ‘I’m haunted, unwanted’ everyone shouts, as the first crowd surfer of the night has his head bounced against the lighting rig. As he clings on for dear life the band clearly aren’t phased. ‘Alright we got like 15 [or] 16 more songs, hope you guys are down’ Keegan jokes, as the staple ‘one more song’ chant begins to take hold, albeit halfway through the set.

When the set does wind to an end it does so in fashion, with a power trio of songs from the band’s back catalogue. Too Drunk to Cum ripped from the bands album ‘Living Dummy’ kicks things off before launching deftly into River, the coma inducing anthem from their album ‘Badillac’. People are moshing, crowd surfing, clinging to the ceiling in what can only be described as pure unadulterated bedlam. The band finish the night with fan favourite Snakedog taken from their independently released single. ‘As far as I care you can all die’ Keegan sings, as the crowd screams the words right back at him. It’s a fiendish display of rebellion without a cause, but no-one really means it. As the band leave the stage bathed in feedback, it’s clear that they’ve left an impression. Whilst this is only the band’s first time playing Brighton, hopefully it won’t be the last.

By Matt Austin

The Verse Staff

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