The Verse’s Autumn Micketti attended Holy Magick’s gig at the Prince Albert pub in Brighton.
The Prince Albert has always been a haven for Uni students and up-and-coming artists alike, and last week’s show was no exception. Although the place was not packed, it had a warm and friendly atmosphere. Most of the audience seemed to know each other as well as members of the two groups who were performing. There were many smiles and hugs as people spilt in through the main door and the lights dimmed for the first performance.
The openers, a band called Hill, were composed of four young men. Three out of the four looked as though they had just stepped off a time machine that had come from the ’60s. Long hair, bell bottoms, flowing shirts, vests, and psychedelic face paint made these lads stand out; giving the audience a clear indication about what we were getting ourselves into. Throughout Hill’s performance, a trippy projection of moving symmetrical shapes and colours played above them. It was easy to get hypnotized by the swirling hues. As Hill began playing their first song two dancers appeared in front of the stage, also adorned in flowing 60’s style dresses with scarves and feathers laced through their hair. These two women danced ecstatically around the small space for about half the set until they slowly found themselves sitting on the floor.
For all the effort Hill went to with their look, the projection, and the dancers I wish I had enjoyed their music more. I fear that I may not be the right person to be reviewing them, as spacey jam band music has not really ever been a huge interest of mine. Listening to Hill, I felt as if someone had written these songs while under the influence of some mind opening substance but failed to re-listen to their creations once they had sobered up.
Each song was nearly 20 minutes long and mashed together several different rhythms that sounded as though they each belonged to different songs. Because of the length of their songs Hill only played about five pieces before the sound engineer came on the speakers and said their time was up. Although their music was not my thing, I do wish them all the best. They were clearly talented musicians and I think if they find their niche, they could do create some great work.
Holy Magick took the stage about a half hour after Hill departed. The psychedelic projections continued while they broke into their first song. The first thing I noticed was that Holy Magick is too big for Prince Albert, in literal and figurative terms. The band members were squished together on the tiny stage and I was continually worried that the lead singer was going to run into the bassist. Figuratively speaking, the band’s sound felt like it needed to be spreading over a large field of happy festival goers who were enjoying the summer sun not over a small dark room only half filled.
The group put on a really good show and it’s easy to see that they have some potential bubbling under the surface. Although they had their projections, there was no need for fancy costumes or dancing women. For Holy Magick it’s more about the music and people experiencing it how they want. I feel as if Holy Magick is on the brink of something and I’m excited to see where the future takes them.