Priests at the Hope and Ruin

Priests were a new discovery from SXSW 2019. I saw them play the 100 Club earlier in the year. As I was down in Brighton for a gig on Sunday, I decided to stay over and catch them at the Hope and Ruin.

Tonight started well. The support Something Leather, had a great organ sound, that added an element of sinister grandiosity to their psych blues sound.

As expected, it was worth staying another day in Brighton to catch Priests. The thing that impressed me most about them at SXSW was their guitarist G.L. Jaguar. They have the sound that I like. They have a singer in Katie Alice Greer, who has a great stage presence. Solid drumming from Daniele Daniele who take some vocal duties. But they also a guitarist who ‘performs’. At SXSW he was flailing and pirouetting in the midday sun which helped their raise their performance above the masses. Tonight, he was more subdued, but still put on more of a show than most guitarists. Bands can learn from watching Priests. Yes, you music is an important part of why we are there. But it does no harm adding a performance element to the show. You don’t need to stand still while performing.

One of the other things that impressed me at SXSW is that they seem to be a genuine set of people. It’s hard without speaking to them to know if that’s the case, but they are a band that is visibly watching their support acts. That shows some common decency forgotten by many bands when they headline. At SXSW they had their own evening, showcasing bands on their label, Sister Polygon Records and every time I bounced through their venue, there was always at least one member of the band watching. Little things make all the difference in this business

They played for an hour showcasing many of the songs of their latest album to a relatively quiet Hope and Ruin. While most of the songs are very much in post-punk mould, some heavily 80s influenced and at times they veered off into almost an disco sound. I guess this might have explained Katie’s catsuit! Those that were here enjoyed a great performance. This was definitely amongst my favourite gigs so far this year.