On a cold and dreary Monday evening at the beginning of October, it’s not always easy to rouse the residents of Brighton from their sofas to venture out into the sea mist and temperamental weather conditions. Nevertheless, rising indie star Oscar managed to rally the troops (and even a member of the Magic Gang) for a fun evening of pop tunes and unexpected pleasures at Patterns, one of the city’s most popular venues.
First to take to the stage were Brighton based and self-proclaimed “organic electronic” band, Sea Bed. Producing a sound not dissimilar to that of Jack Garrett and French neofolk musician, Woodkid, the powerful vocals of lead singer Lizzie Massey paired compellingly with the drums and synth of each track to create a fresh, innovative sound. Performing a series of songs including ‘Caves’, ‘The Art of Living’ and brand new ‘The Pretender’, the band, dressed all in black, worked in perfect synchronization as they regularly switched instruments, demonstrating to the audience the full extent of their musical abilities.
Exploding onto the stage in a mass of pinkness was second support act, bubblegum pop-come-brit rap representative, Girli. Rocking a crazy pink latex jacket and combat trousers reminiscent of my own barbie-loving pre-teen days, Girli and DJ Kitty danced their way through feisty feminist tunes such as ‘Girls Get Angry Too’ and ‘Find My Friends’ in a performance that acted as a glorious reminder of choreographed dance routines and 90’s girl bands. Mixing tracks from behind a dj booth disguised as a giant Girli branded sanitary towel packet, the pair admirably performed through a series of hiccups and technical difficulties, overall appearing to receive a generally positive, if not slightly shocked, reception from the audience.
Finally, it was the turn of the man himself to take to the stage. Sporting a Keith Haring sweatshirt and blue, doughnut covered trousers, the former art school student’s subtle entrance and vocals contrasted his outfit as he launched into dreamy pop tune ‘Beautiful Words’, sending the audience swaying instantaneously. Following equally mellow tune and former B-Side ‘Caramel Brown’, a series of synth chords indicated the start of ‘Good Things’, Oscar’s most recent music video and single release. The singer songwriter appeared increasingly contented throughout the song, and it was clear to the crowd how overwhelming it was for the artist to comprehend the quantity of people who had bought tickets and come along to see him perform his first headline show in Brighton.
The rockier sounds of ‘Breaking My Phone’ welcomed Girli back on stage for a guest vocal appearance, the two genres interacting interestingly as her sassy bars were interwoven seamlessly into the bridge of the song. “Is everybody ready? I want to see more action in the dark” Oscar shouted as a drum beat indicated the start of laid-back summer tune, ‘Be Good’. Pushing apart the barriers, he danced among the crowd as he sang “I want you to be good to me // If you could we could be so sweet”, the audience loving every minute as they sang the lyrics back to him with equal energy and enthusiasm. The set continued with ‘Feel It Too’, ‘Fifteen’ and ‘Daffodil Days’, tracks taken from Oscar’s debut album, Cut and Paste, released in May of this year. The chilled out tunes and general relaxed atmosphere reflected the laid-back, hazy guitar pop that is so symbolic of the artist, and conveyed the fact that there is nothing pretentious about Oscar or his music.
Falling into a dancing frenzy, the crowd went wild as the iconic synth indicated the start of Oscar’s most well known single, ‘Sometimes’, at the same time indicating the end of his set. It is clear from the passion and enjoyment both Oscar and his fans derive from his music that we can only expect bigger and better things to come from this happy-go-lucky musician.
Words by Kate Eldridge