Our Girl live in-store at Brighton record store to support debut album.
“And they wait for the guitar tuning …” Lauren Wilson joked from behind her drums as Our Girl took to the stage, well in front of the counter, at Brighton’s Resident Music. The shop was then filled with an explosion of guitars, drums and bass, as Our Girl launched into their half-hour set, culled from their exquisite and flawless debut album ‘Stranger Today’.
In-store gigs are funny ones. On one hand, they are excellent as you get to hear the band
’s set in its rawest form. Due to the short set, all the chaff has been cut from it and you’re left with pure muscle, pure power and pure hits. The crowd is usually made up of after work drinkers, random passers-by and diehard fans who want to meet their heroes up close and personal. The downside is, the shop is usually extremely busy which makes browsing almost impossible, and is made up of after work drinkers, random passer-by’s and diehard fans who want to meet their heroes up close and personal.
The set begins, as does the album, with the self-titled track ‘Our Girl’. The same wave of euphoria hits you, as the guitar builds and bends until it consumes you, one note at a time. The crowd approves and applauds as the band nod coyly, and 'Being Around' begins. This is a beast through your speakers and live, it’s a total monster. Huge riffs jostle for your attention while introspective lyrics give you something to grab on it. As with the record, 'Being Around' contains the riff of the set, and when it hits you feel it, steady yourself and brace yourself for the next one.
Our Girl live is all about Soph Nathan’s virtuosic guitar playing. But the power of the group comes from the rhythm section. Lauren Wilson on drums and Josh Tyler on bass are tight and succinct, giving Nathan the room she needs to go off on delicate little runs, massive chugging chords and searing solos. Without them, the band would be poorer and tonight they show their ability to follow Nathan’s daring solos, but also lead her back to the crux of the song when needed.
"This one's called Level." Nathan says to everyone and no one, "It’s about the Level" then points behind her and adds "You know, over there" before launching into a stream of consciousness tale about Brighton living. The band close with ‘Boring’. Don’t let the title put you off, this is anything but boring. As with the recorded version, it really gets going about halfway through when a deep groove appears and Nathan puts her foot down and lets rip. As the hypnotic riffs grow and swell, so do the rhythms, until an all-consuming mass of feedback, reverb and intertwining loops slow down and fade out.
The band stops. The crowd applauds, and Our Girl collectively blushes and vanish behind the counter for a short break before the signing/meet-and-greet commences.
As the crowd pile out of Resident Music
, some buckling under a stack of records, realising they've witnessed something special. Seeing Our Girl live shows that they're on the cusp of something great. They’ve released one of the strongest guitar based debut albums in recent years, blown away crowd after crowd, and are getting ready to make the jump from the toilet circuit into bigger venues. This may very well be one of the last times they play to a crowd of less than a hundred. While we wish them the best and are glad they’re making the jump, there is a slightly melancholic mood in the air. Like when a friend goes off to uni or moves for a new job. You are sad you won’t see them around as much, but are happy for what it means for them.
“Thanks for the kind words, Wish I could thank you enough” Nathan crooned during tonight’s set, but I think it’s us who should be doing the thanking.
More about Our Girl
Check out what Our Girl listen to on the road in Tour Bus Tracks
Catch Our Girl live at The Garage, London on October 25
Photo credit: Mike Burnell