Live Review: Bug Club / Suep – Concorde 2, Brighton 26.10.2023

Henry Groves

By Henry Groves

In the middle of their 43 date “world tour”, seeing a band like The Bug Club at an intimate venue like Concorde 2 in Brighton was always going to be special. Right down on the seafront, Concorde 2 showcases some of the best up and coming bands across the country, and although The Bug Club have already released 3 albums, they are definitely starting to make a big name for themselves. Supported by Suep (pronounced soup), these were two bands I had been trying to catch live for a long time.

The first time I saw Suep was in 2019 at The Pipeline, and I have been looking forward to seeing them ever since. Usually a 5 piece, tonight Suep were 2 members down, led by Georgie Stott (also in Porridge Radio and Garden Centre) and Josh Harvey, the 3 piece did not let their lack of members ruin the show. By the time the band came on, the venue was already bustling. Their pop synths, bouncy drum beats and catchy baselines made for an incredible set with a personal highlight being ‘Domesticated Dream’. They also played unreleased songs and songs off their new (ish) EP ‘Shop’ which they released in January. With a little bit of help of some audience participation, the band got the crowd dancing, and I am sure that they gained many fans with many talking about the set when they finished. 

It was then time for the highly anticipated ‘The Bug Club’ and the crowd were certainly excited as they let out a roar as soon as the lights dimmed. I first saw ‘The Bug Club’ support Pavement in London almost exactly a year ago, and I have been listening to them almost on repeat since, so I was incredibly excited to see their own headline show.

Fronted by school friends, Tilly (on bass and vocals) and Sam (on lead guitar and vocals), you could see that they loved playing live as much as the crowd loved watching. Their live show just really showed their ability to write catchy indie rock/lo-fi tunes, with many of the crowd singing along throughout the show. Whenever the band got the opportunity, both Sam and Tilly (whose mics were on the left and right of the stage) came into the middle to perform together, usually accompanied by a guitar solo from Sam.

Between songs, they were much more awkward, with most of the talking being done by Tilly as Sam tuned his guitar, and I’m sure that she didn’t really know what she was going to say half the time, but this only added to the show, with the band getting many laughs between songs. The energy they brought to the stage was infectious, and the crowd were loving every second.

The highlights for me were ‘Its Art’ taken from their second album ‘Green Dream in F#’ and ‘Short and Round’ taken from their latest album ‘Rare Birds, Hour of Song’, with even members of the crowd shouting for the band to play the latter. As they walked off stage at the end of their set, a few people started to chant ‘one more song’ but before they could even finish the sentence, the band were already running back on stage. They didn’t even have an encore song planned, but nothing could have got them back on stage quicker.

They eventually decided on ‘Suck It’ to finish the show. To keep an audience interested constantly throughout a 21 song setlist is difficult for most bands, but The Bug Club did this with ease showing that their songwriting is as strong on every album, and each song had its own unique sound and feel. I was excited to see them at the start of the show, but all I want to do now is go and see them again, and it has been a while since a band has made me that excited to go and see them straight after a show. 

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