By Henry Groves
I had been lucky enough to see Opus Kink a few times in the past, but none of them lived up to the size of this show. From supporting Chappaqua Wrestling at Brighton’s Rialto Theatre to supporting Black Honey at Green Door Store in the same city. Now they were headlining Concorde 2, one of Brighton’s best music venues, and a staple for most up and coming bands. Opus Kink have been performing for a few years now, but it seemed like they were finally getting the recognition they deserved.
The gig was a true Brighton showcase, with The New Eves and KEG joining them for ‘a seasonal commiseration’ They even had members of Brighton based Flip Top Head in the crowd.
At 9:45, as the music dimmed, Opus Kink took to the stage, with the trumpet player on the shoulders of the sax player, they came out to a jubilant reception from the crowd. I could already tell that the crowd were up for this, and they did not disappoint. Opus Kink got straight to it, and the excited crowd were quick to join, dancing to ‘I Love You, Baby’.
Years ago I described Opus Kink as sounding “unlike anything I’ve ever heard” and although saxophones and trumpets are becoming more popular in bands, they do definitely have a distinctive sound. Their upbeat jazzy rock, made up of thumping bass lines and sax and trumpet solos makes for an incredible sound. The only difference between their sound now compared to when I first saw them, is they now seem much more polished and everything seems to fit more perfectly into their sound, although they have always sounded great.
Highlights of the set for me were ‘Wild Bill’ and ‘This Train’ which all had the audience dancing, clearly these are their most popular songs. The set featured songs from their 2 EPs, 2022’s ‘Til The Stream Runs Dry’ and 2023’s ‘My Eyes, Brother!’ as well as other singles and unreleased songs. They were at high energy for almost all the set, with frontman Angus Rogers roaming around the stage between vocals, commanding every inch of it. The rest of the band also matched his energy, with even the synth player crowd surfing whilst playing the cowbell during one of their songs. Their energy was infectious and the crowd were also making sure that they kept up.
For the final song, they were joined by The New Eves and KEG on stage to give a tribute to Shane Macgowan by playing ‘Rainy Night in Soho‘. I am always sceptical of bands playing covers, especially last, but it seemed a very fitting way to end the evening, with all 3 bands commemorating a musical legend.
I had high expectations for this gig, but Opus Kink managed to smash them out of the water. This was one of the best gigs of the year and made me even more excited to see them 2 days later supporting Spector.