Live Review: Sunflower Bean / Lime Garden / Prima Queen – Komedia, Brighton 11.04.2022

Michael Hundertmark

Sunflower Bean play out their ferocious live energy punk style inspired set at the Komedia for their final UK tour date. Lead singer Julia Cummings brings her psych guitar riffs to Brighton just in time for the imminent release of the third album ‘Headful of Sugar’ due to be imminently released in May. Bring on tour with them were sublime Brighton based Indie Band ‘Lime Garden’ and a stripped back, more mellow folky set from ‘Prima Queen’

Relatively new to the music scene, ‘Prima Queen’ treat early arrival’s to the Komedia to some stunning vocals and ‘First Aid Kit’ I inspired melodies.  Fronted by Louise Macphail and Kirstin Macfadden. They did turn heads at last year’s Green Man Festival set where they graced the stage as a 7 piece band, but tonight was a folky country crossover laid back melodic set with the Single; Chew My Cheeks’ being the highlight. Impressively at one point, only a violin was companied to a spoken word song, in contrast quite to Sunflower Bean quite different.

Next up on stage were Brighton’s very own ‘Lime Garden’ sounding more layered and up-tempo, with ‘Fever’ is more reminiscent of stealing sheep’s synth-rock style. A fresh poppy approach. Before Lockdown the band had sell-out shows at the Prince Albert months in advance. Lime Garden originally formed in Guildford and moved to Brighton by chance, with their latest single ‘Sick N Tired’ being on tonight’s setlist!

With confidence and style, Sunflower Bea’s Julia Cumming soon blows the cobwebs of the now densely populated basement at the Komedia with their swirling 1970’s inspired psych sounds, starting straight off with two new tracks ‘Headful of Sugar’ and ‘In Flight’ to get the crowd going.

Sunflower Bean formed in 2013 in New York and consists of Julia Cumming on bass and vocal, Nick Kivlen on Guitar, backing vocals and Olive Faber on Drums. Previously the band had released two albums, ‘Human Ceremony; and ‘Twenty Two in Blue’

Effortlessly both Nick and Julia glide through the songs with sudden bursts of energy. Occasionally they meet in the middle of the stage as they seem to echo each other. Down the front, a handful of fans start to mosh. Tonight’s set was mainly about the new album with only a handful of older songs including the dreamier ‘Easier said’ being played and with the movie-like stylised ‘ I was a fool’ taken from the earlier ‘Twentytwo’ album.

Overall the performance was more polished than the more raw sounding earlier sets, even after such a long break from performing in front of an audience, with the nice trait of Julia Jumping off the stage into the audience for a final encore!

Sunflower Bean setlist:

‘Headful Of Sugar’
‘In Flight’
‘Roll The Dice’
‘Baby Don’t Cry’
‘Easier Said’
‘I Don’t Have Control Sometimes’
‘I Was A Fool’
‘Who Put You Up To This?’
‘Beat The Odds’
‘Wall Watcher’
‘Somebody Call A Doctor’ 

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