Arbouretum
Prince Albert , Brighton
11 November 2012

A good crowd turned out at the Prince Albert to see this gig tonight. A small venue above a pub next to Brighton station , it seems that you always get a good night here .

Salter Cane opened proceedings. A Brighton based alt-country act they did a good job of warming up the punters with some good tunes .

Vocalist / guitarist Chris Askew has a great voice and reminds one of Ian Curtis (in looks only , no crazy dancing). The bands’ sound is perfectly complemented by Jeremy Keith’s Bouzouki and they went down really well with the crowd. A good start.

Baltimore outfit Arbouretum are one of those unsung American guitar bands. Leader Dave Heumann is probably better known for his work with Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy , which is sad because this band have some great songs in their repertoire.

It is rare that bands like this tour Britain until they become famous, but with new album Coming Out Of The Fog about to be released at the start of next year, maybe the timing is right . They draw from a grunge/psychedelic influence and reminded me of Crazy Horse with their sound.

Opener The White Bird is a storming tune and for the next hour the band entertained us with a brilliant set. Between song banter is kept to a minimum, the band linking songs with effects and white noise.

The stand out for me is the guitar playing of Dave Heumann. In another life he could be up there with the greats. He never missed a note and displayed a great sense of guitar histrionics. A top player who, hopefully, will be discovered by more people soon.

It seems everybody left well satisfied at the end of the gig. Let’s hope that this is turned into record sales and Arbouretum can take their place with the likes of Soundgarden and Pearl Jam. Top gig.

All words and image by Simon Kvalheim.

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