Tit’s a night of firsts. The first time that five-piece Brighton Squid has performed live in 18 months, and the first time their audience has attended socially distant concerts – we politely sit in low-key rows of chairs, and there are laughs when we find out that you are ordering your drinks by text message. It is also the first time that someone has taken the stage in this old newly converted bank in the bohemian district of Falmouth.
Plus, this is the first time anyone has heard of the songs in development that form the backbone of Squid’s set (they aren’t here to promote their recent and well-received debut album) on this party. opening of their Field visit unorthodox places.
The local scene is tiny, eating into the band as they accidentally try to swap instruments between songs. The four standing musicians surround the delighted drummer Ollie Judge – “A concert! A concert! He said with a smile – and play fragments of pastoral melodies on the muted trumpet, cello wah-wah and melodica. Ollie absently sticks a tongue out of the corner of his mouth, bracing for the rush to come.
And it happens. The new songs are mostly jerky instrumentals made up of different fragments. The band’s tinny roar flickers like a krautrock kite caught in a flurry of progressive rock. Tangled nests of guitar notes abruptly transform into loose interludes, pitting a harmonized trumpet or dark feedback drones against white noise.
It ends, as it should, with their invigorating new single, Brochures, a paranoid hymn about the past year. Amid waves of post-rock howls that fly through the room, the band members bang cowbells, one of which is wearing a Covid mask, and Ollie screams his antisocial refrain: “That’s why! I am not going! Outside!”
Well, there is a first time for everything.