Brighton, as we all know, has long been a breeding ground for great new bands. The latest offering from the south coast via Brighton Electric Studios are young indie rock quartet The New Union who are gallantly upholding this grand tradition.
Together for 18 months, with influences ranging from Radiohead and Local Natives to Bombay Bicycle Club, their guitar driven alt pop with four-part harmonies and enough synth to lighten the mood will lift you up and keep you there.
Tonight’s gig, part of the City Showcase festival, means it’s early doors at The 100 Club and those who made the effort to get to the venue on time were definitely rewarded. Ethereal opening song ‘Home’ quickly grabs the crowd’s attention as they begin to filter in.
The indie rock tone is set on ‘All I Want’ as the guitars are ramped up but it’s ‘Rushing Thoughts’ that takes us to the next level with vocalist/guitarist Richard Jackson’s heart on his sleeve as he sings “While I sleep, I hear you cry. It's my twisted lullaby...” in a wonderfully executed loud quiet loud style.
Melodic guitars and marching drum beats build to a crescendo on ‘Let’s Talk’ while they bring it back down a notch and display classical alt pop balladry on ‘Staying Friends’.
The New Union’s first single ‘Without You’ closes the set and leaves us wanting more. This, a song about the end of relationship, has the unanticipated result of making you feel...well, great actually! Breaking up hasn’t felt this good in a long time. In a parallel universe this track would have been on The Killers’ first album such is the uplifting effect. It makes you want to fall in love then break up in the hope the outcome develops into a great song like this.
They've loved. They've lost. Their coming of age stories are laid bare for all to see then formulated onto a great soundtrack, yet pleasantly minus the pretension. The New Union are a mini-triumph of guitars and balladry swirled together. They’ll make you want to come of age all over again.
Words by Alison Kerry
Photo by Braden Fletcher