GIG Review: Islet, Bernholz & Hypnotized

17th October at the Hope.

Thursday night at the Hope (put on by Love Thy Neighbour & Be Nothing) was an exhilarating night; messy and masterful.

The first support on was Hypnotized a 3-piece electronica/experimental group who I always enjoy seeing live. Despite the vocals being too low in the mix (a problem I’ve noticed the Hope perpetuate for a while now), Hypnotized never fail to put on a really engaging show. Maybe it’s the juxtaposition of heads down, messing with samplers and synths, with the fascinatingly groovy and danceable tunes that come out of that process which make the whole experience so engaging.

The second support was an act called Bernholz, fronted by Jez Bernholz. Despite some technical issues and a few start-stops of tunes, this did not overshadow the really interesting arrangements that were going on. In fact, it kind of highlighted the intricacies of mixing in programmed instruments with live instruments, a fun but hard combination I know of well.

Finally, headlining the night was Islets, a 4 piece from Cardiff who really hit the ground running. Despite even more technical difficulties (mainly microphones cutting off all over the place), the set was one of the most energetic performances I’ve seen in Brighton in a long time.  Crazy antics involved the bassist drumming the venue’s mirror ball, hanging upside down shirtless on poles whilst shaking percussion. It was overwhelming and messy. Musically, I have no idea what I was listening to. Islets had a way of even distracting you from what they were playing. I suppose this could definitely work in their favour, as now I have to go and look them up!


[Helen Brown]


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