Who are Admiral Fallow?
Frontman Louis Abbot described themselves recently as “”We’ve always considered ourselves as an indie band with orchestral leanings because we use flute and clarinet, and so on. I suppose now we’re orchestral indie – the pop side of it isn’t really there so much.” They were originally named Brother Louis Collective.
Louis Abbott – Guitars, Vocals
Sarah Hayes – Keyboards, flute, percussion and vocals
Kevin Brolly – Clarinet, keyboards, vocals, percussion
Philip Hague – Drums, percussion, vocals
Joe Rattray – Bass, vocals
The crowd had been entertained by a knock out warm up band Man and the Echo.
Admiral Fallow took to the stage early to set up. Keyboards moved into place and connected up with yards and yards of audio cable! The Prince Albert has a small stage – this was going to be tight. Each artist had a collection of footboxes on the floor and everyone connected with ear pieces. The poor lighting in the Albert caused some problems – everything was bathed in red light. A torch and headband light appeared to help with those final connections and the band were ready to go, bang on time.
“Happened In The Fall”, from the new album Tiny Rewards got the evening off to a great start and set the tone of what to expect for the next 90 minutes. The Albert was pretty busy, many people arriving on a damp, wet night in Brighton – and this opening track went down really well. I am new to Admiral Fallow, many in the crowd were not and sang along. I had watched a few videos on You Tube and caught up on some of their single releases. The band started with the drums and the staccato effect Louis opened with his sublime vocals “do you remember” and the band joined in and with the additional vocal talent from Sarah. A stunning guitar solo from Louis. A beautiful song. Track over to much applause.
There was much guitar tuning throughout the evening – it was so hot and humid in the room, so not surprising really. “Carousel” was next, a slightly faster track than the opener. Louis hitting his foot pedals changing guitar sounds, and vocal FX. Louis and Sarah – again providing the rich, sticky vocals to this track. I have to mention the gorgeous bass playing from Joe, who also played keyboards. Phillip keeping the drums subdued to fit in beautifully with the sounds. Not easy as the stage and the room was small so could have easily overpowered everything else we were listening to.
Next up the single “Holding The Strings“. Stunning live! Again a faster tempo track, the band coming together to produce a fabulous sound and song. Their material possesses a hypnotic element, but then it catches you out with a surprise change of pace.
“Guest of the Government” – another single release. I had heard this track. I put my camera down and enjoyed the song and performance with everyone else. Sharp/humorous lyrics backed with a great tune and again Sarah and the others providing a soaring background vocal to the song.
Some more tuning and Louis told us about the previous night when he had forgotten the words! He said thankfully the audience took over and helped out and had maybe googled the lyrics! “Dead Against Smoking” was next, acoustic guitar and bass lead us into the brilliant “Subbuteo”. The lyrics to this track are stunning. The band together again washing us with sound from keyboards, flute, clarinet and those harmonies. Beautiful.
“Building as Foreign” was next and this was followed up with the sublime “Evangeline”. The audience knew the older material and the newer material. The audience made up from an assortment of ages – young and old, and enjoying the performance as it unfolded in front of us. “Evangeline” was a popular track and it finished suddenly and the haunting guitar work from Louis introduced “Broughty Ferry”. Broughty Ferry is a pleasant spot near Dundee with a good selection of pubs and restaurants!
“Tree Bursts”, “The Paper Trench”, “Brother” followed and then “Squealing Pigs“. Louis and his superb guitar picking and the bass coming in, then drums and vocals joining up to create a crowd pleaser and the searing clarinet from Kevin. The band seemed to be really enjoying the set and going for it and pulling the audience with them. “Easy as Breathing” was the next track.
An “encore” was arranged – the band stayed where they were as the stage was so small and the only way off was through the crowd. “Liquor and Milk” was the first song.
Then – the last song of the night “Old Balloons” a delightful slow burn intro to the song built into a crescendo of music and textures. This was one of my favourite tracks of the night. The song tempo changes it slows you down and draws you in and then the tempo picks up with all of the instruments into a faster section. A breath taking song. A great final track to finish off the night.
A great night. Would I go to see Admiral Fallow again? Oh yes, definately, without hesitation – but would leave the camera behind and just enjoy the sounds and performance.
The Venue: The Prince Albert, Brighton
An intimate venue so you can get up as close as you want. The sound was good considering the size of the venue. The lighting was not great, a basic red wash over the stage for the entire set, Joe and Sarah did benefit from the one operational stage light. Parts of the stage at times were very dark and difficult to see. Could do with a little more overall stage brightness or attention prior to a gig. But they do a great pint!
A selection of sized T’s, CD’s and Vinyl on sale. The band had told us that the vinyl release for Tiny Rewards was available and had extra tracks on it. Good prices and good quality items.
Promoter: One inch badge
All words and images – copyright Ian Bourn/Mediaworks