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Captain at Pressure Point, Brighton, 15 August 2006

You should have been there. I know, that's the kind of cliche that writers are always willing to wheel out. But really, you should.

Captain have an overwhelming, anthemic grandeur - they're a band designed and built to fill stadiums. And nothing about their career so far (EMI signed, a Trevor Horn produced debut album, a string of sold-out gigs and festival appearances) suggests that they'll fall short. So to catch them tonight, in a cramped room above a pub, is a great moment. As I said, you should have been there.

If you were, you'd have heard a short, sharp set of almost perfect pop tunes. Captain are led by the best harmony vocals since Prefab Sprout, courtesy of Rick and Clare. Underpinned by Clare's keyboards (which were a little lost in the mix tonight), the sound is driven by a machine-tight, precision rhythm section.

And guitarist Marco adds the finishing touches with a certain 'could be in Blondie' uber-cool swagger. On the album 'This Is Hazelville' his guitar parts are way down in the mix: live, he crashes in hard, dirty and loud. When he really goes for it, he takes the band into a noisy storm that is reminiscent of My Bloody Valentine on the notorious Rollercoaster tour. It's just perfect guitar noise.

Surprisingly, Brighton hasn't quite caught on to the buzz around Captain yet - or alternatively, the whole town is just too damn cool to care about a band who are receiving rave reviews everywhere else. While the venue is reasonably full, and the crowd has plenty of fans who can sing along to the choruses (yes, incredibly catchy sing-along choruses ... built for stadiums, as I said) there's not enough applause to warrant an encore.

Which just left this reviewer really wanting more. And wanting to write about what a great, rock 'n' roll moment ... what an event ... Captain at the Pressure Point was. Think an early Sex Pistols gig, Blur at the Dublin Castle, Talking Heads at CBGBs. Classic, zeitgeisty gigs. Catching a band just as their star is rising. You should have been there.

Words: Dan Thompson
Photo: Justin Evans
More Captain photos at Pressure Point, Brighton, 15 August 2006

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