Live Review: Homeshake at Concorde 2, Brighton

Well, Homeshake was certainly an experience. I was lucky enough to see Homeshake (aka Peter Sagar) and his band over the weekend, and it far exceeded any expectations I had. My expectations weren’t by any means low, though I was curious how his wavy, synth-heavy tracks would translate to a live show. Incredibly well, it turns out.

It was his first UK date of the tour, and the whole show was clearly very well crafted, as he fittingly started the show with the first track of his new album Helium, ‘Early’. No introduction, just a wave of music. He didn’t speak until perhaps half way through the set, and even then he spoke through a voice alternator that made it incredibly deep and quite alien. I appreciate his dedication to the performance. Interestingly, just as a side point, unlike most singers he wasn’t centre stage, his bassist was. He then played ‘Just Like My’, one of the most dancey tunes, surprisingly. And of course, everyone was thrilled when it came on, as one of the more popular releases from the new album.

The set was probably around half from Helium and half from his other albums. We were presented with a very beat-heavy rendition of ‘Fresh Air’. If you thought you wouldn’t be able to dance to Homeshake’s songs, go and see him live. It’s like an alternate universe where the songs are the same but more powerful. He even included the slightly weirder interlude tracks such as ‘Heartburn’, so the show wasn’t just to play everyone’s favourite tunes but to give a rounded experience, much like the album itself. ‘Give It To Me’ really stood out, it was expertly executed with the guitar riff and heavy bass.

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Really, he just seemed like a normal guy who got up on stage and played us some music. Some funny stuff happened – he “fucked up the order” of ‘Another Thing’ and the song before it. Who would have known? Nobody, but it was a funny moment. He then delayed starting a track because his patch cable broke. It was clearly an emotional departure, and we were asked to say goodbye to his beloved patch cable of four years.

‘Khmlwugh’ brought back the beats, and faded midway into a synthy blur that built in intensity, before returning to the song we knew. It’s things like this that make live shows worth it. You want originality without the total distortion of the songs you came to see. He was very cool and incredibly relaxed, in his element. The whole thing was both mellow and intense, but the songs had a far stronger beat and bass live than on recordings. If I could listen to the live versions forever, I probably would. His vocals were faultless, even the incredibly high falsetto. In total, it was probably around an hour long – considering the amount of songs Homeshake has in his portfolio, I was surprised and there were a few people left without their favourite song played. Although, better to be left wanting more than to be ready to leave. I think?

He also broke the fourth wall of performing and recognised the fact that an encore is a load of bullshit, acknowledging that he would most definitely be coming back on stage after pretending to leave. His encore consisted of only one song, the final track on Helium, ‘Secret Track’. The gig satisfyingly came full circle as he left us with the words, “now fall asleep”.

Written by Jess Williamson

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