Bel Esprit are one of those bands that rock a lot harder on stage than their photoshopped press shots or polished production would make you believe. Doing their name justice, these guys indeed have a lot of esprit. With an amazing guitarist that looked a little and played (!) like a young Thurston Moore, the Southampton four piece stormed through a 60 minute set of mostly unreleased songs. Highlights included, of course, Lose My Mind, the title track of their debut EP which was released last year, as well as covers of Radiohead’s Creep and Palma Violet’s Best Of Friends.
Support came from local Oxonian bands Haze and homeplanetearth, both of which were quite amateurish and not particularly memorable. The main support act consisted of fellow Southampton rock act Elixir, which were anything but what I had expected. Their mix of 80s hard rock and modern alternative rock (imagine Danzig and Mallory Knox made a song together) was easily the heaviest mix of the night and was delivered with rigour and confidence you rarely find in such young bands.
If either of these bands play your town you shouldn’t miss out.