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GIG REVIEW: Youth Sector + Currls at The Rifle Club

It's been a hot minute, but the Coven are back with a shiny new gig review. We were lucky enough to venture down to The Rifle Club, Portsmouth on Monday (22nd August) to catch Brighton's finest art-rockers Youth Sector, with main support from alt-rock babes Currls.

Youth Sector by Jack Smith

Opening the night were local indie rockers Tea With Florence, who had played with Currls and Muff the night before at the The Green Door Store in Brighton. The five-piece kickstarted this fine Monday night the only way that it can be done: with a set packed full of blaring rock 'n' roll belters.

Next to the stage were Brighton's freshest riot grrrls, Muff. If the name sounds familiar, we did a feature piece on them early in 2021 as they gripped us with their lockdown session videos - we knew we were witnessing the birth of something great. Muff are four firecrackers of fierce energy as their punk essence owns the room. The band smashed through their original tracks like Golden Girl, Prized Possession, and Feminine Dream, and they even had time to sneak in a few covers: a very surprising Blurred Lines, calling out the misogyny of the original, and Grace Kelly, because everyone loves Mika. Raw, raging, and heated, Muff are a band that needs to be experienced live.

Muff by Jack Smith

Having followed Currls since 2019, we were fangirling a bit as we finally got to see them live. Fronted by guitarist and lead vocalist Hol, whose vocals are as gritty as they are honey-smooth, and with the talented Han on drums and backing vocals, the pair are a joy to watch as they shred through alt-rock bops like April Fool, Let Down, and upcoming single Nerve.

Undoubtedly a highlight of their set is latest release Honey - the first single from their debut EP, which drops in November. Han switches between drumstick tapping and pulse-quickening beats with expertise, and Hol's energy is both commanding and bubbly - the duo enjoy themselves so much, making their set irresistibly infectious. The room is sweaty, but the floor is packed. Some people surely left the gig finding a new favourite band in Currls.

Brighton-based art-rock noisemakers Youth Sector are as captivating live as we could have ever hoped. We've spun tracks like Is Blood and Self Exile on repeat quite a bit, so we knew to expect vibrant riffs, 80's-inspired synths, and bold swagger. And fuck, we weren't disappointed.

Sewing threads between funky basslines and art-pop flare, Youth Sector topped off a night of exciting emerging talent. Despite technical difficulties at the venue, the band's polished chaos charmed the crowd as their set passed by in a flurry of refined alternative grooves. To cut to the chase: Youth Sector are cool as fuck, and you should go see them live.

Currls' next single Nerve drops on Friday 9th September - Rock Coven is the place to be if we've piqued your interest.

Youth Sector's latest EP Adult Contemporary arrived in February - give it a listen here to see what you're missing out on.

Photography by Jack Smith

Review by Chloe Robbins

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