Tall Ships photo c/o AIDAN WINGET

Now the longer-than-long-awaited debut album from Tall Ships, ‘Everything Touching’, has finally landed, the Brighton-via-Falmouth guys have set out on a suitably extensive tour. In much the same way though, it feels like tonight has been a long time coming, with the band finally getting to headline a Brighton venue of this size.

First to prefix this evening’s headliner are The Physics House Band, who hurl you into suitably mathy beginnings as local opener. Their energetic instrumental compositions have no problem in captivating the room, whilst drawing positive likenesses to other math/prog three pieces, making for an engaging Three Trapped Tigers meets Brontide experience.

Quickly following on with a different vibe is Dad Rocks!, appearing with his fuller band accompaniment which boasts trumpet and violin. It’s a shame that most people seem to be talking to their mates rather than listening to the fun and witty lyrics of main-man Snævar Njáll Albertsson, but even so, it’s a great and pleasant set to slot between tonight’s two amplified bands.

It’s not really any surprise that Tall Ships have managed to completely pack out the Haunt now. The room is predictably crammed when their set begins, starting in much the same way as the new album: an upbeat one-two of ‘T=0’ (albeit introduced slightly staggered due to a guitar hitch) and ‘Best Ever’ which gets everyone grooving right along with them. Hitting the more urgent ‘Gallop’ five tracks in though is when the crowd really return the energy the band give off. The set is also littered with newer versions of older tracks which were re-recorded for the album, some more impactive than others, such as a fresh reworking of ‘Ode To Ancestors’. Naturally, they finish once again in much the same way as the album, with the gradual nine-minute crescendo that is ‘Murmurations’ before returning for an encore of the highly popular and highly danceable ‘Hit The Floor’.

Alongside the album, their appearance here tonight definitely serves to show just how far they’ve come, and how the band, after all these years, are finally getting the attention they deserve. It’s humbly summed up earlier in the set by guitarist/vocalist Jamie Bush, that it’s the first time they “feel like a proper band”. And that is most certainly something that, by now especially, they deserve to feel.

JAMES FOX