Live Lowdown: Haggard Cat @ Brighton Electric

Updated: Feb 11, 2021

"Flying drum parts, power poses and banter; Haggard Cat prove good old fashioned rock 'n' roll is well and truly alive."

Haggard Cat proved good old fashioned rock 'n' roll is well and truly alive as they helped kick off Upset magazine's About To Break Tour at the quaint Brighton Electric on Friday night (02.11.18).

The Nottingham two-piece - consisting of vocalist-and-guitarist Matt Reynolds and drummer Tom Marsh - are both ex-members of the hardcore group, HECK, and have been performing as the slightly subtler Haggard Cat since 2011.

They only released their debut album, ‘Challenger‘, in April, and the eight tracks they chose to play live from the record went down a treat with the crowd.

Throughout their set, the lads were constantly vibing off each other, with enough quipping going down to entertain an audience at The Royal Variety Show.

The joke of the evening was their on-going competition as to who can create the best looking setlist on this tour, with all titles handwritten with their own handcrafted font fitting the song names.

Matt also teased Tom during the performance of ‘Goldberg’, leaving him on edge waiting for his cue to start the song’s drum intro after his musical partner jokingly prolonged his lead-up.

Long, heavy instrumentals were a staple during their set. Big riffs, drum solos and the use of an extensive pedal board created an epic sound, one you’d normally expect from a full live band - leaving us astounded. Stage presence-wise, the pair aren't falling short either. Matt's erratic movements, power poses, intense facial expressions and stares kept us glued to the stage.

If that wasn’t enough, Tom crashed down on the drums with such force at one point that parts of his kit were flying off mid-song, with half a drum stick swerving through the crowd, barely dodging one (un)lucky member of the audience.

From the opening of the powerful ‘American Graffiti’, which saw Matt repeatedly screaming at us to “bury your head, head in the sand, we’ve got blood, got blood on our hands”, to the “heavy song with riffs in it”, ‘Grave Digger’, and set closer, ‘The Patriot’, Haggard Cat delivered on all accounts and no doubt left a long-lasting impression on the seaside town's revellers.

Reviewed by: Eline Joling

Rating out of 10: 8/10