Review: Toothless - The Hope & Ruin 05/03/17

When Bombay Bicycle Club announced they would be taking a hiatus, millions of fans' hearts broke simultaneously but were then glued back together when the band's bassist, Ed Nash, announced his side project - Toothless.

2016 saw Nash and co's debut single 'Terra', which formed the initial steps of the side project and fans have flocked to see what a solo Nash has to offer ever since.

Fast forward a year and Toothless is still going strong. Fresh from releasing their debut album 'The Pace of the Passing' in February, Toothless embarked on a UK tour, stopping by Brighton's The Hope & Ruin to perform to an almost packed-out venue. 

Nash's bandmate, Liz Lawrence opened (and stole) the show with a stunning support slot. Her brand of soulful electronic music made an impressive mark on the crowd and left the room captivated. As her set reached its end, Lawrence received an almighty response from the crowd.

Local band MarthaGunn took to the stage next. The five-piece are much-loved on the Brighton scene and are swiftly rising through the ranks with new material on the way soon. The polished outfit treated fans to a selection of currently unreleased tracks, including the melodic 'Strike A Chord' and upbeat 'She's A Tiger'. 

Finally, Toothless made their long-awaited entrance and Nash and his fellow band members got things off to a good start as they launched into the folk-indebted number 'Charon'. 

As the band played through the majority of their debut album, Liz Lawrence proved herself to be a very valuable asset to a band who know how to keep an audience interested. The slow, moody build-up of the set gave way to an epic upbeat alt-pop finale and not one gig-goer was left doubting how much of a well-oiled machine Toothless truly are. 

Hook-laden tunes 'Sisyphus' and 'Alright Alright Alright' added extra elements of swelling intensity to the set, whilst gentler number 'The Midas Touch' allowed for breathing space where it was most needed. 

Toothless might just be Nash's side project but after this successful UK jaunt and the giant strides forward they're currently making - it could easily become something a bit more permanent. 

Words Lauren Wade

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