The best compliment I can pay the Green Door Store is that in less than 3 years – it opened in 2011 – it has replaced the much loved and sorely missed Freebutt as Brighton’s premier small venue. Situated directly beneath Brighton railway station and holding 170 people, “including staff, artists and guests”, it boasts a pre-gig bar twice the size of the main hall and a place to die for. Dripping with everything from moose heads to the severed heads of blood-splattered zombies, even the golden arches of a Mcdonald’s ‘M’ adorning the far wall seemed oddly counter-culture in this amazing panoply of imagery.
And William Doyle, better known as East India Youth, fits right in with his clashing shirt and tie, knuckling his hair with its oily fringe like a vain schoolboy. Opening with the shimmer of velvet and silk that is the single ‘Dripping Down’, he follows this up with the equally luscious ‘Looking for Someone’. After which the set settles into a recurring pattern; each song beginning with some ambitious noodling before invariably opening out into some pleasant pop, before closing with another bout of experimental twiddling. Shoving each song through the sausage machine of this formula became a little frustrating for me, but I was assured by someone with a much greater dance history and sensibility than myself that I was actually witnessing creative genius. But I don’t want my pinch of frustration to sound churlish. Warm and authentic in equal parts, the short 45 minute set flew by in a sea of enthusiasm that would melt the coldest of hearts.
It’s an odd experience watching one man and a laptop on stage, but the lack of visual stimuli was aided at different times by some frantic bass playing. The pointed elbows, knees, and foppish fringe thrashing uncontrollably against the backdrop of a white sheet made for an arresting sight. And the ending had to be one of the most bizarre I have ever witnessed. The wild applause that accompanied the final song slowly faded as the room was filled with a tsunami of white noise reminiscent of a dentist’s drill. After five minutes of this ear splitting madness Doyle walked back on, pulled out a jack lead and walked off. The silence was deafening. It was brilliant.