The Pale White

The Hope and Ruin, Brighton, Friday, September 20

FREQUENTLY the bridesmaids so far in their careers, The Pale White have the strange sensation of knowing that some of their earliest shows have come in some of the largest places they are ever likely to play.

A succession of support slots for the likes of Sam Fender, The Libertines and We Are Scientists have lifted them into arena settings, and it’s easy to appreciate why bands with broader hits but the canniness to call upon vaguely edgy openers might see them as an ideal foil.

The three-piece from Newcastle have a throwback sound, inspired by some of the slower songs from mid-Nineties Britpop as well as other music from the early-noughties.

Their pared-down sound depends on guitars and drums played by brothers Adam and Jack Hope, accompanied by old friend Tom Booth on bass with consistently enjoyable yet rarely shimmering pay-offs.

Peace of Mind, on which Hope sings of needing spiritual redemption over a burrowing guitar line, has an echo of Arctic Monkeys’ more forlorn, cinematic moments to it, but more often the trio, uniformed in black, offer an upbeat take on rollies-and-lager indie-rock.

It’s an approach that will always find an audience, entertaining but not yet amazing.

Ben Miller