The Exact Opposite + Ignotis + Bottle of Dog

Friday 31st May 2024

Tickets: £8 adv / £10 otd. ♦ Doors 7pm

Sheer Music Present…

Band chemistry is a strange, undefinable, intangible thing, but when it’s there, it’s undeniable. And it’s undeniable that new duo The Exact Opposite have it in spades. That much is clear from the first listen of their debut album, Skill Issue, a record that fizzes and fizzles with a very tangible chemistry that should and needs to be listened to from beginning to end. That it’s just singer/ guitarist Jamie Stuart and drummer/multi-instrumentalist Nigel Powell makes the depth, richness and full-bodied texture of these songs all the more impressive.

Stuart and Nigel Powell already knew they had chemistry from their time together in Oxford’s Dive Dive, which they’d formed in 2001 after their other bands – Unbelievable Truth and Dustball, respectively – broke up. On ice for 15 years while Powell and the other two members of Dive Dive played full-time as Frank Turner’s backing band, The Sleeping Souls they have now rediscovered that vitality.

That defiance and determination manifests in every song on this album. Recorded in Johnny Greenwood from Radiohead’s home studio in Oxford over the course of a month, Skill Issue was produced, engineered and mixed entirely by Powell (“Jamie brings the Burt Bacharach,” he quips, “I bring the Trevor Horn.”) and both recalls and builds on the pair’s impressive musical heritage, while forging boldly forward into new territory, both lyrically and musically. That The Exact Opposite have made such a stirring, youthful record is proof not just that they could and can still do this despite their fears of growing older, but also that they absolutely should.

They’re different people 20-plus years later, but neither were particularly surprised to find their long-established symmetry was still there in full force when they started making this record. “From my point of view, it was instant,” adds Powell. “Jamie’s one of those guys that I just have chemistry with, so it was very natural. It’s much more interesting being in a band with somebody who is conflicted about the idea of being in a band than being in a band with somebody who has no doubts, because they end up saying more interesting things. And we’ve got an album that’s proof of that.”


7pm – Doors
7.30pm – Bottle of Dog
8.15pm – Ignotis
9pm – The Exact Opposite 

Tickets: WeGotTickets