Last time we went to Club Berlin Jennifer Left and Dom from Sweet Sweet lies played at The Jive Monkey in Kemptown. Since then the Jive Monkey has closed down and Club Berlin has had to find a new home, which they’ve done in the Green Door Store where they were last night. La Momo (featuring Crayola Lectern on guitar) opened the evening, followed by half an hour of improvised synths from AK/DK before a headline set from Das Fenster. Fujiya and Miyagi were DJing between acts, but they were in the dark so they avoided my lens. Actually, for the most part AK/DK were in the dark too!
Thursday night was the launch of a new magazine for Brighton, promising music, fashion, art and culture. They heard a rumour that we like Brighton and that we like music so they invited us along to the Green Door Store where they had a whole host of local talent playing for them.
The night kicked off early. When the gig was first announced Tiger Cub were second on the bill, but another commitment initially meant them pulling out, and then got rearranged for them to play a short set early on. I missed Tiger Cub though, cos I was having my dinner. I also missed Spit Shake Sisters, and most of Kill Moon, and when I arrived the room was already so rammed out I couldn’t get in and get a decent view.
Demob Happy were great though – melodic indie rock which sounded fantastic at the Green Door Store, but I bet would sound even better when you’re sitting in a field in the sun at a festival.
The New Union
The New Union were the big draw of the evening, and one of the main reasons why the night was sold out. Every time I see them they seem to get better and better – Their sound is richer, the songs are stronger. They’ve got a few slow songs in their set now which I’m sure will be great when they’re recorded, but they were in danger of losing the crowd a bit when they played them. With their more upbeat indie numbers they had the audience in the palm of their hand and had the room jumping. They ended their set with last year’s single Without You, and what I guess is going to be their new single which is due in the next few weeks. We’ll hopefully be bringing you more details of that very soon.
The first edition of Boon Magazine is out on May Day.
Earlier this week we pre-empted our regular weekend gig picks by putting up a separate post about Thursday night’s gigs with a choice of Moulettes, AK/DK or The New Union. Here’s the rest of what we recommend this weekend:
Our choice for Friday Night is Clowns, who are headlining at the Prince Albert. Clowns are a real must-see band. If you haven’t seen them, then this should be your Friday night sorted. Support comes from Mum, Dad & The Kids, Little Bird and Downing Street Years.
We haven’t mentioned Tyrannosaurus Dead for a while on the blog, but they’re on the bill on Saturday night at the Green Door Store (headlined by the Bastards of hate). Also on Saturday at The Hope is Rotait, who we’ve been meaning to catch for a while, supported by Simonne & The Dark Stars, Mishkin Fitzgerald from BirdEatsBaby and Paul Diello.
The big gig on Sunday night is Physics House Band, who are guaranteed to blow the roof off at the Green Door Store. Watch out if you’re catching a train out of town! Support comes from Shrine and Ojo de Gringa. We also spotted that over the road at the Prince Albert, Pete Fij & Terry Bickers are launching their new single, with Al Chamberlain also on the bill.
Normally midweek I put up a post about gigs that have caught our eye in the upcoming weekend. This week, I’m making an exception and writing a whole post about three gigs taking place on thursday night, all of which look fantastic.
The first of the three is Brighton Music Blog favourites Moulettes, who are playing at The Haunt. Moulettes are a fantastic band, but it’s not until you see them live that you truly appreciate how great they are. Support comes from local act The Slytones (who we’ve still yet to catch), and Robert Vincent.
AKDK were one of our favourite acts at this year’s Sea Monsters. Their new single Battersea is out soon, so to celebrate they’re headlining this month’s Source New Music at the Dome Studio Theatre. Support comes from DA-10 (who were also brilliant at Sea Monsters), Dog in the Snow and George Lazenbleep.
Last, but by no means least is another launch, but this time of a magazine rather than a single. Boon Magazine say that they’re going to feature music, fashion, photography and culture. The launch takes place at the Green Door Store, and is headlined by The New Union. There’s also going to be a burlesque dancer, and more music from Demob Happy, Kill Moon and Spit Shake Sisters.
On Friday night, Brighton’s Willkommen collective hosted another of their mini-ECHO festivals with a headliner Damo Suzuki of CAN backed by some of Brighton’s finest young musicians.
The show featured an amazing supporting line up: Sons of Noel and Adrian, Soccer 96 and (from London) Eyes & No Eyes, all perfect headliners in their own right. The music was amazing, and there were also visuals supplied by the Innerstrings Psychedelic Lightshow. A definite candidate for one of the gigs of the year.
We truly are spoiled in Brighton. Not just because of the massive choice of music that’s on offer, but because so much is so cheap. Last weekend we went to Brighton Electric – It was three pound on the door which worked out at a pound a band. Last night Clowns played at the Green Door Store and it was free!
Frank Melena Band
We missed Victorian Hunter – because of a club night being held later on it was an early gig. We arrived at the bar to see a few members of the band still wearing animal heads. Probably a band worth going to see for the visual spectacle if nothing else. We grabbed a pint and headed in to see Frank Melena Band, who are also notable for their outfits – The bulk of the band sported wrestling masks, some wore ladies fur coats, and the bassist wore shorts with matching fur boots and had fairy lights taped around his mask. Musically, the band performed a reasonable set of angry garage punk, at times trying out a bit of politics in the banter between songs to a largely indifferent crowd. A punk band needs a punk audience, which isn’t the audience that were at Green Door Store last night but with the right crowd they raise the roof. Oh and one last thing, don’t go googling Frank Melena to find out who the band are named, because it’s not a who, it’s a what :/
One of the main reasons I’ll keep going to see Clowns is that every time I see them they outshine all the other bands on the bill. As a unit the band are tighter, the songs have better hooks, and main man Miles Heathfield not only looks like he believes every single word that he sings, but that he wants you to believe it too. Clowns rock hard, but they’re also accessible. There’s humour, but they’re also very dark. Miles’ suit could make him seem aloof, but he always gets in amongst the crowd while he’s performing. These contradictions are their strengths, and they’re what make them so compelling. One of last night’s highlight was upcoming single Love Vigilante, which the band had asked the audience to film on their phones to make the video. If I was in a band and wanted audience video, I’d have done it in a venue with much better lighting – Green Door Store is notoriously dark!
Clowns next gig is at the Con Club in Lewes on 12th April. See you there.
Isn’t the weather meant to be getting better by now? And aren’t the days meant to be getting longer? It’s still dark when I get home from work. At least it’s almost the weekend, which means it’s time for us to flag up the local bands we think you ought to see over the next few days.
On Thursday night Clowns play at the Green Door Store, supported by Frank Melena Band and Victorian Hunter. As front men go, they don’t come much better than Clowns’ Miles Heathfield, so this comes highly recommended. And it’s free! Over in Hove at the Bee’s Mouth, Zoe Hazel Hedderwick headlines the first Lipstick & Picks night – a new monthly night showcasing female musicians, which is also free.
Friday night’s biggest gigs to mention are some musical legend supported by local bands – Captain Beefheart’s Magic Band headline the Concorde, supported Son Belly, and Damo Suzuki from Can headlines the Green Door Store. Not only is he supported by Sons of Noel and Adrian, Soccer 96 and Eyes & No Eyes, but members of each of these bands will also be playing with him for his set. Friday is also Lout’s next Brighton Rocks night at Sticky Mike’s, with Saint Savanna, The Dancers, Farrow and Pizzabones.
There’s also another Brighton Rocks on Saturday at Sticky Mike’s – Ham Legion, The Creaking Chair, The Evil Son and LSD-25 are on the bill. House of Hats host another Harvest Session at the Brunswick, with support from The Self Help Group and Katharine Rose. Later in the evening Kovak host Club Kovak at the Blind Tiger, where you’ll have one of your first opportunities to see them playing tunes from their upcoming album live. Support comes Paper Playground and a DJ set from Youth. I suppose we ought to mention that Woodingdean’s finest X-factor contestant Frankie Cocozza is playing at the Haunt too.
Just the one gig to mention for Sunday, but it’s one we bought a ticket for before we even realised that the support would be a local act. Melody’s Echo Chamber plays at The Haunt (not Green Door Store where tickets were originally on sale for), and we’re looking forward to see them almost as much as we’re looking forward to Fear of Men who are supporting.
As you may have gathered from our posts, we’re big fans of live music here at Brighton Music Blog. In Brighton, we’re incredibly lucky that there are so many great gigs and so much choice. Last night was no exception, so much so that we decided to go to two gigs. We headed to the Green Door Store where Curxes were first on the bill at Danger De Mort’s monthly night, and then moved on to the Blind Tiger where Milk and Biscuits were headlining.
Danger De Mort first came to our attention in October last year when they put on a show that Nordic Giants headlined. Since then they’ve been putting on a gig every month with a mix of local and national bands, all with great line ups. Last night Brighton Music Blog approved Curxes opened the show. Where their first few releases had been very much in an industrial electro vein (they opened with Souxsie Sioux fronts Depeche Mode style single Spectre) they showed a new side with their Christmas cover of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, and it was this that we were hoping to get get a glimpse of last night. The first part of the set was filled with the early singles – big belting synth epics which only went slightly awry when a lead fell out of the back of the laptop providing the visuals. Because it was cold, because it was midweek, because it was early – for whatever reason – it was a bit quiet, so Roberta took to the middle of the room as her stage, losing herself in the space, giving us an impression of the what the Curxes live show might be like when they’re playing bigger venues. Their new more reflective side was shown at the end of the set, when they closed on quieter aggressive song, showing off Roberta’s voice and showing the band’s newfound versatility.
Milk & Biscuits
While I had heard good reports of the rest of the bands on the bill they weren’t from Brighton, and there was another band playing in town who I was also looking forward to. I had only seen Milk and Biscuits once before, playing a low-key support slow at the Green Door Store around the time of their Balcony Times mini-album back at the tail end of 2011. That it’s taken until now for me to see them again isn’t to say the eight-piece took 2012 off – half of them are also in Restlesslist, whose concept album Coral Island Girl was one of our highlights last year. By the time I arrived at the Blind Tiger, the place was getting busy and I spotted quite a few local musicians amongst the crowd – Mary Hampton, Jennifer Left, Nick Hudson, Adam from Fragile Creatures, and probably a whole load more that I didn’t recognise. The Milk and Biscuits onstage yesterday were far more performance based than the band I saw over a year ago – they’ve transformed from a bunch of great musicians playing amongst each other to a fully fledged band who looked out towards the audience in a formation which showed them off well. Musically things had changed too and their set didn’t feature any tracks from their first release. To these ears their new sound isn’t quite so introspective as before. Last year’s single White Noise still sounds quite pastoral, but Milk and Biscuits rock harder than they used to. Local poet Gary Goodman joined them onstage for a few tracks, which added a different dimension to things, his sometimes-cutting observations showing that they’re more than just a band. Overall though, the gig was hampered with poor sound – there was a lot of feedback from the microphones, and the drummer seemed unhappy throughout, no doubt one of the issues of having such a large band. Let’s hope that next time there aren’t the same issues. Next time they’ve even promised an encore too!
Normally our weekly post about which gigs we think you should go to to see some of our favourite local acts starts on a Thursday. Thursday has long replaced Friday as the start of the weekend in the Brighton Music Blog calendar. This week though, we’re starting things even earlier on Wednesday, because there’s two cracking gigs on tonight which we feel deserve a bit of a mention.
Tonight Milk & Biscuits play at the Blind Tiger. We loved last year’s epic White Noise single, and this is a great chance to see them playing their new material for their follow up to 2011′s Balcony Time’s mini-LP. Over at the Green Door Store, Danger De Mort are holding their third event. Their first night had Nordic Giants headlining, and we were gutted to miss last month’s event which had IYES and Us Baby Bear Bones supporting. This month’s local support are Curxes, who have promised to play the new tracks they they’ll be releasing later this year. I don’t know a great deal about the rest of the bill, headlined by a band called Cymbals, but we reckon it’ll be great just on the strength of their previous line ups.
Onto Thursday night, where we normally kick off our weekend. One Inch Badge are putting Doldrums at the Prince Albert. Doldrums are from Toronto, but the supports – Us Baby Bear Bones and Luo are two of our favourite local bands.
On Friday night we’ve spotted four gigs we like the look of. Written in Waters, IYES and Calico are playing at Brighton Electric, Speak Galactic and Cloud are supporting Antibang at the Prince Albert, Catherine Ireton is supporting Stu Larsen at Sticky Mike’s and Anneka is playing at live set at the Traumfrau night at the Haunt. We’re spoiled for choice!
Then on Saturday Professor Elemental is launching his new single at the Marlborough. The single’s called This is My Horse (Show Me Yours), and we’ll be writing a separate post about it sometime next week.
Yesterday The New Union supported The 1975 at the Green Door Store. It’s the first time we’ve caught them in a few months and in that time they’ve been working hard on new tracks up in studios in London. You can hear the effect of working with a producer – Richard Jackson now uses two mics to bring more depth to the vocals, there’s more reverb all round making their sound even bigger, and where last year a New Union gig would be half an hour of urgent adrenalin filled songs there’s now some slower numbers too. The New Union are growing up and sounding bigger and better than ever.