Before last night’s gig I’d had a listen to The New Union on soundcloud and what caught my ear was the slick production. Great studio production isn’t a guarantee of a great live performance though, so I was impressed by their display supporting Clock Opera. All dressed in black, the group gave the impression of a band with a unified look, rather than just four guys who happened to be on stage together. The songs were well written, obviously well rehearsed, and sounding tight. If anyone was looking for Brighton’s next big guitar pop hope after The Maccabees, they need look no further than The New Union.
Another month, another Juice FM night at The Haunt, and another three Brighton bands who are all completely new to me. Where do they find them all? I guess it’s probably the endless demos they get sent because they’re the local radio station. But they certainly do a good job of picking great bands for their regular nights.
First up were Tigercub, who distracted me with double denim and a haircut last seen spotted on Dave Hill from Slade in the 1970s. A late start meant that their set of rock stompers was over far too soon.
Having thought after the first band that the night would be a rock night, Holy Vessels mixed things up by kicking off their set with a song with a very predominant banjo. It was their only track that used banjo, but it was a strong statement of intent for their half an hour on stage, which mixed up country, rock and Americana and was a far more melodic affair.
Once upon a time, post-rock was noisy and angular, but then Sigur Ros came along and made it all a bit twee. thedealwasforthediamond hark back to the way it was, sounding like Mogwai at their loudest, or Rothko with the bass leading proceedings. thedealwasforthediamond turned things up to eleven, and quite literally blew the audience away. I was quite glad I had ear plugs in my bag!
The premise of Brighton Music Blog is nice and simple – write about bands from Brighton. So what am I doing interviewing Saint Etienne’s Pete Wiggs? The band have a greatest hits called London Conversations, and London Belongs To Me from Foxbase Alpha came 19th in Time Out’s 100 best London songs last year. Surely I can’t be branching out so soon? Don’t worry. The blog is still dedicated to Brightonians – Pete Wiggs is a Hove resident these days, so I caught up with him over a pint or two at his local to talk about moving away from London, his new album, and making remixes for a new generation of artists.
It’s funny because even now we still do interviews where people ask me my favourite London haunts. I’ve been down here for four years now. I still feel like a tourist now and again here. We’d always intended to move down here at some point, and now I can sometimes go a couple of weeks without going into London. I suppose it’s easier with internet – you can bat things around. Continue reading
Lewes is not too far, is it?
Anyone who follows the Brighton folk scene will probably have come across the excellent Hatful of Rain. This great local folk band have now recorded an album which is coming out via the Union Music Store in Lewes, and if this first song is anything to go by it will be a fabulous thing. The album is out at the end of May.
This Sunday sees the regional final of the Live & Unsigned competition taking place at Hove Town Hall. Live & Unsigned is a national battle of the bands competition, judged by some heavy hitters within the industry, and a fair amount of competition – over the past five years, they’ve had over 50,000 entrants. The prizes are pretty impressive too – finalists get to play at the O2, and the overall winner gets a whole load of press, and the opportunity to tour and play at festivals, with big cash investment made into the band too.
Three of the acts in the regional final have got in touch to flag up the event to me, and to get to this stage, in view of the numbers involved, is a pretty mean feat. Fingers crossed for Jetpack Elastic, Emy Lou Harris, and quAckhouse.
Amongst The Pigeons have just released their new album Get Amongst It. I caught up with them in their pigeon shed / recording studio to do a track by track walkthrough of the album:
With this track, the first 20 seconds was the fadeout sound on the first album. I really like the idea of taking that same sound to open up this album. All the titles came about from things other people have said, seeing things that people were saying on twitter or facebook or just conversations that friends were having. This track came about from my friend Si – we were having a conversation on twitter, and he was saying one of the things that all musicians should aspire to be is a future dead rock star, I think we were talking about the whole age 27 thing, and Kurt Cobain, and everything. This track only works as an opener, because it’s quite a slow song, it builds up, and it’s a bit ploddy for the first couple of minutes but it was one of those songs where I just kept coming back to it again and again, and I couldn’t not have it on the album. It’s a real headphone album – there are little bits that are coming in one ear, and looping over. I get really into just fiddling around with sounds for hours and hours and getting lost in the little bits of what I do. Continue reading
OK, so musically Conor Maynard doesn’t really fit with the other stuff that we right about here at Brighton Music Blog but the path of music snobbery is one filled with pitfalls. So instead we’ll raise a toast to Conor Maynard, who’s gone straight to number two with his debut single, Can’t Say No. Good work!