Weekend gig picks

Three weeks in a row. This IS now a regular feature! Except in a couple of weeks it’s Christmas, and it could all go to ruin, but we’ll do our best.

Our pick for Friday night is the Source New Music night at the Dome Studio Theatre (which you might still be calling the Pavilion Theatre). We’re a fan of the regular monthly night at the best of times, but this month’s is a bit special, being the Miserable Rich‘s last gig before they take a sabbatical. The night also has Cate Ferris, Donna Fullman, and Ingrid Plum. (It’s also a big night for non Brighton Musicians, with Beth Orton, Rodriguez, and Father John Misty playing around town. Happy Mondays and 808 State were also meant to be playing but that’s been put off until June next year)

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Our choice for Saturday is a night called Endless Christmas at the Prince Albert – Saturday is the first of December, so we’ll let them get away with using Christmas so early. The night’s headlined by Surfin’ Lungs who are supported by local acts Los Fantasticos, Space Agency and Squadron Leaders. There’s not enough Surf Rock in Brighton, so it’s good to see this happening. This saturday is also the House of Hats next Harvest Sessions at the Brunswick, which comes highly recommended. Support comes from Conrad Vingoe and Kat Rose.

Sea Monsters 2013

Sea Monsters is BACK! And it’s bigger than ever. Earlier this year they packed in dozens of bands into six days. In January 2013, One Inch Badge bring us seven days of Sea Monsters, and we’ll be there to cover it all again. The full line up is down below underneath the poster:

Monday 21st January – OIB vs. THE SOURCE
WRITTEN IN WATERS
KINS
THEDEALWASFORTHEDIAMOND
900 SPACES

Tuesday 22nd January – OIB vs. TEEN CREEPS
NEGATIVE PEGASUS
TRAAMS
TIGERCUB
GREAT PAGANS

Wednesday 23rd January – OIB vs. LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR
ABI WADE
HOLY VESSELS
PLASTICINE
JACKO HOOPER

Thursday 24th January  – OIB vs. PUNK V HARDCORE
GNARWOLVES
BROKER
IF HEROES SHOULD FAIL
LOOSE LIPS

Friday 25th January – OIB vs. SLIP JAM B
SUAVE DEBONAIR
ALMIGHTY PLANETS
RUM COMMITTEE
DA-10

Saturday 26th January – OIB vs. OIB
PHYSICS HOUSE BAND
SOCCER96
PHORIA
SQUADRON LEADERS
LUO

Sunday 27th January – OIB vs. BIZARRO WORLD
Performing special, once in a lifetime tribute sets…
AK/DK
SEA BSTRD
THE WITCHES
SON BELLY

Brighton Music Blog Advent Calendar

Deck the halls with boughs of holly
Fala lala laa la la la laaa
Tis the season for bloggers to make end of year lists
Fala lala laa la la la laaa…

But how could we make meaningful lists when one week we’re writing about a band’s debut gig in a room above a pub, and the next we’re putting up something about a major label artist who’s having millions spent on marketing? Is the best gig the one at the nicest venue with the biggest crowd? Is the best single the one with the best production? We’re not so sure. We’re also not sure about how you could make a list of best albums, when that would exclude so many people we’ve written about who have played some great gigs but maybe only released a single or two. So instead, over the course of December in the run up to Christmas, we’ll be posting daily about some of the bands we’ve enjoyed the most this year. Some of them have been nominated for music industry awards and fill stadiums, some you probably haven’t even heard of. But they’re all bands from Brighton who we think deserve your ear.

Pop by on Saturday the first of December to find out who’s behind the first window.

They Might Swim / Dead Cars / Evil Son gallery

One of our gig picks last weekend was Evil Son headlining the Prince Albert. Here’s some pics from the night (click to view large):

Martin Rossiter / The Defenestration of St Martin

The past casts two very long shadows over The Defenestration of St Martin. The first is that of Martin Rossiter’s musical history with Gene, who he fronted back in the nineties. They were pigeonholed as britpop, but there was always something a bit more complex and cerebral about their lyrics and their music. Events conspired such that despite their differences, their career would follow a similar arc to britpop, and Gene split up in the early noughties. Music continue to flow through Rossiter’s veins though – teaching at Brighton’s ATM college, still writing for himself, and picking up the bass to play in Call Me Jolene. Now, more than eleven years after the last Gene album, Martin Rossiter has released a new record.

The other long shadow over the record is the pain that Rossiter has suffered over the years. If ten minute opener Three Points on a Compass – an incredibly personal, beautiful but damning song about his father – doesn’t have you crying into your headphones, then quite frankly, you’ve got no heart. Difficult lyrical matter continues throughout, as titles like I Want To Choose When I Sleep Alone, No One Left To Blame and My Heart’s designed for Pumping Blood attest, with little respite throughout. This isn’t an album to cheer yourself up to by listening to the words.

However, this doesn’t mean that the album isn’t a thing of magnificent beauty. Musically, simplicity rules throughout with Rossiter’s voice, stronger than ever, soaring over fantastic ballads with no instruments other than piano. Rossiter describes the tracks as secular hymns, and there is a very religious feel to everything here – slightly solemn, with very eloquent, articulate lyrics. The lightest moment on the record comes from the least religious moment with the most religious – I Must Be Jesus – sounding almost a show tune, with deliberately over the top lyrics, exaggerated for effect. Only in it’s closing moments does the album does the album allow itself to break free. In the last minute of Let The Waves Carry You drums beat and a guitar riff kicks off before the album fades out, a reminder of the music that Rossiter used to make, and hopefully a pointer to what we might expect in future, now that he’s back in the limelight.

Weekend Round Up

Time to collect together a few bits and pieces that have dropped into our inbox recently. First up is a remix of Cate Ferris’ Doll on a Music Box by Talking Books:

Next up, the new video from The Levellers, who are making a video for every single track on their new album, which we’ll round up when they’re all done. Until then, here’s Mutiny:

The New Union have put up a video for the b-side to their single Without You. This is Home:

Finally, London Commands You (don’t be fooled by the name – they’re local!), have a new single out called Truth. And for the life of me, I can’t find a way to embed the video into the post. So you can click through and watch it here, or you can buy it via amazon here.

Weekend Gig Picks

In what’s almost becoming a semi-regular feature of the blog (well, this is the second post of it’s type in as many weeks), here’s a few gigs happening this weekend that have caught our eye.

On Friday, Mean Poppa Lean play their last ever gig at The Haunt, before they call things a day. Support comes from Mean Poppa Lean – the original line up – before the current line up play a headline set. Once things finish at The Haunt, the evening moves on to Sticky Mike’s where they’re holding the afterparty and where no doubt the craziness will continue into the early hours. If you want something a bit folkier, Mountain Firework Company are at the Green Door Store, and for those with more esoteric tastes, Crayola Lectern are at Hotel Pelirocco.

 

On Saturday, there’s a triple EP launch at the Prince Albert. The Evil Son headline, launching their eponymous EP, and support comes from Dead Cars launching their Good People Have White Teeth EP and They Might Swim, whose My Cardiologist EP is just out. We’ve also just been told (after asking about a copy of the fantatic poster to use), that there’s now a fourth band on the bill too, called Leyez. A bargain, and only four quid on the door. Bands from 8pm, apparently.  And if after everything else, you prefer a bit of hip hop, this weekend’s Brighton Rocks night at Sticky Mike’s has Astro-Physics at the top of the bill.

Moulettes and Arthur Brown at Komedia

There’s not enough hours in the day. If there were, we’d be getting around to a lot more gigs. As it is, we’ve already missed the Slytones, and Moulettes have already kicked off by the time we arrive. Since we last saw them back in April, the band are leaner, but stronger. Slimmed down to a mere five members – those who’ve followed them over the years will know that’s quite a low number – the band still manage to sound bigger than ever. The band are more professional too – gone are the minutes lost to fits of giggles inbetween songs. Their set is mainly drawn from this year’s Bears Revenge album, losing some songs which have been staples for a long time, but instead showcasing the talents of the whole band as their newer songs do. One of the great joys of going to see Moulettes play live is the musicianship, which you can only truly appreciate by seeing the band in the flesh. My high point is Assault – a musical battle between violin and cello which is quite frankly breathtaking.

Moulettes

Most of the crowd are here for Arthur Brown though. Arthur’s a Lewesian these days, and that would be just about enough to slip into our remit if we were being generous, but there’s more reasons than that to write about him as well as Moulettes. I should imagine that most write ups of the gig will probably focus on the guitar and keyboard players, their sex (female), and their attire (hot pants and leather trousers respectively). Hearing them play, you would know that they were actually chosen for their command of their instruments. Instead, I’m going to focus on the bassist and the drummer. Drums and backing vocals are covered by Sam Walker, better known as front man of The Muel, who we haven’t written about nearly enough this year. Bassist (and musical director for the current live show) is Brightonian Jim Mortimore, who’s also in Moulettes, and in The Muel with Sam. What makes Jim’s role in the band especially interesting is that his dad Malcolm has also featured in Arthur Brown’s band over the years. It’s the youth and vitality of the backing band which elevate the show above so many bands on the heritage circuit – there’s no decades-old politics or history between the members, so they can just get on with playing fantastic music, covering some of the songs that Arthur’s famous for, including Death Grips, which he tells the audience has been attributed the credit of the birth of heavy metal despite the original recording didn’t feature any guitars, as well as a full hour of psychedelic garage rock. Arthur Brown is still pretty youthful too, for a seventy year old. He’s still got an amazing voice, and he’s still dancing around the stage, flanked by his band and by flamenco dancers which add to the visual element of the show. There’s no flaming helmet tonight, but that’s probably due to the low ceilings in the Komedia. We don’t want to see Dukes at Komedia burning down before it’s even opened do we?

Arthur Brown

Oui Love tour / Omega Male

Oui Love is a platform for French bands to get more exposure in the UK. What are we doing bringing them up on a blog all about bands from Brighton, I hear you ask? We’ll get to that later…

Yan Wagner

Oui Love started a few years ago, and as well as bringing bands to tour the UK, it’s also brought them over to festivals, becoming a regular feature at The Great Escape. Last night, with Melting Vinyl, four bands played under the Oui Love banner – three French and one linked to Brighton (see – I can write about the night here!).

Jupiter

I arrived as Yan Wagner was onstage, playing lush electro. The synths said New Order, but the vocals were more brooding. Next up, Jupiter took to the stage. The three piece had a great pop sensibility, with coquettish female vocals over songs which drew from the great French House tradition. Definitely ones to watch, for sure. Headliners Juveniles struggled for a while with some kind of short circuit which pulled the power on their equipment after a couple of bars, and the time taken to fix it ate into their set meaning they only got to play a few songs. What they did play was fantastic though. Loud exuberant live house, with clattering drums and rich bubbling synths. If only they could have played for longer.

Omega Male

That’s enough about French bands though. This is Brighton Music Blog after all. The reason we went along to the evening was to see the evening’s third act – Omega Male, who released their debut album last week. Half of Omega Male is David Best from Brighton’s Fujiya & Miyagi. When I found out that David Best was working with Omega Male and that Matt Hainsby was working on his own I Am Ampersand project, I feared that maybe we wouldn’t hear from Fujiya & Miyagi again, but seeing the rest of the band in the audience has put those ideas to rest. Omega Male’s live setup has Best on vocals and guitars, and Project Jenny Project Jan’s Sammy Rubin on keyboards and backing vocals. I sensed a certain nervousness – maybe it was because it’s one of the band’s first ever gigs, maybe it was the home crowd, or maybe it was because he didn’t have the safety of the band that he’s been playing with for over ten years – but there was no talking inbetween songs, and many were performed with eyes closed. The set followed a different arc from the album – where the record closes with the serene beauty of Buildings Like Symphonies, this was thrown in quite early into the set which built up to bigger, more up tempo songs later on, which made sense for what was predominantly an evening of dance music. Live, they don’t match up to Fujiya & Miyagi just yet, but I have no doubt they can achieve it in time – All they need is a bit more stage presence, and maybe a huge closing track they can jam out to, like Best’s other band have with Electro Karaoke.

The Oui Love winter tour heads to The Shacklewell Arms in London tonight, and then onto the Soup Kitchen in Manchester on Thursday. Omega Male only performed at the Brighton leg of the tour.

Catherine Ireton / Treasure Tracks #4

This Saturday saw Catherine Ireton’s fourth and final Treasure Tracks gig. Her previous mystery excursions have involved a little bit of a hunt, but this time around we really were sent on a wild goose chase, not only to get hold of tickets but also to get to the final location.

The first clue was a picture posted online of the red phone boxes on Trafalgar Street, with a number to dial. I went to the phone boxes – one was out of order, the other only accepted credit cards, neither smelled great. I stepped out into the fresh air to dial the number only to get a recorded message telling me to look up for the first clue. That sent me off to one of two record shops to hunt down a Prince album which contained the next clue. The onto Resident where the final clue could be exchanged for a ticket to the gig, which just told me to turn up to the George IV statue at 8.15 on Friday night…

Fast forward to a cold drizzly night, and a group of around twenty or thirty people congregate near the North End of Pavilion Gardens. The event was put on in conjunction with Source New Music, and Bex – who introduces their regular evenings (and does all the hard work pulling most of it together) – popped up to lead us to the location of the concert. Through the stage door round the back of the Dome, down some stairs and through some 17th century tunnels (which now lead off to dressing rooms). Then back up some stairs, past a rarely used museum entrance, and somehow into the bar at the Dome, where we stop off to buy a drink before being led through the Corn Exchange and into their foyer area where a stage had been set up and Catherine and her two accompanying musicians were waiting.

It was only a few weeks ago that we saw Catherine play a full gig at the Green Door Store. All of her treasure tracks gigs have felt a little bit more special than that, playing to friends rather than an audience, to people who are willing to make that little bit extra effort to find out about the gig, and consequently Catherine was a little more relaxed. The songs were the same, but they benefited from the intimacy. The set included all of the Treasure Tracks given away so far – Synapses, given away after the Booth Museum gig, Invisibility Disguise, from the Brighton Model Railway club gig, and Pieces of You from her webcast – as well as a selection other tracks, culminating in the last track that was sent through – This One’s Gonna Make Me Some Money – tying in nicely with the gig being held in the Corn Exchange.

Although this was the last Treasure Tracks gig, there are more plans for interesting gigs in intimate locations. Keep your eyes peeled for something in the Theatre Royal in the new year…