April Top Ten

Here’s a new regular feature that I’ve decided to start on the blog. We write a lot of posts about a lot of bands, and quite often a blog post about something we absolutely love can easily drop out of view. On top of that, some things we write about are slow burners, and while we’ll write things up as soon as we hear about them, some tracks can creep into your consciousness weeks later. So here’s my top ten for April, based on my plays according to last.fm (although it seems to miss half my plays, so I reserve the right to use a bit of licence sometimes).

10. Interlocutor – Saturday (demo)

Alex White of Electric Soft Parade and Brakes has played a couple of gigs with his new solo project Interlocutor, despite the new ESP album due any minute now. He’s also quietly put up a couple of demos onto Bandcamp which we rather like.

9. Bat For Lashes – Laura (Vogue session)

A couple of months ago Natasha Khan did an exclusive session for Vogue.com. Two of the tracks from this session were released on 7″ for Record Store Day which was a nice reminder of what a brilliant track Laura is.

8. Pete Fij & Terry Bickers / I don’t give a shit about you

This track originally came out back in October last year so isn’t Pete and Terry’s new single. This track has crept into our top ten after being put up on Soundcloud as a free download.

7. Shrag / Sleeprunning

Officially the last track to be released by Shrag now that they’ve split. Sleeprunning is the b-side to On The Spines of Old Cathedrals, their final single to be taken from Canines.

6. Curxes / Further Still

Curxes put out their fantastic new release Further Still at the end of March as a free download, and then put up the video a few weeks later. We can’t wait to see them playing the Alternative Escape in a few weeks time (Thursday 16th May – Les Enfants Terrible stage / The Mesmerist at 18:55 or Southsea fest stage / The Black Dove at 20:50).

5. IYES / Lighthouse (Capsun remix)

We absolutely adore Lighthouse. It was one of those tracks that appeared from nowhere that was some brilliant and so unexpected. It’s spawned dozens of fawning blog posts saying how great it is but the problem was the only way to listen to it was on Soundcloud. Earlier this month though the track was remixed Capsun, which beefed up the beats and the bass and put up on Soundcloud which meant you could listen wherever you happened to be. IYES play the Alternative Escape on Saturday at the Mesmerist at 15:20

4. Black Black Hills / Red Cabin

Red Cabin, with it’s retro reverb drenched rock and roll and backwards video, was an immediate hit when we heard it a couple of weeks ago. Go download it now! Black Black Hills play Brighton Noise’s stage at the Alternative Escape on Saturday at 15:50.

3. Us Baby Bear Bones / You

You is another track which had been floating around for a while but got put up as a free download this month. You is going to be on UBBB’s debut EP due for release in July


2. Crayola Lectern / Slow Down

Slow Down is one of my favourite tracks from the new Crayola Lectern album The Fall and Rise of… The whole album is fantastic, but this is the track that we’ve played the most.

1. Electric Soft Parade / Brother You Must Walk Alone

From the moment we heard the new Electric Soft Parade single at the end of last month, it was inevitable that it was going to end up as this months most listened to track. Breezy guitar pop at it’s finest, that sounds even better now that the sun’s out.


IYES mystery video teaser

About a week ago IYES posted up a short video onto youtube, with the cryptic message “01.05.2013” alongside. What could it all mean? I’m guessing it was a date reference, so maybe all will be revealed on Wednesday…

The New Union – Staying Friends

As promised in our most recent post about the Boon Magazine launch, as soon as we’ve heard  details of the forthcoming New Union single, we’re letting you know. Better than that we’ve got the video too. Staying Friends is another slice of cool guitar pop, and is released on June 3rd on Two Sisters records, coming out on limited 12″ and download.

Boon Magazine Launch headlined by The New Union

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

Demob Happy

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

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.

Martin Rossiter Live album

Martin Rossiter

Last November, Martin Rossiter released his debut solo album, The Defenrestration of St Martin, and we loved it, calling it “a thing of magnificent beauty“. The album was a long a time in the making and Martin was out of the spotlight for nearly ten years. His first step back was a concert at the Unitarian Church in New Road last May, which was recorded and has been released today, on sale for a mere six pounds.

The live album is made up of old Gene favourites as well as tracks from The Defenstration of St Martin, all played in the same style as the album with just piano and voice.

Martin will be heading out on tour soon, and plays Brighton on 14th June at Brighton Dome.

Weekend Gig Picks

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.

Thursday’s gigs – Moulettes at The Haunt, AKDK single launch / Source New Music at Dome Studio Theatre, New Union / Boon Magazine launch at The Green Door Store

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.

Cate Ferris at the Blind Tiger

We’ve written about Cate Ferris loads of times, and we’ll continue to do so all the while that we go along and see her and be impressed as we were last night, when she played at the Blind Tiger in a double headliner gig with Londoner A Little Unsaid.

Cate Ferris

Cate Ferris

If I’ve understated the power of Cate’s voice in posts in the past, it was easily summed up by the reaction of one audience member, who audibly exclaimed “wow!”, when Cate hit her first big note. It’s not just about the power though – using looping pedals she’ll often harmonise with herself midsong and get the harmonies just right. As she noted herself, just a few years ago she was a technophobe and would seen onstage with nothing more than her guitar. These days she has an array of keyboards, pedals and percussion, none of which are overused, Over time these extra additions to her set have been used in more subtle ways, meaning that the song comes first rather than the gimmicks.

The performance left whole room in the palm of her hand, even those who had seen her before, so much so that there was a shout from the back of “Are you single?” (to which there was a very stern reply of “NO!” from Cate’s boyfriend who was also in the audience!).

The set was made up of mostly new songs, from her recent Get Set Ready Go EP, and some which are going to feature on an upcoming Live EP, and closed with jazzy trip hop future classic “Fly”, which I recommend you go and look up on youtube. It’s a fantastic tube and was a real high to end her set on. If you haven’t seen Cate live, don’t miss out next time!

Cate Ferris

Cate Ferris

Pete Fij / Terry Bickers release Betty Ford

So former Creation Records label mates Pete Fij (Adorable / Polak) & Terry Bickers (House of Love / Levitation) have been writing songs together for a couple of years now, and finally they’re getting around to release some.

First up is the song Betty Ford about ‘a man brought down by his addiction to heartbreak’. The video is out now – you can see/hear it below – and the single is officially released tomorrow.

They play some laid-back melancholy jive, nothing like the indie pop they were previously known for but full of quiet soul. If you want to check out the new sounds in person, get along to the Sunday Service, upstairs at the Prince Albert in Trafalgar Street on the 28th April. Entry’ll be £5 on the door, or £4 advance. Al Chamberlain is in support.

Becky Becky drop a new track

Becky Becky play for the Black Madonna

play for the Black Madonna

Becky Becky, Brighton’s premiere electro-pop band, have dropped a new track called ‘House of the Black Madonna’, a follow up to their excellent debut ‘The Harder Stuff’ and a precursor for their forthcoming, as yet untitled, first album due out later this year. The album was written in various places around Europe (Stockholm, Malmo, Berlin, Hamburg, Prague) and apparently recorded in a wooden chateau halfway up a mountain in the French alps.

You can hear the new track below.

Becky Becky have been quiet for a while due to a variety of reasons, Peter’s travelling, Gemma’s recent much-feted solo release as Woodpecker Wooliams and her work with Ghostpoet, and Tom’s departure from the band. But they’re back now and will be performing live along with Kellar and Cloud at a free-entry gig at the Green Door Store tonight, Saturday 20th April.

(Photograph by Jon Southcoasting)