September Top Five

We’ve been away for half of September, so this month we’re just doing a Top Five rather than our normal Top Ten. Any good stuff we like from the last week or two may well make it into next month’s list. Anyway, without further ado:

1) Dog in the Snow – Fire in the Sky

At the top of the pile this month is Helen Ganya Brown’s latest haunting offering, available as a free download through soundcloud, and with a video that just went up online today:

2) Palm Springs – Could You Be Wrong

We’re the ones who’ve got things wrong about the new Palm Springs single. Their label, Random Acts of Vinyl, sent us a copy a few weeks ago and there was a bit of a mix up with release dates and we haven’t got around to doing a write up yet, even though it’s been out for a few weeks. We’ll be giving it a proper write up soon, but in the meantime, let it be known that it’s one of favourite tracks of recent weeks:

3) Luo – Spiral Staircase

Luo keeps churning out great music, which he keeps giving out for free, and was awesome at Sound Screen at the Corn Exchange earlier this month. This is our favourite track from his latest EP Imprints:

4) Momotaro – Embers

We got turned onto to Momotaro care of the new Green Door Store fanzine which has been popping up all around town. They’ve got got a bunch of free downloads up on Soundcloud, and Embers has had a lot of plays at Brighton Music Blog HQ:

5) Nordic Giants – Violent Lights

We only heard Violent Lights less than a week ago, but we’re big fans of Nordic Giants so we couldn’t not include it. The Build Seas EP which it’s taken from is out tomorrow.

Nordic Giants – Violent Lights

Things have been a but quiet on the blog for the last week or so because I’m on holiday and have been off the internet, but the magical combination of an early rise brought on by jet lag, a hotel with wireless, and an exciting new track to tell you about has forced me to break my silence.

Violent Lights is the first track that’s surfaced from the Nordic Giants forthcoming Build Seas Dismantle Suns EP. It features vocals by Alex Hedley from Saturday Sun, who have been on the bill the last couple of times I’ve seen Nordic Giants, so if you were at any if those gigs you’ll have heard his tender, almost falsetto voice which suits the track perfectly.

The track is just what you’d expect from Nordic Giants – an ambient atmospheric beginning that builds to their trademark epic sound, with a breathtaking drop a minute before the end preceding an awesome aural onslaught.

The EP is being released in two parts, with the Build Seas half coming out next week on 1st October. Nordic Giants play a headline show at the Concorde 2 on 30th October.

Flash Bang Band album launch


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Flash Bang Band launched their brilliant new album ‘Bite Your Tongue’ at a free gig at the Green Door Store last night. If you haven’t bought it yet, it comes very highly recommended. They were ably supported at the launch … Continue reading

Gig Previews

We’re going to be out of town for a few weeks, so it’ll be a bit quiet on the blog, but before we go, here’s a few gigs that are on while we’re away that we think you ought to be at.

Friday 20th September – Brighton Dome Source New Music Special headlined by Bitbin

There’s already been one Source New Music this month but since Brighton Digital Festival is on at the moment, a second one is taking place. Headliner Bitbin will be collaborating with visual artists metaLuna. Champion Fever will also be performing a live set alongside DJ sets from Spacenoid, Alphabets Heaven and the Beatabet collective.

source digital

Saturday 28th September – RSPB Charity gig : The Bobby McGees supporting Grace Petrie at the Blind Tiger

A little while back the RSPB put on a charity gig headlined by Mary Hampton. It’s a great way to engage with a Brighton audience who are regular gig goers but whose main interaction with birds is seagulls waking them up at five o clock in the morning. The local contribution at this gig comes from The Bobby McGees, who would be worth going to see even if it wasn’t a charity gig.

communionTuesday 1st October – Communion Records Night at the Haunt with Us Baby Bear Bones and George Ezra (and Teen Creeps DJs)

Communion Records are relaunching their club nights and are coming to the Haunt on 1st October. The full line up features live sets from Royal Blood, Fossil Collective, Us Baby Bear Bones, Trouble with Templeton and George Ezra in what promises to be a fantastic night.

Jacko Hooper Kickstarter

We’ve been big fans of Jacko Hooper at Brighton Music Blog since we saw him play at Sea Monsters at the start of this year, so when he got in touch to tell us about a new single he had coming out we said “of course we’ll write about it.”

Jacko Hooper

Jacko Hooper

For You is getting a 7″ release in December, and to fund the recording, mixing and promotion, Jacko’s started up a Kickstarter page. For a pledge of £3, you get a download weeks before the general public. Pledge £7 and you get the 7″ and a download of the EP, plus three bonus tracks. For a pledge of £45 Jacko will write a song for you, and if you’ve got £500 to spare he’ll perform an intimate gig where you get to choose the set list.

There’s something for all budgets – head over to Kickstarter now to see which one works for you.

Flash Bang Band Interview

Last weekend we met up with Andy Halliday, lead singer and founder of Flash Bang Band to talk about their new album Bite Your Tongue, and the journey they’ve made to get where they are.

Bite Your Tongue - Album Art

We start at the very beginning, and the origins of the name of the band:
“When the band very very first started it was me and a guy called Len. He moved into my flat and we started making music together. We were trying to make electronic music and one day I was playing a guitar song to him, and he suggested working on that, so we did it on the computer, and that was the beginning of the band basically. Me and Len made about twenty tracks that were my songs but produced by him on computer. He cut up all the drums, we found horn sections and stuff, it sounded really cool and then he just decided at the last minute that he didn’t want to be in a working band – he didn’t want to play shit gigs and stuff. During that whole process we had to come up with a band name and we couldn’t come up with anything that was very transparent. Every single name that we came up with seemed to mean something. In the end we went onto Wikipedia and hit the random article button I don’t know how many times and we were both completely exasperated, and then it came up Flash Bang. Originally we called it Flash Bang Project. Our friends told us that it was the shittest name they’ve ever heard in their life, so we called it Flash Bang Band instead, which our friends were happier with”

Starting again Andy reformed things as a four piece. He put an advert up on Gumtree to recruit a drummer and Rodney Roodt, who moved to Brighton to start a band, is still with the group now. George Laycock, friends with Andy since their teenage years growing up in Dorset, was brought in to play trumpet but before long he left to form Nordic Giants. The band went through a number of bassists and other members before bringing in Rob Carmier, settling as a three piece two or three years ago, and it’s around then they found their sound.

We got around to discussing where the name of the album came from:
“Basically we wanted to call the album Welcome to Planet Motherfucker. Our label told us calling it that would be commercial suicide. Eventually we weren’t allowed to call it that. We had lists and lists of alternative titles and our manager and our label were chucking names around, and we were sat down one day outside the Waggon & Horses and said ‘We’re just going to have to bite our tongues about this’ and actually from that point onwards Rodney wanted to call it “Bite Your Tongue and say Wikky Wooey Nacky” or something like that, but that was dreadful. The title’s all about being frustrated”

There’s been two singles from the album so far – If You’re Driving and Screw Come Loose. Originally there was talk of a third single but with delays throughout the process that idea’s been shelved for now. But the band love making videos, so they’re in the process of making a video for every single track from the album with a few ready to go already. Interestingly, album closer Good Excuse is one of those songs from the from those first demos, which has been a live favourite over the years.

The album launch is this Sunday at the Green Door Store, with support from Clowns and P for Persia:
“We’ve been friends with P for Persia for ages. We’ve always tried to do gigs with them, but for one reason or the other it’s never really happened. The funny thing is that we’ve got a gig on Saturday with them in Chichester with them, and that all happened by coincidence. I used to play in Clowns a long time ago – I was the first bass player. Tom White was originally the drummer. I didn’t really know Tom at all and I didn’t know anything about Electric Soft Parade. When I was younger and doing music and stuff I wasn’t into other bands. One way or another I bump into Tom and get into Clowns, which was really Miles and Andy’s band. It was around the time Flash Bang Band was just starting, I didn’t take it that seriously, I was playing in about five different bands, and we went and did a recording session and I remember being clumsy in the session. I had other things going on in my mind. I didn’t see Clowns play until about a year later and I saw Tom on bass!”

The band have built up quite a live reputation over the years, with plenty of experience under their belt. They supported Dananananaykroyd at The Haunt shortly before they split up, giving them the inspiration for the song Dananananafreud. That was their first review by a bigger blog, which the band see as a bit of a turning point for them, making them taking things a bit more seriously. They also did hired out a bus from Brighton & Hove Buses and played a charity gig with The Beautiful Word driving around town, with one band on each floor of the bus.

Once the album launches are out of the way (there’s one in London too) the band are spending October working on new songs before touring around Europe, borrowing a tour van from their old friends the Nordic Giants, going to Belgium, The Netherlands, France, Germany, Austria, Spain, Italy, and Switzerland. Watch out Europe.

Bite Your Tongue is out now on At The Helm Records, and the free launch party is at the Green Door Store on Sunday 15th September.

Weekend Gig Picks

Just a very quick round up of this weekend’s gigs for you all, since we’re off out to see some live music tonight ourselves.


On Friday night Audio celebrate their ninth birthday. That makes us feel very old indeed. There’s a big club night take place after 10pm, but a gig with local bands before then starting from seven, put on by our friends at Les Enfants Terribles, with Curxes, King Dinosaur and Alphabets Heaven playing. We also spotted that this week’s Brighton Rocks at Sticky Mikes with Alice Amelia, Faux Flux and Lu’Ami.


Saturday sees Brighton Music Blog favourites Bent Cousin are headlining at Prince Albert, which should be good. Elsewhere, Mok and Tiny Dragons play The Haunt, and Crayola Lectern is supporting William Drake at the Komedia.

Our recommendation for Sunday night is Flash Bang Band’s album launch at the Green Door Store. Support comes from P for Persia and Clowns – there’s three great bands to see for free. We’ll have an interview with Andy from Flash Bang Band going up very soon, so look out for that.

New Music – Dog in the Snow and more

Here’s our latest post of the seemingly never-ending stream of fantastic new music from Brighton.

First up is a brand new dream pop download from Dog in the Snow. Fire in the Sky was produced by Steve Hillier, best known for his work in the nineties as a third of Dubstar, but the track owes more to Bat for Lashes and those who have followed her – haunting vocals, fuzzy guitars, a simple piano line and pounding drums. 

Next up we’ve got a remix of Keep You by GAPS. The Paradise Remix brings in the beats earlier, loses some of the vocals and makes the whole thing far more dancefloor friendly.

After writing this weekend about how much we love Luo, we’re a little bit embarrassed to admit that we missed him putting out another EP a few weeks ago. Imprints is free four track download that shows that electronica needn’t be cold an inhuman.

Yesterday Ed Prosek announced the release of a new EP. Willow tree is five tracks of gentle acoustic folk, which you can listen to on bandcamp and buy on download or limited cd.

Ancient Times have a new 7″ out next monday. Double A side Nightschool / Hieroglyphic has two tracks of unashamedly Smiths influenced indie which you can order now through their bandcamp site. 

Freefall is a new single from brother / sister due BASA. Things start a bit synth-pop but by halfway through things are definitely dubstep. 

Last, but by no means least is Embers by Momotaro, who have been tipped in the second edition of Green Door Store’s new monthly zine as “Brighton Band To Watch”. At the moment, all of Momotaro’s music on Soundcloud is free to download, so go and feast your ears!


SoundScreen – Hundredth Anniversary, Luo and Phoria at the Corn Exchange

About a year ago we saw Nordic Giants headline a night at the Pavilion Theatre which showcased both audio and visual sides of their performance. Sound Screen was an event put on as part of Brighton Digital Festival which paired up bands with visual artists, and last Thursday it returned as part of this year’s festival.

The first band on were The Hundredth Anniversary, who have recently taken more of a visual slant with their approach to their new single Last Drive. The Hundredth Anniversary have a lot more vision than a lot of lo fi bands around, and the cinematic view afforded by huge screen felt appropriate

For us, Luo were the real winners of the night in the space of only a few months they’ve grown from one guy making glitchy electronica on a laptop to a six piece band (which featured two members of Physics House Band) making ambitious, complex, jazz influenced beats. It sounded immense. We’ve been fans of Luo since we first heard them, and now it seems they’re fulfilling all of their potential.

Phoria are one of Brighton’s most ambitious bands, and took the opportunity of a headline slot at the Corn Exchange to not just include visuals in their set but also a string section. The band crammed a massive amount of emotion into their time on stage and the crowd – who seemed to be made up mainly from people visiting Brighton for the Digital Festival rather than the usual gig going crowd – responded accordingly. A great night all round.

Gallery (click to view images large):

Lloyd Williams and Ellie Ford

It’s almost becoming the norm, to do something special for the release of your first EP or album. And if it’s Friday night then it really ought to involve playing a gig in a church.

This is undoubtedly a good thing, because Brighton seems to have an array of fabulous churches who now open their doors to beautiful music. We’ve seen and reviewed church-launched  releases by Woodpecker Wooliams, Time for Tea, Your Garden Day and now Lloyd Williams and Ellie Ford taking on the massive beautifully austere environment of St Mary’s church in Kemp Town.

And a rather stunning event it was.

Ellie Ford

Ellie Ford‘s 5 track EP ‘Show Night In’ has been on constant rotation since we first got hold of it a week or so ago, and live Ellie delivered the full range of her harp and guitar-fuelled folk-pop featured on the EP, plus some  additional elements. She was even joined on stage by Tiago of Time for T and Andrew Stuart-Battle of the Common Tongues for two numbers including a lovely Americana tune which made me think of Linda Rondtadt fronting the Flying Burrito Brothers. Two favourites of ours from the EP also stood out, the wonderful ‘Too Late’, sounding as good as anything Laura Marling has written, and  the gorgeous ‘Low’ which you can listen to below.

Lloyd Williams

Lloyd Williams played two sets either side of Ellie, and if you haven’t heard his stunning frantic soulful folk-infused songs you really are in for a treat. I cannot recommend the new album ‘Time’ highly enough for fans of Nick Drake and John Martyn. Those references are pretty obvious and not entirely accidental, as the new album was produced by John Wood who was responsible for the sound of the Nick Drake albums and most of John Martyn’s classic oeuvre back in the 1970s. That’s a definite win as the production is top quality and so are the songs. It’s hard to pick out any single song, but particular favourites for us at the moment are the opener ‘Go Without’ and ‘The Foolish (in time)’.

Live Lloyd is an extrordinary guitarist and banjo player with a powerfully moving vocal style, which takes in elements of both Americana and classic British folk. There’s a deceptive simplicity to some of the songs, with a ripping speed-folk style powering an array of complex chords and riffs, and sensitive subtle lyricism. Catch him live as soon as you can.

For a flavour of what we heard from the off in St Mary’s have a listen to the video for new song ‘Satire’ which does not feature on the album but is a powerful introduction to Lloyd’s live set in which it features.


[Review and Photographs by Jon Southcoasting]