A Great Week For Brighton Albums – Royal Blood, The Wytches and Dark Horses

In all my years of writing the blog, I’m not sure there’s been a week like this. There’s been some local acts who have done extremely well – Rizzle Kicks and Conor Maynard have cornered the teen market, but they’re not so likely to be seen down at the Green Door Store or Sticky Mike’s – but this week should see the first number one album by a Brighton band for many a year. Massive congratulations to Royal Blood.

Royal Blood by Royal Blood has had some fantastic reviews with NME giving it eight out of ten (and describing the band as “easily the biggest breakout band at Reading” this year) and Drowned in Sound giving it nine out of ten, and sales of the album have followed with the midweek figures showing it outselling the next most popular by two to one.

As our headline suggests, Royal Blood aren’t the only band with an album out this week. Annabel Dream Weaver by The Wytches was released by Heavenly Records, and also garnered an eight out of ten from NME. The band played three sets across London and Brighton on release day on Monday and then played an instore at Resident on Thursday.

If people aren’t making as much noise about the new album from Dark Horses it’s probably down to marketing budgets, although that hasn’t stopped it getting a nine out of ten review from the Von Pip Musical Express. The band’s second album Hail Lucid State has been produced by Death in Vegas’ Richard Fearless (who also produced their debut Black Music) and is also out this week, on Last Gang Records.

Time for T at Sofar Sounds

RZ9A8711esBrighton has it’s fair share of intimate venues, where you can go and see a band and be able to literally touch them onstage (not that we encourage that kind of behaviour), and recently added, but with no fixed abode is Sofar Sounds. Sofar Sounds, which had a reboot earlier this year, brings concerts into people’s living rooms taking intimate to a whole new level and last night they invited us along to this month’s event. In a slight change to proceedings last night’s gig wasn’t held in someone’s lounge, but in the basement of Nowhere Man Café just opposite the Windmill Pub, which doubles up as a rehearsal space for local bands.

Although last night was a very local affair, organised in Brighton with two of the three acts from Brighton, Sofar Sounds is an international concern and dozens of events took place across Europe and the US, all being tied together with the gig doubling up as a listening party for the new Karen O solo album at every venue.

RZ9A8717esSofar sounds don’t have a headliner as such and all bands are treated as having equal billing, and first act to play was Darren Saunders – a local musician who hasn’t played a “proper” gig in over two years, but has been busking regularly. He was brought in at the last minute on the recommendation of one of the sound guys who said that he thought he had one of the best voices he’s heard. Despite nerves and a broken string great songs and a great voice won the day. Next up was Bec Sanridge, last night’s out of towner (all the way from Australia). I got the impression that Bec hides what a fantastic guitarist she really is, and despite earlier hints it was only in the last song in her Joan Baez-style folk set that her fingerwork truly shone through.

RZ9A8827eesLast night’s final act was Time for T, recently back from a mini-tour of Portugal and with an EP about to be launched soon. A live hometown gig in a small venue obviously suited them as they appeared relaxed and confident on what could barely be called a stage. The lead singer performed a couple of solo acoustic numbers to begin with before being joined by the rest of the band for an assured folk-pop set peppered with tracks from the new EP. When the evening appeared to be over with final words of thanks being given by the Sofar Sounds people the crowd called for a genuine encore – a rarity these days when going off stage then coming back for a few more is all part of the plan.

(click the pics to view large)

New Music – Oslo Parks, David Harks, Fragile Creatures, Troves, Clay Cats, Garden Heart, Thyla, Fable, Thieves by the Code, Crayola Lectern, Curxes

We’ve got a bit of catching up to do with our new music posts – we haven’t made one since the first week of August. Consequently, we’ve got eleven new tracks to serve up for you.

First is thew new track from Oslo Parks. The Night is the double a side to Twin, which we wrote about back in July, and is out today on 7″ on X Novo records. The band play their debut gig at the Green Door Store on 2nd October.

David Harks was brought to our attention by our friends over at Breaking More Waves who despite being based fifty miles up the coast are sometimes better in touch with some parts of the Brighton music scene than we are. Open Arms is one of those tracks that we wish we’d heard when the sun was shining and the temperature was nudging at thirty degrees. It oozes summer from every pore – blissful house beats, steel drums and a breathy male vocal. Fantastic stuff.

Fragile Creatures eponymous new EP comes out on 31st August. Sunshine did the rounds earlier in the summer, and now you can get your ears around Stowaways, another lovely slice of guitar pop. The EP will be available via the usual download sites, and the band are headlining at The Komedia on 12th September.

Youth in Decay is the debut track from new Brighton synth-pop trio Troves. There’s not a great deal of info about the band out there yet, but we’ll be keeping a very close ear to the ground and keeping you up to date:

Clay Cats put out their Soap EP a couple of weeks ago. If you like the sound of the title track that we’re featuring here, you can grab the whole EP over on Bandcamp, and you can catch the band at Brighton Arts Club this friday.

Garden Heart have just put out their debut single Cure, loaded with three part female harmonies and indie guitars. It’s being followed swiftly with a self titled EP which is out on 17th September, and the band are playing a launch show at Bleach on Tuesday 16th September.

One of the supports for Garden Heart’s debut gig is Thyla, who just last week posted up a video for their track Cornfields, which will appear on their upcoming debut EP War which is due in October:

Stranger in my Head is the second track to be put up from Fable‘s debut EP Parasite, which has a release date of 13th October. It’s not quite as harsh as I Speak Words which we featured a few weeks ago, but still features uncompromising electro beats and vocals which belie the face that Fable has only just turned nineteen:

Thieves by the Code have just announced details of their debut album Tales from the Green Muse and Beyond. It’s out on 4th October, and to whet our apetite they’ve put up So Slick:

Last week the world was greeted with the sad news of Robin Williams’ passing. The latest upload from Crayola Lectern, a new track called Mork, isn’t a cheap cash in on a tragic event, but a track written for his second album which had been mastered and approved by Williams people before events overtook matters. In Crayola Lectern’s own words:

“This track was mixed a couple of weeks ago for the upcoming second Crayola Lectern album. It is the centrepiece of the album like Trip In ‘D’ was for the first. I’d been in touch with Robin Williams’ fan club asking about how to get a copy to him for his approval and had received a reply. Then, a few days later came the awful news of his demise.
Ironically, this song is very much a celebration of the magic spark that ignites the spirit and gives life; it even charts a life, starting at the crib and ending with old age. Robin Williams, to me, always had a unique way about him which cut through to the essence of humanity and my ‘Mork’ was just an attempt to use his character to make that representation, in a way which celebrates our existence on this planet.”

Finally, we posted about Curxes new single Valykrie in our most recent New Music post, which was subsequently released on 18th August. The track was backed with an instrumental and a four to the floor remix from Deluxe Flamingos which we’re happy to share with you here:

Green Door Store 234 Festival Gallery featuring Tusks, The Hundredth Anniversary, Adolescent, Fear of Men, Skirts, Winston & Goldstein and Spit Shake Sisters

This weekend we’ve been out at the Green Door Store’s now annual 234 Festival. For the sake of our livers, we didn’t stay for the whole weekend, but we did manage to catch a whole load of Brighton bands. Here’s our pics of Tusks, The Hundredth Anniversary, Adolescent, Fear of Men, Skirts, Winston & Goldstein and Spit Shake Sisters. Click on the pics to view large:

Michael A Grammar album news

DIGI Coversmall

More album news, this time from Michael A Grammar whose debut album hits the shops on 29th September. The self titled album features all of the tracks from their now-out-of-print EPs as well as four new tracks, including Don’t Wake Me, which comes as an early download if you pre-order the album on iTunes:

Fore more info head over to the Melodic website, who are putting the album out, where you can also pre-order the album for a few pounds less than iTunes.

Weekend Gig Pick – 234 Festival at Green Door Store

Our regular Weekend Gig Pick post isn’t quite so regular these days, but when there’s something we feel you really must see we’ll make sure we tell you about it.

234This weekend the Green Door Store are holding their second annual 234 mini-festival, with a mixture of talent from in and out of town playing over the course of the weekend. This year it’s moved from the first weekend in August to the Bank Holiday weekend to avoid clashing with Pride, but it’s still free to see the fantastic line up they’re putting on.

The music starts at 2pm on Saturday with an opening set from Grasshopper, and is followed by a host of Brighton bands who’ve graced our posts (and a number who haven’t yet). Keep an eye out on Saturday for The Hundredth Anniversary, Adolescent, Tyrannosaurus Dead, Demob Happy and Fear of Men.

Sunday hosts more of the out of town acts, but kicks off with the local post-folk act Rainslicker. Highlights for us on Sunday are Skirts, Winston & Goldstein and Spit Shake Sisters.

See you down the front.

Tyrannosaurus Dead album news

T Dead Flying Ant

Tyrannosaurus Dead have announced news of their debut album, hot on the heels of their split single last month with Joanna Gruesome. Flying Ant Day gets a release on Odd Box Records on in November and was produced by Rory Attwell from Test Icicles. The first single from the album, Local Bullies, got it’s premier over on Stereogum yesterday, but you can hear it here now:

The album can be pre-ordered in various CD/LP/T-shirt combos via Odd Box’s bandcamp page now and you can catch Tyrannosaurus Dead live this Saturday as part of the Green Door Store’s 234 weekender.