Last night we went to the launch of the new EP by Night House, the new band of man-about-town Nick Williams who has helped curate and participated in some memorable musical events at last night’s venue the marvellous Marwood Cafe. Previous Marwood events curated by Nick included a brilliant weekend of gigs featuring an array of local acts as part of the free The Great Escape festival earlier this year.
First on the bill last night was the extraordinary sight of Laura and the Bass. Amazonian, Scandinavian, Blonde and dressed in not much more than a lace-looking body stocking, Laura presented a striking vision. Fortunately her playing and singing was top-notch, with her songs of the trials and tribulations of modern love.
Next up was the soulful pop of the accomplished four-piece band Staniford, with another tall and talented lead singer in the person of Tom Staniford.
The penultimate act were one of Brighton’s finest, the Self Help Group. This was a tight venue for a six-piece to play, not helped by Mark’s visible man-flu symptoms and the chatter from the now packed upstairs space, but the Groupies rose to the challenge and played an absolutely blinding set with a mix of new and old songs. The harmonies between sisters Sarah and Clara Wood are always a delight, but the whole band seemed to relish the challenge and were as tight as I’ve seen them. Songs from their excellent album ‘Not Waving But Drowning’ were mixed with new songs, like Eddy’s House, a song about a dog house that takes on mythical proportions in the masterful hands of this band. They’re playing next on 22nd October at the Brunswick in a gig hosted by Chris T-T and come very highly recommended.
Finally, man of the night Nick Williams got to play the songs from the new Night House EP along with band versions of some of his older songs. Particular favourites to my ears were ‘Heart on a Wire’ and ‘Berlin’ (referencing “a seaside town” so maybe the title is figurative).
The lead track ‘New Year’s Prayer’ is a lovely thing, mixing some late 70s pop harmonies with an indie soul sensibility. You can see the video for the song here.