When I first started buying records, a bootleg was something very different from what it is now. Bootlegs used to be live recordings of gigs – if you were very lucky they’d be direct from the sound desk, but more often than not they’d be taped by someone in the crowd so you’d end up with muffled sound and the audience singing along. Next week the Prince Albert and Brightelmstone Promotions are putting on a four night event called The Bootleg Festival, less about mash ups, and more about the live recordings – every night is getting recorded with ticket holders getting a download of one song from each act and full recordings going on sale. And since it’s being put on with the full cooperation of the Prince Albert, recordings from the sound desk are guaranteed! There’s some great Brighton bands playing with Clowns, Crayola Lectern, Flash Bang Band and Thieves by the Code already on the line ups with more bands yet to be announced. Advance tickets can be bought online here.
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.
September was yet another great month for Brighton Music. We’ve barely kept up with posting the new music that we’ve heard throughout the month, but these have been our favourites:
1 GAPS & Maya Jane Coles – In Dark In Day
GAPS collaboration EP with Maya Jane Coles was an easy choice for our number one spot this month. We were fans of GAPS before this release, and In Dark In Day made us love them even more.
2 Gazelle Twin – Belly of the Beast
Live show of the month had to be Gazelle Twin’s headline post at last week’s Spectrum night at the Dome Studio Theatre. The tracksuit and obscured face was the perfect visual representation of her leftfield claustrophobic electronica. We could have chosen any track from her new album Unflesh, but we’ve gone for Belly of the Beast.
3 Cate Ferris – Giants
Giants has been a staple of Cate’s live sets for quite a while, so we were pleased to hear it get released on her new EP Disappear. It’s even better live – if you’re about this weekend get down to the Level where Cate is headlining the Lantern Fayre around 8-8.30ish on saturday night.
4 Dog in the Snow – Africa
Helen Ganya Brown’s latest single is another great slice of art pop which, too, has been a staple of her live sets over the last year.
5 Momotaro – Kite
If we could have, we’d have put the Deep Blast & Ricco Remix of Kite into our top ten tunes for you to listen to this month, but since it’s not streaming anywhere online, here’s the standard single version
6 Fear of Men – Tephra
2014 has been a good year for Fear of Men – support slots with Pains of Being Pure at Heart across the US and Europe, an album with great reviews across the board, a headline UK tour of their own, and to top it all their latest video premiered on the NME website.
7 Oslo Parks – Twin
As debut singles go, you couldn’t ask for better than Twin. We’re looking forward to heading down to the Green Door Store for the launch tomorrow night (Thursday 2nd October).
8 Heliopause – I seem too cold (Faulty Remix)
Heliopause’s latest offering is a beautiful, blissed out, exotic rework of an older track, put out to celebrate Brighton Digital Festival.
9 Troves – Afterthought
Afterthought is another debut single from another new Brighton band, and coincidentally, Troves are the support to Oslo Park’s gig on thursday.
10 Phantom Runners – On The Run
Finally, we have On The Run, the new Huey Morgan produced single from Phantom Runners, with it’s video filmed partly at Brighton Arts Club.