GAPS at the Prince Albert photo gallery

Last night we braved the cold to head out to the Prince Albert where GAPS played a hometown gig following their recent mini tour. Since the last time we saw them they’ve gained some rather lovely visuals which meant they were standing in the dark – that we got any photos of the band was something of a miracle. They’ve also written an awful lot of new material too which has broadened their sound while still operating within the bands existing premise of folk + electronica, now taking in breakbeats and some trouser shaking bass. Support came folk troubadour Lloyd Williams who did some very clever things with a guitar, a banjo and a floor mounted accordion. Here’s our pics, click to view large:

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Kristin McClement launches ‘the Wild Grips’

Kristin McClement launched her new album ‘The Wild Grips‘ on Saturday night in Brighton at the One Church on Gloucester Parade, the latest in a long line of incredible music from the Willkommen Records stable.

Support act Benjamin Benedict, a solo Ben Rubinsteain – lead singer with Mariner’s Children, had a bit of a cold which made his reverbed vocals sound a lot like one of those early 60s English pop singers favoured so much by the likes of Joe Meek.  That was no bad thing. Supporting Willy Mason also seemed to rub off on Ben. He started off a bit snuffly and hesitant, but showed the strength of his songwriting and singing in the last three songs.

Benjamin Benedict

Benjamin Benedict

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But this was really all about Kristin McClement, whose album ‘The Wild Grips‘ has been a long long time coming. Song ‘Planks’ was a highlight of the first Willkommen Collective compilation way back in 2009, but little McClement music had emerged since then, despite her regularly venturing forth to play live in a variety of formations, lately most commonly as a two-piece with drummer and backing vocalist Julian Owens. Now her long-awaited debut is out in the world, recorded with Christian Hardy of the Leisure Society who featured on keyboards here in an expanded live band.

Kristin McClement

Kristin McClement

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

McClement’s set began with her solo, playing the beautiful mournful ‘Mouthful of Shells’, then she was joined by drummer Owens for ‘Planks’, another stunning song. This is the mainstay of her live performances in normal times, but for the remainder of the set her stage support grew to feature Christian Hardy, three quarters of Eyes and No Eyes as well as multi-instrumentalist Emma Gatrill and the aforementioned Owens, allowing the rich sounds of the album to be re-created live.

The ‘The Wild Grips’ is an extraordinary collection of mournful yet beautifully crafted and poetic songs, with McClement’s deep resonant voice dominant throughout. Songs like ‘Hoax of a Man’ and the aforementioned ‘Mouthful of Shells’ are particular favourites, but the whole work is genuinely quite special. There’s the lost princess spirit of the alt-folk heroine Sibylle Baier in the intimate cool of the songs, but enriched with the talents of the Willkommen collective the musical depth of the playing comes into finer focus. Julian Owen’s percussion and backing vocals are particularly noteworthy, as was the playing of the gritty soulful celloist Becca Mears.

The main set ended with the Drink Waltz {‘Drink with me’) in which the audience were asked to join in the poignant chorus, not easy given the awkward flow of the words but achieved with aplomb. Then the band returned for an encore of the album’s title-track , a deeply elegant and personal song. Perhaps not an obviously uplifting way to end a show, with its dark lyric, but the band lifted the gloom and filled the large Baptist church hall leaving the audience mesmerised and happy.

Kristin McClement

Kristin McClement

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Listen to the opening track ‘Blackfin Gulls’ below

https://soundcloud.com/kristin-mcclement/blackfin-gulls

The album ‘The Wild Grips’ can be ordered via bandcamp at  https://kristinmcclement.bandcamp.com/

 

 

New Music

Another week, another round of up new music for you all. First up is Laser Beam, the new single from Phantom Runners, which came from their sessions with Huey Morgan.

Last week Fear of Men posted up a video for their track America, from their album Loom, suitably filmed while they were on tour in America:

Lonely in Paradise is only the second track that I am L has put out there, but musically it sounds incredibly established, a bombastic ballad with Florence & The Machine style elements.

Seadog have a new EP out on Bleeding Hearts Recordings. Transmitter is the first track and also the name of the five track EP. The EP is out now as a download on bandcamp, with a 10″ coming in the spring.

We posted about the new The Go! Team track The Scene Between recently, but this week the video hit the internet. In Ian Parton’s own words “[I was] imagining things like aerial fly-bys, bad chromakey, Waco cable access, country versus the city, a choir in the wilderness.  The key thing was I was definitely imagining looking down on landscapes, rivers and forests, but I could hear a slightly menacing, kind of pagan, thing going on too and a definite schizo thing between the verse and the chorus.”

Memory Loop have collaborated with Eva Bowan on a piece of electronica called 5115. Things start out quite ambient, but around the halfway mark the skittering beats kick in.

Around this time last year The Hundredth Anniversary did a session for indie website Daytrotter. You have to sign up to their website to listen to the sessions, but the band have put up Caroline from the session up as a free download on their soundcloud page:

ARC have just put out their debut EP Dopamine. Dopamine is track two EP, with track one being the jauntier 1664 Water, which we’re hoping is an ode to Kronenbourg.

Last but by no means least is some new music from Nightkites who put out a great EP last year called Drones. They’re back with another EP, this time called Drones 2, which is also a free download over on Soundcloud. Here’s track three – Dusk:

Album news – Will Mussett / November Storm

will

News has reached Brighton Music Blog of local singer songwriter Will Mussett‘s debut album. November Storm will be released on 31st January digitally and on cd via BBrat Recordings and has been produced by fellow Brightonian Alex Wells. While the bulk of the album was written by Will there are also some collaborations from heavy hitters from the music industry – 40,000 feet was co-written with Jim Irvin (who’s worked with Lana Del Rey and Chloe Howl) and John Fortis (who’s worked with Paolo Nutini and Laura Marling) helped out with In Loving Memory. You can take a listen to the title track below:

The album launch is at the Green Door Store on 31st January. Head over to the Facebook event for a link to buy cheap advance tickets

Sputnik – an evening of intergalactic sounds

Saturday night in Brighton and we were getting our groove on at the Green Door Store for  a free-entry night of “intergalactic sounds inspired by outer space” with four local dance-oriented acts, headlined by the legendary psych-rockers Cloud playing what I was told was rumoured to be the opening and closing night of their 2015 World stadium tour.

Opening act NJ Strange has been messing around with software and technology-based sound for around quarter of a century and laid down some smooth sounds to introduce the evening.

NJ Strange

Second on was the electro-dance mix-meister Peter J Mason who is one half of the electro-pop high-drama-duo Becky Becky as well as re-mixer for the likes of Button Eyes, Woodpecker Wooliams and various Fence Collective acts. His high-powered hi-energy set played under the new name JOTA really got the joint moving, and well-deserved the hearty round of applause.

Jota (Peter Mason)

Third act INVADR comprised electronics-wizard Matt Garland who had programmed software to project a space-inspired light-show that was triggered by the different aspects of his 1970s synthesiser-driven dance set. It felt a bit Kraftwerk and a bit Jean-Michelle Jarre.

INVADR (Matt Garland)

Finally, headliners CLOUD are a bit of a supergroup comprising a movable feast of players from the Brighton music scene past and present. Whilst guitar-based, the group include synths, electro-violin and a guest appearance on flute by Woodpecker Woolliams. The band are infrequent visitors to the stage these days but when they play live their thing is an improvised barrage of psych-inspired rock, with a lot like Hawkwind at their grooviest. They were on very good form tonight and there was a lot of dancing going on amongst the enthusiastic audience. Hopefully we’ll be seeing another space-fuelled psych night like this again soon.

CLOUD CLOUD

CLOUD

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Words and pictures by Jon Southcoasting

New Music

Here’s our first new music post of 2015. We’ve kept receiving music over the Christmas break, including an incredible five emails from one band about a track we’d already featured in a new music post. Odd.

First up is the new single from Moulettes, the aptly titled Glorious Year, out today via the usual digital distribution channels, which comes with remixes from Jimthefingers (aka Moulettes bassist Jim Mortimore) and Modernaire – an old pseudonym of the band they used when they made dance music which has largely been inactive for the last five years:

Ambassadeurs new release came out last week. The Forever EP has been released on his own Lost Tribe label, and can listen to it below on Soundcloud:

Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster drummer Rob Ling has got a new project called Krak Krak, which he describes as like the White Stripes on crack. They have an upcoming EP coming out in February on Sonic Anhedonic in February, but as an introduction here’s a track called It Sleeps:

After we put Yumi & The Weather into our top twenty at the end of the year last year we were promised that there would be some new music soon, and today a new track called Be There appeared on Soundcloud. We don’t know much about the track, but we’ll keep you posted with any news:

Finally, from nowhere we have a mini album from Black Black Hills who we had thought were missing in action somewhere. The eponymous release collects together the bands several singles along side a few other unreleased tracks and is available on Bandcamp now:

grasshopper video and live news

News has reached Brighton Music Blog HQ from the grasshopper camp. First up is a remix of Rico’s Revenge, taken from last year’s Circle Time EP. It’s been turned into a very cool slice of synth based krautrock by Def Stare artist Oban 2. Visuals in the video come from Innerstrings Light Show who have been making a whole load of Brighton’s gigs a lot more better looking for the last few years.

If you wanted to catch Grasshopper live (and trust us – you should), there’s two local gigs coming up. First up they’re playing at Northern Lights on Saturday, supporting Bleeding Hearts Recording signing Seadog. A little more impressively, they’ve also managed to grab a slot supporting The Charlatans who are playing at Worthing Pavilion on 15th March.