New Brighton Music

It’s been far too long since we made a new music post – transcribing the recent interview took forever, and rare nights out eat into the limited time we have to post. So here we are with a bit of catching up to do. Inevitably we won’t be able to write about everything we’ve sent, so we’ll do our best, and then try and catch up when we can.

We’ll kick things off properly with something brand new – this weekend ex Shrag / Blue Minkies member Steph Goodman released her debut solo album If You Know You Know. I could describe it as experimental DIY pop, but your best bet is to head over to Bandcamp and give it a listen:

Another track hot off the press is My Shirt Guy is High, the new track from Johnny Kills, officially out tomorrow, but up on Soundcloud today:

Next up we have the new single from Strange Cages, called The Cracks. Strange Cages play the Prince Albert on 13th August alongside Brighton Music Blog faves grasshopper:

Don’t Let The Sun Get In The Way is the latest video to be taken from British Sea Power‘s Let The Dancers Inherit The Party.

Wax Machine, a psych band who could teach a lot of other bands about the use of the word psychedelia, launched their new Harlequin’s Patchwork EP a couple of weeks ago with a gig at Sticky Mike’s:

Finally, for this post, is a release which has been deliberately low key. Black Bunny is the latest project from Thomas White. The Fiction Aisle is still his main project (they play at The Komedia this Thursday), but a new EP, called Gold in the Dark, with a new band name and more guitars has slipped without any announcement. Black Bunny play the Prince Albert on 13th August, supporting Piano Wire, although there’s no clues as to the identity of the band on the facebook event. Mysterious…

 

Brighton Rocks #8 – Pete Fij

Normally at the top of each Brighton Rocks we put up a picture that we’ve shot ourselves of our interviewees, but despite a fair few emails back and forth between us and the Pete Fij & Terry Bickers camp we haven’t managed to sort things out yet, and their beautifully sublime album We Are Millionaires comes out tomorrow so we thought we’d get the words up and hopefully the picture can follow at some point.

Pete-and-Terry

What’s the best thing about Brighton?

The North Laines, the sense of adventure, the liberalism, and the wide choice of Japanese cuisine.

Who are the your favourite local bands?

Fujiya & Miyagi, Fröst, British Sea Power

What’s the best venue?

Rialto, Green Door Store or if you want to go super intimate then Bom Banes.

What’s the best rehearsal space / studio?

Best rehearsal space Terry’s front room. Best studio would be Church Road which has become a second home for us.

What’s the best club?

I have a soft spot for Spellbound

What’s the best record shop?

Resident, though Vinyl Revolution which is about to open in Duke Street looks promising

Where’s the best place to eat?

Love the unpretentious hustle & bustle of Pompoko

What’s the best pub?

So many to choose from, but have soft spot for The Iron Duke in Hove and The Great Eastern on Trafalgar Street (if you can get a seat!)

Who’s your favourite Brighton celebrity?

David Van Day.

When was the last time you had any Brighton Rock?

On my wedding day – we had some made with our names on it.

We Are Millionaires by Pete Fij & Terry Bickers is out on 21st July and could be bought digitally or on cd here. They play at St Pauls in Worthing on Saturday night, and in Brighton itself on 30th August at The Rialto.

In the pub with Pete Wiggs and David Best

Saint Etienne and Fujiya & Miyagi have both had new albums out this year, so it’s only right that we put together a feature for both bands. We did a proper interview with David Best around the release of EP2 last year though, and we did something fairly extensive with Pete Wiggs when Words and Music came out, so this time round we thought we’d try a different approach. What if we went to the pub and just had a chat? No more boring interview questions that they’ve been asked a thousand times already, and more of an insight into what they’re really like coming out through the topics that came up naturally. So a couple of weeks ago we sat down in The Urchin to chew the cud about being big in China, getting trick-or-treated by Gomez, rotting whales, Twin Peaks, Columbo, Bowie, Aphex Twin and gout:

IMG_0766eesOn Festivals:
David Best: We’ve just played Glastonbury
Pete Wiggs: We played last year – It was raining.
DB: It’s the first one I’ve been to where it wasn’t raining. In a few weeks we’re playing a Festival at the bottom of Mount Etna, alongside Air, which is quite nice, then another one the week after. Then we’re playing Liverpool Psych Fest, which I’ve never been to. The line up is nuts so I’m quite excited about that.
PW: We’re doing Port Eliot Festival, down in Cornwall. I’ve been going to it the last few years. The first couple of times I took the wife and kids, because I heard it’s a good family one, then last year I couldn’t make it and the wife took the kids without me because she liked it so much! We’re playing this year and we’re all going again. It’s really nice. We’re doing Green Man as well, I’ve not been to that before.
DB: We’re hopefully going to China in the New Year. This Chinese band wanted us to do a remix, and they’re really good – kind of post punk. I suggested doing a swap and it’s snowballed from there. I wanna be big in China! There’s a label based there who are interested in reissuing our stuff. I love going to places I’ve never been to, and I love the idea of going to China.

On fellow Brighton & Hove musicians and journalists:
DB: I saw Steve Mason once. There’s some really good conker trees on Pembroke Crescent, and it just so happened that I was looking for conkers with my sons and he just walked past us. When we started, one of the bands that we were into was the Beta Band.
PW: He’s really nice actually, we’ve made friends since we’ve moved down here. He DJs sometimes at the Coopers Cask. I met him at one of those.
Brighton Music Blog: Do you ever see Simon Price?
PW: Hardly ever, actually. I occasionally see him at gigs, he’s easy to spot. I was in Brighton once, and I couldn’t tell – I think it was him without his horns on and I didn’t want to say hello because he didn’t have any make up on. It probably wasn’t him at all! Do you know Tom from Gomez?
DB: We almost shared a studio with him, but I’ve never actually met him.
PW: He’s a lovely bloke – I met him through Steve Mason. I met him in the pub and then about two weeks later it was Halloween, and I’d been out trick or treating with the kids. I came back and they went off somewhere else so it was just me in the house on my own with vampire gear on and there was a knock at the door and I’d only got two sweets left, it looked really dodgy, and it was Tom and his kids!

On Hastings:
PW: A friend of mine who lives here is just about to move to Hastings.
DB: The old town of Hastings is really lovely. Me and my girlfriend were thinking of moving there years ago, when we first had our kid. It was really lovely. But the new part is just rubbish.
PW: It’s quite Brexit
DB: I didn’t really want to bring my kids up there. We’re spoiled because Hove’s so nice, with all the parks and beaches.
PW: When I was a kid in 1976, we were staying with my grandparents in Hastings and they had this sideshow on the beach that was a blue whale. It was a like a cross between something out of League of Gentlemen and David Lynch. There was these two characters who had decked this area off, you know down by the tall black fisherman’s huts, the very creepy old bit. And they fenced it off and they got this articulated truck, and they ushered you in, you paid money, and it was literally a whale on the back of a truck, covered in tar to stop it going mouldy. Just a dead whale, with flies on it. I’m still quite impressed by it though.

On Twin Peaks:
DB: Talking of David Lynch, have you been watching Twin Peaks?
PW: No, not yet.
BMB: I read that interview about you and Twin Peaks in the Quietus which was hilarious.
PW: We were kind of obsessed with it when it first came out in the nineties.
DB: I loved it at the time, but I was a bit worried – how was it going to work? But it’s AMAZING. It’s just staggering.
BMB: I got really, really excited about it coming back. We’ve got Virgin at home, with something like a thousand Sky channels. Brilliant – I’ll be able to watch Twin Peaks! But what’s the one Sky channel we haven’t got? Sky Atlantic.
PW: We’ve got Now TV for those things, cos you can watch it on that. But our kids are a bit older and we tend to watch telly with them, so we haven’t watched Twin Peaks yet.

On writing lyrics:
BMB: Do you still write in those between albums?
DB: I don’t really write music so much, but I always try and write words. So if someone says something I write it down there and then into a note on my phone. I have them by month so I have July words, then I print them off. I’ve got this folder. But also I went through the whole of Columbo and took things from that. I love Columbo – it’s so well written. So I’ve got a big folder of eleven seasons of Columbo. I’m quite interested in Kojak, but the box set is a bit too pricey. I’m waiting till it goes down to twenty quid.
PW: You know record lists, from record dealers? We used to get sent these soul ones, on paper in those days, and we’d bring them into the studio to go through the titles “Oh, that’ll do” and take lines from them
DB: I got bang into Northern Soul and a lot of old soul ballads about six or seven years ago, that’s all I used to listen to for two or three years, but the titles are great, it’s true. I’ve nicked some too.
PW: “Let me slightly rephrase that”
DB: Not even that!
PW: Lyrics are my least favourite bit. I normally leave them till last and hope the others do them. I only wrote lyrics to two of the songs on the new album, and the odd word here and there.

On Aphex Twin:
PW: He did a remix for us way back in 94, and we went around to his flat in London. It was great because he totally lived up to what you’d expect. You went in and there were keyboards all over the floor with wires hanging out, and circuit benders. I didn’t know what that was at the time, but he’d been doing it, and massive speakers which were ridiculously loud. I did actually think “poor neighbours”. We ended up going to watch the fireworks display with him round the corner.
DB: My mate Jordan, who was the Railway Raver on Rephlex, used to go around to his house and play Pong. Jordan’s lovely but he’s the loudest person ever so he’s the last person you’d want to lose to Pong to because you’d never hear the end of it. Apparently Richard James had had enough of him but couldn’t get out the front door because his flatmate had taken the keys so he climbed out the window to get away from Jordan’s gloating. He’s created his own mythology, with all these things he does or doesn’t do. He said he dreamt Ambient Works II, didn’t he?

On major world events:
PW: There’s normally a Saint Etienne gig or recording when any of these big events happen so we expect the worst. We’ve had a few – The day of the Brexit vote we were in Scotland doing a gig and in the morning we had a really sombre breakfast. We went in thinking it was going to be fine. Most elections it’s happened too.
DB: Remember when there was this craze for doing mash ups? Me and my mate did Pied Piper and Axel F on what turned out to be 9/11. I bunked off work – I was working at Amex at the time and I threw a sicky so we could do it. My mate’s flatmate was going “You’ve got to see what’s going on on telly. It’s insane”. And we were like “We’ve just got to finish this”.

On kids:
PW: Bob’s just had his first kid. Late starter. He’s about a year old I think. Bob’s eighteen months older than me, so he’s 52, 53. He’s going to be knackered, especially if he has any more. Now, me and Sarah are like “now you understand”
BMB: Are your kids at the age where you’re influencing their music tastes yet?
PW: I did used to put one of our own records on in my youngest’ s room because it made her go to sleep but they’re both doing piano lessons and that’s the only thing we make them do. They’re much better than me already. They’re both really good. My older boy doesn’t practice but my daughter will just do it. She’s got an amazing memory. She can’t necessarily read it but she’ll remember whole pieces. It’s lovely to hear as well. My son listens to music though – I don’t know what it is half the time. I know what he likes – the stuff we both like is Daft Punk and stuff with vocoders on.
DB: My youngest loves David Bowie. If we sing along to David Bowie and I sing, he’d be like “Daddy, I’m David Bowie”. And if my eldest sings along he says “Daddy, I’m David Bowie, aren’t I? He can’t be”, so I say “You’re both David Bowie – Have you not seen the Blue Jean video? There’s two of him”. And then today before I came out, we invented a game where we had to say the first line of a Bowie song and we all had to guess what it was. It was brilliant.
PW : I feel like I’ve failed in that respect. My son really likes Coldplay. Since he’s liked them I don’t dislike them as much now.
DB: It’s hard to dislike what your kids like.

On gout:
DB: I get gout sometimes. It came on after I went for a drink with Chris who runs Bleeding Hearts Recordings. Some people say it’s worse than childbirth. I haven’t said that – I don’t think it is, but it’s excruciating. I was drinking lots of fizzy pop at the time, so I just stopped all that and I haven’t had a problem in a year or so. Booze is the trigger. Everyone has different triggers – It can be things like asparagus and mushrooms and bacon. For me I always drank too much coca cola, and then if I went out for a drink, I don’t drink too much, often I would suffer. We did a show in Italy once and I had an attack the day before and I had to be wheeled through the airport, and I had to sit on the stage like I was John Lee Hooker. And it was the only show that my mum had come to so I couldn’t cancel it. The funny thing was that it was in an amphitheatre for Nike, and there was these runners, and the finish line was to the left of the stage where I was with my gout-y foot.
BMB: You did that track / mix for Nike – Different Blades from the Same Pair of Scissors.
DB: Yeah – it was tied in with that so it was around that time. And there was Carl Lewis backstage, and I was just there with my gout. It’s not a nice thing. You can control it by taking better care of yourself. But there’s also a correlation between your Uric acid levels and (this is so pretentious) your creativity. “I’ve got to not get gout but push it as far as I can so I can get my songs out”.
PW: Let’s hope it doesn’t come on when you’re on tour in China.
DB: Gout in China. That could be my autobiography.

Home Counties Fujiya

Home Counties by Saint Etienne and Fujiya & Miyagi by Fujiya & Miyagi are out now.

Another Saturday in Brighton

Gallery

This gallery contains 14 photos.

There is no shortage of great music to choose from in Brighton. Last Saturday we took in two great live events, at the Green Door Store and Brunswick Pub with an array of excellent local acts, in yet another marathon … Continue reading

July Brighton Gig Previews

We don’t do gig previews that much any more, mainly because we don’t get out nearly as much as we used to. We’ve got a big feature coming, but it’s taking a little while to get together, so to tide you over until then, here’s a few gigs that have caught our eye over the coming month:

Tomorrow night (Monday 10th July), Bleeding Hearts almost celebrate their fifteen birthday at The Rialto. As they put it: “We’d planned to host an alldayer only to find out that our adversaries had used their telemeters to evil effect. Due to dimentional complications we will not be celebrating the actual anniversary but instead our inability to celebrate our longeveness.”. On the bill are Garden Centre, Academy of the Sun, Gary Goodman and Sam Cutting.

Wax MachineNext Saturday (15th July) Wax Machine launch their new EP Harlequin’s Patchwork at Sticky Mike’s. There’ll be visuals by the brilliant Innerstrings, and support comes from ZOFFF and Jouis.

On Saturday 22nd July, Britpop stars Sleeper return to play a sold out gig at The Haunt – their first gig in almost twenty years. Support comes from fellow nineties stars My Life Story.

The Fiction Aisle headline an intimate gig at the Komedia Studio bar on Thursday 27th July. Their debut album Heart Map Rubric has recently re-released on vinyl by Brighton’s Finest, so expect some of that in their set. Support comes from the off-beat genius of Crayola Lectern.

The following night (Friday 28th July), Animal House are top of the bill at The Hope & Ruin, to celebrate the launch of their Hot Bodies EP. Further down the bill are The New Faith, who’ve just finished recording their debut album.

Paul Murray ‘Party’

Paul Murray is well known around these parts, having made many appearances around town at open mics or playing support for bigger acts, such as Steve Mason. However, he has now released a new EP of songs called ‘Party’, produced by Tim Bidwell (Lucy Rose, John Smith), and it’s up there with some of the best of the singer-songwriter genre.

The songs on the EP exemplify an intelligent human story-telling craft that will hopefully see further success before long.

Opening song ‘Holiday Friends’ is a brilliant piece, about being young, wanting to be free and the compromises people have to make along the way. It’s lines about looking up to artists you meet when young, and their honest response on what it takes “it’s a great life, if you’re prepared not to eat”, sticks in the mind. However, it’s the overall excellence of the writing and playing that stands out, with the metaphor of holiday taking on a deeper resonance.

Some of these songs have been around a while, and Paul’s playing suggests the warmth and familiarity of old friends, ably supported by some excellent strings from Amy Squirrel. ‘Tiny Victories’ is an old song and again exemplifies the beauty of Paul’s honest human songwriting and the pair’s musical synergy. ‘Relax with the Devil’ is another song that dwells on the singer’s own fragility and weaknesses.

Our favourite song ‘Not In Front Of The Family’ exemplifies the humour in Paul’s approach, opening with the lovable embarrassment of a drunken Uncle’s honest appraisal of his thirst for alcohol at his Grandma’s birthday. Of course, the lyric carries on the story and goes deeper, with a great rolling melody, a nagging chorus-line (‘Get a tie!’) and a commentary on the human condition.  I’ve posted a link to this song below,

Final song ‘Underrated Alligator’ continues the high quality, and begins with some of the rawest elements on the EP. It’s line “You’ve been underrated…” isn’t self-referential this time, and we hope it doesn’t continue to relate to Paul’s music.

You can listen to and download all of the songs from ‘Party’ on Soundcloud here. Physical copies of the EP are available from Paul or at his shows.