We’re out of town for the weekend, but that’s not going to stop us telling you about the great music that’s on. In fact, we’re going to bring our normal timings a day earlier and start the post off from bands playing Wednesday night, since there’s some great gigs going on then that we’re gutted we’re going to miss out on.
Octopuses, Becky Becky and Do You Feel What I Feel Deer? are all on the bill at the Prince Albert on Wednesday night for the launch of Octopuses new single Sarcastic. At the Blind Tiger you can see Faux Flux, Luo and Spacenoid, and you can see The Beautiful Word at Northern Lights.
Skipping to Friday Night, Eliza Jaye holds her album launch at the Ranelagh, and at the Blind Tiger there’s this month’s Les Enfants Terribles, featuring Bad for Lazarus, Fox in the City and The Frenzied Anaesthetist. Unfortunately Fear of Men supporting Youth Lagoon has been rescheduled so if you were hoping to see them you’ll have to wait until October.
We’ve already mentioned Saturday night RSPB Fundraiser at Saint Luke’s Church with Mary Hampton and Do You Feel What I Feel Deer? Saturday is also this month’s Source New Music at the Dome Studio Theatre – Flash Bang Band headline, with support from 900 Spaces, Hundredth Anniversary and The Victory Dolls. Meanwhile, at the Green Door Store Gnarwolves host the launch party for their new EP Funemployed.
So, as I did with Sea Monsters last year, we’re going to blog every night of the festival, on the night. This year it’s even more ambitious, because there’s seven nights not six. The first night was One Inch Badge vs The Source, and editor James Kendall was spotted in the audience. Current Source cover stars were on the bill – would they live up to the hype?
First band on were 900 Spaces. They’re quite pop – they reminded me a lot of fellow Brighton poppers Kovak, or maybe The Woo! Worths, but with a more distinctive vocal – a little bit Lily Allen, in a good way.
Next up were TheDealWasForTheDiamond, who we saw a couple of times last year. Those times had them pitched as post/math rock, but tonight they were a lot more ROCK. I’m glad I brought my ear plugs!
The band I was most looking forward tonight was Kins, and they really didn’t disappoint. There was definitely something special about them. I caught up with James Kendall after their set, and he described them better than I could – like a cross between The XX and Foals, despite them completely different bands. Go see them soon!
Written in Waters
Most of the crown were there for headliners Written in Waters. My ears were a bit confused by the two conflicting styles on stage though. The vocals were a fantastic soul / gospel mix. The rest of the band were a pretty damned good post rock band. But in my head, my understanding of post rock is that it’s all about rich layers, and my understanding of the kind of music that goes with the vocals is that it’s all about being stripped back, and I couldn’t really reconcile the two. What do I know though – the rest of the crowd were loving it.
One last gig before Christmas? Why not! Last night was the Juice New Music Night’s Christmas Party, their first event in their new home at The Haunt. I missed openers 900 Spaces because the annual Burning The Clocks procession was running a bit late, and arrived just a few minutes before Jennifer Left took to the stage. Jennifer has been working incredibly hard the past few months, playing a lot of gigs and spreading the word all around town, but the attention she’s been receiving isn’t just the result of a lot of hard work – there are some great songs behind everything she’s doing. Jennifer was very much in the festive spirit performing her set in a red Santa dress, although she didn’t perform any Christmas songs. A lot of reviews of Jennifer describe her sound as folky, but I’m guessing that they’re probably reviews of her solo performances rather than with the full band that she had last night, where she was accompanied by guitars, drums, double bass and a multi-instrumentalist who played everything from flugelhorn to xylophone. Things got a bit jazzier later on, with a bossa nova cover of New Order’s Temptation. Jennifer Left is definitely an act to look out for next year.
Once upon a time, Kidda was just Ste McGregor, his records, his sampler, and some passing musicians. These days he’s joined by guitarist and co-writer Lee Baker, and a couple of female vocalists, including Jennifer Left. Kidda’s music was a ray of sunshine on a grey drizzly December day like yesterday, and I know that there’s going to come a day in spring when the sun’s out, the skies are blue and the world is just coming back to life when one of their tunes comes on the radio and it’ll be just perfect. Their sound is gospel sampling summery hip hop played by a live band which is relentlessly positive. Even the songs about being sad sound happy! This was their first ever live band gig in their hometown, and if there were any nerves, they didn’t show. The got the whole of The Haunt on their feet – a cautious gap between the stage and the audience got transformed into a breakdance area, and by the end of the set everyone was dancing.
But that wasn’t the end of the night. Things were rounded off with a DJ set by Skint boss Damian Harris aka Midfield General. Once upon a time his sets would have been full of big beat classics, but keeping with the tone of Kidda’s tunes, things started off with some Snoop Dogg and carried on with more of a hip hop vibe. I’d have loved to have stayed longer, because he was playing some great tunes, but sadly the pressures of the day job meant I had to call it a night.