Fear of Men Album Launch / Spectrum at the Dome Studio Theatre

On Tuesday Fear of Men launched their new album Loom with a gig at the Dome Studio Theatre. Loom is out this monday, but if that’s too long to wait, you can buy the limited edition coloured vinyl edition as a Record Store Day exclusive tomorrow. If even that’s too long, it’s currently streaming on Pitchfork.

The launch gig was the first of a new set of regular nights at the Dome called Spectrum, put on in collaboration with Resident Support on the night came from Grace Carter, Grasshopper and Abi Wade. Here’s our pics – as usual, click to view large:

Abi Wade – The Boxer

We’ve had news in this week about the new Abi Wade single. The Boxer was  produced by Daniel Copeman of Esben and The Witch, with a video made by Brighton’s Create Studios:

As with her previous releases the track is centred around Abi’s haunting vocals and cello, but instead of percussion coming from the noises made between her instrument and her bow, The Boxer introduces programmed beats giving a much fuller sound than before.

The Boxer gets a digital release on 15th July on Love Thy Neighbour.

Weekend Gig Picks

Here’s our round of up this weekend’s gig picks. There’s some great gigs on, the weather’s going to be fantastic, it’s just past payday so there’s no excuse for not getting out there and seeing some live music.

mojo finsOn Thursday night, The Mojo Fins headline Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar. There’s some great support slots too – Curxes are supporting Chapel Club at The Haunt, and Negative Pegasus are supporting Holland at Green Door Store.

Friday night see’s Time for T playing at St Luke’s Church on Old Shoreham Road. This is one of the first gigs we’ve heard of taking place at St Lukes, so could be interesting. Ourother Friday Night gig pick is also in a church – Abi Wade is supporting Olof Arnalds in the Unitarian Church.

olof arnalds

At the Brunswick on Saturday Night House of Hats host this month’s Harvest Sessions, with support from Emily Baker and Cordelia Gartside. If you fancy an all dayer on saturday then head over to the Green Door Store for Cupboard Music’s second annual Hey! Fever gig. There’s ten bands on over the course of the day, with Negative Pegasus and Black Black Hills topping the bill.

Jumbo Easter Weekend Gig Picks

Normally our weekend gig picks have events from Thursday night onwards, but with the weekend starting a day earlier this week thanks to Easter, let’s kick things off from today.

Tonight Rizzle Kicks headline the Dome in a charity fundraiser for Audio Active. We wrote about the opportunity for a local act to support them – congratulations to Frankie Stew and Harvey Gunn who won that honour. Alternatively, at the Green Door Store Abi Wade is support at the launch of Charley Bickers album Our Frail Hearts.

On Thursday, it’s the monthly Source New Music night with Jennifer Left, Laish and Le Juki. This month, rather than being at the Dome Studio Theatre, it’s at Church Street Bar, which will offer cabaret style seating. Our other pick for Thursday Night is The Beautiful Word, who are playing a hometown show midway through their national tour which is hosted by Communion.

We’ve also got two picks for Friday Night. The first is Les Enfants Terrible – a new monthly night being held at the Blind Tiger bringing you new Brighton talent. Bands on for their first night are We Spies, Lion Bark, Animal Language and Girlfriend. Our second pick takes us up to the Green Door Store, for their regular Pelirocco Platters night. New Street AdventureTiny Dragons and The Chances are on the bill.

Saturday sees Fragile Creatures at the Blind Tiger, supported by Garden Heart and Land of Youth, and on Sunday we’d recommend heading up to the Green Door Store where House of Hats and Jacko Hooper are supporting Tom Staniford, or over to the Blind Tiger where Sweet Sweet Lies are supporting Louis Barabbas.

Weekend Gig Picks

Here’s our pick of the local bands playing in Brighton this weekend. As always, you’re spoiled for choice – there’s some fantastic bands playing, and we’re a bit torn ourselves.

Tonight we were planning to go and see Bent Cousin at Sticky Mike’s, but sadly that’s been cancelled. Instead, we’d recommend heading down to the Green Door Store for an event called Hooray For Love! Well, it is Valentines day. Transformer headline, supported by Bob Wants His Head Back, Fire Eyes and Duke of Burgundy. Doors are 5pm, music starts at 7.30pm, so it will have already kicked off by the time I post this.

Friday night Run Young Lovers headline the Haunt, supported by Tiny Dragons and Daniel & The Scandals. Meanwhile, Simonne & The Dark Stars headline the Seven Stars, and Carnival Collective take over the Blind Tiger.

SOURCE_FebSaturday Night our friends over at Brighton Noise are putting on their third regular gig. Noise Night three has a fantastic line up – AKDK, P for Persia and Black Black Hills. Over at the Dome Studio Theatre, Source New Music have invited Innerstrings Light Show to work with them on the line up for their monthly gig. The brilliant Physics House Band headline, supported by Baron, Reds, Pete Fij & Terry Bickers and Baal Fire.

Then on Sunday is the gig that we’re most looking forward to – Dome Studio Theatre host the Nordic Giants for the launch of their new single Speed The Crows Nest, and they promise a set of new songs and new films. Support comes from Brighton Music Blog favourite Abi Wade and Saturday Sun.

Sea Monsters Day Three – One Inch Badge vs Love Thy Neighbour

After yesterday’s snow debacle, I had no trouble getting to the Prince Albert for tonight’s One Inch Badge vs Love Thy Neighbour Sea Monsters night. It was the night I’ve been most looking to based on the bands who were playing, but that’s not to say that I’m not looking forward to the other nights to introduce me to new bands.

First up was Jacko Hooper, a singer songwriter type, one man and his guitar. He had a great voice and at times, his guitar playing was stunning. His blurb cited Jeff Buckley as an influence but I was hearing more Jose Gonzales – a great voice with nice acoustic flourishes. My only concern was the his hoody was worn in the same way as Rylan from X-factor.

Jacko Hooper

Jacko Hooper

The second band on the bill were Plasticine. When they were setting up, I saw four boys in skinny jeans preparing their instruments, which is a bit of a pet hate of mine. Thankfully Plasticine were much better than my first impressions, and were very enjoyable to watch. However, their mini-biog says that they are carrying the Britpop baton, but my memories of Britpop have more singalong choruses.



Holy Vessels were up next and played a great set of breezy country-folk, which drew heavily from last year’s Last Orders at the Marshall Arms album. It was their bassist’s last gig with the band, and a big chunk of the audience had come specifically to see Holy Vessels (including a number of people who stood right at the front and spent most of the gig taking photos on tablet phones). In a parallel universe, there’s a twin sibling of Holy Vessels where the lead singer hams up the “holy” part of their name and dresses as a gospel preacher and exalts the audience to join them in their journey. In our universe however, the lead singer keeps his eyes closed while singing and is more than polite between songs.

Holy Vessels

Holy Vessels

The big draw tonight was Abi Wade, who’s come a long way since we first saw her playing the acoustic slot at a Source New Music Night back in 2011. Easily the most obvious choice for the headline slot (despite her modesty), Abi engaged with the audience, who were awestruck by her talent, not just in her original cello-as-percussion-and-instrument setup, but also in her new set ups, introducing samples and programmed drums into the mix, or switching to piano. I’ve said it before and no doubt I’ll say it again, Abi Wade really is one of the most engaging performers Brighton has, and you really should go and see her live.

Abi Wade

Abi Wade

Sea Monsters preview interview with James Kendall of The Source

Last year’s Sea Monsters wasn’t curated by outsiders, but this year’s is. How did you come to be hosting an evening?

We have a really good relationship with One Inch Badge. They’re big supporters of the magazine through their advertising and we find it very easy to write about the gigs they put on as not only are there so many to choose from, they’re also very interesting up-and-coming bands. But I guess they asked us because we’re the only magazine that exclusively writes about the Brighton music scene.

Current Source cover stars Kins are second on the bill. Are headliners Written in Waters set for big things in 2013?

Essentially they could be absolutely huge or drive everyone mad. They’re not for everyone – it’s a very strange mix of styles, they’re kinda goth soul meets Pink Floyd – but the people that like them really love them. Kins are much easier to get you head around – they’re really powerful on stage but also very melodic. But I don’t think many bands would find it easy to follow Written In Waters – they’re so dramatic. Come and make up your mind. You really have to see them.

Who are SOURCE’s tips from the bands playing across the other nights?

I guess that you might be able to tell by the people who have been in the magazine, especially those that have been on the cover. Country rock band Holy Vessels recorded our song of 2012 and they’re every bit as good live as on record. Abi Wade plays the cello like no one you’ve ever seen – totally original – while AKDK and Physics House Band are both intense and intelligent bursts of noise, the former electronic and the latter jazzy. Other that that I’m most looking forward to seeing hip hop outfit Rum Committee for the first time.

If you could have got any Brighton band, past or present, to play your night who would you have chosen?

Tough question – I’d very much like to see one more gig by Gloria Cycles, so they would be on the bill. Nick Cave, obviously. I saw Grinderman at the King Alfred Centre so know how powerful he can be when he’s right in front of your face. And I guess I’d like to see The Maccabees play all the early songs they won’t play any more – in a room full of over excited teenagers, like their infamous gig at the Concorde. Finally I’d like to see Bat For Lashes’ first live incarnation – the all girl band – again. She was a delight in those early days. And still is, of course. That’s not a bad line up in anyone’s books.

Sea Monsters seems to have replaced Brighton Live as the local music festival. Why do you think that is?

I think the problem with Brighton Live – which was a brilliant idea – is that by the end it only attracted bands who weren’t already getting lots of gigs elsewhere. I was part of the board for a while and I pushed for more curated nights, something we did at Sticky Mike’s over three days as a SOURCE-branded event. I don’t want to say the rest of it was full of BIMM bands but… it was full of BIMM bands. That’s not so bad bit it isn’t representative of the Brighton scene as a whole. Brighton Live needed to tempt bands to be involved that were way too big to play for free because it was good for the community. But that never really happened. Sea Monsters works better, I think, because the bands are asked to play and already it’s seen as a badge of honour to be chosen. Because it sells out all the bands get paid, which is good. It’s a shame Brighton Live fell from its former glory because there were a lot of good people involved with very good intentions.

Sea Monsters Preview interview with Andy Rossiter of Love They Neighbour

In advance of next week’s One Inch Badge promoted Sea Monsters seven gig bonanza at the Prince Albert, we caught up with Andy Rossiter of Love They Neighbour, who’s curating Wednesday night’s gig:

Last year’s Sea Monsters wasn’t curated, but this year’s is. How did you come to be hosting an evening?

I’ve known Alex from One Inch Badge for a while now; we owned the Freebutt together and Love Thy Neighbour have done a few co-promotions with One Inch Badge, so when they asked me I had no hesitation in saying yes. The last two Sea Monsters events have been great in showcasing the best of Brighton, so it is a pleasure to be part of it.

The next Love Thy Neighbour release is by Us Baby Bear Bones, who aren’t on the bill. Did you want them to play, or were they already booked to play at the Danger Du Mort night at the Green Door Store already?

Yeah, we’re really excited to be releasing Us Baby Bear Bones debut release ‘What starts with a U ends in an I’, which is out in March. That band are incredibly creative, so expect some great artwork as well as a stellar ep! They would have played this year, but they played Sea Monsters 1 & 2, so One Inch Badge were keen not to have the band play for a third successive year.

Have the other acts on the bill got a chance of recording for Love They Neighbour, or is the night about Love Thy Neighbour as promoters rather than the label?

Love Thy Neighbour is open to all sorts of music, so if we find a band we love who get what we’re about then we’d happily release something by them. After the Us Baby Bear Bones EP we plan to release an EP by A Lily, and we’re in talks with another Brighton band about a release in the summer, but other than that we are free for something new. We see ourselves as a introductory label where acts can release their music and have complete creative control over their music & art, so I anticipate that Abi Wade, Us Baby Bear Bones and A Lily will move onto bigger & better things and we will release music later in the year potentially by acts we haven’t even heard yet.

Who’s Love Thy Neighbour’s tip from the bands playing across the other nights?

Apologies to anyone who knows me personally, because I literally don’t shut up about this band, but if you haven’t seen TRAAMS yet, then you must, they’re amazing. They make slacker lo-fi rock music with elements of Krautrock & US indie. They have an eye for a tune too. Would have loved to have done something with them for Love Thy Neighbour, but they have already moved onto bigger & better things! A close second is Physics House Band, another band who are flipping awesome and an outstanding live proposition.

If you could have got any Brighton band, past or present, to play your night who would you have chosen?

Er wow, that’s a tough one. There were loads of Brighton based bands I loved when I was about 18 like Clearlake, 80’s Matchbox B-Line Disaster, Turncoat, Charlottefield, British Sea Power, Coin-op & Electric Soft Parade, but I think it would have to be Electrelane. For those who don’t know their music, they made alternative, mostly instrumental rock & electronica and their albums were largely produced by Steve Albini. They split up in 2007, but reformed last year for live performances. My favourite album of theirs is ‘No Shouts No Calls’, which gets a lot of play in Sticky Mike’s!

Love Thy Neighbour curate Wednesday night at Sea Monsters, with Abi Wade, Holy Vessels, Plasticine and Jacko Hooper

Free New Music

Three bands, each with a free exclusive track to give away. How’s that for a nice late Christmas present?

House of Hats new single Sewing Machine is available as a free mp3 by signing up to their mailing list, or over at bandcamp. It’s a lovely thing, quite minimal, with their trademark close harmonies, simple acoustic guitar and chiming piano, and it was produced by the band and Ally Young from Mirrors.



Abi Wade has just given away a free download of live favourite Charade, recorded in the same session as her recent Heavy Heart 7″. There was a bit of time at the end of the session to record what’s effectively a live version of the track, and this is what’s been sent out. You’ll need to sign up to her mailing list in order to get the link, so unfortunately there’s embedded preview here. If you’ve heard either of Abi’s releases so far, you’ll know what to expect – haunting vocals, cello, and percussion. Highly recommended.

Abi Wade at Latest Music Bar

The last track, Circulation, is from The Muel, and is also available as a free download via their mailing list (which you can sign up to on the front page of their website). Sam Walker’s band aren’t just giving away the one track though – they’ll be giving away a track every month this year to subscribers. January’s track is a jazzy instrumental taken from the Rough in the Bedroom album, which came out over ten years ago and is now long out of print, so this is probably your only chance to get hold of this. I look forward to hearing what else they’ve got in store for us over the next twelve months. The Muel will be supporting Jaime Regan at the Brunswick on 31st January.



Abi Wade – interview

Brighton celloist Abi Wade has just finished a European jaunt supporting Patrick Wolf on his tenth anniversary tour. Her unusual phrasings and rhythms sit well with Patrick Wolf’s set and she even joins him on stage for a couple of songs. We caught up with her for a brief chat before their final gig together in Brighton’s beautiful St Mary’s church.

Abi Wade

Any highlights on this tour? I really enjoyed Germany. Amsterdam was amazing as well. I liked Bristol a lot. And the north of England. It’s just all been great and the venues have been beautiful. Lots of churches which were lovely and some crazy places like in Germany an old warehouse that was really cool and had lots of things going on. I liked that one a lot.

How’s the album coming along? (Abi laughs) I just want to put feelers out and see how things go and get an idea of my sound and what I want to do before I turn out an album. Although I want to do it soon I haven’t completely decided what I want to put on it.

Abi played in a duo, the Wellingtons, but now performs solo. So she says the album may be quite sparse like her EPs but also with more electronics.

Abi Wade in St Mary's Church

What are your influences? I love folk and when I started I was writing folky stuff and was influenced by Laura Marling. Always loved Kate Bush and I grew up on the Beach Boys and that kind of thing, so the melodic thing was always there. Then lately I’ve been listening to Grimes and recently went to a Ghost Poet gig, so really eclectic. I love all kinds of music but all I guess on the unusual side. Apart from the Beach Boys maybe, but  the Beach Boys were original in their time.

I don’t really think I’m going to write a song ‘like this’, I just write. I don’t get directly influenced by anyone I just listen. But I also love phrasing and think about that a lot.

Abi has been taking advantage of the bigger venues on the Patrick Wolf tour and has been  playing a song on piano when her set usually consists of just her and her cello.

How did the piano song come about? My first instrument was the piano and I love it but I don’t normally get to play it because there’s usually no way to bring a piano to the kind of gigs I play. But this tour’s been different. There’s only one piano song at the moment but I may be doing some more tours with Patrick so maybe I will write another one.

You studied in Brighton but not at BIMM? I studied music and visual arts here, but I originally came from Cambridge. I never performed at all before I came to University, so Brighton was really where I started to do that, in small venues, and that’s all I’d really experienced until this tour and seeing and playing in lots of different places. But it’s nice to come home of course.

Any bands in Brighton we should be listening to? All the people I love turn out to be friends, like Jennifer Left (Ed note: our Brighton Music Blog Advent Calender pick today), Aneka – I went to University with her – they’re my key musical fellows at the moment. And Esben and the Witch of course. It’s such a big scene though. I love Brighton, the buzz that it has and the community, the support that gives you. 

Thank you Abi, it’s been lovely speaking to you.

Abi Wade will be headlining her next show at the Wednesday slot in the One Inch Badge Seamonsters festival in Brighton next month.

More here at abiwade.com

Abi Wade in St Mary's Church

(Words and pictures: Jon Southcoasting)