Great Escape / Alternative Escape Preview

Stacked_plain_colour_Twitter_400x400In case you hadn’t realised, this weekend is The Great Escape festival, probably the most important musical event in the local calendar. There’s a few Brighton bands tucked in the main festival, but the bulk of the homegrown talent features in the line-up of the Alternative Escape – a sister festival that runs side by side where for most events you won’t need a wrist band, or have to shell out any money to see some fantastic live acts. There are literally hundreds of bands playing over dozens of events so to help guide you through the weekend here’s our pick of some of the BN postcode-based performers you can catch.

The fun begins on Wednesday night with Late Night Lingerie vs The Great Escape at Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar, where can catch the first of Demob Happy‘s many sets of the festival as well as Skirts last ever gig. Inspired Artists Agency who represent quite a few Brighton bands are taking over Latest Music Bar on Thursday, and we’re hoping to pop in for The Slytones at 2.55pm and Moulettes who play at 6.30pm. There are 20 bands over 28 sets on at The Mesmerist on thursday, on the stages put together by Liberty Music PR, amongst others. If we had to pick one it would be Phantom Runners who are on at 9.40pm. Bleach is being taken over by Strong Island Recordings and Pic & Vinyl on thursday, where Brighton Music Blog favourites Curxes take to the stage at 5.40pm. Over at London Road’s newest cafe Presuming Ed, Cate Ferris tops their line up. Miamigo play their debut show at Patterns (formerly Audio) at 6.45pm.

Brightonsfinest are in charge at Latest on Friday, and they’ve got a cracking line up. You could pop in at any time and see a great local band, but we’ll be popping in for GAPS at 2.45pm and Spit Shake Sisters at 7.45pm. The Mesmerist also has a pretty good line up, with Black Honey and Oslo Parks catching our eye. One of Brighton’s most written about bands at the moment are The Magic Gang, and they head up the DIY / Echochamp showcase at Bleach, playing at 10pm.

Moving on to Saturday, Earworm events and Northbrook college are hosting proceedings at Bar Rogue where we’re tipping Flash Bang Band at 6pm and newcomers Bloom at 6.50pm. The Fiddlers Elbow are having a street party, which is a great idea since I couldn’t get in to see the bands I wanted to last year. If I were you, I’d be down there for Yumi & The Weather at 4pm and Tigercub at 5pm. Marwoods Cafe are hosting some more gentle gigs over Friday and Saturday, but expect things to get a bit more riotous when Black Rooster Black Shag take to the stage at 8.10pm on Saturday night. Tyrannosaurus Dead play their last ever gig in Brighton at Fitzherbert’s a part of Cupboard Music’s line up. They’re only playing one more gig after that, and that’s in London, so expect it to be rammed. Hotel Pelirocco also have an all Brighton line-up – Time for T headline at 10pm, but get down there for 3pm to catch grasshopper who are fantastic. Bleeding Hearts are putting on a gig on Saturday afternoon at the Rialto theatre, which will be the first opportunity to buy headliner Clowwns debut album. It’s not an official Great Escape gig, but it would be churlish not to give them a shoutout. Finally, one of the very last gigs of the weekend is KLDSCP’s party at Sticky Mike’s which doesn’t even kick off until 1am. Mount Bank, who’ve put out one of favourite EPs of the year so far are playing, so hopefully we’ll still be standing by the time they’re on.

Black Rooster Black Shag – As Far As My Lead Will Take Me

Last week, Black Rooster Black Shag released their debut album As Far As My Lead Will Take Me. We were out of town for their launch gig at the Bees Mouth on thursday, but we caught up with Mirika, JJ and Dan last Sunday afternoon when they played a another gig at the Ranelagh.


Brighton Music Blog: So the album’s called…

JJ: As Far as My Lead Will Take Me

BMB: And where did the title come from?

JJ: Between us we came up with the title. I think it really reflected the journey of the record. We met in the Southern Hemisphere, moved to the UK and eventually settled in Brighton and I think it was that sort of journey that by the time we got to Brighton that really made up the record. That whole trajectory that we took and it kind of sums up the spirit of the record in terms of going a great distance and getting to a particular point and the fact that you can still go a little bit further.

BMB: So are some of the songs quite old and have taken this journey or are they all quite new?

JJ: Some of the songs I suppose were composed a while ago but we’ve got Dan into the band and come together as a three piece and the sound has changed, and every time we play we play it slightly differently, we never try and play the song the same way the same time twice. So in that way the songs always evolve and are always fresh and there’s always something different every time we play. The skeletons of the songs were written quite a while ago but every time we play them they’re a little bit different.

Mirika: The band club we sort of had to hold back to really be able to play in this band. J and I were touring other projects when we met so we wrote all these songs cross continentally for a little while we were touring the other projects then once we finished those records we could make this band happen. So we really willed it to happen, although we’ve only been playing shows now for nine months.

BMB: So you launched the album at the Bees Mouth last thursday. How did that go?

M: Oh man, so much fun.

BMB: Did you play in that little sweaty room downstairs?

Dan: I think we made it worse. It probably still stinks of us now.

JJ: Our audience have got a very good aroma! It was just a great night There was a lot of people that came down, a lot of friends. We had a really good time and everyone walked away having celebrated the fact that the album’s finally out really, because a lot of them were friends who played on the record and we did have a lot of people around us that helped so it was just really really nice to have everybody in the same room and celebrating not just the end of one journey but the start of another one.

M: We’ve already been demoing new stuff, so it was quite exciting.

BMB: You first visit to Brighton was to visit the Great Escape?

M: We just came to visit, we weren’t playing. SO many great venues and people were really friendly which was really nice.

BMB: Are you around for the Great Escape this year?

JJ: We’re actually playing the Alternative Escape at Marwoods Cafe, on the saturday afternoon about half past five so we’ll definitely be around.

R: Any tips of bands to go and see at the Great Escape?

JJ: I would just tip to go and check out the Brighton bands. I think there’s such a vibrant scene going on with bands here. Compared to what you see on the surface from other cities it’s unique. There’s a lot of exciting guitar bands happening. For me it’s more about seeing my friends and seeing those bands play in front of a bigger audience of people that wouldn’t normally come and see them play. Anything from Brighton go and check it out.

BMB: Where’s next for the album? You’ve played launches in Brighton, London and Barnsley.

JJ: We’re playing Eastbourne, then Nottingham, then London again, and then Manchester, Doncaster as well. We’d like to play a few smaller towns and some of the bigger cities as well. Our idea is not to have one huge tour, but to keep going out and visiting places. It’s a slower run with an independent band, you can’t throw all your eggs into one basket, you’ve got to work it a bit longer. So we just want to go out and see as much of the country as possible.

BMB: Are you doing any festivals this summer?

JJ: We’re playing Coalfields, up in Barnsley again, but that’s about it really. We’re a relatively new band, so we haven’t really hit the festivals hard at this point. We’re more into playing smaller venues for now, getting the intimate atmosphere going really. That’s where people are responding best to the music so we’re happy cultivating that at the moment.

M: It’s nice when you go to a town and you see people who saw you at your last show. That’s the best. I don’t need to play anywhere extravagant, I just want a good vibe, and to be able to relax a bit and have a bit of fun.

Black Rooster Black Shag’s album is out now, available from EOI productions. You can catch the band on Saturday at Marwoods Cafe around 5.30 as part of the Alternative Great Escape (so you won’t need a wristband).

March Top Ten

Here’s the pick of our favourite tracks we’ve been listening to this month, just in case you missed them first time around

1 – Bentcousin with LL & the D’s / You Make Me Feel So Young

OK, so maybe we’re a bit biased here because Bentcousin gave us our first exclusive track that we’ve posted on the blog, but nevertheless it’s still a great catchy tune

2 – Dog in the Snow / Factory

Dog in the Snow’s latest single is a more electronic affair than their earlier work, and their best yet in our opinion.

3 – The New Union / Now

The NME have just caught onto the New Union’s new single Now. We first posted about it back in February.

4 – IYES / Breathe

IYES ascendancy continues apace with their new single Breathe which ropes in production dues from MNEK.

5 – Phantom Runners / Chase the Feeling

Another Brighton band who’ve roped in a name producer are Phantom Runners, whose new single has the guiding hand of the Fun Lovin Criminals’ Huey Morgan.

6 – Them The Sky / Fall (Finjin remix)

The original of Fall was a more guitar based post rock affair, but in it’s remixed form is much more blissed out.

7 – A Lily / A House is not a Motel

Over the course of March, A Lily put out an EP of four cover versions called Augury. Their version of Love’s A House is not a Motel is our pick.

8 – Eagles for Hands / Appalachia (feat Sivu)

Eagles for Hands latest soundcloud upload is a collaboration with Sivu, which shows a completely different side to both artists work.

9 – Black Rooster Black Shag / Borderline

The new video from Black Rooster Black Shag is another teaser for the band’s debut album which gets released on 1st May, which we’ll be telling you more about very soon.

10 – Hypnotized / Hylia

Hylia is the track with the strongest Eastern flavour from Hypnotized’s new Telesto EP, marrying sitars with rolling beats.

Brighton Music Blog Advent Calendar Day Twelve – Black Rooster Black Shag / Run Baby

Despite being called End of Year Lists, most start to be formed in early November. By then  most bands have put out everything for the year, before they go into hibernation for the winter. It’s always a pleasure to hear new music though, whenever it comes up, so when Run Baby popped into our in box in mid-November we were very happy, especially since it’s such a great track. Run Baby might not be the most original track in our Advent Calendar, but it is the most Rock’n’Roll.

November Top Ten

We’re posting up our favourite tracks from November a little earlier than usual because it’s almost time for us to start our Brighton Music Blog Advent Calendar, where from December 1st we’ll be posting up a different band every day that we’ve enjoyed this year, culminating in our musical highlight on Christmas Day (to give you something to read while your parents are watching the Queens speech). Before then though, here’s what we loved this month:

1) IYES – ‘Til Infinity

IYES debut single proper is a corker. From the opening drums and hand claps (How long before live performances string out the intro and get the audience to the claps like Queen’s We Will Rock You?) through to Melis “Mmm-Hmm” at 2.10 it doesn’t put a foot wrong.

2) Black Rooster Black Shag – Run Baby

Run Baby is the kind of catchy, effortless rock’n’roll that’s as cool as ice. The black & white video for the track makes us love it even more

3) Nordic Giants – Dark Clouds Mean War

 Dark Clouds Mean War is the closing track from Nordic Giants recent Dismantle Suns EP. It’s brooding and cinematic and packs in more emotion into one track than you’re likely to hear this year

4) The Beautiful Word – Coconut Hair

In a complete change mood, Coconut Hair, from The Beautiful Word’s new release Particles is silly and nonsensical and will put a smile on your face.

5) A Lily – The Sparrow In The Lemon Tree

 The Sparrow In the Lemon Tree, taken from A Lily’s new EP Lupa, is a thing of fragile beauty – lush strings and gentle electronica combine for this lovely take on modern folk

6) Kins – Aimless

Kins new single starts off sounding almost jazzy, but soon settles into beautiful abstract guitar pop which feels familiar yet unlike anything you can put your finger on.

7) Plasticine – Dreamers Of The Day

We haven’t heard much from Plasticine since we first crossed paths with them back at Sea Monsters back in January. After nearly a year they’re back on the blog with a fantastic pop single.

8) Faux Flux – Week Long War

Faux Flux follow up this year’s earlier Come Alive release with new single Week Long War, which we like even more. We’ve posted the video here, but you can download the track and it’s b-side for free over on their bandcamp site.

9) bentcousin – Sunglasses In Winter

Bentcousin’s first proper release since their Everbody’s Got One EP is a track quietly tucked away on a compilation album. While it starts off with gentle guitar lines that echo I Think I Like You Girlfriend More Than You from their debut, the subject matter is much more hard hitting. Bentcousin are playing an unplugged gig at Revenge on Sunday afternoon at 4pm for World Aids Day.

10) Jipsy Magic – So Serious

Genre busting Jipsy Magic describe themselves as a disco / funk / pop band. There’s a fair bit of indie in there too as you see in their new single So Serious:

New Music – Black Rooster Black Shag, Native Roses, Momotaro, Normanton Street, The Wytches

Here’s some new music for you all – a few tracks from albums due to land next year, a video from an EP which came out earlier this year and a rather interesting cover…

Black Rooster Black Shag – Run Baby

Run Baby is the lead track from Black Rooster Black Shag’s 3 EP, out this week on EOI productions. Run Baby rocks harder than their debut Amsterdam, and has a very cool video to go with it, filmed around the streets of Brighton. Both singles feature on the band’s upcoming album As Far As My Lead Will Take Me, due in March next year.

Native Roses – Mainline

Mainline is the first track that’s come out from Native Roses forthcoming album Montpelier Blues, out on the first of January. The album will also feature four collaborations with Birdy, who was once a member of the band, but has gone onto bigger things.

Momotaro – Dust

In another first listen from an album due next year, Momotaro have shared Dust with us all. We’re looking forward to seeing Momotaro playing on Friday night at this month’s Source New Music supporting IYES.

Normanton Street – Wednesday Night Champions League

Normanton Street put up a video to their track Wednesday Night Champions League last week, filmed disconcerting close to where I live. Wednesday Night Champions League is taken from their Moves EP from earlier this year, which can be downloaded for free from their soundcloud page.

The Wytches – All That She Wants

The Wytches new single Robe for Juda is out the week. We already wrote about that a few weeks ago though, so instead here’s their cover of Ace of Base’s All That She Wants. Obviously.

Weekend Gig Picks

For this week’s gig picks, we’ve got tie-ins with two different festivals and some local media big hitters putting on gigs, as well as a few other odds and sods.


You may have heard that Brighton Digital Festival is on in town at the moment and as part of that Pop Up Brighton return with their Sound Screen event, bringing together local bands with international visual artists. On Thursday night at the Corn Exchange Phoria, Luo and The Hundredth Anniversary play to a backdrop of visual collaborations that the bands and video artists have been working together on for the last six weeks. Meanwhile Time for T headline at the Hope for Brightonsfinest, with Gypsy Switch, Paper Hawk and Prisoners Cinema also playing, and Monsters Build Mean Robots and Spacenoid are on the bill at Brighton Noise / Nice Weather For Airstrike’s Industroika gig at the Prince Albert.

sourceOn Friday Night Lloyd Williams and Ellie Ford launch their debut release at St Mary’s Church, Black Rooster Black Shag headline the Prince Albert, and Bad for Lazarus play Sticky Mike’s.

Saturday night is the third of The Haunt and Juice Brighton’s short run of weekly gigs. This week they have Them The Sky, Garden Heart, and Paper Hawk on the line up. It’s also the first of this month’s two Source New Music Nights (they’re hosting another on 20th as part of Brighton Digital Festival). This one is curated by Wildwood Promotions and is headlined by Alex White’s Interlocutor, with Red River Dialect, Octopuses and Herb Denton’s Last Dime playing too. Finally, it’s the Over The Moon Festival’s pre-party at the Blind Tiger, with a line up that includes Eagles for Hands, Mitch Wade Cole, Platypi, Eone and Murder He Wrote.

More New Music – Eliza Jaye, The Meow Meows, The Tiny Dragons, Them The Sky, Black Rooster Black Shag, Amongst The Pigeons

This is our second post of new music this week. Maybe bands are getting their music out their in festival season, or maybe it’s a coincidence, but you certainly won’t hear us complaining about more music.

The Seed is the new album from Eliza Jaye. Australian born Eliza’s debut album starts off a bit folk rock (with violin added by her sister Anna, who’s contributed to records by the likes of Bat for Lashes and Brakes), but quickly you come to realise that anything goes, as long as it’s rock. The album is out on 26th July, with a launch party on the day at the Ranelgh. Here’s the video for her latest single Marmalade:

A few weeks ago we mentioned that the Pact remix of Canvas by Tiny Dragons would be appearing on a new mix released by Kitsune records. The track also appears as part of the band’s new Come Alive EP, available as a six song download on iTunes, or on 7″ through the band’s online shop. Here’s the video for the lead track:

The Meow Meows‘ album Somehow We Met comes out a week on Monday (29th July). Their launch party is this friday, at the Gladstone. Here’s the video for the first single from the album, Siberian Soup, in honour of Pussy Riot:

Them The Sky have put up a video for Echolalia – one of the tracks from their forthcoming EP . Their only show of the summer is going to be at Latest Music Bar next week on the 24th, so if you like the sound of this, get down there:

Black Rooster Black Shag are a brand new band who are making their live debut at Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar on 27th July. Their debut album As Far As My Lead Will Take Me is out this autumn, preceded by the single Amsterdam, which is out now:

Boing is the single from Amongst The Pigeons, and came out on 15th July. The song is more of their Orbital inspired dance music, and the video was filmed on the pier: