Byte Me is a new audio visual night which has started at the Blind Tiger Club. The posters for the opening night boasted Boss Kite, Bitbin, Smart Phone Orchestra, The 55th Flotilla, Fiona Geilinger, Marina Tsartsara, Dreamscape 1994 and Paul Prudence – an ambitious and impressive line up, which we couldn’t ignore.
Jennifer Left’s debut single Black Dog came out a few weeks ago, and last night she held the launch party for it at the Blind Tiger Club. Support came from Cate Ferris and the Peppermint Beat Band.
Cate Ferris had a tricky job as opener of the night – Set times were already pushed back because of the football and when she took to the stage things were still quite quiet, but by the end of the set the venue was full and she had everyone eating out of the palm of her hand. Playing predominantly new material, some of which has been recorded by Tim Bidwell (who also produced Jennifer Left’s single) to be released as an EP sometime in the next couple of months, Cate played guitar, drums, flute, and keyboards, and used samplers to loop her sounds and harmonise with herself. Expect to read a lot more about Cate on the blog in the next few weeks as we get more details of her single and her flashmob on 1st July…
Next up were The Peppermint Beat Band, a tight five piece retro rock’n’roll group, originally from Northampton but who’ve been based in Brighton for the past few years. Their trousers were as tight as their harmonies, and their facial hair was quite something too.
Finally this month’s Source cover star hit the stage. The band’s songs bring together a wide range of influences, from folk to jazz to pop and back again, all underpinned by Jennifer Left’s distinctive smoky voice. Band members swapped instruments, picking up a variety of guitars and basses, a mandolin, some keyboard based instruments, including an accordian and a xylophone (which almost fell apart on it’s way to the stage), as well as trumpet. Despite not yet being released yet, the songs sounded accomplished and familiar – old yet new at the same time. Time flew by and before we knew it the set was being closed with the song that the whole evening was celebrating, new single Black Dog.
I say The Impellers, but actually, I’m just meeting up with one of them. The Impellers are a ten piece funk band, but I’ve popped down to The Basketmakers to catch up with main man Glenn Fallows (known onstage as Ed Meme), in advance of their new seven inch being released next Monday.
RO: The single’s called…
GD: The Knock Knock. We supported James Taylor Quartet in 2010, there’s some stuff on YouTube from that show, and that was one of four or five tracks from that was uploaded. I think that was the first track I’d written after the first album came out, so it’s been around for quite a long time now, but it’s sort of evolved a bit more. The live version’s got all kind of extra added solos, and a bit of rock at the end, and we like to mess with the tempos at the end. The outro’s longer than the actual song itself. The 7″ is just three and a half minutes of dirty funk.
RO: And the b-side’s another indie cover version?
Friday night was a big night for gigs in Brighton. Biggest of the lot was the Maccabees homecoming gig, which will no doubt get quite a few write ups in the local press. I decided to head to a couple of other gigs which might not get so much media attention, but are no less deserving.
First up was the Road To Blissfields gig at Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar. It was a bit of a battle of the bands type affair, with a winner from each of a number of towns in the South of England getting a set at the festival near Winchester at the end of June. I missed the first few bands, and turned up to a group whose lead singer had a mullet. Not the most auspicious entry. I only heard one of their songs before they left the stage to make for the act I’d come to see, Astro Physics. Astro Physics are a six piece hip hop collective, who are as much about the rest of the band as they are MC Skilf and singer Rachel Mosleh. They’ve been gigging a lot recently (and are supporting Derriere at the Blind Tiger next friday), and did a fantastic job of bringing the party to Sticky Mike’s. No idea what the results were, or if they’ve even been decided yet, but I’ll do my best to find out.
After a quick pint between gigs, I then headed over to The Blind Tiger Club, where Tru Thoughts latest signing, Anchorsong, was headlining. Live, Anchorsong was much more dancey than on record, pumping out a great set of stunning, deep, bass heavy tunes. I was there for the support though – I am meant to be covering local bands, after all. Thanks to their late licence, the Blind Tiger can put bands on after the main act. I’ve known Matt Hodson, who turns into Bitbin onstage, for a few months, but as a photographer rather than a musician – tonight was his live solo debut, but he’s been putting out some lovely electronica himself through his website (you can download his recent Alias EP here). There’s a lot more to his set than watching a man prod a laptop – he was accompanied by some beautiful visuals, and for one of his songs he even played his bass with a violin bow! It was a very accomplished debut, and I’m sure it’s only going to be a matter of time before he’s headlining his own gigs.
It’s December now, so we can officially talk about Christmas. So to kick off, a couple of festive bits and pieces from The Beautiful Word. Firstly, they’re hosting a night tomorrow at The Blind Tiger Club. Their Winter Woodland Wonderland kicks off early at 6.30pm (well, it is a sunday night). As with some of their previous gigs, they’re encouraging fancy dress, and the theme is animals and trees. I asked them about this on Twitter (@BeautifulWord, if you’re interested), and they say that they need more trees. If you are thinking about fancy dress, and want to be judged for it (there’s prizes, you know!), then you’ll have to get there between 6.30 and 7. Set times are:
Zoe Konez 6.45pm
Common Tongues 7.30pm
The Beautiful Word 8.15pm
Nimmo and The Gauntletts 9.15pm
As if that wasn’t enough, they’ve also put out a Christmas single – Mirrorball. The video for it is here:
Finally, here’s a few links with more information about sunday night’s gig: