As I’ve said in previous years, I’ve never been a fan of end of year top ten lists. And while I’m posting again on the blog I’m fairly sure that there’s more than ever going on that I’m not aware of, which would make an end of year list from me even more meaningless. So instead, between now and Christmas I’m just going to make twelve posts about bands and things they’ve done this year that I’ve loved. It might have been a single, it might have been a whole album, it might have been a live set, or some combination of all them. They won’t be in any particular order – it’s all subjective, and if I don’t post about something you love that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t great.
Anyway, first up is The Go! Team, who returned after a four year gap with a new album entitled Get Up Sequences Part One, and a bunch of accompanying singles. Lockdown meant that there was no live launch party, which is a terrible shame because The Go! Team are a truly fantastic live band, but the album was packed with tunes just as catchy as their best – my six year still wanders around the house singing “World Remember Me Now” to himself. Anyway, here’s the video for Cookie Scene made by Ian Parton and local visuals legend Innerstrings. Fingers crossed we don’t have to wait too long for Get Up Sequences Part Two
Let’s talk about the Great Escape. And let’s not mess about, it is probably the single most important event in Brighton’s musical calendar (alongside it’s sister event the Alt Escape). We missed it last year and we missed it this year, but the festival have just announced their first batch of artists for the 2022 festival taking place 11-14 May. They call this release their “First Fifty” and to make a bit more noise about it they put a couple of gigs – one in London (where Brighton was represented by Lime Garden), and another at Chalk where local newcomers Heights and Isabelle Brown supported Sam Ryder. They invited us along, we brought our camera, and you can see our pics below (click through to view large)
Last weekend was Mutations Festival. We were only there for one day as a punter, and we only caught one local act, but here are our photos of them. Lime Garden are one of our favourite bands right now (check out their new single Clockwork), and we look forward to what they come up with next. Click through to view large
Last Friday AK/DK headlined at Chalk – a gig we had been looking forward to for a LONG time. It was an AK/DK gig that was one of the first cancellations due to Covid, when they had originally been booked in to play Brighton Electric in April last year. It’s been pretty much an eighteen month wait to see them, but they didn’t disappoint, showing that they’re still one of Brighton’s best live bands. Support came from one of our new fave bands Genn. Click through the pics to view large:
Last Friday, Melting Vinyl invited us down to the Green Door Store to see Pins supported by two local bands – Ġenn and Mangö. It was the first time we’d caught either band, and we weren’t disappointed – in fact we’ve already pencilled in Ġenn’s next gig – at the Hope & Ruin on 6th December, supported by Currls and Cabria – into our diary. Click through on the pics to view large:
Gigs have been back for a few weeks now, but it’s taken me until now to bring my camera along to see some local bands and take enough photos to justify a blog post. But last Friday Projector played a storming set for the hometown date of their current tour at the Hope & Ruin and we found our way to the front. Support came from Hutch (who we did see) and Sleep Council (who we saw a bit of, but only from the back).
It’s great to be back at gigs, and hopefully we’ll have some more pictures to share very soon
Back in the early nineties, Insides made waves with their alternative take on pop music, with their debut album Euphoria (which came out on 4AD) now considered a classic. In 2000 the band called it a day but a few years ago after a long stretch of producing, mastering, mixing and everything else that might go on at their own studio they started record again themselves. In 2016 they released the single Ghost Music, which would go on to form one of the tracks on the album Soft Bonds which finally came out earlier this year. They also have the honour of being the first band to have a release on Graham Duff’s new vinyl only Heaven’s Lathe label, selling out the Crumb Dropper in under three hours.
What’s the best thing about Brighton? The two columns you drive through on the A23 when you get back. Plus both Duke of York cinemas which we hope to get back in to before long. The sea in front & the Downs behind.
Who are the your favourite local bands? Map 71, Fujiya & Miyagi
What’s the best venue? The Rose Hill and Green Door Store
What’s the best rehearsal space / studio? Of course our recording studio (Church Road Studio in Hove) is the best place to record, and Ooosh is lovely for rehearsals, although we favour our spare room.
What’s the best club? The Pétanque Club on Hove seafront, by the Peace Statue is great for Arabic pop music, competitive heavy ball games & emergency toilets.
What’s the best record shop? Resident, & used to love Wax Factor too, when second hand records were cheap.
Where’s the best places to eat? Kitgum Kitchen for East African food, Manju’s for Gujarati home cooking & Bardsleys for fish & chips.
What’s the best pub? The Colonnade Bar in town and the Watchmakers Arms closer to home.
Who’s your favourite Brighton celebrity? Boy: Chrissy Boy from Madness Girl: Stacy Dooley. (But enjoyed the rumours about Macca shopping in Furniture Village when he lived in Millionaire’s Row).
When was the last time you had any Brighton Rock? Reckon 1990. They used to make it in the old Maynards factory by us. Horrible.
After being away for so long, I feared that we may be writing about venues closing. Instead however, our first proper post back is about a brand new venue for Brighton. It’s location is somewhere familiar for most Brightonians, and it’s being run by a familiar face on the local scene too. The Folklore Rooms is the new name for the upstairs space at The Quadrant, and the man behind it all is Jacko Hooper, who’s been running the Folklore Sessions, which had a residency at the White Rabbit before the pandemic, but has been held at various locations in Brighton since 2014.
What’s the best thing about Brighton? Might sound a bit cliché but for me it’s the people. There’s so many creative people in this city and so many exciting projects it just encourages you and makes you want to soak it up and be involved. There’s no reason to not get in the thick of it because there’s so many likeminded people. That and the summer…I don’t think there’s a better city than Brighton in the summertime.
Who are your favourite local bands? Crikey…That’s a hard question. My best pal has a project called Luo which is brilliant. I’m a big fan of a lot of the Folklore community that I work with, my friends Bess Atwell, Oktoba, Route 500, Edie Bens, Son, Arthur to name a few. I’ve been fairly consistently obsessed with all of Nancy’s releases as well.
What’s the best venue? The Folklore Rooms of course! I’m also the Live Events Manager at The Brunswick, a venue very close to my heart where I gigged extensively in the early days in particular. Two venues across two floors and so much eclectic music, from grassroots shows to touring international acts. – Totally independent too. That’s the good stuff.
What’s the best rehearsal space / studio? Well I’ve worked at Brighton Electric so I should probably say them. I’ve rehearsed there since I was 14 and walking through the corridors and hearing The Xcerts and Architects and The Cure rehearsing and recording was a pretty inspiring way to go through your teen years.
What’s the best club? Those days are probably best left firmly in my past. I don’t even know half the names of them. I thought LIFE was still there after it being gone for about two years. I think i’m old now.
What’s the best record shop? I used to love Rounder Records, such a cool place and I bought so many records and gig tickets there in my teen years. Such a shame when it went…Luckily Resident is also awesome and I’ve seen some great in-stores there as well. It has quite an authentic ‘old record store’ feel to it which is harder to find these days.
Where’s the best places to eat? Ooo…Well, I’m a couple of years into being vegetarian so my pallet has changed somewhat. Before it would have been wherever had the best burger but now not so…I ate at Easy Tiger recently on Upper North Street and it was amazing. Indian street food to die for, I HIGHLY recommend. Also the veggie roast at Hop Poles was a joy.
What’s the best pub? My usual watering holes are The Foundry, The Prince George, Basketmakers or The Great Eastern. I like them small and cosy. I’m that guy that whinges to his mates that the music’s too loud when having a pint somewhere. Yeah, I am old.
Who’s your favourite Brighton celebrity? Gotta be Nick Cave hasn’t it. Painfully cool.
When was the last time you had any Brighton Rock? Not since I was a kid and to be honest I didn’t really like it then either. I’m the sorta person that eats ice creams by biting into them. I’m mental like that. Rock sort of frustrated me. I want to eat it, I don’t want to earn it.
The first gigs announced for the Folklore Rooms are:
2nd August – Liberty Matisse 14th August – Josh O’keefe 17th August – The Folklore Monthly Showcase (Tickets on sale July 2nd) 28th August – Jack Cade 4th September – The Sweet Ordeal
Jacko Hooper’s latest release is entitled This Was The Earth, which can be bough over at bandcamp as well as the usual digital download sites:
We took a bit of a break over lockdown, but after a couple of other posts this week we’re properly back. We’ve got a bit of catching up to do with our new music, so this week’s post has over thirty tracks:
Cate Ferris / Keep Going Battery Operated Orchestra / The Getaway CLT DRP / Like Father (Sit Down remix) Kudu Blue / Are You With Me (DJ Zinc remix) El Train & Kallitechnis / MAD Megan Lara Mae / Jungle Jacko Hooper / You Don’t Understand Oxomo / Keep it Blessed (feat Skinny Tallss) Idyll / Sunny B Maida Vorn / River (from Face Like Thunder EP) Penfold Gate / Asteroids MarMan / Space SABRINA / Losing Sleep Black Square / The Hope and the Crutch (from Beggars Opera Album) Alysha / Stronger Jack Barnes / Down & Out Para Fiction / Roy (from Pandemic EP) Boudicca / Mountain (from Pushing Up Daisies album) Beachtape / Somewhere Better (from Bigger Picture EP) Osaro / Think of You Hear Lies / Ministry (from In War, Grief, Hope & Peace EP) Tilda Allie / Boi Niches / Beautiful Daydream Orpine / Two Rivers Sianon / Overthinking The Psycho Relics / Rocking Chair Giant Sinclair / Mountain’s Gone Gulls / Shame Shame Shame Nature Trip / Parley The Brave Faces / In The Dark Octopuses / Yesterday Man
Some Brighton Rocks take a bit longer to come to fruition than others. I first approached Projector last September about getting them involved but with touring, holidays, and line up changes throwing spanners in the works we didn’t end up meeting until March. It felt like one last twist of fate that on the day the weather was awful, but it turned out that Coronavirus would the last laugh. So finally, we’re happy to present Brighton Rocks number 32:
Who are the your favourite local bands?
E: We’re both big fans Laundromat.
L: Some of my favourite bands ever operate out of Brighton – Tigercub and Demob in particular, but also Sick Joy, Murmur and Zooni.
What’s the best venue?
L: Hard one…depends on the kind of evening you’re anticipating. I love the Hope, I’ve played many happy shows there. Controversially I’d also say Brighton Electric, for the many fine parties they’ve put on over the years. And the Bee’s Mouth for a rare evening of jazz.
E: Green Door Store, my place of work and play.
What’s the best rehearsal space / studio?
E: We are long term punters at Brighton Electric. But we also love the Small Pond.
What’s the best club?
E: Hove chess club
What’s the best record shop?
L: Sadly I have little money for records at the moment, but obviously Resident is a place I like to go and pretend. The last record I bought there was Oscar Peterson’s Night Train.
E: I listen exclusively to mini-disks.
Where’s the best places to eat?
L: I cannot possibly recommend Hove Tandoori enough. I will not eat any other curry. Nothing compares. If readers were going there tonight I would recommend to them the Vegetable Balti or Massala, with added paneer, complimented by a glass of their Sauvignon Blanc and finished off with the garlic naan.
E: Pom Poko.
What’s the best pub?
E: Rossi Bar for cocktails, Caxton Arms for macaroni cheese burgers
L: I am also a devotee of Rossi and their charming bar staff. But I love the Neptune, near fourth avenue in Hove. It is very small and warm, like someone’s living room, the drinks are reasonably priced and sometimes there will be someone playing some sort of old folk stuff. Sort of place I’d have imagined bumping into Billy Connolly.
Who’s your favourite Brighton celebrity?
L: I’m a big fan of Steve Coogan. I *thought* I saw him on the beach the other day but no dice. I’m told he’s always accompanied by extremely attractive young women. I’m not really one for meeting my heroes though, I imagine they’d disappoint me, or in this case I’d get nervous and shout AHA etc.
What’s the best thing about Brighton?
L: I’m going to say Brighton Electric if we’re quantifying this with happy Brighton memories. I first visited in 2012 when they just had a hatch, no bar etc, and I was in tiny old room 4 (now absorbed by the live room). Since then I must have spent hundreds.
When was the last time you had any Brighton Rock?
L: I have very sensitive teeth and avoid that shit like the plague.
Projector were finalising work on EP2 before lockdown started and are posting snippets of recordings on their Instagram and Facebook pages.