Merry Christmas from Brighton Music Blog

A brief interlude from our Top Ten countdown now, to spread a bit of Christmas cheer from some local bands. We’ve featured some of these tracks in previous years, but we’re starting off with some new material too, mostly from our friends over at BMusic. They filmed Bloom, Calico, Seeker and Rob Godfrey all performing their take on well known Christmas songs:

Also new is Santa by Tenderhooks:

And here’s the tunes we’ve featured in previous year’s Christmas roundups, from Delta Bell, Catherine Ireton, Crayola Lectern, Nick Hudson, The Boy Who Kicked Pigs, Becky Becky and Curxes:

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December / January Top Ten

With December being a quiet month for new music and with us being a bit busy with our end of year round up, we thought it would be an idea to combine the new music we heard December and January for our Top Ten this time around. 

1 Fickle Friends / Swim

In the middle of winter, Swim was exactly what we needed to hear to be reminded that it won’t always be cold and grey.

 2 IYES / Crazy in Love

Beyonce released a new album, so IYES shared their cover of her most popular tune with us.

3 GAPS / I Know It’s You

GAPS second single I Know It’s You came out in early December but it’s been on heavy rotation since then round these parts, along with its B-side Inside Your Head, getting a bit more interest thanks to the fantastic Foreign Skin remix.

4 Curxes / Avant Guarded

Avant Guarded is another of December’s single releases, which came easy listening YouTube teasers, drums which could be used as sonic weaponry and a video featuring the band wearing budgerigar heads. Obviously.

 5 Do You Feel What I Feel Deer / Golden Future

Do You Feel What I Feel Deer quietly split up midway through 2013, then snuck out their gorgeous album Beat Glorious Heart before Christmas when they thought people weren’t looking. By then it was too late to appear in our end of year round up, but it would have done if we’d heard it sooner. It’s difficult to pick out one track, because the whole record is lush, but we’ve put up album closer Golden Future to listen to here.

 6 Ital Tek / Golden

By the time we had blogged about Ital Tek’s free Christmas giveaway Golden a few weeks ago it had already reached its download limit. Thankfully for everyone who missed it, it’s been reuploaded, so go and grab it while you can!

 7 Calico / Nightowl

Calico put out their first single Night Owl right at the end of November, after we’d put together our November top ten list. We haven’t enjoyed anything this cinematic and funky since David Holmes’ soundtrack stuff.

 8 Kins / Opsimplistic

We wrote about Kins single Aimless and went to the launch party at The Hope back in November last year, but what we didn’t spot at the time was that the track – and a brand new B-side Opsimplistic – had been uploaded to Soundcloud. The B-side is just as good as anything on the album and definitely deserves a bit more exposure.

 9 Thomas White / Go Your Own Way

Last year Electric Soft Parade’s Thomas White covered the whole of Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours and Alex White covered Steely Dan’s Katy Lied. They’re both very good indeed.

 10 Gudjohr / I Built A Home

Some sunny guitar pop to round off our top ten, which we only got hold of last week.

New music – Calico, Man Ray Sky, Eagles for Hands, Mitch Wade Cole, and Jennifer Left

We’ve got five new releases for you this week – four you can listen to here, and one that you’ll have to click through to download

Calico have put up the first track from their forthcoming EP Nightowl up for download. It’s a cool slice of jazzy cinematic funk, and it’s free:

Man Ray Sky‘s new Coreless EP is now up for sale on Bandcamp. There are six tracks for three pounds, including two remixes of lead track Luma:

We’re still listening to Eagles for Hands Lisbon EP which came out last month. Since then, they’ve snuck out another track Peaches, which is up for download now.

Mitch Wade Cole‘s new release is out now on Shimmy Records. the producer’s latest instrumental is entitled Full Body and is available for download from the Shimmy Records Soundcloud page.

Finally, we haven’t got anything we can embed for the new Jennifer Left track Rebel, but it’s available as a free download from her Pledge Music page. Jennifer Left’s album is due to be released in March next year and will be funded by a Pledge music campaign between now and then, so keep your eyes peeled for updates between now and then.

 

Weekend Gig Picks

Last weekend’s gig pick post was all about quality not quantity, and we promised we’d be back this week bigger than ever. We’re still not scrimping on quality but we’re probably featuring more gigs this week than we ever have done.

IYESWe’re going to kick things off with a couple of gigs happening tonight. Normally we treat Thursday as the start of the weekend, but when two of favourite bands are playing we’d be fools not to give them a mention. IYES play their first ever headline show at the Prince Albert, which we’re very excited about. We’ve been huge fans since we first heard Lighthouse at the end of the year, and they haven’t disappointed since. Best of all it’s a free gig! Elsewhere, down at the Blind Tiger, Brighton Music Blog favourites The New Union are supporting Let’s Buy Happiness.

Thursday night is where we normally start our weekend gig round up, and the weekend proper is starting strong with Calico headlining Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar. Support comes from 900 Spaces and Blackwell, and it’s four pounds to get in. Meanwhile, Normanton Street are playing at the Mesmerist.

PawwsOn Friday some more of our favourite bands are supporting at the same gig. Pawws are supported by the fantastic GAPS and Dog in the Snow (as well as Saint Savanna, who are local and new to us). And it’s a free gig – Green Door Store, you do spoil us. There’s also a free gig at the Blind Tiger, headlined by Transformer, with support from Eagles for Hands, whose new EP we love.

Saturday night’s big gig is the Physics House Party taking place at Sticky Mike’s. As well as the awesome Physics House Band, AK/DK, Alphabets Heaven and Suffer Like G Did are also playing. Over at Fitzherberts, Speak Galactic and Soft Arrows are playing at a night called Ruff Stuff, where Owen from Speak Galactic and some of his old bandmates from Cinemascopes are unveiling a new project called Merlin Tonto.

EsbenRounding off the weekend nicely at Sticky Mike’s, Esben & The Witch play the Brighton leg of their national tour promoting Wash The Sins Not Only The Face. At the Green door store, there’s an event to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Gram Parsons early death in 1973, aged only 26. There’s loads of local bands getting involved – the list includes The Self Help Group, Dollboy, and Amy Hill plus various members of Laish, The Repeat Prescriptions, Super U, The Standard Lamps, Woodland Blue, The Pooh Sticks, Lolly & the City of Flies, Redlands Palomino Company, Englemann Spruce, and Lost Dog. Get there early enough and you’ll also get to see Pete Wiggs from Saint Etienne DJing before the live acts.

Weekend Gig Picks

playgroupThis weekend’s big gig pick from us is Playgroup Festival. Playgroup have been playing their cards very close to their chest, not announcing a line up or a location online at the time of writing. Previous festivals have had fantastic representation from Brighton Bands and I’m willing to go out on a limb and bet that this year will too. Their website says that their new location is less than half an hour from Brighton, and a few bands have let slip that they’re playing. Les Enfants Terribles are hosting a stage with Calico headlining, and Fox in the City also on the bill. I also saw a Facebook post from The Beautiful Word saying they were playing too. Other than that, there’s not much more that I can tell you. Keep an eye on their website for more updates

sausageThere’s a few other things closer to home that we’ve spotted. On Friday night Limbic System launch their EP which we mentioned a few weeks ago at Latest Music Bar. Normanton Street launch their new single Moves on Saturday, with a gig at the Green Door Store, and an afterparty at Brighton Arts Club. Then on Sunday there’s an all day gig at the Blind Tiger called Sausage Fest with Brighton acts Boneyards, Semper Teens and Theo Verney on a bill which also includes Traams and is headed by Cosmonauts.

 

Weekend Gig Picks

Now that we’re done with the madness of May, things are getting back to normal in the world of Brighton gigs.

tigercubTigercub headline the Green Door Store on Thursday night, with support from Semper Teens, Animal Language and the Flash Gordons. Tickets are four pounds. Staying in the part of town, Ellekaye play at the North Laine pub.

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LNLThere are loads of great gigs on Friday night. Kovak top the bill at the Hope alongside Storms and Cat Fire Radio, and The Self Help Group are on at the Brunswick with Eliza Jaye, The Beautiful Word and Bella McKendree. Friday Night also sees some of Brighton’s regular nights with strong line ups – Late Night Lingerie at Sticky Mikes is headlined by Skirts with The Repeat Prescriptions also on the line up, and it’s also Les Enfants Terribles at the Blind Tiger, with Written in Waters, Spit Shake Sisters, Calico and Glossy Coat.

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WytchesSaturday is Kemptown Carnival. There are loads of bands on the bill, including Derriere, The Kalakuta Millionaires and Carnival Collective. The afterparty is at the Blind Tiger from 8pm and is headlined by Transformer. Up at the Hope, The Wytches are having their single launch party, and it’s free!

Weekend Gig Picks

It’s a bumper weekend for gigs as ever in Brighton with loads of local talent getting out there and playing live.

Late night on Thursday is the third Night Sweats even – a gig where the doors don’t open until 9pm and the headliner isn’t onstage until after midnight. It’s on at Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar, and Royal Blood headline supported by Broker, She Crazy, Eager Teeth and Light Parade.

Friday Night is the Tiny Dragons single launch at Latest Music Bar that we mentioned in a post earlier this week. There’s also a Brighton Rocks night being held at Sticky Mike’s headlined by Jipsy Magic, and we’ve also spotted that Luo are going to be supporting Easter Island Head at The Hope.

On Saturday, we’ve got a rare afternoon gig to plug. The Blind Tiger has an afternoon of music featuring A-M-I, Southpaw, The Cotard Delusion, Grasshopper and Crisis Warning. If you’re after something to do in the evening you could do a lot worse than head down to the Physics House Band’s free monthly club night Kaleidoscope at at Sticky Mike’s, where Caveman Genius are playing live.

Sunday is all about the local support slots – Jennifer Left is supporting Polly and the Billets Doux at the Hope, meanwhile Calico and Dog in the Snow will be supporting the Hidden Orchestra at the Blind Tiger.