Penelope Trappes is a relatively new Brightonian. An Australian by birth, she’s lived all over the world, and settled here over lockdown. In that time she’s got herself a regular ambient show on radio station 1BTN, played gigs at the Attenborough Centre, The Rosehill and the Old Market, oh and released two albums and a film. Penelope Three is the third part of her album triptych (following on from parts one and two in 2017 and 2018). Mother’s Blood is a beatless vocal free reworking of Penelope Three, paring down the tracks down so that the listener focuses solely on the music. It’s also the name of the film shot by Agnes Haus that accompanies the album, premiering this weekend
Lime Garden were on my list of bands to watch before the pandemic along, when they were still called Lime. Apparently though there’s another Lime elsewhere which caused issues when the band signed to So Young records, so back in March their name grew. Since then word has spread far and wide – Their gig at the Prince Albert in October was sold out, and they were one of the highlights of Mutations festival for us. And even if they weren’t a local band Pulp would have been one of my tracks of the year
Next up in our end of year round up is BUNKR, who released their second album The Graveyard Orbit this year. Ambient electronica sits alongside tracks where melodic synths soar over skittering beats and rumbling bass
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
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:
This particular part of BMB tends to be a bit of a Grinch this time of year and would be minded to bury any band who recorded a Christmas song deep deep deep in the cold cold snow. But this year the little cockles that warm must have reached my heart because there have been what even I consider to be some very fine seasonal offerings from the local Brighton crew. The BMB mainstay will be back to restart his best-of-the-year list shortly, but in the meantime, here’s some jingle jangle sweetness for you.
We mentioned the Random Acts of Vinyl xmas EP a few weeks ago, but it’s so good we’ll mention it again. This time we’ll feature the Delta Bell, with Kate’s beaut of a 60s Phil Spector-influenced song Hey Santa Claus!
Next up are our favourite bentcousins, with an anti-Christmas break-up song. It’s simple and endearing, perfect for this time of year really if you’re sipping brandy alone and wrapping presents for one. .
Danny Green was a longstanding Brightoner, part of the Willkommen team and a regular feature on this blog thanks to two outstanding albums until he upped and moved to London earlier this year. However, as Laish he is still one of the finest writers of songs of a Brighton persuasion and he has just released a seasonal EP, with sad confessional songs that recount a depressing stay in a freezing Berlin, inform us that we are unlikely to get a present from Danny this year, and in his annihilation of Silent Night, a reminder that the usual drunken debauchery will probably end up in fighting. I love this a lot.
Finally we have a new upcoming release from electro-pop Becky Becky, out on Monday. it’s the usual dirty disco weirdness that we enjoyed on their album this year and you’re bound to love it. Here’s taster track, Bells Ringing, which should give you a flavour of what we’ll get on Monday.
We’ve got a seasonal round up for you this week, with festive tunes put out by local artists, some modern takes on traditional tunes, some new compositions. Hopefully this will get you all in the festive spirit:
Catherine Ireton – Christmas My Baby Is Blue
Jacko Hooper – Silent Night
Crayola Lectern – SFXmas
Nick Hudson – I Forgot About Christmas
Laish – Silentish Night
The Boy Who Kicked Pigs – The Christmas Song
Becky Becky – Bells Ringing (Xmas again)
Chris T-T – A Child Is Born (Chris T-T’s previous Christmas tunes are also up on Bandcamp)
Thomas White – White Christmas
Curxes – Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
Us Baby Bear Bones – Santa Claus is Coming To Town
It’s quite rare for us to make more than one post in a day. It’s even rarer for us to post about the same band twice in one day. But that’s what we’re doing right now. This morning we made Curxes band of the day in our Advent Calendar – this has obviously put them in the Christmas spirit, and they’ve put out a festive tune for us all to enjoy (via our friends over at Breaking More Waves). It’s a bit quieter and calmer than their usual fare, showing a side to them that they’ve been hiding from us until now. They shouldn’t have been so coy – this is rather lovely.
Merry Christmas Curxes!
Deck the halls with boughs of holly
Fala lala laa la la la laaa
Tis the season for bloggers to make end of year lists
Fala lala laa la la la laaa…
But how could we make meaningful lists when one week we’re writing about a band’s debut gig in a room above a pub, and the next we’re putting up something about a major label artist who’s having millions spent on marketing? Is the best gig the one at the nicest venue with the biggest crowd? Is the best single the one with the best production? We’re not so sure. We’re also not sure about how you could make a list of best albums, when that would exclude so many people we’ve written about who have played some great gigs but maybe only released a single or two. So instead, over the course of December in the run up to Christmas, we’ll be posting daily about some of the bands we’ve enjoyed the most this year. Some of them have been nominated for music industry awards and fill stadiums, some you probably haven’t even heard of. But they’re all bands from Brighton who we think deserve your ear.
Pop by on Saturday the first of December to find out who’s behind the first window.
Christmas is only a few days away, and Brighton’s bands certainly haven’t forgotten. To help you get in the festive spirit, Munich and Rocker Switch have posted up a seasonal track, Munich covering a classic Christmas pop favourite, and Rocker Switch with a new track of their own. Grab yourself a mince pie and click on the links:
Munich – Last Christmas:
Rocker Switch – Hurry Hurry Christmas Come: