Gazelle Twin at Spectrum at the Dome Studio Theatre

Friday night was the latest Spectrum event held at the Dome Studio Theatre, organised in collaboration between the Dome and Resident records. This month’s even was an Anti Ghost Moon Ray showcase, headlined by the jaw dropping Gazelle Twin, in support of her new album Unflesh. Also on the bill here her label mates Great Pagans and Bernholz, whose album How Things Are Made is also out now.

Here’s our pics. As usual, click to view large:

Brighton Source New Music night with Chris T-T, the Self Help Group and Sam Walker

Gallery

This gallery contains 12 photos.

Last night was the final Source new Music night at the Dome Studio Theatre, and a fitting send off for this Brighton institution of the arts it was too with a dynamic, high quality and varied line-up of some of … Continue reading

Weekend Gig Picks

Normally December is a quiet time for music, but once again Brighton is doing us all proud by being as busy as ever. Here’s our picks of the best of the local live music this weekend:

GAPSOn Thursday Night, GAPS launch their new single I Know It’s You with a gig at the Green Door Store. Support comes from Foreign Skin and Eagles for Hands. Thursday is also December’s Source New Music at the Dome Studio Theatre, headlined this month by Rum Committee, with Mok, Neon Saints Brass Band and Barcode also on the bill. Meanwhile, over at the Brunswick Tim Keegan & The Quiet Lifers are playing at the Brunswick. They’ll be previewing tracks from their forthcoming album The Long Game, as well as other material from their back catalogue, a tribute to Lou Reed and maybe something a little more festive. As if that wasn’t enough, at the Blind Tiger there’s a Beatabet takeover with Le Juki, Bryony Bird and Collectress.

ESPFriday night sees The Electric Soft Parade play their Christmas Show at the Unitarian Church. The band will be playing two sets – an acoustic Electric Soft Parade set of rarities and covers, and an second set of Christmas songs with an expanded band. There’s promise of mince pies and mulled wine too. Normanton Street and Phoebe Freya are launching their new single at the Green Door Store, and carrying on with an afterparty at Brighton Arts Club after 11. Support at the Green Door Store comes from Alice Amelia, The Remedy and The White Bicycles. As if that wasn’t enough for Friday Night, Hypnotised are supporting the Godspeed / Silver Mount Zion side project Esmerine at Saint George’s Church.

There’s plenty to choose from on Saturday too – Eliza Jaye is playing at the Ranelagh, House of Hats, Jacko Hooper and Fiddes Smith are at the Brunswick, and Two Jackals are at Coalition. Finally, on Sunday, Sealings play at Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar, supported by Shudder Pulps, Keel Her and Witching Waves.

In the meantime, we’re off to see Lion Bark at the Hope tonight.

Gallery post – IYES, Luo and Momotaro at Source New Music at the Dome Studio Theatre

On Friday night we headed down to the Dome Studio Theatre for the Source New Music Night. This month IYES headlined, supported by Luo and Momotaro. We hoped it was going to be a good gig, and it didn’t disappoint. Here’s our pics:

(click on the pics to view large)

Source New Music at the Dome Studio Theatre – Martin Rossiter, The Beautiful Word and Jacko Hooper

Last Night’s Source New Music at the Dome Studio Theatre was a fantastic night. We’ve written about all three bands, but I can confidently say that each of the three bands better than I’d ever seen them before.

Jacko Hooper is growing with every performance, and he won over the room most of whom were there solely for Martin Rossiter. There seems to be less nerves than when I first saw him, and there’s a great balance that shows off the quality of both his songwriting and his guitar playing. The Beautiful Word have made a bit of a change of direction this year, going a bit more indie and introducing tropical guitar riffs. There’s still a hint of the twee folk in the background with tracks like May Not Be Love, but overall they now sound like a band who’ve found their sound. Fantastic stuff.

The first thing Martin Rossiter did when he came on stage was thank The Source for extending their definition of New Music – I first saw Gene at Reading Festival back in 1999 – but Martin’s solo album only came out last year. Being the showman that he is, he’s recruited the talents of pianist Robin Coward so that he’s not constrained by an instrument, which allows Martin to roam the stage. The simplicity of the songs holds up in a live setting, and the sound is every bit as powerful as on the record. If you’re thinking of going to see Martin live at Bush Hall in London next week, then we thoroughly recommend it.

Thursday’s gigs – Moulettes at The Haunt, AKDK single launch / Source New Music at Dome Studio Theatre, New Union / Boon Magazine launch at The Green Door Store

Normally midweek I put up a post about gigs that have caught our eye in the upcoming weekend. This week, I’m making an exception and writing a whole post about three gigs taking place on thursday night, all of which look fantastic.

The first of the three is Brighton Music Blog favourites Moulettes, who are playing at The Haunt. Moulettes are a fantastic band, but it’s not until you see them live that you truly appreciate how great they are. Support comes from local act The Slytones (who we’ve still yet to catch), and Robert Vincent.

AKDK were one of our favourite acts at this year’s Sea Monsters. Their new single Battersea is out soon, so to celebrate they’re headlining this month’s Source New Music at the Dome Studio Theatre. Support comes from DA-10 (who were also brilliant at Sea Monsters), Dog in the Snow and George Lazenbleep.

Last, but by no means least is another launch, but this time of a magazine rather than a single. Boon Magazine say that they’re going to feature music, fashion, photography and culture. The launch takes place at the Green Door Store, and is headlined by The New Union. There’s also going to be a burlesque dancer, and more music from Demob Happy, Kill Moon and Spit Shake Sisters.

Nordic Giants – Speed The Crow’s Nest

The brand new Nordic Giants single, Speed The Crow’s Nest has just been released and the band celebrated with a sold out launch show at the Dome Studio Theatre last night.

Nordic Giants_Single_Crows_300dpi

Speed The Crow’s Nest is unmistakeably Nordic Giants from the off – big, uplifting piano riffs, shimmering guitars and clattering drums. The experience is completely exhilarating – like falling from a great height, or being caught out in a thunderstorm – it’s a little disorientating, but at the same time utterly awe inspiring. The b-side is the first track released with Nordic Giants new vocalist, Freyja. Glass Skinned Girl showcases the other side of the band – quiet, reflective and glacial. Freyja’s voice is a perfect complement to their more ambient stuff, and rings out as much a part of the instrumentation as a vehicle for delivering the lyrics.

Nordic Giants

Onstage Freyja fitted in perfectly too, dressed head to toe in black with the most amazing head dress, with the live delivery matching the clarity of the recordings. Freyja only joined the band for two tracks – the rest of the Nordic Giant’s set was either instrumental, or had the vocalist pre-recorded with their image projected into a separate video box in the middle of the stage. I’ve long maintained that Nordic Giants are one of the best live bands in town. On the way out I heard someone describing it as “a religious experience” which you can’t really argue with – the music blows you away and you’re blinded by the strobes, but it’s all so incredibly beautiful. The next Nordic Giants live date is up in London in April, but it’s in a church in St Pancras – that truly will be a religious experience!

You can buy Speed the Crows Nest on iTunes or it’ll be available in physical form from the band’s website soon.

Innerstrings Light Show curate Source New Music with Physics House Band

Last night’s Source New Music revisited the notion of the night having a curator, rather than being put together as a collaboration between the Source and Brighton Dome. A few months ago Beatabet collective picked the bands that played, last night Innerstrings Light Show did the choosing.

The first band they picked were Reds, an experimental psychedelic collective. Reds gigs are all improvised on the night – everything you hear is for the first time. Their sound is ambitious, droning and dark; a good introduction to the night ahead.

Reds

After Reds, Baal Fire played downstairs in the bar area. Baal Fire is one man with his guitar, but to listen to his music you’d think that there was a whole band – the guitar was played with a violin bow then sampled an looped, building up layers of sound. Ball Fire’s tone was glacial – big slow motion, musical landscape to lose yourself in.

Baal Fire

Baron were up next upstairs on the main stage. They weren’t quite as psychedelic as either of the previous two acts, but they were a lot more accessible. Their sound had a lot more krautrock influences, song based structures and vocals, but were still quite out there. I was torn though – I didn’t know if I wanted Baron to get some catchy choruses, or properly wig out at the end of their set.

Baron

It was all change again at the end of their set, with Pete Fij & Terry Bickers picking up the baton downstairs. Pete and Terry were the highlight of the evening – sure, Physics House Band were the headliners, but I’d seen them a few weeks ago at Sea Monsters. I’d never seen Pete Fij & Terry Bickers live before, so it was a real treat. Their real skill was making it look so effortless. It might have looked like two guys on guitars, but the playing was immaculate, Pete had a fantastic voice, and their songs were great. On top of all that, they were the only band of the evening to make any kind of engagement with the crowd.

Pete Fij & Terry Bickers

The night belonged to Physics House Band though. Fresh from announcing their debut release (see our blog post from last week), the band’s support has never been bigger, and onstage at the Dome Studio Theatre, they’ve never sounded bigger. I’m always transfixed when I see them – not just by the talent and musicianship of any one player, but they way that they all play so tightly together. A mean feat if they were playing music in standard time signatures, let along when they’re playing their take on prog jazz. And it was loud – my god, it was loud – but that just added to the intensity of it all. The combination of the visuals, the music and the volume was truly awesome. Good work Physics House Band, Innerstrings Light Show, Brighton Source and the team at the Dome.

Physics House Band

Restlesslist / Source New Music / Brighton Dome Studio Theatre

This review of this months second Source New Music Night I’m afraid to say isn’t up my own personal standards. Normally I do my best to write about all of the bands on the bill (if they’re from Brighton), but I’m just going to focus on Restlesslist for this write up, so I apologise to Oliver Welby, Them The Sky and Phoria. I’ve been sick with a cold this week which, meant I was lethargic and slow, which led to me arriving late to the evening, which led to me missing a big chunk of the proceedings, and then when I did arrive I bumped into quite a few people I know, which was great but meant I wasn’t giving the attention I should have to the musicians that were onstage. And then at the end of the evening Restlesslist played their album Coral Island Girl in full, and it’s going to take something incredibly special from any band to stand up to comparison to that.

I’ve raved about Restlesslist before. The blew me away when I first saw them at Sea Monsters back in January, and then confirmed all of my expectations when I went to their album launch in September at the Haunt. There are so many individual elements to love and yet the sum is greater than the whole. One of the first things that strikes you is the music. It’s not just that they skip around genres, it’s that they don’t it clumsily, with the transitions being aided by Mark Campbell’s narration of the story. And what a story – I’ve listened to the cd over and over since I got hold of it, and it still makes me smile. Then there’s the light show provided by InnerStrings, a little bit trippy, a little bit retro and one more thing that make the band so compelling to watch.

The key thing for me though is that fact they’re all loving being stage so much : You can see that all of the band (I counted nine onstage on thursday) love all of the music that they’re playing. You can see the affection for the influences in all of the songs, and for their fellow bandmates. You can see that it matters to them to put together something that gives them the opportunity to share the things they love – so much music, as well as their friendship with each other – with the wider world, having a great time while doing it.

You can listen to Coral Island Girl in full on Soundcloud:

Oxjam Brighton Takeover / Source New Music / Brighton Dome Studio Theatre

We mentioned last week that yesterday saw the Oxjam Brighton Takeover taking place across town. As promised we went to report from the newly renamed Brighton Dome Studio Theatre.

Minor Sounds

It was a bit of a quiet start for Minor Sounds. Who knows whether this was a reflection on the weather, the fact that there’s so much on, the Sunday night effect, or the fact that we’re spoiled in Brighton by so many free gigs, but it would have been nice to have seen a bit more support. It’s a real shame because Minor Sounds set was quite a joy to hear. The band make a kind of amplified folk, and played a set mostly from The Humming – their album which came out earlier this year – as well as a few new songs, which pointed to a more experimental direction for the band, with a lot more atmospherics going on.

Curxes

As much as I enjoyed the headliners, it was second band Curxes who stole the show for me. We’ve featured their two singles Spectre and Gold this year on the blog, which they opened and closed their set with. In between we were treated to a confident set of industrial electro pop, sounding like a female fronted mid-period Depeche Mode. I’ve managed to miss Curxes every time they’ve played this year before now, and didn’t disappoint when I finally did see them. They’re back on stage again next week, supporting Nordic Giants at their “Danger De Mort” gig at the Green Door Store, where you’ll get another chance to hear the band and see what Roberta described as her “Nan on acid” dancing.

P for Persia

It seems like only a few weeks since P For Persia were onstage at a Source New Music night. That’s mainly because it has only been a few weeks – when P for Persia played on the Beatabet hosted night back in September. They were great then, and they were great last night, playing angular wonky synth punk, combined with with some of Beatabet’s cartoon visual projections. Daniel McNally is one of Brighton’s most compelling frontmen, and I challenge anyone not to enjoy themselves at a P for Persia gig.

Source New Music is back again this Thursday, headlined by the brilliant Restlesslist, who will be performing their album Coral Island Girl in full. Support comes from Phoria, Them The Sky and Oliver Welby.