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.

Oxjam Brighton Takeover

Something I’ve been meaning to write about this month is the Oxjam Brighton Takeover. Every October (well, every October for the past four years at least), loads of gigs are put on all over town, featuring local bands, raising money for Oxfam. There’s been a few gigs already, but the big night is this Sunday, when you can buy a wristband for a mere eight pounds and get access to six venues, each hosted by some familiar names.

We’ll be camping out at the Dome Studio Theatre (recently rebranded from the Pavilion Theatre). From 8.30pm, the Source New Music Night are putting on Minor Sounds, Curxes (who we’ve been wanting to see live for ages) and P For Persia (who was fantastic at last month’s Beatabet Source New Music).

Meanwhile, from 3.30pm at the Unitarian Church, BN1 Magazine bring you Wide Eyed Order, Unsung Lilly, 900 Spaces, Ellen & The Echo and The Move-Ons.

Also from 3.30, the Hope are working with Under The Bridge Studios (who are a few arches up from the Green Door Store). They’ve got a monster bill with Fragile Creatures, Hot Fiction, Oh! My Head, Running Dogs, Half Crown, Sweet Jonny, Ivy King, Devil In Detail, and Justin Alfonso playing.

Sound Screen are running the show at Riki Tiks from around 6pm, with Pact, Cave Man Genius, Alphabets Heaven, Amongst The Pigeons, Atlantiks, and Platypi.

Concrete Jungle are also running things from mid-afternoon, kicking off at 3.30 at the Mash Tun, with King Mews, Concrete Jungle, Early Ghost, Ross Pike’s The Courty Love, Hideous Bitches, and Peter Clough.

Then at the White Rabbit, Hush Hush are providing the entertainment with Chuck SJ Hay, Hope Rudd, Rought Citizen, Rotait, Verity Sessions, Tom Hughes, Bella Kardasis, Zoe Hazel Hedderwick, and Lisha Tole.

BUT WAIT – that’s not all. After all the other venues wind down, Riki Tiks are hosting the afterparty with Showdown. Phew!