new music – The New Union, House of Hats, Caveman Genius, Steve Elston, High Tyde, Spacenoid, Lion Bark

Here’s this week’s roundup of Brighton (and Hove)’s new music

First up is news of The New Union‘s new single Believe in Nothing. It’s being released by legendary indie label Fierce Panda (on their Fandgo imprint) on 4th August. There’s details of a London launch for the release, but no word yet on a Brighton launch.

House of Hats, just back from touring the US, have put up a new video for one of the tracks from their album This Love. This is Close to Me:

Our friends over at Some Of It Is True tipped us off about Soph Nathan. Soph is in a number of local bands (including fronting Hella Better Dancer) and has just posted up her first solo effort – Our Girl.

Caveman Genius has a new EP entitled Paradise out next week on Kaleidescope Records. Hand Drawn Paradise is the first track to be given an airing from it, a lovely dose of fuzzy house:

Steve Elston sent me a message earlier today asking me to give his new EP a listen. I clicked through the link and the name-your-price Bandcamp download is actually seven tracks long. I’ve got albums with fewer tracks than that. The Dear Em EP is lovely lilting folk – perfect for warm summer nights.

Karibu is the new single from High Tyde, out on July 14th. The video was filmed all around Brighton – see how many of the locations you can spot. The band are hosting a launch show for the single at the Komedia on July 18th.

Spacenoid released their new single Vanished last weekend, available as a free download from bandcamp. If you missed their single launch at The Hope, you can catch them again at the Gladstone on 16th August.

Lion Bark release their debut single Come in to my Arms on 28th July on their own Creepy Love records. Come into my arms is gentle folk-pop, standing out from the crowd thanks to lead singer Guy’s distinctive voice:

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.

Weekend Gig Picks

Normally we post up our weekend gig picks on a Wednesday, but got a bit distracted this week. So we’ll keep things short and sweet this week and just pick out one for Saturday and one for Sunday. We promise that next week’s post will be bigger than ever.

House of Hats

House of Hats

When the House of Hats started their Harvest Sessions earlier this year, we thought it might have been a little unkind to pull them up on the fact that it wasn’t harvest season. It is now though, and it’s time for this month’s gig, headlined and curated by the band. This Saturday they’re joined at The Brunswick by Swell and Woodland Blue.


1237260_620187024687561_1038634516_oBack in June, The Hundredth Anniversary and Tyrannosaurus Dead appeared on a three-band mini-album called GUTS, alongside London band Gum. GUTS has now grown into a one day festival at the Green Door Store, featuring all three bands and a fair few others from Brighton and London. There’s full details, including set times, over on the Facebook event page.

Weekend Gig Picks

It seems a bit early in the week to be posting up our regular weekend gig picks post, but we normally do it on a Wednesday, so here we are.

Tomorrow night’s gig pick is House of Hats, who are supporting alt folk legend Mark Mulcahy at Latest Music Bar.

LETThere a loads of great gigs on Friday night – Les Enfants Terribles put on one of their regular gigs at the Blind Tiger with Salt Ashes, My New Favourite Tribe and Bent Cousin. Juice FM also have an all Brighton bill at The Haunt, with Yumi & The Weather, Astrid’s Tea Party and Bella Feud playing. Meanwhile Brighton Electric are holding a summer party, with Dog in the Snow, Jungfrau, Momotaro and Dissonants.

Saturday night’s choice is The Space Agency who are launching their new single Bombay Potatoes at the Horse & Groom.


Weekend Gig Picks

Here’s our round of up this weekend’s gig picks. There’s some great gigs on, the weather’s going to be fantastic, it’s just past payday so there’s no excuse for not getting out there and seeing some live music.

mojo finsOn Thursday night, The Mojo Fins headline Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar. There’s some great support slots too – Curxes are supporting Chapel Club at The Haunt, and Negative Pegasus are supporting Holland at Green Door Store.

Friday night see’s Time for T playing at St Luke’s Church on Old Shoreham Road. This is one of the first gigs we’ve heard of taking place at St Lukes, so could be interesting. Ourother Friday Night gig pick is also in a church – Abi Wade is supporting Olof Arnalds in the Unitarian Church.

olof arnalds

At the Brunswick on Saturday Night House of Hats host this month’s Harvest Sessions, with support from Emily Baker and Cordelia Gartside. If you fancy an all dayer on saturday then head over to the Green Door Store for Cupboard Music’s second annual Hey! Fever gig. There’s ten bands on over the course of the day, with Negative Pegasus and Black Black Hills topping the bill.

Jumbo Easter Weekend Gig Picks

Normally our weekend gig picks have events from Thursday night onwards, but with the weekend starting a day earlier this week thanks to Easter, let’s kick things off from today.

Tonight Rizzle Kicks headline the Dome in a charity fundraiser for Audio Active. We wrote about the opportunity for a local act to support them – congratulations to Frankie Stew and Harvey Gunn who won that honour. Alternatively, at the Green Door Store Abi Wade is support at the launch of Charley Bickers album Our Frail Hearts.

On Thursday, it’s the monthly Source New Music night with Jennifer Left, Laish and Le Juki. This month, rather than being at the Dome Studio Theatre, it’s at Church Street Bar, which will offer cabaret style seating. Our other pick for Thursday Night is The Beautiful Word, who are playing a hometown show midway through their national tour which is hosted by Communion.

We’ve also got two picks for Friday Night. The first is Les Enfants Terrible – a new monthly night being held at the Blind Tiger bringing you new Brighton talent. Bands on for their first night are We Spies, Lion Bark, Animal Language and Girlfriend. Our second pick takes us up to the Green Door Store, for their regular Pelirocco Platters night. New Street AdventureTiny Dragons and The Chances are on the bill.

Saturday sees Fragile Creatures at the Blind Tiger, supported by Garden Heart and Land of Youth, and on Sunday we’d recommend heading up to the Green Door Store where House of Hats and Jacko Hooper are supporting Tom Staniford, or over to the Blind Tiger where Sweet Sweet Lies are supporting Louis Barabbas.

Weekend Gig Picks

Isn’t the weather meant to be getting better by now? And aren’t the days meant to be getting longer? It’s still dark when I get home from work. At least it’s almost the weekend, which means it’s time for us to flag up the local bands we think you ought to see over the next few days.

On Thursday night Clowns play at the Green Door Store, supported by Frank Melena Band and Victorian Hunter. As front men go, they don’t come much better than Clowns’ Miles Heathfield, so this comes highly recommended. And it’s free! Over in Hove at the Bee’s Mouth, Zoe Hazel Hedderwick headlines the first Lipstick & Picks night – a new monthly night showcasing female musicians, which is also free.

magicbandWEBFriday night’s biggest gigs to mention are some musical legend supported by local bands – Captain Beefheart’s Magic Band headline the Concorde, supported Son Belly, and Damo Suzuki from Can headlines the Green Door Store. Not only is he supported by Sons of Noel and Adrian, Soccer 96 and Eyes & No Eyes, but members of each of these bands will also be playing with him for his set. Friday is also Lout’s next Brighton Rocks night at Sticky Mike’s, with Saint Savanna, The Dancers, Farrow and Pizzabones.


369102_0_club-kovak-with-youth-killing-joke_400There’s also another Brighton Rocks on Saturday at Sticky Mike’s – Ham Legion, The Creaking Chair, The Evil Son and LSD-25 are on the bill. House of Hats host another Harvest Session at the Brunswick, with support from The Self Help Group and Katharine Rose. Later in the evening Kovak host Club Kovak at the Blind Tiger, where you’ll have one of your first opportunities to see them playing tunes from their upcoming album live. Support comes Paper Playground and a DJ set from Youth. I suppose we ought to mention that Woodingdean’s finest X-factor contestant Frankie Cocozza is playing at the Haunt too.

Just the one gig to mention for Sunday, but it’s one we bought a ticket for before we even realised that the support would be a local act. Melody’s Echo Chamber plays at The Haunt (not Green Door Store where tickets were originally on sale for), and we’re looking forward to see them almost as much as we’re looking forward to Fear of Men who are supporting.

Free New Music

Three bands, each with a free exclusive track to give away. How’s that for a nice late Christmas present?

House of Hats new single Sewing Machine is available as a free mp3 by signing up to their mailing list, or over at bandcamp. It’s a lovely thing, quite minimal, with their trademark close harmonies, simple acoustic guitar and chiming piano, and it was produced by the band and Ally Young from Mirrors.



Abi Wade has just given away a free download of live favourite Charade, recorded in the same session as her recent Heavy Heart 7″. There was a bit of time at the end of the session to record what’s effectively a live version of the track, and this is what’s been sent out. You’ll need to sign up to her mailing list in order to get the link, so unfortunately there’s embedded preview here. If you’ve heard either of Abi’s releases so far, you’ll know what to expect – haunting vocals, cello, and percussion. Highly recommended.

Abi Wade at Latest Music Bar

The last track, Circulation, is from The Muel, and is also available as a free download via their mailing list (which you can sign up to on the front page of their website). Sam Walker’s band aren’t just giving away the one track though – they’ll be giving away a track every month this year to subscribers. January’s track is a jazzy instrumental taken from the Rough in the Bedroom album, which came out over ten years ago and is now long out of print, so this is probably your only chance to get hold of this. I look forward to hearing what else they’ve got in store for us over the next twelve months. The Muel will be supporting Jaime Regan at the Brunswick on 31st January.



Weekend gig picks

Three weeks in a row. This IS now a regular feature! Except in a couple of weeks it’s Christmas, and it could all go to ruin, but we’ll do our best.

Our pick for Friday night is the Source New Music night at the Dome Studio Theatre (which you might still be calling the Pavilion Theatre). We’re a fan of the regular monthly night at the best of times, but this month’s is a bit special, being the Miserable Rich‘s last gig before they take a sabbatical. The night also has Cate Ferris, Donna Fullman, and Ingrid Plum. (It’s also a big night for non Brighton Musicians, with Beth Orton, Rodriguez, and Father John Misty playing around town. Happy Mondays and 808 State were also meant to be playing but that’s been put off until June next year)


Our choice for Saturday is a night called Endless Christmas at the Prince Albert – Saturday is the first of December, so we’ll let them get away with using Christmas so early. The night’s headlined by Surfin’ Lungs who are supported by local acts Los Fantasticos, Space Agency and Squadron Leaders. There’s not enough Surf Rock in Brighton, so it’s good to see this happening. This saturday is also the House of Hats next Harvest Sessions at the Brunswick, which comes highly recommended. Support comes from Conrad Vingoe and Kat Rose.

Tim Bidwell Interview

One of the phrases we seem to be writing almost as often as “Brighton Music Blog” these days is “produced by Tim Bidwell”. He’s had a great year, working with a lot of our favourite local acts – Jennifer Left, Cate Ferris, House of Hats… We thought it was about time he got a bit more credit, so we popped round for a cuppa a few weeks ago to find out to find out how he got to where he is and the bands that he’s worked with.

Around ten years ago, Tim was half of dance act Hardkandy. They released a few albums to critical acclaim but there was a nagging feeling that some of their fellow Brighton peers – the likes of Will Quantic and Si Bonobo – were getting some of the fame that they deserved. Even when he was making dance music, Tim was into his folk, and in 2006 formed the Folklaw label with Fin Greenall, known to fans of Ninja Tune as Fink, and Elliot Richards. The first album Tim produced for someone else was the The Gin Club by Nikolas Barrell, released by Folklaw in March 2007, and around that time Elliot spotted Kate Walsh playing in a pub in Brighton. The resulting number one album, Tim’s House, ended up being self released rather than coming out on Folklaw but kick started Tim’s career as a producer.

“When I first met Cate Ferris, I was a bit terrified of just how talented she is. With her EP, I produced it, but I didn’t really, it was Cate just playing around in the studio and me giving her the space to play around and just capturing her because she’s so full of energy and musically talented. I’d seen of her is doing stuff with the loop pedal on YouTube, so I got in touch with her and asked if she wanted to talk about working with me.

She’s got an amazing voice and she’s a good songwriter, and she’s doing great things and working with great people. For the EP she wanted to experiment with more different things in the studio and get away from the whole loop pedal thing.

She’s a lot like me, she’s quite a control freak musically. I’m not so much musically, but I am with projects, or giving a sound to something and I like giving a sound and working on the artwork even, for things and stuff like that. I like getting involved, whereas Cate’s a little bit of a genius.

“The Cordelia Gartside EP sounds beautiful. I’m really chuffed with it. Some of the best stuff I’ve done. I got some of the best players I know to play on it. We’ve got John Smith on guitar – he’s one of the best guitarists in the country and he loves Cordelia’s stuff. She’s off to college now, so she’s going to be writing away and hopefully we’ll be doing some more recording at Christmas when she comes back.

I’m really excited about Cordelia, she’s got a lot of potential and she’s a whole package, and she means what she does. She’s not interested in doing pop stuff, she’s really into Bon Iver and Laura Marling and people like that and she wants to be a credible artist. She’s not going to sell her soul to the pop devil, which is really refreshing.

I did the video for Fathoms’s Deep. She was so brave doing the stuff in the water. That STUNK! It was one of those peat lakes, so when she got in it, it just kicked up. I woke up the next morning and I was covered in bites. It was shot near Uckfield, some ancient woodland with a lake in the middle, it was beautiful. We got chavs throwing stones at us while were doing that which was a nightmare, but we got there in the end.

House of Hats are great guys to work with. I’ve just recently finished their EP. which has just been released. That was a real labour of love – that took quite a while. They’re real perfectionists, especially with the vocals. They know what they like as well. I always like someone to take the lead vocal, but they wanted all the vocals at the same level. They all write the material, so it was difficult for me as a producer as well, because sometimes I wanted Al’s vocals to come out more, or Noddy’s vocals, because that’s just my instinct as a producer. That said, Rivers Will Run, the title track of the EP, is very much Al’s track. And Noddy sang on Home is Where the Heart is, and that’s beautiful, so there are a couple of tracks of theirs that have got that prominent vocal.

As well as all of the other production work that Tim’s done this year, his big project has been with Jennifer Left, co-writing and producing her forthcoming album Hushabye. He originally approached her about working on a solo project back in the days when she sung and played bass in Gloria Cycles, and things have finally come to fruition this year.

“Hushabye was all recorded here. I co-wrote it with Jen and a guy called Ewan Wallace. That took over a year to record, just taking our time. It was nice to write again actually. Both of them very talented and it was nice to do that. I’ve been producing for so long you don’t really get to write any more. It was nice to give Jen a sound too. Jen gave us a list of influences and we sort of forged the sound. To be honest the eleven tracks on the album were the first eleven tracks we did. A lot of people you have to write ten tracks to get one good one, but we were just quite pleasantly surprised by how it all came together. Obviously there was a couple of duff ones here and there that we got rid of, but overall we were really chuffed how it all came together. And it was that thing of giving her a sound that was kind of new but then sort of had elements of the Beatles, Django Rheinhardt, swing and jazz elements, but there’s also Grizzly Bear stuff and weird little elements here and there that just make it a little bit different with Jen’s voice. She’s mad as a box of frogs though!

Diggory is released on 5th November, and is backed with a couple of remixes as well as Jennifer’s gorgeous take on New Order’s Temptation:

The launch party is at the Blind Tiger on 8th November, where Jennifer Left is supported by The Maybirds – another band produced by Tim!

Cate Ferris and House of Hats EPs are out now, and Cordelia Gartside’s EP will hopefully be out before the end of the year.