RIP Robert “Throb” Young

There was sad news amongst the music press today of the death of Robert “Throb” Young from Primal Scream. The band were famously Brighton residents for many years, although haven’t been associated with the city since Bobby Gillespie moved away, and today the Guardian reported that Throb passed away at on Tuesday in Hove. Throb hadn’t been a member of the band since 2006, when he took a sabbatical which he never returned from. Bobby Gillespie and Andrew Innes put out a statement saying:

“We have lost our comrade and brother Robert Young.

A beautiful and deeply soulful man.
He was an irreplaceable talent, much admired amongst his peers,
In the words of Johnny Marr “Throb with a gold top Les Paul -unbeatable”

He was a true rock and roller. He walked the walk.
He had “Heart & Soul” tattooed on his arm and I’m sure on his heart too.
He once said to me “When we go onstage it’s a war between us and the audience”
He never let go of that attitude.

Our love and thoughts are with his sons Brandon and Miles and their mother Jane, his wife Rachel, and his immediate family.”

Your Garden Day flatstream EP launch

Robin Coward and his band yourgardenday launched their new EP ‘flat stream’ at St Andrew’s Church on Friday night. They were ably supported by an array of extrordinary Brighton talent in the form of Sophie Reid, Zoe Hazel and Bella Kardasis.

Brighton Music Blog was there to witness a celebration of new local music.

All photographs are by Jon Southcoasting.

Your Garden Day flatstream EP launch

The Gnomes are about

Your Garden Day flatstream EP launch

Zoe Hazel’s gentle soulful songs in English and Spanish

Your Garden Day flatstream EP launch

Sophie Reid showing her versatility and skill

Your Garden Day flatstream EP launch

Bella Kardasis playing stunning instrumental guitar in the style of Johns Martyn and Fahey

Your Garden Day flatstream EP launch

Robin Coward, our host for the evening

Robin Coward

Robin sings out

The band play on

The band play on

Your Garden Day

Your Garden Day

House of Hats at The Brunswick / Cate Ferris at The Neptune

This weekend we went to two gigs which on paper, could have been very similar – Both were in Hove, in pubs, both were folk-based acts, and both featured performers who have recently made recordings with local producer Tim Bidwell. That’s where the similarity ends though.

Saturday night, House of Hats hosted their Harvest Sessions night at the Brunswick. The Harvest Sessions is a monthly affair put on by the band where they invite other people they’ve worked with onto the bill to share them with their audience. This month saw Cordelia Gartside (who’s also recently been produced by Tim Bidwell), Rob Vincent and Conrad Vingoe play with House of Hats.

Cordelia Gartside

I only caught the end of Cordelia’s set, but for someone so young I was impressed at how she held the room enthralled. Sometimes the simplest of setups – just a voice and guitar – can create wonderful things. Next up was Rob Vincent, who was very good, and had a fantastic voice, but isn’t from Brighton, so I’ll move on.

Conrad Vingoe

Conrad Vingoe was next onstage, fresh from playing at the Levellers’ Beautiful Days festival thanks to winning a set through an Acoustic Magazine organised contest. Conrad was playing with a slightly reduced band, since his regular mandolin player was playing with Emily Baker in Shoreham, and was just accompanied by double bass, as well as his own guitar and harmonica playing. It was easy to see that Conrad had the skills to win the set – as well as a quality performance, he was charismatic and friendly between songs too. He’s got an EP out soon, which I’m sure we’ll tell you more about nearer the time.

House of Hats

At the end of the night House of Hats came on, and played a relatively short set for headliners – I guess that’s that’s the price of having four bands on the bill. The band played a number of songs from their debut House of Hats EP, their upcoming Rivers Will Run release and even threw in a Dylan cover. Lead vocals were passed between guitarist Alex and multi-instrumentalist Noddy, and the close harmonies from the whole band sounded very slick indeed. It’s great to see a band who are working so hard and seem to be on track for big things also remembering the people they have worked with along the way.

Cate Ferris

Sunday night we were just around the corner, where Cate Ferris was playing at The Neptune’s regular music night. Cate was last invited to play at the Neptune back in March, and they enjoyed her performance so much that this time they gave her the whole evening to perform in, which she broke up into two forty-five minute sets. Most of this was filled with her newer material which starts off simply but builds up subtly with harmonic vocal loops and sampled drum or keyboard lines complimenting her acoustic guitar. It wasn’t all new tracks though – Cate also dug out old favourites Still Green and Bonnie & Clyde. The gig also marked the first outing of Cate’s new EP – “Deep Breath, Ready, Get Set, Go” is a new four track which isn’t officially out until next Monday, but was available on the night. After a marathon set, the crowd demanded more, so Cate improvised on the spot, building a song just made from harmonies layered over one another and looped – a raw exhilarating end to a fantastic performance.


Rizzle Kicks at the Olympic Torch Relay

In another world, I’d be writing about Grasscuts tonight – their album came out today, and they played a free instore at Resident to celebrate it’s release. However even though the sensible thing would have been to go to a gig in the dry, I was standing in a damp muddy field in Hove for another Brighton band.

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Abi Wade live at the Old Market

Abi Wade at The Old Market

Last time I saw Abi Wade, back in December of last year, she was playing the acoustic spot at the Source New Music night at the Pavilion Theatre. Her ‘Of Blood and Air’ EP had just been released, but she was playing to a largely unappreciative audience. In the past three months a lot has changed, because last Thursday night she played to a packed out hall at the Old Market, where the crowd were hanging on every note. Support came from Dan Edwards & Max Crawford, and Luke Sital-Singh. Rumours of me having missed the support because I was distracted in The Conqueror around the corner are unfortunately true. We arrived just as Abi’s set started, and my companions marvelled at both the simplicity and the complexity of her setup. With just one person on stage, it is quite incredible that the sound of a whole band is produced. Somehow, with the aid of a tambourine and a stomp box on drum pedals, cello strings being bowed, and plucked, and the cello body being tapped with the bow, and drumsticks and even a hairbrush, and warm rich sound was created which, had you not been watching, that thought that it was only being created by one person wouldn’t have even crossed your mind. For three quarters of an hour, we were treated to a selection of tracks from the debut EP, and a whole host of other material, including an interesting cover of One Hand Holding by The Maccabees. We were left wanting more, which is the way thing should be – thankfully, Abi’s got a lot more gigs coming up soon: On 18th April at The Haunt (supporting Sea of Bees, with fellow Brightonions Heliopause also on the bill), 27th April at The Hope (supporting Dan Mangan) and 13th June at the Prince Albert (supporting mancubbabywoman)

The Muel at The Brunswick

There’s all kinds of difficulties when it comes to writing reviews of live gigs. There’s turning up late and missing support bands. There’s getting a bit drunk and not remembering the gig too well. There’s turning up to a gig you thought you’d be able to get into and finding it was sold out, which is what almost happened at last night’s gig. Thankfully it just turned out that everyone inside the side room in The Brunswick was standing inside the doorway, holding up the queue outside. Once inside though I was faced with a rather unique problem – the support band didn’t actually have a name! So I could tell you that they were a bit ska crossed with German Oom-pah band, and that while they were obviously all tremendous musicians they weren’t especially to my taste but the crowd loved them – what do I know, eh? – but that won’t be that helpful of you want to go and find out more about them, would it? Thankfully, there did leave us with one big clue – they were the band who until recently were Twelve Stone Toddler. I’m not sure quite how and why they aren’t any more, and never saw them in their previous incarnation, but there you are.

Headlining were The Muel, whose album “All Kinds of Love” came out in spring of last year. Since then, they’ve been touring hard. Most recently Sam Walker (who writes all the songs, and whose full first name is where the band name comes from) has been out in Australia playing a string of acoustic shows. It’s very difficult to describe The Muel’s music – it’s a kind of psychedelic rock, centred around Sam, who sings, plays guitar, oh and plays drums from the centre of the stage too. As with the music defying definition, so the supporting cast are very talented and versatile – each of the other band members take on vocal duties at various points in the gig – and guitar player Jim Mortimore (who’s also been playing bass for The Woo!Worths and double bass for The Moulettes recently) also took on steel drum duties. The majority of the set was new songs yet to be recorded and released, that have the same energy as the older stuff, but do a much better job of showcasing the rest of the band and their talents – I was particularly impressed by some of the guitar and piano solos that we were treated to. If you missed the gig, you can catch them again in London at the Slaughtered Lamb in Clerkenwell next monday, and at the Landsdown Arms in Lewes on 11th Feb.

The Muel

Brighton Folk in Hove

Every third Sunday of the month, Brighton Folk is held, at the Brunswick pub. It’s been running for a few years now and is a pretty established part of the Brighton music scene. Last night, two local acts were on the bill – The Galleons and Peanut Albinos. The evening started off, as ever, with Amy Hill playing a few of her own folk songs.

Amy Hill

The Galleons reminded me a lot of Tunng – they were quite folky with occasional time signature changes, and the interplay between vocalists Ben and Beth hark at their sound too, sometimes harmonising and other times swapping melodies. Six people on stage was quite a squeeze, especially with the bassist swapping between conventional electric bass and a futuristic looking upright electric bass. Still, they managed a lot better than last time I saw them, when they were shoehorned into a tiny corner at the Constant Service in Hanover. With that bit more space, they managed a bigger sound, one which will hopefully be brought to life even more when their new album hits the shelves in a few weeks time

The Galleons

Peanut Albinos might have been playing in the side room at a pub in Hove, but when you closed your eyes, you might as well have been in a whiskey bar in America. Actually, if you ignored the rest of the pub and just looked at the stage, you could easily imagine the same. Sonically, it’s as if Tom Waits were fronting an stateside version of The Pogues. It’s music to get drunk, dance and sing along to. They brought their own crowd along, but they didn’t need to – even without them there, they would have raised the roof.

Peanut Albinos