After last week’s mammoth post, we’re back to something a bit more digestible. Here’s this week’s crop of new music:
There’s loads of new music this week, but before I get on with that, there’s been a couple of comments on social media after the new music posts from people pointing out that I haven’t featured their band. Neither of these acts had actually sent us any links or information, which makes things quite difficult – while we try to be proactive we aren’t omniscient and things do pass us by. The best way of getting in touch to get featured is to drop a mail to BrightonMusicBlog@gmail.com, with soundcloud / bandcamp / youtube links (or Spotify if you must, but as you’ll see below they don’t look great on blogs powered by WordPress), making sure you mention that you’re from Brighton if we don’t know you.
Track Name: P.H.U.K (edit)
Taken From: P.H.U.K single
Release Date: out now
https://open.spotify.com/embed/track/4KtK0PsueNCOSGKmJTmxDH Continue reading
One of these days we’ll get around to posting our gig preview posts at the end of the previous month rather than a few days into the new month. Not this month though. If I was on the ball, I’d have posted about ZOFFF’s gig at the Prince Albert last Sunday, where they were joined onstage by Terry Bickers and Jo Spratley and lit by Innerstrings. As a consolation, ZOFFF are playing again on 30th September at the Prince Albert. Continue reading
On 25th Ingrid Plum releases her debut album Plangent. Where her earlier work was based around vocal interpretations of traditional and modern folk songs, sung solo with a knack for bringing a whole room to hushed awe, her first full length introduces instrumentation and other musicians adding to the mix.
The launch of the album takes place tomorrow at St Andrews Church on Waterloo street and will be the only performance where most of those who contributed to the record will be joining Ingrid on stage. These include Rachel Dey (Do you Feel What I Feel Deer, Restlesslist, Milk & Biscuits), Al Strachan (Sons of Noel & Adrian, Crayola Lectern) and Tim Cottrell (Das Fenster). Support comes in the form of folk songs from Jo Burke and poetry from Gary Goodman.
Here’s a taster of what you can expect – the video for Do Not Come Into Darkness – produced in characteristic homespun style. If you can’t make along tomorrow, Ingrid will embarking on a headline tour in the spring.
May’s a funny months for gigs. One one hand it’s quite possibly the best month in the year – The Great Escape comes to town and there’s so much going on for Brighton Festival and Fringe. But on the other hand there are so many distractions that a lot of bands lay low until there’s a chance that they’ll be heard. So even though this weekend is a Bank Holiday, things are starting to look a little bit thin on the ground.
On Thursday night Rich from Heliopause is putting on a gig at the Hope. His own band and Ingrid Plum act as support from Canadian Ingrid Gatin. Meanwhile, at Sticky Mike’s, BrightonsFinest are putting on Fragile Creatures.
Be Nothing promotions are celebrating their second birthday on Friday night at the Blind Tiger. There are five bands on the bill headlined by Girl Band, with local representation from Tourist and Adolescent.
Our pick for Saturday night is another gig at the Blind Tiger – Brighton’s King Porter Stomp are joining forces with Bristol’s First Degree Burns for what promises to be a fantastic ska / hip hop collaboration.
Is there something in the water that nobody’s told me about? After Friday night’s Miserable Rich gig being their last gathering for the foreseeable future, it seems that The Bleeding Hearts Club have also hung up their hat for now too.
Whereas most Bleeding Hearts have involved three or four acts, each only playing three songs, last night involved over a dozen bands, each only playing a song or two, with a rule that it had to be a Christmas related cover. I didn’t catch the names of everyone but Fire Eyes, Self Help Group, Nick Hudson, Ingrid Plum, Jane Bartholomew, Things in Herds, Clowns, Crayola Lectern, Tandy Hard and Seadog were amongst the bands who played, some onstage, some in amongst the crowd. Some bands embraced the Christmas theme more than others, and somehow we ended up with two versions of Brass in Pocket by the Pretenders. I’m sure the Pretenders’ Christmas song was 2000 Miles. It was some of the more leftfield covers which raised the biggest smiles. Clowns covering The Sex Pistols God Save the Queen was brilliant, and Crayola Lectern doing Bat Out Of Hell was a moment of warped genius.
We’re going to miss Bleeding Hearts every first Monday of the month, and we hope that it’s only a temporary break. This isn’t be the last we’ll hear of them though – they told me to pencil in the release of the Crayola Lectern album for next April.
The format of the Source New Music Night changed a little bit this month, with the team at the Dome doing their very best to make sure that we all get to enjoy as much music as possible. Gone is the acoustic act in the bar downstairs, who never really got the appreciation they deserved, and instead a new mini stage was built to the side of the room. There’s still four acts, with the headliner hand-picked by The Source, and this they brought us the Miserable Rich’s last ever gig. For now at least – the band have decided that after five years they’re going to take some well earned time off.
If you got there early, you would have been lucky enough to have caught Ingrid Plum, who played a short set at 8pm. I say played, but Ingrid’s only instrument was her voice, singing her own acapella songs (and one by local legend Chris T-T), in the traditional unaccompanied folk style. It was a performance that captivated the room – a mean for the first act on!
Next up, on the other side of the room on their new stage was Donna Fullman. We wrote about her album Inner World back in July, and have been kicking ourselves that we haven’t made it up to the Bull in Ditchling for one of her Sunday Night sessions, because Donna and her band’s set was lovely – a handful catchy, smooth folk pop songs.
Third act Cate Ferris has played Source New Music before, November last year, but back then she was the acoustic act downstairs who not nearly enough people saw. This time around she won over a whole room full of people who packed out the place for their last chance to see The Miserable Rich. What Cate does is nothing short of astonishing, using loops to build up beautifully told songs, and making it look effortless while doing so. And just when that’s impressed you, there’s the amazing voice. I’ve seen Cate many times over the last few years, and I reckon this is the best time I’ve ever seen her – the big stage really suited her. Next time, I reckon she’ll be the headliner.
Friday night was a special night not only for The Miserable Rich, but also for their fans, who had come from far and wide to see them for one last time. The songs they played were very much the crowd-pleasers – I lost count of the number of times I heard the words “this one’s my favourite” as I was angling to get a better photo. Tracks came from throughout their five year career, and they were re-joined by original guitarist Jim Briffett for some tracks. It wouldn’t have been right if there wasn’t alcohol involved and James was drinking whisky like it was water, and by the last song before the encore it was affecting his recall for lyrics. I guess he won’t need to be remembering them for a bit though! The night was closed was the band playing acoustically in amongst the audience – a magical moment to end this chapter of the Miserable Rich’s musical career.
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.
I didn’t want to open my cd of Ingrid Plum’s Tunnel Recordings EP. Not because I didn’t want to hear what was on it, but because the packaging was so nice – a handmade origami case, closed up with a wax seal. And my cd is number one of a hundred. But it wouldn’t be much of a review if I just told you what the outside was like.
We’ve already written about Ingrid this week, after her set at Monday’s Bleeding Hearts Club. The cd contains five acapella recordings each recorded in one take in a tunnel in Brighton (I’ve been told where it is, but I’m also sworn to secrecy!), the reverb from which gives the tracks a curious feeling of intimacy. The sound sits somewhere between folk and hymnal music, raw and laid bare, and the effect is quite disarming – so rarely is music presented in such a stripped down form these days.
Despite such an old sound, all of the songs on the EP are modern : Three songs are original compositions by Ingrid, supplemented with a poem by Yeats put to music by Ingrid and a cover of Chris T-T’s M1 Song (shown below at monday’s Bleeding Hearts). The EP is available to buy via Bandcamp.
We keep writing about Bleeding Hearts, but then they consistently keep putting on great gigs, and this month was no exception.
First up last night was Al Chamberlain. When I spoke to Bleeding Hearts top dog Chris Davies at the bar before the gig, he described Al as a “professional Northerner, who does a song about trains”, which was certainly true, but doesn’t really tell the half of it. Al reminded me a lot of The Montgolfier Brothers, one of the bands that Alan McGee pinned his hope on with Poptones, his project after the closure of Creation Records. Despite nobody I’ve ever met having heard of them, The Montgolfier Brothers are one of my favourite bands – they make beautiful songs with lyrics about being at the precipice of the end of a relationship which are very well observed and utterly heartbreaking at the same time, and Al’s songs had similar qualities. Perhaps the most famous song about trains is The Locomotion, which doesn’t really sit alongside the acoustic aesthetic of Bleeding Hearts. In Al Chamberlain’s song about trains, tracks and stations become metaphors for components of relationships and by the end everything’s ok, both with the relationship in the song and with any fears about the handling of locomotive based songs.
Monday’s second act was Ingrid Plum. Ingrid sang solo a capella folk songs, unencumbered by other musicians or instruments. Of the four songs she sang three were her own compositions but you wouldn’t know it and could easily have mistaken them for traditional songs hundreds of years old. Her fourth piece was a cover of Chris T-T’s M1 Song, made her own in the same style. It was an electric performance which had the room held in silent captivity hanging on every note. Ingrid has just released an EP – head over to her Facebook page to find out how to get hold of a copy.
It was all change for third band The Droplets, who also featured Al Chamberlain on guitar. The Droplets also live in the past musically, but instead of hundreds of years old folk music they play 70s AOR, covering the likes of Randy Newman and Big Star. Musically it was note perfect, but it was the voice that made it something special.
Finally, it was the turn of Steve Elston, who had apparently played quite a few of the early Bleeding Hearts nights, before disappearing off their radar. He’s turned up again playing guitar for Das Fenster (who completely coincidentally Ingrid also sings backing vocals for), and has made a return to Bleeding Hearts. If you weren’t looking you could have been forgiven for thinking that there was more than one person on stage, such was the sound emanating from the speakers. I don’t want to throw words like this around lightly, but Steve may possibly be the best guitarist we’ve written about at Brighton Music Blog. His fingers performed feats of technical brilliance, yet the music that was made had a degree of tenderness rarely seen alongside this level of ability. Utterly breathtaking.