Sea Monsters preview interview with James Kendall of The Source

Last year’s Sea Monsters wasn’t curated by outsiders, but this year’s is. How did you come to be hosting an evening?

We have a really good relationship with One Inch Badge. They’re big supporters of the magazine through their advertising and we find it very easy to write about the gigs they put on as not only are there so many to choose from, they’re also very interesting up-and-coming bands. But I guess they asked us because we’re the only magazine that exclusively writes about the Brighton music scene.

Current Source cover stars Kins are second on the bill. Are headliners Written in Waters set for big things in 2013?

Essentially they could be absolutely huge or drive everyone mad. They’re not for everyone – it’s a very strange mix of styles, they’re kinda goth soul meets Pink Floyd – but the people that like them really love them. Kins are much easier to get you head around – they’re really powerful on stage but also very melodic. But I don’t think many bands would find it easy to follow Written In Waters – they’re so dramatic. Come and make up your mind. You really have to see them.

Who are SOURCE’s tips from the bands playing across the other nights?

I guess that you might be able to tell by the people who have been in the magazine, especially those that have been on the cover. Country rock band Holy Vessels recorded our song of 2012 and they’re every bit as good live as on record. Abi Wade plays the cello like no one you’ve ever seen – totally original – while AKDK and Physics House Band are both intense and intelligent bursts of noise, the former electronic and the latter jazzy. Other that that I’m most looking forward to seeing hip hop outfit Rum Committee for the first time.

If you could have got any Brighton band, past or present, to play your night who would you have chosen?

Tough question – I’d very much like to see one more gig by Gloria Cycles, so they would be on the bill. Nick Cave, obviously. I saw Grinderman at the King Alfred Centre so know how powerful he can be when he’s right in front of your face. And I guess I’d like to see The Maccabees play all the early songs they won’t play any more – in a room full of over excited teenagers, like their infamous gig at the Concorde. Finally I’d like to see Bat For Lashes’ first live incarnation – the all girl band – again. She was a delight in those early days. And still is, of course. That’s not a bad line up in anyone’s books.

Sea Monsters seems to have replaced Brighton Live as the local music festival. Why do you think that is?

I think the problem with Brighton Live – which was a brilliant idea – is that by the end it only attracted bands who weren’t already getting lots of gigs elsewhere. I was part of the board for a while and I pushed for more curated nights, something we did at Sticky Mike’s over three days as a SOURCE-branded event. I don’t want to say the rest of it was full of BIMM bands but… it was full of BIMM bands. That’s not so bad bit it isn’t representative of the Brighton scene as a whole. Brighton Live needed to tempt bands to be involved that were way too big to play for free because it was good for the community. But that never really happened. Sea Monsters works better, I think, because the bands are asked to play and already it’s seen as a badge of honour to be chosen. Because it sells out all the bands get paid, which is good. It’s a shame Brighton Live fell from its former glory because there were a lot of good people involved with very good intentions.

Brighton Music Blog Advent Calendar / Day 1 / The Maccabees

We’re going to kick off the list with arguably Brighton’s biggest act from the last year. Who would have expected them to have made the jump from the angular, spiky guitars of Wall of Arms and it’s hit single Love You Better to the ethereal, epic Given To The Wild. Pelican was a link to the old Maccabees, and Feel to Follow showed just how far they’d come.

Brighton Bands nominated for the Artrocker awards – Maccabees, Dark Horses, Tall Ships & Fear of Men

All eyes are on the Mercury Music Prize tonight, but they’re not the only awards to be watching. It’s also a great year for Brighton acts in the end of year nominations over at Artrocker. On top of their Mercury nomination, The Maccabees are up for band over the year. Dark Horses whose album Black Music is out this week did well too, picking up nominations for best single for Radio, and Best New Band. Tall Ships and Fear of Men are also up for Best New Band too. Head over to the Artrocker website and get voting!

new media from Al Chamberlain, Omega Male, Ital Tek and The Maccabees

Before we head out to the Dome Studio bar for the Oxjam Brighton Takeover tonight, here’s a few bits and pieces for you to listen to and watch.

We mentioned Al Chamberlain’s Train Song in our review of september’s Bleeding Hearts Club, and since then it’s turned up as a free download on Soundcloud. Go and grab it now – it’s one of my favourite tracks of the year.

Next is a new video by Omega Male, half of whom is Fujiya & Miyagi’s David Best. Take a look at Testosterone here:

Then we have Ital Tek with the eponymous title track from their new album Nebula Dance, which comes out tomorrow:

Finally, we have beautiful, trippy video Ayla by the Maccabees

The Maccabees nominated for the Mercury Music Prize

Congratulations to The Maccabees, who have been nominated for this year’s Mercury Music Prize for their album Given to the Wild!

The Maccabees – Given To The Wild

The full list of nominees is:

The Maccabees / Given To The Wild

Jessie Ware / Devotion

Roller Trio / Roller Trio

Django Django / Django Django

Field Music / Plum

Michael Kiwanuka / Home Again

Sam Lee / Ground Of Its Own

Richard Hawley / Standing At The Sky’s Edge

Ben Howard / Every Kingdom

Lianne La Havas / Is Your Love Big Enough

Alt-J (∆) / An Awesome Wave

Plan B / Ill Manors

 

Happy New Year

Happy New Year from Brighton Music Blog! It’s that time of year when pretty much the whole media is looking back at the past year and forward at the year ahead. We only started the blog back in October, so let’s just look ahead. Already it’s looking like a good year for Brighton Music – The Maccabees new album Given To The Wild is out next Monday, with Foxes! eponymous debut album out the following week, and Brakes have posted on Facebook to say that they’ll have an album out later this year too (although they have since tweeted to tell us not to get our hopes up!).

Maccabees - Given To The Wild

There’s also a lot of great Brighton-based gigs around town over the next few months. Here’s a few that caught my eye:

6th January : British Sea Power at The Haunt
23rd – 28th January : Sea Monsters 2 gigs at Prince Albert
31st January : Juice New Music Night (Bobby McGees headlining) at The Haunt
4th February : Electric Soft Parade (10th anniversary of Holes in the Wall) at The Haunt
16th February : Source New Music Night (headliners tbc) at Pavilion Theatre
23rd February : Shrag at Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar
9th March : Maccabees at Dome
13th / 14th March : Rizzle Kicks at Concorde 2

I’m sure that’s just the tip of the iceberg. We’ll have reviews and photos from some of those gigs in the coming weeks.

And as if that’s not enough, Brighton Music Blog contributor Jon Southcoasting is DJing his All Time Top 100 at the Coopers Cask this saturday. Jon knows a thing or two about music, so it’s bound to be a good night.

Macca-Brighton date

About a month ago, in one of our first posts we told you about the Maccabees heading off to tour in January, and I jokingly commented that there was no Brighton date. Well, of course they wouldn’t miss out their home town. More dates have been announced, and they’ll be playing the Dome on the 9th of March. Tickets go on sale this Friday, so make sure you’re queuing up outside Resident or Rounder when they open.