Little Way Festival, 27th Feb 2016

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The Little Way festival is an innovation of a team led by Philippe Nash and Harvey Herman, aiming to create a new simple music festival with a homely local community vibe. And over the course of an 11 hour day … Continue reading

Friday 12th June

Two excellent things on for local music fans this Friday.

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Hidden Trail Records are launching their charity compilation ‘Hidden Brighton #2′ on Friday 12th June at the Latest Bar in Manchester Street, featuring some exciting live music from three blog favourites: the rockin’ Black Rooster Black Shag and two superb electro-pop acts Curxes and Becky Becky, both of whom have released very well-received albums this year. Doors at 7:30pm. Entry is £8 on the door.

The album is the Hidden Trail label’s second compilation and features an excellent array of local acts: Curxes, Black Rooster Black Shag, Becky Becky, The Delta Bell, Matthew the Oxx, Clowwns, Cate Ferris, O. Chapman, Momotaro, Grasshopper, Elin Ivarsson, Garden Heart, Jetglo and Alex KP. If this is anything like their first compilation it is going to be really lovely.

The launch and album are raising money for an excellent local charity, The Clock Tower Sanctuary, a day centre providing support to young insecurely-housed or homeless people in Brighton and Hove. All profits from the gig and album release go to the charity.

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If that wasn’t enough, there’s also a wonderful celebration of folk-based music at The One Church, featuring poetic songstress Kristin McClement whose new album The Wild Grips has been getting excellent reviews, along with experimental music from Astra Forward, beautiful alt-folk from Philippe Nash and Hilary Repko‘s heartfelt vocals.

It should make for a beautiful evening of gentle music in a charming venue in Gloucester Place, just a few doors along from the North Laine Brewery Pub. Doors open at 7:30pm, entrance by donation.

Gigs we’ve spotted

Right now, with the evenings going sub-zero it might not seem too appealing to get off the sofa and into town for some live music. We’ve seen a few upcoming gigs which will hopefully change your mind though, starting off with a couple from newly refurbished venues:

10931282_934707609896845_3118508573256408749_nYou might have noticed that right now The Hope is covered with scaffolding and has been closed for a few weeks. on 12th February it reopens as The Hope & Ruin, And Riots Not Diets are hosting their opening party, with Shopping, The Soft Walls and Keel Her setting the bar for what’s to come.

Another venue which has just had a facelift is The Martha Gunn on Upper Lewes Road. Not traditionally known for gigs, it seems that’s to change in their newly reincarnated form. This Saturday (7th February), Becky Becky headline, supported by a stripped down Fiction Aisle, for a free gig put on by the Flash Bang Band affiliated F=KX.

10945724_10155148307895534_4596353916626696870_oFiction Aisle are also support for The Academy of The Sun‘s gig at The Old Market on 19th February. Nick Hudson’s most ambitious project to date have played a few low key gigs so far, but Nick has a history of turning his bigger gigs into events not to be missed.

Fiction Aisle aren’t on the bill for the welcome return of The Bleeding Hearts Club, but it’s surely only a matter of time since Bleeding Hearts put out Tom White’s solo Yalla album. The Bleeding Hearts Club has left it’s old home of the Prince Albert and has relocated to a new home at The Rialto Theatre on Dyke Road, with Gary Goodman, The Hornblower Brothers, Tandy Hard and Mudlow playing on 16th February. After this month, they’ll be back every second monday of the month for the rest of the year.

Another regular night which is making a return soon is The Harvest Sessions, which are restarting on 4th March at The Komedia, coming back with a bang with Luke Sital-Singh, Jacko Hooper and The Standard Lamps.

The following night Della Lupa launches her new single Storm of Swallows at One Church. Not content with just playing a gig, the evening also comprises an art exhibition by Beth Steddon who provided the artwork for the single, a dance performance from the dancers who choreographed the video, and support from Ellie Ford, Summa, and Kwil.

Kristin McClement launches ‘the Wild Grips’

Kristin McClement launched her new album ‘The Wild Grips‘ on Saturday night in Brighton at the One Church on Gloucester Parade, the latest in a long line of incredible music from the Willkommen Records stable.

Support act Benjamin Benedict, a solo Ben Rubinsteain – lead singer with Mariner’s Children, had a bit of a cold which made his reverbed vocals sound a lot like one of those early 60s English pop singers favoured so much by the likes of Joe Meek.  That was no bad thing. Supporting Willy Mason also seemed to rub off on Ben. He started off a bit snuffly and hesitant, but showed the strength of his songwriting and singing in the last three songs.

Benjamin Benedict

Benjamin Benedict

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But this was really all about Kristin McClement, whose album ‘The Wild Grips‘ has been a long long time coming. Song ‘Planks’ was a highlight of the first Willkommen Collective compilation way back in 2009, but little McClement music had emerged since then, despite her regularly venturing forth to play live in a variety of formations, lately most commonly as a two-piece with drummer and backing vocalist Julian Owens. Now her long-awaited debut is out in the world, recorded with Christian Hardy of the Leisure Society who featured on keyboards here in an expanded live band.

Kristin McClement

Kristin McClement

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

McClement’s set began with her solo, playing the beautiful mournful ‘Mouthful of Shells’, then she was joined by drummer Owens for ‘Planks’, another stunning song. This is the mainstay of her live performances in normal times, but for the remainder of the set her stage support grew to feature Christian Hardy, three quarters of Eyes and No Eyes as well as multi-instrumentalist Emma Gatrill and the aforementioned Owens, allowing the rich sounds of the album to be re-created live.

The ‘The Wild Grips’ is an extraordinary collection of mournful yet beautifully crafted and poetic songs, with McClement’s deep resonant voice dominant throughout. Songs like ‘Hoax of a Man’ and the aforementioned ‘Mouthful of Shells’ are particular favourites, but the whole work is genuinely quite special. There’s the lost princess spirit of the alt-folk heroine Sibylle Baier in the intimate cool of the songs, but enriched with the talents of the Willkommen collective the musical depth of the playing comes into finer focus. Julian Owen’s percussion and backing vocals are particularly noteworthy, as was the playing of the gritty soulful celloist Becca Mears.

The main set ended with the Drink Waltz {‘Drink with me’) in which the audience were asked to join in the poignant chorus, not easy given the awkward flow of the words but achieved with aplomb. Then the band returned for an encore of the album’s title-track , a deeply elegant and personal song. Perhaps not an obviously uplifting way to end a show, with its dark lyric, but the band lifted the gloom and filled the large Baptist church hall leaving the audience mesmerised and happy.

Kristin McClement

Kristin McClement

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Listen to the opening track ‘Blackfin Gulls’ below

https://soundcloud.com/kristin-mcclement/blackfin-gulls

The album ‘The Wild Grips’ can be ordered via bandcamp at  https://kristinmcclement.bandcamp.com/