Brighton Music Blog Great Escape / Alt Escape 2017 preview

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It’s almost that time again – the highlight in the Brighton musical calendar, when anywhere you can fit in a PA becomes venue for a few days. Yes, this coming weekend is The Great Escape Festival. We haven’t finalised our plans, but we’re probably going to end up seeing more Alt Escape stuff than proper Great Escape stuff, because that’s where the bulk of the local bands are playing. If you haven’t got yourself a ticket yet then you can get into all the Alt Escape stuff without one anyway.

If you want to start really early then there are actually a couple of shows on Wednesday night, our pick of which is the Fiddlers Elbow where you can see the likes of Fable and Porshyne.

Things really kick off on Thursday though. We’ll probably spending a lot most of the day at Alive Gym on Castle Street – not to work out, but to enjoy the Small Pond / Republic of Music all dayer which has an ace line up – Pussy Liquor, The Hundredth Anniversary, Our Girl and Dream Wife are all on our list. There are also three unannounced acts, which is often Great Escape code for secret gigs by much bigger bands. We’ll also be spending some time up at the Black Dove, which has a line curated by Octopuses that includes Bloom, Fukushima Dolphin, Tom White, Speak Galactic and Frost. In terms of non Brighton bands, we like the look of Anteros at 2pm at Bleach and Gurr who are playing at 3.30pm at Sticky Mikes and also at 9.15pm at Green Door Store. Liberty Music PR’s GRL PWR showcase at Hotel Pelirocco has a mix of tourists and Brighton bands, including Ex-Phanton Runner Adal who’s joined by Michelle O Faith, who are on at 8pm. Also representing Brighton on the main line up are Yonaka (8.30, Patterns), Jacko Hooper (9.15, Jubilee Square) and Fickle Friends (11.15pm, East Wing).

Possibly the strangest gig of the weekend is early afternoon on Friday when Nick Heyward from Haircut 100 (ask your mum) plays at the Black Lion. What we’re most looking forward to though is the Shipwright’s Yard Sessions (also put on by Republic of Music, who seem to be pushing all our buttons at this year’s festival). The whole bill look pretty good, but we’re most excited by The Magic Gang at 4.55pm and Rose Elinor Dougall at 5.35pm. It’s an Alt Escape gig, but you need to register for a ticket so don’t miss out. Elsewhere Porridge Radio are playing at the Hope & Ruin at 6.30pm, Thyla are at the Mucky Duck at 8.30pm, Dog in the Snow play at the Windmill at 10.30pm, and Chris Anderson plays in all three of his Crayola Lectern, La Momo and Zofff guises at the Black Dove over the course of the day.

Saturday daytime is all about Love Thy Neighbour’s Alt Escape gig downstairs at The Hope & Ruin for us. From 2.30pm there’s a run of Kub followed by Our Girl followed by TEEFF which you’ll be hard pressed to beat. Saturday night things get really busy at the festival so your best bet to avoid the queues is to get into a venue early and stay there. There are two great Brighton heavy line ups which we’ll be torn between – Over at the Old Market,  Blood Red Shoes headline with Tigercub and Marthgunn lower down the bill. Alternatively at Sticky Mike’s Magic Gang, Dream Wife, Abattoir Blues and Our Girl are all on the bill at Cannibal Hymns showcase. Also on our list (which has clashes everywhere) are LOM at the Prince Albert at 12.50pm, Bloom at Café Plenty at 1pm, Fable at Hotel Pelirocco at 2pm, Kudu Blue at 2.30pm upstairs at the Hope & Ruin, and The Big Moon at 11pm at Horatios. Saturday night is also Bleach’s last day ever. After the Great Escape festival they’re shutting their doors and closing the venue. Who knows what’ll happen to it – whether it’ll be a function room for the Hare & Hounds, or whether they’ll build it into more pub to be used on a daily basis, or hopefully it’ll come back as a new venue before long – but if you have fond memories of the place Saturday will be your last chance to say goodbye.

New Brighton Music

Here’s this week’s New Music roundup. We’re kicking off with Our Girl whose EP Normally comes out on local label Cannibal Hymns on 18th November. The video for No Big Deal taken from the EP was featured on Vevo this week. Good work Our Girl!

We posted the audio for the new Gang single Dead in our last New Music roundup, but with a track name like that they would have been missing a trick if they didn’t do something to celebrate Halloween earlier this week. Right on cue they sent us the video:

Kudu Blue have a new track out called NGFM. They finally play their first headline shows later this month, in London on 16th November and at the Hope & Ruin on 17th.

It’s been a while since we wrote about The Space Agency, but they’ve just let us know about a double A side single The Devil’s Saddle / Tiger Paw, out now on their own label Tremolo Records and available to buy through their bandcamp page.

The latest band to sign up to the Communion singles club are MarthaGunn, who’ve featured on these pages before. The lead track from their single is Honest, which you can hear below. Look out too for the acoustic video of the track filmed in a church in Wales.

In advance of the release of their album Abstract Figures in the Dark, which comes out a week tomorrow, Tigercub have shared a video for  Memory Boy, made up of footage shot at their gig in October at Patterns:

Rounding up this week is This Party, whose new single Money comes out on Moscow Let’s Go records on 14th November

 

New Brighton Music

It’s been a few weeks since our last New Music post, and we were playing catchup with that one, so there’s a lot of ground to cover. Here’s a selection of our favourite tunes that have come to our attention in the last couple of weeks.

First up is Our Girl with their debut single Sleeper, the coolest four minutes of guitar music we’ve heard in a while:

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Sofar Sounds at Hotel Pelirocco

We haven’t been so great about getting out to gigs so far this year. The fact that it’s still so cold that I can still see my breath when I leave the house in the mornings and a couple of colds which have knocked me for six have meant that the allure of the sofa was stronger than that of leaving the house. Last night though, we were invited out to Hotel Pelirocco where the Brighton Sofar Sounds crew put on their latest night.

I think I described the last Sofar Sounds gig as possibly the most tightly packed gig that I’d ever been to. Last night was even busier. When I heard it was at Hotel Pelirocco I thought it would be in the bar area where I’d been to many nights in the past, but on arriving someone on the door asked if we were here for the comedy, and if we weren’t we were guided down some stairs, doubling back on yourself, going down some more stairs, turning corners until you had no idea quite which direction you were facing, into a room where the door wouldn’t open fully because of the number of bodies. It turns out that we had been directed to the Kraken’s lair – Pelirocco’s most recently refurbished rum-sponsored room.

First up was Alex KP, who initially looked fairly innocuous with just her voice and guitar to entertain us, but very early on proved she had a great soulful voice. By the end of her short set she’d also introduced a loop pedal and a violin into the mix. Definitely someone to watch out for in future (her album is apparently due next week). Next up was Slam The Poet, performing as a two piece under the new guise of MVC. Think Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius pip without so much facial hair and more freestyling.

After a short break to allow everyone to nip to the bar we came back to find that there was even less room than before because final act Our Girl had set up taking up twice as much space as the previous bands. We’ve written Our Girl frontwoman Soph Nathan before when she was writing and recording under her own name. Having a full band behind her has transformed her ideas into the real deal. She had the best songs of the night, sounding fantastic drenched in reverb.

You can find out more about Sofar Sounds Brighton on their facebook page or their website. Click on the pics below to view large.

July Top Ten

How is it August already? July seemed to shoot by, probably because so much of it was spent outside soaking up the sun. Here’s our pick of the top tunes we heard last month:

1 Bentcousin – Dizzy

It seems like forever since we wrote about Dizzy, Bentcousin’s ode to summer in Brighton, and it was a while ago – back in the middle of June. But it came out on 7″ on 1st July, so gets the honour of taking top spot in our July round up.

2 Eagles for Hands – Glass Heart

Conversely, Glass Heart was one of the most recent things we wrote about. There’s also now an alternate version on Spotify too.

3 Caveman Genius – Hand Drawn Paradise

The new Caveman Genius EP isn’t out yet (despite what we might have written when we first mentioned it), but if it’s all as good as Hand Drawn Paradise, then we’re prepared to wait.

4 Oslo Parks – Twin

Oslo Parks are one of a number of new electronic pop bands who have sprung up in Brighton, part of a trend that you won’t find us complaining about.

5 Fragile Creatures – Sunshine

Another sun related song in our top ten – the fantastic weather in July obviously affected us. Fragile Creatures’ new EP is due soon, and there’s word that we might get to hear another track from it before the release date.

6 Demob Happy – Suffer You

Demob Happy are a bit more melodic than usual in their latest offering Suffer You which appeared on Soundcloud last month. The band also announced details of their first headline UK tour, which concludes in Brighton on October 16th at Bleach.

7 Soph Nathan – Our Girl

Soph Nathan’s ethereal shoegazey dream pop has been getting lots of plays at Brighton Music Blog HQ

8 Steve Elston – Dear Em

Dear Em is the title track from Steve Elsom’s new EP / mini-album of lovely acoustic folk pop. It was hard to pick one track to put in our top ten since the whole EP is quite blissful.

9 Lion Bark – Come into my Arms

Come Into My Arms has been getting plays on BBC 6Music and XFM, so we’re happy to include it in our top ten

10 Thomas White – Lose That Girl

Most of what we hear about via the blog is original music, but when Tom White covered the whole of Saint Etienne’s Good Humor we paid attention, as should you.

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: