Weekend gig picks

We thought it would be worth posting up a few of this weekend’s gigs, since there’s so many great ones going on (and so many that we won’t be able to get to, but want to make sure you know about them). Tonight, Restlesslist play a set at the Prince Albert of their first new stuff that they’ve put together since the brilliant Coral Island Girl which they’ve been playing all yeat. Over the road at the Green Door Store, Ninja Tune’s Grasscut are playing a homecoming gig, and out in Hanover, The Bobby McGees are bound to entertain at the Horse & Groom. Meanwhile, The Resonators will be playing tracks from their new album The Constant at the Blind Tiger.

Tomorrow, our friends over at Some Of It Is True are hosting Bellman at the Palmeira, and Flash Bang Band are supporting. Cupboard Music are hosting a night called Hey! Fever at the Green Door Store, with Speak Galactic and Soft Arrows on the bill, and British Sea Power are playing a live soundtrack to a new film called From The Sea To The Land Beyond at Duke of Yorks.

Then on Saturday, Catherine Ireton plays her final Treasure Tracks 4 in association with Source New Music. Who knows exactly where that’s going to be! Our final pick of the weekend is Anneka who’s supporting Plaid at the Concorde 2.

Here’s to a great weekend of live music!

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Restlesslist / Source New Music / Brighton Dome Studio Theatre

This review of this months second Source New Music Night I’m afraid to say isn’t up my own personal standards. Normally I do my best to write about all of the bands on the bill (if they’re from Brighton), but I’m just going to focus on Restlesslist for this write up, so I apologise to Oliver Welby, Them The Sky and Phoria. I’ve been sick with a cold this week which, meant I was lethargic and slow, which led to me arriving late to the evening, which led to me missing a big chunk of the proceedings, and then when I did arrive I bumped into quite a few people I know, which was great but meant I wasn’t giving the attention I should have to the musicians that were onstage. And then at the end of the evening Restlesslist played their album Coral Island Girl in full, and it’s going to take something incredibly special from any band to stand up to comparison to that.

I’ve raved about Restlesslist before. The blew me away when I first saw them at Sea Monsters back in January, and then confirmed all of my expectations when I went to their album launch in September at the Haunt. There are so many individual elements to love and yet the sum is greater than the whole. One of the first things that strikes you is the music. It’s not just that they skip around genres, it’s that they don’t it clumsily, with the transitions being aided by Mark Campbell’s narration of the story. And what a story – I’ve listened to the cd over and over since I got hold of it, and it still makes me smile. Then there’s the light show provided by InnerStrings, a little bit trippy, a little bit retro and one more thing that make the band so compelling to watch.

The key thing for me though is that fact they’re all loving being stage so much : You can see that all of the band (I counted nine onstage on thursday) love all of the music that they’re playing. You can see the affection for the influences in all of the songs, and for their fellow bandmates. You can see that it matters to them to put together something that gives them the opportunity to share the things they love – so much music, as well as their friendship with each other – with the wider world, having a great time while doing it.

You can listen to Coral Island Girl in full on Soundcloud:

Restlessli​st / Coral Island Girl – album launch / review

It’s difficult to know where to start writing about Restlesslist, because there’s no one quite like them. At the same time, there are both no points of reference but also dozens of points. There’s psychedelia, surf rock, post rock, prog rock, ska, calypso, easy listening, exotica, italo-house and spoken word, quite often all in the same song. I first came across the band at Sea Monsters earlier this year, and loved the fact that they had so many people onstage, including a narrator wearing an eye-patch. Last night they launched their new album Coral Island Girl at a gig at The Haunt.

The gig was fantastic. Once again, the stage was packed (how on earth did they fit everyone onto the stage at the Prince Albert?), and rather than being a studied affair it looked like everyone onstage was having a great time. The audience were having a great time too. Well, most of them were – there were some very puzzled faces at the back. The gig that Restlesslist chose to launch their album at was a support slot for American band Howlin’ Wolf, and it seems that some of their fans were… Well, let’s just say that maybe their musical horizons aren’t wide as Restlesslist’s. If any of their fans end up reading these words, my advice to them is to look beyond check shirts and long shorts – there’s a wonderful world out there waiting to be discovered. Visuals were provided by Innerstrings Lightshow, who splashed the stage with 70s style projections in bright colours, adding to the already trippy experience of the gig. The band played their album from start to finish, without breaks between the tracks – that’s where the narration is – or any encores. Well, support bands rarely do encores, do they?

Restlesslist / Coral Island Girl

Coral Island Girl is a concept album. It recounts a tall tale told from the perspective of the album’s narrator of events following a shipwreck. Between each short spoken word segment, the story continues in instrumental form, conjuring up imagery of wonder or excitement, with the musical and non-musical elements complementing each other perfectly. As the story develops, the drama is heightened, and the tension mounts until it reaches it’s explosive conclusion. As I mentioned earlier, the album is jam packed with different styles but familiar motifs crop up throughout which give the record a bit of consistency. It’s an exhilarating listen – as imaginative as it is expansive – and deserves to be digested in one sitting. In a world where mp3 culture has reduced musical attention span to three minutes, it’s a joy to hear an record like Coral Island Girl. Definitely one of the albums of the year for us.

http://coralislandgirl.com/

Rob’s Sea Monsters Diary part 5, 27th January 2012

Sea monsters just keeps getting better and better. Tonight’s gig was amazing. Quite possibly – and I know it’s very early to start using these words – gig of the year. Strong words, I know.

First up were DA-10.DA-10 stood out because they were the first band I’ve seen so far (except Robert Stillman) not to rely on guitars at all, and the only band on the whole bill of Sea Monsters to make dance music. Picture a slightly more chilled out Daft Punk, with the bottom end of their sound enlightened by the kind of filthy noises made since the advent of dubstep and fidget house.

DA-10

Next up was Speak Galactic. Our paths had crossed briefly several weeks ago, when they supported Laetitia Sadier at the Green Door Store. They were incredibly loud though, and I was meeting a friend, so I stayed in the bar. I should have gone and investigated though, because it turns out that Speak Galactic were one of the most interesting bands on the Sea Monsters bill so far. Owen Thomas, who effectively is Speak Galactic (there’s a drummer too, but you can see all the amazing ideas are coming from Owen), played on tuesday night as part of Cinemascopes, and I noted that it was him who elevated them above a normal band. On his own, the ideas are flying out everywhere – songs skip around genres and technology is pushed to the limit. I was incredibly impressed. If this guy isn’t a superstar in the next twelve months, then there’s something wrong with the world.

Speak Galactic

Then came Nullifier, whose lead singer was Speak Galactic’s drummer. One of their keyboard players was playing last night in Negative Pegasus. In fact, all of the band members seemed have been playing in other gigs in Sea Monsters. There were seven members in Nullifier, which proved (for them at least) to be too many to fit onto the stage. So the singer, a bassist, and the guitarist performed out in the audience (leaving two keyboard players, a drummer and another bassist onstage). Which made the photography challenging to say the least.

Nullifier

And last of all was Restlesslist, who were an absolute triumph. Where other bands came and played sets, Restlesslist transformed the Prince Albert into another world. And while they might have been headlining a night a Sea Monsters, they would have been equally at ease headlining a stage at Glastonbury. The band – all six of them – were accompanied on stage by an eye patch wearing Mark Campbell, who between songs narrated a psychedelic story involving dogs in hats, shapeshifting beauties, and volcanic eruptions. Between his words Restlesslist effortlessly skipped around pretty much every genre in the textbook – Rock, pop, musical, krautrock, calypso, you name it. If any other band over the next two days managed to beat this performance, then I’ll be amazed.

Restlesslist

Sea Monsters 2 preview

So, I had this grand plan to do a write up about what I was looking forward to at Sea Monsters 2 in the week leading up to the gigs. But then I went to a gig last Sunday night, which I wrote up on Monday night. And then I went to a gig on Tuesday (which wasn’t one for the blog). And then Wednesday I went and interviewed the Repeat Prescriptions. Last night I thought it was about time I spent some quality time with my girlfriend, so now here we are on Friday, with the gigs starting on Monday with nothing written.

Thankfully, One Inch Badge, who are putting on the gigs, have done pretty much what I intended to do, and have written up some highlights of some of the twenty three (!!!) bands playing next week.

Personally, I’m looking forward to Us Bear Baby Bones, who I saw supporting Laetitia Sadier last week at the Green Door Store, Black Black Hills, who headlined the Source New Music night a few months ago at the Pavilion Theatre, and Restlesslist, who I haven’t caught live yet but are playing tonight at the Green Door Store.

I don’t quite know how I’m going to have time to fit in time for an update on every gig next week, but keep an eye on the blog, and maybe I’ll find the time to get a little something up.

Here’s a link to the Sea Monsters section of the One Inch Badge website, and here are the links to the band previews they’ve posted so far:

Sons of Noel & Adrian
Fear of Men
I’m Being Good
Munich
Restlesslist
Tall Ships
Robert Stillman
Cinemascopes
Negative Pegasus
Black Black Hills
Us Bear Baby Bones
Heliopause

Monday 23rd January 2012
Sons of Noel & Adrian
Robert Stillman
Heliopause

Tuesday 24th January 2012
Fear of Men
Cinemascopes
Soft Arrows
Tyrannosaurus Dead

Wednesday 25th January 2012
I’m Being Good
Negative Pegasus
Plague Sermon
Sea Bastard

Thursday 26th January 2012
Restlesslist
Nullifier
Speak Galactic
DA-10

Friday 27th January 2012
Munich
Black Black Hills
Jumping Ships
Twin Brother

Saturday 28th January 2012
Tall Ships
Us Baby Bear Bones
Squadron Leaders
Physics House Band

The Hazey Janes at the Green Door Store

The scottish power-pop band The Hazey Janes came back to Brighton last night for a gig at the Green Door Store.

Support came from the Pure Conjecture, a Brighton supergroup of sorts featuring members of Electric Soft Parade, Brakes, British Sea Power, Tenderfoot and Restlesslist.However this was no rambling indie rock in the usual style of those bands.

When lead man Matt Eaton nervously started what was only the band’s second gig you could be forgiven for thinking that he was a terrible singer fronting a makeshift soul band. By the third song the audience was convinced that not only were this group a completely brilliant funk machine in the style of the Dap Kings but that Matt Eaton was one of the finest soul singers on the planet. As he grew in confidence the sound just got bigger and punchier. This was foot-tapping stuff of the top order.

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Matt covered Barry White with some verve, and then broke down the show-stopping I love My Car with a long joke about black boxes and working in tele-sales told over a rumbling beat and which made him completely own the stage, working a treat. 

 

Pure Conjecture have an album in the can, apparently recorded in four days featuring a full line-up of 14 people including a horn section. On the basis of this gig it should be brilliant. 

 

Headliners The Hazey Janes had a lot to live up to, following their support.

A big beaty four-piece playing power pop in the style of early 90s American bands such as Velvet Crush, they started in Scotland more than a decade ago but still carry a lot of youthful energy and passion in their music. When they let rip, as they did every other song, the waves of energy were felt around the room. This was garage rock of the highest order. They have a new CD to sell, but if you get the chance to see them live don’t miss it.

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Sea Monsters

In case you’ve missed it this week, Sea Monsters – a mini festival / series of gigs, put on by local Promoters One Inch Badge – is back next January, expanding by a night on this January’s five night run at the Prince Albert. This year there’s six consecutive nights of gigs, all from local bands (which means that if we’re not writing about it, we’re missing a trick). Tickets are a measly £4 for each gig, which is a bargain already, or if you want to go to all six, it’s a ridiculously cheap £20. There’s more info on the Facebook event, and the Source have got a big feature in this months issue too. Here’s the full line up:

Monday 23rd January 2012
SONS OF NOEL & ADRIAN
ROBERT STILLMAN
HELIOPAUSE

Tuesday 24th January 2012
FEAR OF MEN
CINEMASCOPES
SOFT ARROWS
TYRANNOSAURUS DEAD

Wednesday 25th January 2012
I’M BEING GOOD
NEGATIVE PEGASUS
PLAGUE SERMON
SEA BASTARD

Thursday 26th January 2012
RESTLESSLIST
NULLIFIER
SPEAK GALACTIC
DA-10

Friday 27th January 2012
MUNICH
BLACK BLACK HILLS
JUMPING SHIPS
TWIN BROTHER

Saturday 28th January 2012
TALL SHIPS
US BABY BEAR BONES
SQUADRON LEADERS
PHYSICS HOUSE BAND