I had a dream last night where the centrepiece of the upcoming Brighton Festival was a concert by The Go! Team, but instead of being in a venue it was a parade through the streets with the band accompanied by a brass band and a steel band and loads of vocalists and dancers. It was a joyous celebration. As the procession wound it’s way around the lanes the crowds grew bigger and bigger, culminating in a massive finale on the beach. Sadly it was just a dream, but close your eyes listening to the band’s new album Semicircle and it isn’t too hard to imagine (and if David Shrigley or anyone from the Festival reads this, it’s not too late to make it happen!) Continue reading
The Real Si-B is the monicker of Simon F Baker, a UK Swamp Country-Roots Singer Songwriter & One Man Band, who mixes traditional influences with a love of the quirky & unexpected. Continue reading
Brighton’s favourite gospel-tinged alt-country Americana band The Delta Bell release their debut album today on At The Helm records. It’s a wonderful collection of songs written by Kate Gerrard, and highly praised by the blogsphere.
Listen to album opener ‘Carry Us Home’ below
The album launch show is on August 20th at the Verdict Jazz Bar on Edward Street, and the CD is available now from all good record shop.
The band CLOUD are an enigma, a mystery. Their origins seemingly prehistoric, lost in the annals of time.
Born in Brighton, Cloud have been reinventing Krautrock for a 21st century austerity England. Their live shows are rare but the stuff of legend, a barrage of intense, rhythmic, electric and psychedelic rock’n’roll.
The band’s membership is ever changing but with a few core members whose names are often elusive but rumoured to include Scott Power (g), Mikey Rawlings (b), Alex White (d), Matt Benzi and Pete Mason (synths).
And now we have an album.
Six songs, each between seven and ten minutes long. Mainly instrumental with big violent riffs, like the stormy opener ‘Big Clock’. Some mournful and evocative with haunting vocals, like second track ‘Spirit’ featuring Dave Ringland. There’s the awesome power beat of third track ‘Houston Tx’. The modern disco assault of ‘Proton’ follows, then the Joy Division-esque grandeur of ‘Minor Age’ (with more Ringland vocals, in a gothic lovers duel with Bryony Bird) and finally the murderous punchingly drunkenly repetitive ‘A.C.D.’ It’s excellent stuff. Switch it on and lose yourself in the void.
The CLOUD album is available now from their bandcamp site https://cloudcamp.bandcamp.com/
On Saturday August 1st, CLOUD will play their hearts out at the free album launch gig at the Green Door Store CLOUD gig. Pretty unmissable really.
Photograph by Southcoasting photography
Yesterday, The Beautiful Word released their new album Particles. The Beautiful Word were on my radar years before I even started the blog, and throughout that time they’ve always taken a more personal yet inventive approach to their marketing. All the emails I’ve exchanged have been with the band members themselves rather than anonymous PRs, and many of their gigs have taken a twist, from fancy dress to performing a gig on a bus driving around town. When they offered to send out their new cd to me, it came as no surprise to find some sweets in the jiffy bag as well when it arrived. Other bands, please take note!
Over the years, there have been some constants, but that doesn’t mean that the band hasn’t developed. The Beautiful Word will probably always be slightly twee folk pop with close female harmonies, but their newer material shows a higher level of musicianship, best displayed on recent single and album title track Particles, with it’s Vampire Weekend-esque African guitars. At the time it came out we said that it was probably the best thing they’ve done. After a couple of months of playing it, now we’re pretty sure it is.
We’ve heard a lot of the album before, with half of the tracks having had videos made for them already. The video for their most recent single, Eating Me, Eating You (a metaphor for devouring relationships rather than anything more literal, apparently) quickly descends into a food fight – while the music may have grown up, the band and their songs still have a wide eyed innocence.
Of the stuff we haven’t heard before, our favourite track is Coconut Hair – slightly silly but sweet lyrics to an infectious catchy pop tune, which sums up what The Beautiful Word are all about. If you want a bit of light in your life, Particles is the album for you.
Particles by The Beautiful Word is out now on bandcamp. The launch gig for the album is at Latest Music Bar on 28th November with support from The Common Tongues and The Emperors of Ice Cream.
The opening song from the new Electric Soft Parade album sneaks in the line “And now it’s back to work / as if I never left”, but while it’s been seven years since No Need To Be Downhearted came out the White brothers never quite got around to leaving. Since then there’s been three Brakes albums, three solo albums from Thomas, and guest spots from both brothers in numerous bands. There’s been plenty of live dates too, most notably supporting Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds on their world tour in 2011, and playing a gig at the Haunt last year for the 10th Anniversary of Holes in the Wall.
At the end of 2011 a French label put out Lily on 7″, which we described as “the kind of melodic guitar pop that most indie bands would sell their grandmother to be able to write”, and then the band spent all of 2012 assembling an album full of tracks of the same high standard. Earlier this year they released the country tinged Brother You Must Walk Your Path Alone, which has barely left our stereo.
Next Monday sees the release of Idiots, Electric Soft Parade’s fourth long player. The thing that strikes you on first listen is that any of the album’s ten tracks could be singles; not only is Idiots very much a pop album but there isn’t a duff track on it. It’s a classic guitar pop sound that’s been sorely missing from the charts of late, which have been cluttered up with the likes of Kasabian’s testosterone soaked riffs or Ed Sheeran’s overly sensitive acoustic drivel. Where are the tunes? Where are the choruses you can sing along to?
Well, here they are. Summertime In My Heart is the optimism of the season distilled into song form. The Corner of Highdown and Montefiore is a brooding, reflective ballad with lush strings that you lose yourself in before you realise it’s got a bit epic. Title track Idiots draws on the lush seventies pop of ELO or Wings, and the infectiously catchy Mr Mitchell could have been penned by Ray Davies. One of Those Days makes me swoon with it’s gorgeousness, shuffling rhythms and close harmonies, and Welcome To The Weirdness has the best guitar solo that Brian May never wrote. Never again calms things down to finish with, the sweetest song about hangovers that’s ever been written.
Idiots is a fantastic album. It’s rammed with brilliant, sunny guitar pop tunes, and is a great comeback for the White brothers. It’s out on Monday 17th on Helium Records, and the launch is being put on by Melting Vinyl at the Green Door Store that day.
Brighton is so alive with great music right now. Last night we went to Time for T’s EP launch in the unusual venue of their local church, St Luke’s near Seven Dials and all three acts could have been headliners.
First up was a name we have not come across before, Ellie Ford (above). She plays beautiful songs on harp and guitar with an angelic voice and tone, reminiscent in style of Laura Marling and seemingly for this short set just as good. She noted at one point a lot of her songs seemed to involve God, perhaps fittingly for the setting, although it didn’t seem to show. One to watch – she is currently recording.
The Common Tongues released their new EP Tether & Twine a couple of months ago at the Blind Tiger and Time for T offered support there, so this time around the Common Tongues returned the favour. They’re a popular band and rightly so, as they have a big powerful folk-rock sound, reminiscent of the Mumfords but (to my ears) better songs and tunes. Songs like ‘Something’s Got to Give’ and ‘Praying to God’ sound more powerful live than on the EP, and the latter song being particularly memorable.
However, tonuight was all about Time for T, half a dozen young guys from various parts of the Uk and the continent who all share a house just over the road from tonight’s venue and you get the impression it might be something like an episode from the Monkies. They’re a fun band but one with a lot of musical chops and serious intent. They should be out playing the festival circuit but as it was had the whole church dancing or tapping their feet. Sometimes pop with touches of reggae and funk subtly slipped in, sometimes coming across like a big multi-styled band like Santana, we’re big fans. The band’s charm is partly captured by Tiago announcing his mum had come over from Portugal for this gig and then launching straight into their song referencing Phone Sex (rather surprisingly, a great singalong number) from their first EP.
All three songs from their new (second) EP ‘Mongrel’ have been on heavy rotation in our house, and they sounded strong played live tonight. Tornado with its chorus of “You’re like a Tornado, …when you go you take the House and the car away”, and the beautiful spiritual song “Great Grandma” is a particular favourite. The final song ‘Vegetables’ is a great way to end the night, and gets the whole joint jumping. An ode to sloth, it is anything but. Listen below.
Photographs by Jon Southcoasting