Weekend Gig Picks

Normally December is a quiet time for music, but once again Brighton is doing us all proud by being as busy as ever. Here’s our picks of the best of the local live music this weekend:

GAPSOn Thursday Night, GAPS launch their new single I Know It’s You with a gig at the Green Door Store. Support comes from Foreign Skin and Eagles for Hands. Thursday is also December’s Source New Music at the Dome Studio Theatre, headlined this month by Rum Committee, with Mok, Neon Saints Brass Band and Barcode also on the bill. Meanwhile, over at the Brunswick Tim Keegan & The Quiet Lifers are playing at the Brunswick. They’ll be previewing tracks from their forthcoming album The Long Game, as well as other material from their back catalogue, a tribute to Lou Reed and maybe something a little more festive. As if that wasn’t enough, at the Blind Tiger there’s a Beatabet takeover with Le Juki, Bryony Bird and Collectress.

ESPFriday night sees The Electric Soft Parade play their Christmas Show at the Unitarian Church. The band will be playing two sets – an acoustic Electric Soft Parade set of rarities and covers, and an second set of Christmas songs with an expanded band. There’s promise of mince pies and mulled wine too. Normanton Street and Phoebe Freya are launching their new single at the Green Door Store, and carrying on with an afterparty at Brighton Arts Club after 11. Support at the Green Door Store comes from Alice Amelia, The Remedy and The White Bicycles. As if that wasn’t enough for Friday Night, Hypnotised are supporting the Godspeed / Silver Mount Zion side project Esmerine at Saint George’s Church.

There’s plenty to choose from on Saturday too – Eliza Jaye is playing at the Ranelagh, House of Hats, Jacko Hooper and Fiddes Smith are at the Brunswick, and Two Jackals are at Coalition. Finally, on Sunday, Sealings play at Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar, supported by Shudder Pulps, Keel Her and Witching Waves.

In the meantime, we’re off to see Lion Bark at the Hope tonight.

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Sea Monsters Day Five – One Inch Badge vs Slip Jam B

Friday Night was One Inch Badge vs Slip Jam B night at Sea Monsters, which meant a bit of a change from all the bands with guitars we’ve seen all week.

DA-10

DA-10

DA-10 kicked off proceedings, one of only two dance acts on the bill (the other being AK-DK on Sunday night). I’m a bit surprised by the lack of dance acts across the bill, but as someone pointed out to me last year “if you’ve got any complaints about the line up, why not program a festival yourself?”. So that told me. Anyway, I really enjoyed DA-10 last year, and they were even better this year. Big fat bass, beats made on the fly which have developed from last year’s house to include more two-step and breakbeat rhythms, and big party tunes.

Rum Committee

Rum Committee

Slip Jam B nights are run by members of Rum Committee – a collective of MCs and DJs. At one point there were over eight people on stage, which pushed them a little bit closer to the monitors than they were used to causing some ear bleeding feedback. “At our nights we don’t have feedback” said one member, which was a bit disrespectful and showed a lack of understanding as to how feedback happens. It was all a bit of a shambles – during the first song one member looked like they were texting someone, and a random got up onstage and started talking to members of the band who weren’t rapping at the time. Maybe that’s how hip hop nights work, but it wasn’t for me – I ducked out for a bit a nipped over to a free gig taking place at the Green Door Store.

Almighty Planets

Almighty Planets

I came back for Almighty Planets, and I was glad I did. There’s been a party funk / hip hop shaped hole in the Brighton music scene since Mean Poppa Lean split last year, and Almighty Planets do a pretty good job of filling it, managing to do so without being such a novelty act (let’s overlook the lead singer’s trousers falling down halfway through the set). Bonus points have been awarded for their cover of SBTRKT’s Wild Fire which closed their set.

Suave Deboniare

Suave Deboniare

Last act on was Suave Debonaire, who didn’t seem exceptionally suave or debonaire to me. He was a great rapper though. He was joined onstage by a DJ, and another MC, and rapped with lyrical dexterity worthy of his headline slot. He mentioned that he’ll soon be emigrating to Australia, which will be a big loss to Brighton’s hip hop scene.

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.

Juice and Source New Music Nights at The Haunt and the Pavilion Theatre

I’ve done my best to attend the Juice and Source new music nights religiously since I started the blog, so when this month came around and they both ended up on the same night, I was in a bit of a quandary. There was only one thing for it – attend both nights. The Juice night started a little bit earlier and finished a bit later, so my plan was to get to the Haunt for the opening act, then head over to the Pavilion Theatre, then back to the Source for their headliner. Continue reading