grasshopper video and live news

News has reached Brighton Music Blog HQ from the grasshopper camp. First up is a remix of Rico’s Revenge, taken from last year’s Circle Time EP. It’s been turned into a very cool slice of synth based krautrock by Def Stare artist Oban 2. Visuals in the video come from Innerstrings Light Show who have been making a whole load of Brighton’s gigs a lot more better looking for the last few years.

If you wanted to catch Grasshopper live (and trust us – you should), there’s two local gigs coming up. First up they’re playing at Northern Lights on Saturday, supporting Bleeding Hearts Recording signing Seadog. A little more impressively, they’ve also managed to grab a slot supporting The Charlatans who are playing at Worthing Pavilion on 15th March.

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Seadog launch Transmitter EP

Seadog are the baby of Mark Benton, erstwhile guitarist with Man Ray Sky, Grand Palace and occasional others. Five years on from their first EP,  a double set of beautiful soft pastoral songs which sounded like some lost singer-songwriter classic from the early 1970s, comes the new Transmitter EP, something a little tougher and wilder. The songs themselves have been part of the Seadog live set for several years but they’re now getting a well-deserved release on the excellent Bleeding Hearts recordings label.

Brighton music blog were there for the launch.

First up were Such Small Hands, centred around Melanie Howard’s beautiful vocals and dark break-up anti-love pop songs. Instead of a second guitar, Chris played a “keytar” which was a strapped-on extended keyboard. it’s a bit of a shame he spent most the gig bashing away at just a couple of keys because it looked like something that could be really interesting. Fortunately Melanie provided more than enough entertainment.

Such Small Hands

Next up were The Creaking Chair, including Seadog drummer Ryan Bollard, who played an enticing mix of Krautrock and early 70s English whimsy like Kevin Ayres, with some funky interjections too. It was a good mix that had the audience nodding in appreciation.

The Creaking Chair stand

Finally, main band Seadog with a slightly augmented line-up, playing the new EP and other songs, sounding nervous and rough-edged at first, but then coming beautifully alive. The new songs have the lovely harmonies of the first EPs, with great songs like Haunted which have a classic twisted poppiness. Then Max plays the childlike xylophone introduction to ‘Transmitter’ and a lovely warm noise envelopes the room. The band have a fine sound, Mark Benton’s sweet vocals provide a strong lead and some well-crafted songs help ensure this is a band to watch. Here’s hoping they stop with EPs and collect together an album soon.

Seadog

Seadog in the Green Door Store

In the meantime, Transmitter is available in a variety of formats – CDs, downloads and soon-to-be-available vinyl. Catch Seadog at their next gig at the Northern Lights on 17th January. In the meantime, here’s a live version of Haunted

Mark Benton of Seadog

Bleeding Hearts Christmas Party

Is there something in the water that nobody’s told me about? After Friday night’s Miserable Rich gig being their last gathering for the foreseeable future, it seems that The Bleeding Hearts Club have also hung up their hat for now too.

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Whereas most Bleeding Hearts have involved three or four acts, each only playing three songs, last night involved over a dozen bands, each only playing a song or two, with a rule that it had to be a Christmas related cover. I didn’t catch the names of everyone but Fire Eyes, Self Help Group, Nick Hudson, Ingrid Plum, Jane Bartholomew, Things in Herds, Clowns, Crayola Lectern, Tandy Hard and Seadog were amongst the bands who played, some onstage, some in amongst the crowd. Some bands embraced the Christmas theme more than others, and somehow we ended up with two versions of Brass in Pocket by the Pretenders. I’m sure the Pretenders’ Christmas song was 2000 Miles. It was some of the more leftfield covers which raised the biggest smiles. Clowns covering The Sex Pistols God Save the Queen was brilliant, and Crayola Lectern doing Bat Out Of Hell was a moment of warped genius.

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We’re going to miss Bleeding Hearts every first Monday of the month, and we hope that it’s only a temporary break. This isn’t be the last we’ll hear of them though – they told me to pencil in the release of the Crayola Lectern album for next April.

Barbershop Trio

Brighton band Seadog kicked off their first national tour on Saturday with a gig in a barber shop. The Gloucester Road Barber has Elliot Smith inspired decor and apparently once had a man living upstairs named Elliot Smith (not that one).

It was the perfect venue for Seadog to mark the start of their first tour of the U.K. as the band are much influenced by Elliot Smith, having hosted a tribute night in the same venue in 2010. The new line up includes accordion which gives them a Decemberists-esque edge to their established harmony-laden acoustic jaunty sound.

http://seadogmusic.bandcamp.com/album/transmitter-ep

Seadog will be supporting Kenneth Ishak on tour, a delightful surprise of pop sensibilities with indie undertones from Norway, described as “where Big Star and Real Estate collide.”

http://www.kennethishak.net/

You can catch Seadog and Kenneth Ishak at:

3rd Dec – Brighton/Gloucester Road Barbershop
4th Dec – Northampton/The labour club
5th Dec – London/12 Bar Club
6thDec – Edinburgh/Medina
7th Dec – Edinburgh/Sneaky Pete´s
8th Dec – Glasgow/13th Note

Also supporting were Brighton band G-Minor, launching their first EP ‘Under No Illusion’. The band have come a long way in the last few months, combining melodic harmonies and engaging lyricism – definitely a band to watch.

http://www.myspace.com/gminormusic