Source New Music gallery – Traams & Teardrop Factory

Last night we went along to the Brighton Dome Source New Music Night, but for one reason or the other we didn’t get along quite as early as we’d hoped, so we missed Last Heir and Cousin. We did get lots of photos of the other two acts – Teardrop Factory and last months Source cover stars Traams – and here they are.

(as usual, click on the pics to view large)

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Source New Music at the Dome Studio Theatre – Martin Rossiter, The Beautiful Word and Jacko Hooper

Last Night’s Source New Music at the Dome Studio Theatre was a fantastic night. We’ve written about all three bands, but I can confidently say that each of the three bands better than I’d ever seen them before.

Jacko Hooper is growing with every performance, and he won over the room most of whom were there solely for Martin Rossiter. There seems to be less nerves than when I first saw him, and there’s a great balance that shows off the quality of both his songwriting and his guitar playing. The Beautiful Word have made a bit of a change of direction this year, going a bit more indie and introducing tropical guitar riffs. There’s still a hint of the twee folk in the background with tracks like May Not Be Love, but overall they now sound like a band who’ve found their sound. Fantastic stuff.

The first thing Martin Rossiter did when he came on stage was thank The Source for extending their definition of New Music – I first saw Gene at Reading Festival back in 1999 – but Martin’s solo album only came out last year. Being the showman that he is, he’s recruited the talents of pianist Robin Coward so that he’s not constrained by an instrument, which allows Martin to roam the stage. The simplicity of the songs holds up in a live setting, and the sound is every bit as powerful as on the record. If you’re thinking of going to see Martin live at Bush Hall in London next week, then we thoroughly recommend it.

Sea Monsters Day One – One Inch Badge vs The Source

So, as I did with Sea Monsters last year, we’re going to blog every night of the festival, on the night. This year it’s even more ambitious, because there’s seven nights not six. The first night was One Inch Badge vs The Source, and editor James Kendall was spotted in the audience. Current Source cover stars were on the bill – would they live up to the hype?

900 Spaces

900 Spaces

First band on were 900 Spaces. They’re quite pop – they reminded me a lot of fellow Brighton poppers Kovak, or maybe The Woo! Worths, but with a more distinctive vocal – a little bit Lily Allen, in a good way.

TheDealWasForTheDiamond

TheDealWasForTheDiamond

Next up were TheDealWasForTheDiamond, who we saw a couple of times last year. Those times had them pitched as post/math rock, but tonight they were a lot more ROCK. I’m glad I brought my ear plugs!

Kins

Kins

The band I was most looking forward tonight was Kins, and they really didn’t disappoint. There was definitely something special about them. I caught up with James Kendall after their set, and he described them better than I could – like a cross between The XX and Foals, despite them completely different bands. Go see them soon!

Written in Waters

Written in Waters

Most of the crown were there for headliners Written in Waters. My ears were a bit confused by the two conflicting styles on stage though. The vocals were a fantastic soul / gospel mix. The rest of the band were a pretty damned good post rock band. But in my head, my understanding of post rock is that it’s all about rich layers, and my understanding of the kind of music that goes with the vocals is that it’s all about being stripped back, and I couldn’t really reconcile the two. What do I know though – the rest of the crowd were loving it.

 

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.

Source New Music – Clowns, Evil Son and Wildcat Strike

Thursday night was the last Source New Music of the year, and the last for a few months until they return in February 2013 – like Source Magazine, the night is taking a well earned break in January.

Wildcat Strike

Wildcat Strike

I arrived midway through Wildcat Strike’s set, which I was quite enjoying – really rather good post / math rock, nice and tight – and then the vocals came in. I say vocals, it was just shouting. Not exclamations of anger or any other emotion, just shouting. It’s a shame because aside from the vocals, Wildcat strike were really tight and made a fantastic sound.

The Evil Son

The Evil Son

Next up were Evil Son, who we saw a few weeks ago at their EP launch at the Albert. We got a similar show: tight, spiky alternative guitar pop – let’s use the word grunge, because they do – but louder, and with better lights. There’s nothing to fault musically with Evil Son – the songs are well written and it’s obvious that each member of the band oozes talent – bassist Pepe Le Moko also plays bass for David Gedge’s Wedding Present. They’re the kind of band who you could enjoy even if grunge wasn’t your thing because what they do they do so well.

Clowns

Clowns

As much as I enjoyed The Evil Son (and the bits of Wildcat Strike when they weren’t shouting), the floor was wiped clean with the night’s headliners Clowns, who provided a masterclass on showmanship. A sharply dressed Miles Heathfield spent the set prowling the stage and the front few rows of the audience, with a taut muscular musical backing from the three other clowns. If you wanted an example of what to look for in a great frontman, Miles was it. No standing still trying to hide behind the microphone stand. No danger of being distracted by anything other than what was going on on stage. The start of the band’s set was deceptively quiet, with things soon turning around to show their true colours – loud, alternative rock. After a full set of their own material they return for an encore of a cover of Ghost Town by The Specials. The level of engagement from Clowns, their intensity, their energy, the volume all contributed to them being worthy headliners. Next year, Clowns will be releasing their album Macho Bimbo on Bleeding Hearts Recordings, and we can’t wait.

Brighton Source New Music November 2012 – The Miserable Rich’s last ever gig (for now)

The format of the Source New Music Night changed a little bit this month, with the team at the Dome doing their very best to make sure that we all get to enjoy as much music as possible. Gone is the acoustic act in the bar downstairs, who never really got the appreciation they deserved, and instead a new mini stage was built to the side of the room. There’s still four acts, with the headliner hand-picked by The Source, and this they brought us the Miserable Rich’s last ever gig. For now at least – the band have decided that after five years they’re going to take some well earned time off.

If you got there early, you would have been lucky enough to have caught Ingrid Plum, who played a short set at 8pm. I say played, but Ingrid’s only instrument was her voice, singing her own acapella songs (and one by local legend Chris T-T), in the traditional unaccompanied folk style. It was a performance that captivated the room – a mean for the first act on!

Ingrid Plum

Ingrid Plum

Next up, on the other side of the room on their new stage was Donna Fullman. We wrote about her album Inner World back in July, and have been kicking ourselves that we haven’t made it up to the Bull in Ditchling for one of her Sunday Night sessions, because Donna and her band’s set was lovely – a handful catchy, smooth folk pop songs.

Donna Fullman

Donna Fullman

Third act Cate Ferris has played Source New Music before, November last year, but back then she was the acoustic act downstairs who not nearly enough people saw. This time around she won over a whole room full of people who packed out the place for their last chance to see The Miserable Rich. What Cate does is nothing short of astonishing, using loops to build up beautifully told songs, and making it look effortless while doing so. And just when that’s impressed you, there’s the amazing voice. I’ve seen Cate many times over the last few years, and I reckon this is the best time I’ve ever seen her – the big stage really suited her. Next time, I reckon she’ll be the headliner.

Cate Ferris

Cate Ferris

Friday night was a special night not only for The Miserable Rich, but also for their fans, who had come from far and wide to see them for one last time. The songs they played were very much the crowd-pleasers – I lost count of the number of times I heard the words “this one’s my favourite” as I was angling to get a better photo. Tracks came from throughout their five year career, and they were re-joined by original guitarist Jim Briffett for some tracks. It wouldn’t have been right if there wasn’t alcohol involved and James was drinking whisky like it was water, and by the last song before the encore it was affecting his recall for lyrics. I guess he won’t need to be remembering them for a bit though! The night was closed was the band playing acoustically in amongst the audience – a magical moment to end this chapter of the Miserable Rich’s musical career.

The Miserable Rich

The Miserable Rich

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