Ellie Ford and EZ Stone supporting Lily & Madeleine

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Lily & Madeleine are two sisters from Indiana with an excellent album under their belt and a musical presence that belies their teenage years. Suffice to say, they put on an excellent performance at Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar last night … Continue reading

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.

Weekend Gig Picks

Time for this week’s regular post on the weekend’s gigs that have caught our eye. There’s some interesting this time round – an afternoon gig, a gig celebrating twenty years since the headliner’s first single, a gig accompanied by a Caribbean supper and more.

pforpersiaTomorrow night we’ve spotted that P for Persia are headlining at The Hope. We haven’t seen them live for a while, having missed the launch of their split single with Speak Galactic, but the few times we have caught them they’ve been brilliant live. We won’t be missing this. Support comes from Fat Bicth and Headquarters.

On Friday night there’s a Beatbet vs Haha Fresh electronica night at The Globe. It’s not your normal venue for a gig, but then Beatabet aren’t the types to go about things the way you’d expect. DA-10 and Foreign Skin are on the bill, alongside Blue Ducks, Morgan Hislop and Hypnotized, and Beatabet beatabetDJs. Meanwhile, somewhere else you wouldn’t expect a gig Ez Stone is performing at The Writers Place at 9 Jew Street, at an event called Come Rhyme With Me. Alongside his gentle folk, there will be spoken word poetry and as promised above, a Caribbean Supper.

And then on Saturday Night, My Life Story perform at Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar. It’s twenty years and a few days since Jake Shillingford and his band released Girl A, Girl B, Boy C, which they followed up with a string of orchestral pop hits throughout the nineties. These days Jake is Head of Music Business at BIMM, although the band still get together for an annual gig up in London, and this is the professorfirst time in years that the band have gone on tour. Also on Saturday Night, Professor Elemental is playing at the Green Door Store, alongside steampunk visuals. He’ll be supported by Gilli BloodAxe and Invokal. If staying out late isn’t such an appealing prospect, then perhaps you should pop along to the Brunswick where they’re holding an afternoon gig from 2pm, headlined by Grasshopper, a band with talent that surpasses their years.

Brighton Rocks

This isn’t a blog post about Graham Greene’s novel, or either of the films made about it. Nor is it a post about the bar in Kemptown. Brighton Rocks in this case refers to a series of gigs put on by Lout Promotions, featuring exclusively local bands.

In the early days of Lout, they put on all-dayers at the Concorde featuring the likes of British Sea Power, Electric Soft Parade, and Eighties Matchbox B-Line disaster, and now they’re reviving the concept. They’re all going to be on friday or saturday nights – so no moaning about work the following day, and instead of the Concorde, they’ll be at Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar.

One great thing for bands is that Lout are open to the idea of curated nights, so a band could put together their own bill, for a single launch or label showcase.

The first night is next friday (3rd August – Facebook event here), headlined by Run Young Lovers, and there are another half a dozen lined up already. If you want to get involved, drop a mail to info@loutpromotions.co.uk.

 

Friday, August 3rd, 2012
Run Young Lovers, Alice, The Watermelons & The Querelles

Saturday, August 11th, 2012
MOK, Ubertone, 0:00 & Coco Alice

Friday, August 17th, 2012
Dollface, The Denim, As It Is & Sweet Jonny

Friday, August 24th, 2012
The Beautiful Word, Our Colour Company, Elk & Tarq Bowen

Friday, September 7th, 2012
Emersis, Samurai, The Dead Celebs & In Dynamics

Saturday, September 8th, 2012
Ham Legion, The Creaking Chair, Seadog & Dog Legs

Friday, September 14th, 2012
Tin Palace, Wild Cat Strike, This Modern Life & Black Fire Rising

 

Time and Space Machine live at Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar 1/6/12

It’s not often you get to see a band’s debut gig. But then it’s not often that a band doesn’t play their debut gig until after their second album is released, as Time & Space Machine did last night. Time and Space Machine is Richard Norris’ band based project – a twin brother to Beyond The Wizard’s Sleeve, his psychedelic remix / re-edits project with Erol Alkan. The records are mostly Richard’s own work (with a little help on drums), but for their debut gig, they’d grown to a five piece.

Richard Norris / Time and Space Machine

If you haven’t heard the new album Taste The Lazer, it’s mostly psychedelia, with a bit of krautrock and garage thrown into the mix. Live they gave the impression of being the band Oasis could have been – if only they’d taken LSD rather than cocaine and listened to the Beatles later albums rather than stopping somewhere around Rubber Soul – or maybe they were a bit like current music industry darlings Toy if their record collection wasn’t just experimental German records from the early seventies. While it’s mostly instrumental, there is a smattering of vocals across their work. In Richard’s own words “sometimes it sounds like Crosby, Stills & Nash, sometimes it sounds like we’ve just come back from the pub”. According to people I was with, things might have sounded a bit better if they’d had decent vocal monitors onstage.

But you don’t go and see Time and Space Machine for the vocals – it’s all about the amazing accompanying visuals, the swirling hammond, the really tight drumming and the great musicianship that never strays into showing off. The band left the stage after an hour that went far too quick and didn’t come back for an encore, leaving us wanting more. Hopefully it won’t be long before they’re back.

The return of Celebricide

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Legendary Brighton rock band Celebricide returned to the stage for a one-off gig, six years after they went into hibernation following the release of their debut album and effectively disappeared from the scene. A real shame, as on Thursday night’s showing they are still amazing and hopefully this won’t be the only time we see them.

Lead singer Tim Leopard started the evening in dark shades that made me think of Andrew Eldritch and  Sisters of Mercy, but musically the band had a lighter touch and more variety. Dave Hughes on keyboards and Steve Barber on guitar were constantly inventive, the shadowy presence of Chris Anderson (now Crayola Lectern) on bass and the powerhouse of Emily Powell on drums never let up the rhythm.

Fly magazine called them “Elegant psychopaths… a lethal cocktail of Pulp, Roxy Music and The Fall. With literary lyrics about blackmail, contract killings and ruined lives…” Well, yes there’s an oddness and an aggression which is full on and confrontational but their new wave gothic rock belies a humour and self-depreciation which is also endearing. 

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Support came from Clowns. If you haven’t seen this Brighton band yet then you really ought to – they produce a really tight full-on garage-rock sound, and in Miles Heathfield (ex-Poppycocks) have a lead singer prone to prowl the stage and terrify audiences. Although tonight they omitted the Clown costumes that would occasionally appear at early gigs and even neglected to play their anthemic ‘She Says I’m A Clown’, they were really quite brilliant with an unrelenting driving snarling rhythm and beat from start to finish.

Their single is out on one of this blog’s favourite Brighton labels ‘Bleeding Hearts Recordings‘ and is well worth seeking out.

Image(All Photographs by Jon Southcoasting)

Astro Physics @ Sticky Mike’s / Bitbin @ The Blind Tiger

Friday night was a big night for gigs in Brighton. Biggest of the lot was the Maccabees homecoming gig, which will no doubt get quite a few write ups in the local press. I decided to head to a couple of other gigs which might not get so much media attention, but are no less deserving.

First up was the Road To Blissfields gig at Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar. It was a bit of a battle of the bands type affair, with a winner from each of a number of towns in the South of England getting a set at the festival near Winchester at the end of June. I missed the first few bands, and turned up to a group whose lead singer had a mullet. Not the most auspicious entry. I only heard one of their songs before they left the stage to make for the act I’d come to see, Astro Physics. Astro Physics are a six piece hip hop collective, who are as much about the rest of the band as they are MC Skilf and singer Rachel Mosleh. They’ve been gigging a lot recently (and are supporting Derriere at the Blind Tiger next friday), and did a fantastic job of bringing the party to Sticky Mike’s. No idea what the results were, or if they’ve even been decided yet, but I’ll do my best to find out.

Astro Physics

After a quick pint between gigs, I then headed over to The Blind Tiger Club, where Tru Thoughts latest signing, Anchorsong, was headlining. Live, Anchorsong was much more dancey than on record, pumping out a great set of stunning, deep, bass heavy tunes. I was there for the support though – I am meant to be covering local bands, after all. Thanks to their late licence, the Blind Tiger can put bands on after the main act. I’ve known Matt Hodson, who turns into Bitbin onstage, for a few months, but as a photographer rather than a musician – tonight was his live solo debut, but he’s been putting out some lovely electronica himself through his website (you can download his recent Alias EP here). There’s a lot more to his set than watching a man prod a laptop – he was accompanied by some beautiful visuals, and for one of his songs he even played his bass with a violin bow! It was a very accomplished debut, and I’m sure it’s only going to be a matter of time before he’s headlining his own gigs.

Bitbin