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.

July Top Ten

Want to know what’s been on the Brighton Music Blog stereo this month? Then read on:

1) Kins – Post Tropical Storm
Our most listened to track was Post Tropical Storm from Kins eponymous debut album. It’s powerful guitar pop, but the power doesn’t come from obvious hooks or direct choruses, but from it’s sonic quality. Tribal drums and layers of shimmering guitars coupled with angelic vocals don’t just elevate Kins’ songs above the rest but take them to a different place altogether.

2) The Electric Soft Parade – One Of Those Days
Our soundtrack to the summer is still Idiots by the Electric Soft Parade. One of Those Days effortlessly breezes out of the speakers with sugary sweet vocals, a light swirling guitar riff and shuffling drums. Here’s a live version from the album launch at the Green Door Store back in June

3) Cate Ferris – Blaze Bright
Another tune which has sounded amazing in the sunshine is Cate Ferris’ new single Blaze Bright. Who doesn’t love a bit of reggae in the summertime?

4) Champione – The View (feat. Lizzie Massey) / Tiny Dragons – Come Alive (PACT Remix)
Yes, Yes. This is two tunes. Well spotted. They’re both dance tunes with Lizzie Massey’s vocals at the forefront, the first in autotuned form on the title track from Champione’s recent EP, and the second as part of her band Tiny Dragons, remixed by PACT who also remixed their track Canvas for a recent mix cd released on Kitsune records. The unmixed PACT remix of Canvas is also on the download package of the Come Alive EP.

5) Crayola Lectern – Trip In ‘D’ (Version)
The past couple of month’s Top Tens have featured tracks from Crayola Lectern’s leftfield The Fall And Rise of … album which came out back in April. Never one to do things the way you’d expect, in July he released a single to go alongside it. Slow Down features in album and alternate versions, alongside a different version of the ten minute long Trip in D, which is the track we’ve selected for our Top Ten. The first eight minutes don’t stray too far from the territory laid down on the album version but just when you’re least suspecting it the track takes a sideways swerve and morphs into a motoric Krautrock monster, awakening the ghost of early period Stereolab.

6) TOY & Natasha Khan – The Bride
The Bride nearly didn’t get to feature in our Top Ten after we picked up the limited-to-250-copies 7” from Resident only to discover on first listen that it was damaged. Speedy Wunderground managed to find another copy from somewhere though and it hasn’t left our record deck since. Despite being a cover of an 70s psychedelic Iranian tune, it’s sounds surprisingly like what you’d expect a collaboration between Bat for Lashes and Toy might sound like – The piano lines and vocal inflections are unmistakably Natasha’s, and the thick chugging guitars match Toy’s trademark sound.

7) GAPS – Keep You
GAPS are probably our favourite discovery of the year so far. The band released their double A side Keep You / Cascade on Sexbeat records two weeks ago at a gig at the Green Door Store, and we put Cascade in our top ten last month. Keep You is the more beat heavy side of the 7”, but still has a beautiful pastoral quality to it:

8) Becky Becky – House Of The Black Madonna
We meant to write about Becky Becky’s album launch gig at the Green Door Store a few weeks ago, but it was a busy weekend for us and we ended up missing the moment. As live shows go, it was much more of a performance than most bands manage. Pulsating synth pop (provided by ex Fence Collective Peter Mason) was accompanied by is-it-real-or-is-it-an-act wine drinking from pint glasses and drunken behaviour from Woodpecker Wooliams. The closest reference point is something like The Knife, but this was more pop and less art. The House of the Black Madonna is from Becky Becky’s forthcoming album of the same name.

9) Us Baby Bear Bones – Sun
The Us Baby Bear Bones EP What Starts With a U Ends With an I is still getting a lot of plays at Brighton Music Blog HQ. As convenient as it may seem, Sun was already coming up as having the most plays of the five tracks last week before the rather chilling video got posted:

10) Limbic System – Distant Lands
Limbic System sent us their Beta Wave EP to listen to a few weeks ago, and the beautiful, fragile Distant Lands was the standout track for us. The band are holding their launch party for the EP at Latest Music Bar on 16th August.

New Music from Electric Soft Parade and more

We’re inundated with new music coming into Brighton Music Blog HQ at the moment, so time to share some more of it with you all.

The newest thing that’s come onto our radar is a brand new video from The Electric Soft Parade. Summertime In My Heart is taken from the White brothers upcoming album Idiots, which is out on 17th June. We’ve got our hands on a preview of it, and it’s the best thing we’ve heard all year. Our full review will be posted at some point in the next week but until then here’s the video:

The next video we have is Tornado by Time for T, taken from their Mongrel EP. Time for T are one of our weekend gig picks this week, with their gig at St Luke’s Church tomorrow night:

Next up is Exhale by The Mojo Fins, which sees the band taking a bit of a different direction to their previous material. If you’re reading this the day it’s posted, you can catch the Mojo Fins later tonight at Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar:

Next we have Tigercub with their track Centrefold, another great stomper. It’s up on youtube, but it’s just audio:

Finally, we don’t know much about Fevrs, but we do know that we like the glitchy soulful electronica of Break:

The Electric Soft Parade single and album news

The White brothers are back! Not that they were ever really away, with Thomas’ Yalla being one of our favourite albums of last year, and Alex’s Interlocutor side project having played a few gigs recently, and both of them adding their helping hands to dozens of local bands. The last Electric Soft Parade album was back in 2006 though, so news that a new album – Idiots – is due in June is very welcome. The album will feature Lily which first appeared on 7″ at the tail end of 2011, which we loved. We’ve only just picked up on new single Brother, You Must Walk Your Path Alone, but it’s as gorgeous as anything they’ve done – melodic harmonies, a hint of country twang to the guitars, and a sparkling of their magic that distracts you from anything else your doing to make you lose yourself in the song. Lovely.

Brother, You Must Walk Your Path Alone is out now for download on Helium Records (or will be available on iTunes on April 16th)