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Brightonsfinest Playlist

Live Reviews


Previews


Afro Celt Sound System

Brighton Dome
Tuesday 20th November
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Sunflower Bean

The Old Market, Brighton
Wednesday 21st November
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77:78

The Hope & Ruin, Brighton
Wednesday 21st November
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Jade Bird

The Haunt, Brighton
Thursday 22nd November
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Album Reviews



  • Pretty Vicious – Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar, Brighton – 13th November 2018

    Pretty Vicious - Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar, Brighton - 13th November 2018 Pretty Vicious – Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar, Brighton – 13th November 2018 There was a time when Pretty Vicious were touted as the UK’s next big rock band. Championed by Huw Stephens, as well as some huge shows with the likes of Stereophonics in their native Wales, the band swiftly signed a record deal with Virgin EMI. Then, everything went quiet. They silently (and mutually) parted ways with the label, and had to regroup. Now signed to Big Machine Records, the band are currently moving through somewhat of a renaissance, and their Brighton show was another step on the road to recovery.
  • Easy Life – Green Door Store, Brighton – 14th November 2018

    Easy Life - Green Door Store, Brighton - 14th November 2018 Easy Life – Green Door Store, Brighton – 14th November 2018 There are many beautiful things to love about Brighton, especially when it comes to music. One such thing is that whenever a particular buzz band comes to town, on a tour that has seen them play bigger venues in the likes of London and Manchester, they’re always squeezed into a 150-capacity room. As such, it almost doubles up the atmosphere and, for sold out shows like Easy Life at Green Door Store, makes them seem like momentous occasions. As a result, due to Easy Life’s spellbinding power, too, this was one of the finest shows of the year and, for a band on their first headline tour, this looked and sounded...
  • Seasick Steve – Brighton Dome – 13th November 2018

    Seasick Steve – Brighton Dome – 13th November 2018 Seasick Steve – Brighton Dome – 13th November 2018 The Dome must be the only Brighton venue that doesn’t have a mirrorball. Thankfully, this doesn’t detract from the wildly beautiful country-blues of Prinz Grizzley, aka Christopher Comper, and his three-piece band, His Beargaroos. They are slowly winning the audience over. There is barely anyone watching at first but it is probably the power behind the quartet that draw people in from the bar. Live, he is so much better than on record, a slide guitar sounding more desolate in the high ceiling above us. Comper’s voice is distinctive but comparable to Caleb Followill in range and intensity, howling at the moon from his trailer...
  • Gruff Rhys – The Old Market, Hove – 9th November 2018

    Gruff Rhys – The Old Market, Hove - 9th November 2018 Gruff Rhys – The Old Market, Hove – 9th November 2018 What else to do when the rain is lashing down and the wind is whipping you in the face but go and stand in a hushed room, watching two men perform some experimental music? Watching Group Listening could only be described as a ‘what the f*ck’ moment. As in, no one really knows what’s going on but at the same time want to know more about this peculiar duo, who seem awkward faced with the polite applause of a rather bemused Brighton. Their debut album, Clarinet & Piano: Selected Works Vol. 1 features ambient works from the likes of Brian Eno and Robert Wyatt - Welshman Stephen Black, on clarinet, is best known as...
  • Haley – Rialto Theatre, Brighton – 11th November 2018

    Haley – Rialto Theatre, Brighton – 11th November 2018 Haley – Rialto Theatre, Brighton – 11th November 2018 “This is my favourite city”, gushes Tiger Lion’s Clementine Blue in her alluring French accent. Dressed in a pale silk kimono which sets off her perfect red curls, she looks every inch the intense electronic goddess that she is. The two guys with her on guitar and drums look slightly less passionate but ably accompany her purest vocal, as does the sampling box she uses to add variety and depth to their songwriting. Obvious influences are St Vincent and Tame Impala, but also classic painters - Blue is a visual artist herself and cites Hokusai’s famous Prussian blue as another inspiration for their new single...
  • Phobophobes – Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar, Brighton – 10th November 2018

    Phobophobes - Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar, Brighton - 10th November 2018 Phobophobes – Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar, Brighton – 10th November 2018 When assembling a musical line-up it’s crucial to create a degree of consistency, or a sound that will entice paying customers to give over their hard-earned money. It’s here where promoter Smashing Blouse have succeeded. In bringing together Something Leather, Haze and Phobophobes, Smashing Blouse have not only created an excellent triple bill of brilliantly scuzzy psych-meets-post-punk bands, but they also conjured up an atmosphere that you just can’t artificially produce. Importantly, too, it was enough to get audiences braving the stormy conditions.
  • Kagoule – The Prince Albert, Brighton – 8th November 2018

    Kagoule - The Prince Albert, Brighton - 8th November 2018 Kagoule – The Prince Albert, Brighton – 8th November 2018 It’s testament to Brighton’s love for Nottingham three-piece Kagoule that when bassist Lucy Hatter cheekily asked for someone to buy her a beer, five minutes later she had one in her hand. “Works every time”, Hatter responded with her tongue firmly in her cheek. There’s always been a rapport between Brighton and Kagoule and their gig at The Prince Albert, fresh from the release of their second record, Strange Entertainment,will go down as a roaring success - both for the band and...
  • The Blinders – The Haunt, Brighton – 10th November 2018

    The Blinders - The Haunt, Brighton - 10th November 2018 The Blinders – The Haunt, Brighton – 10th November 2018 The latest band to offer a very modern voice of dissent in a world of discord, Manchester’s The Blinders steam into Brighton for a night of sweaty, intense and dark post-punk. First from an interesting line-up, Brighton’s Swoon. A fascinating, heady combination of punk and electro, they ignore the empty space that is initially present in front of them and seize the show as if it is their own. Their recent Fun PoliceEP release is one of the most exciting debut releases for some time, and there is a potent energy to their live performance tonight. Expect to hear a lot more about these in the months to...
  • Johnny Marr – Brighton Dome – 9th November 2018

    Johnny Marr - Brighton Dome - 9th November 2018 Johnny Marr – Brighton Dome – 9th November 2018 The complete antithesis to his former bandmate, Johnny Marr put on the kind of show that gets spoken about on the morning after for the right reasons. Warm, friendly, relevant, the tightrope between heritage and relevance - a fine balance at the best of times - walked successfully. One of indie music’s finest, and most beloved, guitarists showed just why he is still revered. Crewel Intentions support, and justify the hype currently surrounding the band fronted by Chilli Jesson of ex-Palma Violets fame. A heady, intoxicating mix of Nick Cave and Echo & The Bunnymen are present, a melodramatic edge...
  • Sons of Kemet – Komedia, Brighton – 30th October 2018

    Sons of Kemet – Komedia, Brighton – 30th October 2018 Sons of Kemet – Komedia, Brighton – 30th October 2018 It was as if I had immersed myself within a Jack Kerouac novel. Suddenly, without a word of warning, the quartet emerged on stage. An exhilarating and explosive start left the room roaring, as the revolving cast of twinned percussionists catalysed the crowd into dancing fruition; with their syncopated and scattershot rhythms building up the energy in the room. Instantaneously the band created a wall of sound, as Shabaka Hutchings on sax, and Theon Cross on tuba locked into staccato-phrasings. Collectively blurring their musical outputs, the trumping tuba and airy saxophone both amalgamating into a squawking hot-blast of dizzy...
  • The Breath – Komedia Studio Bar, Brighton – 8th November 2018

    The Breath – Komedia Studio Bar, Brighton – 8th November 2018 The Breath – Komedia Studio Bar, Brighton – 8th November 2018 Support act, Brighton-based Ellie Ford, could be part white witch for the Joanna Newsom tone to her voice. Often sounding like the fairy from much-loved 80s Christmas film, Scrooged, by this I obviously mean that Ford can switch from sailing purity to something more guttural in the pluck of her harp string, making for a captivating performance. Also drawing on influences such as Karen Dalton and Nick Drake, she fronts a band of four other musicians who champion her brand of understated contemporary folk. Making full use of a range of instruments, including saxophone, violin and clarinet, Ford writes songs to...
  • Yak – The Haunt, Brighton – 2nd November 2018

    Yak - The Haunt, Brighton - 2nd November Yak – The Haunt, Brighton – 2nd November 2018 As live bands go, you don’t get much more bang for your buck than Yak. Our first experience of the London band was at 234 Fest 2015, when lead singer Oliver Henry Burslem climbed up to the ceiling of the Green Door Store and dangled from the steel beam above the stage whilst screeching his rock’n’roll tones – memorable to say the least. Having released the fantastic debut Alas SalvationLP in 2016 and having featured on our
  • The Voidz – Concorde 2, Brighton – 6th November 2018

    The Voidz - Concorde 2, Brighton - 6th November 2018 The Voidz – Concorde 2, Brighton – 6th November 2018 On a night that sees the headline act stroll onto the stage nearly an hour later than scheduled, a messy, strange, confusing evening with Julian Casablancas and The Voidz eventually tapers away leaving nothing but a faint sense of disappointment behind at Concorde 2. Support came from Promiseland, an artist who is genuinely one of the weirdest, baffling, and most eye-catching acts to grace a Brighton stage this year. Barely on stage except to press play on a series of almost-industrial techno beats, the Australian-via-New Yorker instead balances on crowd members, halfway up a wall, or rubs through the entire venue. “There’s a...
  • The Prodigy – Brighton Centre – 5th November 2018

    The Prodigy - Brighton Centre - 5th November 2018 The Prodigy – Brighton Centre – 5th November 2018 Fireworks night proved to be the perfect timing for The Prodigy to put on a seriously explosive show, the only casualties being a few thousand sets of eardrums and surely a few sore heads the following morning. A night with Liam, Keith and Maxim is not one that goes by gently, and tonight is no exception. It is deafening, it is incendiary, it is a performance from a band that, despite some shaky recent recorded output, still put on one hell of a live show.
  • Sam Walker – The Brunswick, Hove – 1st November 2018

    Sam Walker – The Brunswick, Hove – 1st November 2018 Sam Walker – The Brunswick, Hove – 1st November 2018 This is a concert I had been looking forward to for a while now. To start with, it features two local artists I’ve know for over ten years, Sam Walker and Shona Foster, who I’ve seen countless times in a variety of venues and a number of different line-ups. Also, it’s in one of my favourite venues, The Brunswick, where I’ve seen them both play before numerous times and always left having enjoyed the gig.
  • Bad Sounds – The Haunt, Brighton – 3rd November 2018

    Bad Sounds - The Haunt, Brighton - 3rd November 2018 Bad Sounds – The Haunt, Brighton – 3rd November 2018 “Make bad better” goes the advice from the pre-show tannoy, followed shortly by, ”This is the room where you get better in.” Public service announcements at gigs normally get disregarded, but not tonight. Not this time. Bad Sounds, the indie-pop sensations from Bath, provided a hungry crowd with nothing but better times, and hands down one of the best live shows of the year in Brighton.
  • Dream Wife – Concorde 2, Brighton – 30th October 2018

    Dream Wife - Concorde 2, Brighton - 30th October 2018 Dream Wife – Concorde 2, Brighton – 30th October 2018 “Brighton tonight, where it all began”, so said Dream Wife on Twitter before their homecoming gig at Concorde 2. Indeed the birthing ground of the group, having formed at Brighton University originally as an art project, the trio brought some art-punk magic to the iconic seaside venue. Playing their first Brighton headline set since the release of their terrific eponymous debut album, it’s difficult to describe Dream Wife as anything other than vital, fierce and political luminaries.
  • Sam Evian – The Hope & Ruin, Brighton – 24th October 2018

    Sam Evian - The Hope & Ruin, Brighton - 24th October 2018 Sam Evian – The Hope & Ruin, Brighton – 24th October 2018 With two stunning albums to boot on Saddle Creek, both of which have somehow seemingly gone under the radar, surely it won’t be long before the talents of Sam Evian are recognised among musos alike. Brainchild of former Celestial Shore guitarist Sam Owen, a singer-songwriter/producer from New York, the band’s super smooth whispered Americana sound takes strong influences from some of the American guitar greats from the 60s/70s, holding a strong emotional retrospective edge to each track. We first came across Sam Evian at their astounding performance at Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar over...
  • John Grant – Brighton Dome – 29th October 2018

    John Grant - Brighton Dome - 29th October 2018 John Grant – Brighton Dome – 29th October 2018 Since the dissolution of The Czars, John Grant has been steadily moving further down an electro lane with each new release. This year’s Creep Show side-project record was no anomaly, as last month’s Love Is Magic proved. Tonight’s return to Brighton is a celebration of his continued ability to balance devastating electro beats with his smooth, almost classic soft rock style. It may take the audience a little while to loosen those limbs, but by the night’s climax they are all eating out of his hand.
  • Freya Ridings – The Haunt, Brighton – 31st October 2018

    Freya Ridings – The Haunt, Brighton – 31st October 2018 Freya Ridings – The Haunt, Brighton – 31st October 2018 “I am so pleased to be here on Halloween! And this place is called The Haunt which makes me so happy… and you sold it out!” beams Freya Ridings as she looks out over the packed venue. Fans are shoved in every nook and cranny, craning to catch a glimpse of the latest darling graduate of the BRIT school, who has been extremely attention-grabbing following the release of her debut single, ‘Blackout’, in spring last year. Just 24 years old and immaculately, radiantly beautiful – tonight sporting a festive cobweb painted on her left cheek – she seems genuinely touched by the electric reaction she gets....

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