The prince of goof and dank memes has surpassed any judgement regarding his professionalism in recent years. Despite his on-stage joke persona and his indescribably weird sense of humour, the 27-year-old singer-songwriter has released two critically-acclaimed albums that have set him up for having consistently sold out shows across the world as well as impressive slots at many festivals. As an artist he manages to produce consistently outstanding music all the while maintaining an apathetic attitude towards the entire business. Even in the face of the news of his latest release This Old Dog being illegally leaked and downloaded, he happily encouraged fans to steal the album if they wanted to.
Brightonsfinest are excited to announce our latest Alternative Escape showcase at St. Mary's Church. It's our third year running a free entry stage, offering a killer line-up that's open to the public and Great Escape festival goers alike. We're pretty proud to be able to say the line-ups that we've curated have rivaled the official festival stages, whilst offering bills with more of a local focus, and this year is no different. Brighton headliners The Fiction Aisle create epic progressive pop that seems perfectly pitched to soar up into the high rafters of this year's venue: the beautiful gothic setting of St Mary The Virgin in Kemptown. We're excited to be releasing a new special edition double-vinyl version of their debut album Heart Map Rubric, later this summer, but hearing it live in this amazing space will be simply sublime. Read on for stage-times and a little more info on all of the acts we're presenting this year:
2.00-2.30pm – Pavo Pavo
Pavo Pavo are a revelation – jumping into sharp focus when set against a cluttered musical world, they’ve brought out one of the most glorious sounding debut albums (Young Narrator In The Breakers) we’ve heard in a while. The band formed while studying at Yale University, an experimental pop five-piece whose musical minds have worked with some of the best in indie and classical music (such as Here We Go Magic, John Zorn, Dave Longstreth, Porches). Together, they have created something quite special and what’s most exciting is that this is only just the beginning for Pavo Pavo.
Read more about Pavo Pavo here
3.40-4.10pm – Penelope Isles
Hailing from the Isle of Man, Penelope Isles are the sounds of Jack and Lily Wolter, with the help of friends Becky Redford and Jack Sowton. Currently based between Brighton and Cornwall, the band perform melodic fuzz pop with dynamics that will transfix and satisfy. Hypnotic, chiming bedroom pop music. For the lovers of Radiohead, The Magic Numbers and Deerhunter.
Read More about Penelope Isles here
4.30-5.00pm – Fukushima Dolphin
Based in Brighton, Fukushima Dolphin are a rock band with striking melodies, powerful harmonies, a sea of guitars and synthesised leads.
Read More about Fukushima Dolphin here
5.20-5.50pm – Breathe Panel
Childhood friends Josh Tyler & Harry Vick, convinced there was more to life after school than breeding chickens & growing onions, left Devon and moved to Brighton pursue music. It was there Josh met Nick Green, a transplant from Hertfordshire, and they began writing and recording together, combining their shared love of West Coast Americana, krautrock and drone music. The result is a lush yet dynamic indie rock, with strident guitars providing a counterpoint to soaring vocals. Breathe Panel's line up is completed by Harry on bass and drummer Benjamin Reeves.
Read More about Breathe Panel here
6.10-6.40pm – The Hundredth Anniversary
Brighton three-piece The Hundredth Anniversary were formed in January 2012. Their atmospheric and precisely structured songs marry bright guitar lines, rigorous percussion and clear, honest vocals. Sea State,Pictures, the debut album by The Hundredth Anniversary was released on February 3rd 2017 on Faking Jazz Together Records. The band have played shows across the UK, supporting and sharing bills with Lower Dens, Waxahatchee, Wolf Alice, Fear of Men, Esben and The Witch and many more. They have been twice named in NME’s ‘Ones to Watch’, and have recorded a Daytrotter session which made it into their end of year ‘Best of’ list.
Read More about The Hundredth Anniversary here
7.00-7.35pm – Fragile Creatures
Combining rock, pop and grunge with catchy melodies, Fragile Creatures make a solid nod to the halcyon heyday of British guitar music. They released their debut album …And Other Wild Things last year, as the first release from our own Brightonsfinest Presents label. Now the band are emerging from a winter spent hard at work in the rehearsal room, with shows focussed on road-testing the new material they’ve written for the second record. What we’re hearing so far is darker, brasher and more convoluted. Come along and be some of the first humans to hear these exciting new sounds.
Read More about Fragile Creatures here
7.55-8.30pm – Laish
Laish is the musical project of Danny Green, Yorkshire-born and London-based acclaimed songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. Live shows are highly energetic and infused with a sort of dry British humour. Prominent shows include some of the UK’s most prestigious venues like Union Chapel, Roundhouse and Barbican. Laish have toured extensively across the UK and Europe and performed at festivals including End of the Road, Smugglers, Larmer Tree, and Cambridge Folk. They latest Laish album, Pendulum Swing, released last year by respected French label, Talitres, garnered extremely positive reviews.
Read More about Laish here
8.50-9.25pm – Cristobal and The Sea
Within this melting pot of dreamy tropicalia there are notes of their southern Mediterranean culture and an unintentionally Brazilian bossa nova feel in João’s guitar style, all underpinned by a beat-generation vibe that seeps into all their songs. All perfectly captured on their debut by New York producer, Rusty Santos from The Present (Animal Collective, Owen Pallet, DJ Rashad, Panda Bear)
Read More about Cristobal and The Sea here
9.45-10.30pm – The Fiction Aisle
One of Brighton’s own, and the latest in a long-line of projects from the mind of Mercury Prize nominated Electric Soft Parade frontman Thomas White, The Fiction Aisle bring together a fine assortment of Brighton’s best musicians to create a truly glorious sound. On Thomas’s own label imprint (Chord Orchard) The Fiction Aisle released their debut album Heart Map Rubric late in 2015, garnering 6Music’s attention alongside a slew of glowing reviews for both the album and the live show. Combining a love of classic song-writing, with hints of jazz and lounge, alongside schizophrenic nose-dives into the heavier territory explored by 70s prog rock, this unique group are not to be missed.
Read More about The Fiction Aisle here
It appears to be the up and coming trend with artists who consider themselves “statement makers” to drop an album almost entirely last minute and Kendrick Lamar has well and truly jumped on the bandwagon this month, announcing DAMN for April 7th only for it to be moved back a week to Good Friday. The unexplained date change fuelled a plethora of rumours about the coming of a second album on the following Sunday (16th April), possibly representing the resurrection of Kendrick musically and perhaps morally.
Alas, Sunday came and no second album was dropped. But this hasn’t taken away from the controversy that DAMN has created regarding Kendrick’s literal and metaphorical message within the release. This is Kendrick’s first full album release since 2015’s To Pimp A Butterfly and it appears to be as inconsistent as its release announcement. good kid, m.A.A.d City and To Pimp a Butterfly are, undeniably, some of the strongest hip hop albums to exist in music let alone Kendrick’s back catalogue. In good kid, he explores the death of a friend and its role in the larger picture of his life, in To Pimp a Butterfly he elevates his revelations one step above, exploring the constantly-emerging revolutionary consciousness of black culture. Both albums had a clear theme that Kendrick drove home poetically and with gracefully intricate beats that complimented the complexity of his message.
Since their 2014 album success Hold My Home Cold War Kids have kept relatively quiet, recently becoming signed under Capitol Records and generically speaking ‘hitting the big time’. This spring, they have returned with a full length album dedicated to LA titled accordingly: L.A Divine. The band have said that the album is an ode to Los Angeles, the O.C and Long Beach, a topic thoroughly covered by breezey-indie rock bands in America.
“I think writing an album is like being lost in a wood,” says Will Gregory. “You’re trying to figure out an interesting path. You don’t know whether it’s going to be a dead end or somewhere interesting and you never know when to stop because around the corner some beautiful vista might open up.” Since Gregory and Alison Goldfrapp synthesised as a group back in 2000 with their first album Felt Mountain, the pair have enjoyed a long and fulfilling journey of success in both pop and indie genres. As a duo, their sound has most definitely wandered into many corners of that musical ‘forest’. Album’s Tales of Us and 2008’s Seventh Tree encounter introspective soundscapes that really bridge the gap between synth laden pop and indie riffs, while 2010’s Headfirst saw the band striving desperately for mainstream milestones.
Hurray For The Riff Raff make their long-awaited return in the form of their new twelve track record, The Navigator. The album in itself is a beautifully written piece of art and acts as a political concept album, inspired by vocalist and frontwoman, Alynda Segarra’s own journey from the South Bronx to the downtown punk scene and beyond, in search of her identity.
From the offset, we are introduced with ‘Entrance’ and are immediately introduced with the reoccurring persona of ‘The Navigator’, the force which drives the entirety of the album and embodies the never-ending desire for change. The track offers a brilliant introduction to Alynda’s soft spoken, darkened voice and the accompaniment of almost barbershop harmonies and atmospheric instrumentation make for an instantly encapsulating start to the record.
The second album from the brain child of Jake Webb, Methyl Ethel, is certainly a journey into psych-pop. The Aussie duo’s second album, Everything Is Forgotten, is an expansive example of experimentation at its finest.
When Grandaddy were carving out cult status for themselves with The Sophtware Slump in 2000, it somewhat passed me by. That year, my attention was drawn to the albums of PJ Harvey, Radiohead, Ryan Adams and the angular energy of At The Drive In. Whereas that was probably an oversight on my behalf, I’m not going to beat myself up, as it means that I’m able to approach Last Place without prior conceptions over how it rates against previous Grandaddy material. That said, I will now certainly be trawling the back catalogue, as Last Place is a compelling piece of work.
Stormzy’s debut album Gang Signs & Prayer has already become one of the most-discussed albums of 2017. His eclectic mix of traditional grime and open vulnerability is an invaluable eye opener into an ever-changing genre, touching on the trials and tribulations of life in South London, romance, and ongoing feuds.
Ibibio Sound Machine are a pulsating eight piece band that is made up of Eno Williams (vocals), Alfred Kari Bannerman (guitar), Anselmo Netto (percussion), Jose Joyette (drums), John McKenzie (bass), Tony Hayden (trombone, synth), Scott Baylis (trumpet, synth), and Max Grunhard (saxophone, synth). Since their 2014 self-titled debut the band have toured extensively, but they have managed to find time to record a follow up Uyai. “Uyai is a continuation of Ibibio Sound Machine’s story in which the worlds of West African highlife and electronic London collide via the storytelling lyrical thread of Eno’s vocals in the Ibibio language of Nigeria,” the band explains. “There is a darker, edgier quality to the sound that maybe reflects the difficult journey the band took from making the first album to completing the second one. The songs are based more around themes of empowerment, freedom, and the liberation of dance for women, and people in general.”