It was a housemate of mine that showed me Rejjie Snow a few months prior to tonight’s show. His music is relaxed and free and whilst it does fall into the rap trappings of sex, drugs and crime there’s no sense of cliché. His music sounds very innovative and fresh. Mixing all different aspects of rap, no one artist comes to mind to draw comparison from. He has loose, free songs and beats that draw from Madvillian, however there are more pop orientated songs and aggressive ones too.
My Monday started at 6.30am. In a groggy naive fog I was expecting a mild turn out at Resident Records at this time. I was wrong. Stricken with a mild morning panic there was much doubt if I’d even get a ticket for the show. I walked past the shop, past some eager rough sleepers, round the corner and found myself thinking “..shit” on the parallel street. However a very thoughtful move from promoters One Inch Badge, ensured they came round the queue awarding people with wristbands to confirm that we had indeed secured a ticket.
Before tonight’s show I’m downstairs having dinner with the band at The Hope & Ruin. They seem incredibly calm, slowly sipping a few cans of beer. There don't seem to be any pre-gig nerves, no sense of hyping themselves up or getting into any ‘zone’. After recently releasing their first single through Heavenly Records, the band have gained quite a bit of momentum. They’ve released through other labels before and have quite a selection of singles and EPs. This has slowly but surely been gaining them a very loyal following throughout the country.
“Great Ytene are a band built upon deconstruction and reassembly”. So says the first line from their Bandcamp page and this is an accurate indicator of their live performance as well as their latest album Locus, which the band released last February. The album sees the band becoming more industrial sounding, more experimental. It’s gained very positive reviews across the board setting expectations high for tonight. The band allegedly lost an album's worth of material back in 2015 in a “technological wormhole” and as a result started again with a clean slate, giving us Locus in 2017.
Happyness come onstage to a room packed full of excitement and anticipation at The Hope & Ruin in Brighton. Their recent album Write In has done all the rounds and received lots of praise from the indie world. Tonight’s show is sold out to a mixed audience of all ages, all of whom are fired up with a sense of anticipation. The room slowly condenses throughout the night and the supports from Good Guy Clarence and Her, set the tone for a fun and slightly less than sober Tuesday night.
The band come on to ‘Anna, Lisa Calls’ off the new album. The song sounds like a slightly 90s guitar chord progression with Smiths-esque undertones. The live sound is much bigger than on the record, they sound heavier and dirtier, more loose. The album has a sense of holding back, giving the songs tension. However, live, all that tension slips out and they sound exciting and ferocious. Their vocals are on point, there’s not a missed note or a single wobble on any of the harmonies, which is incredibly impressive seeing as they feature so heavily throughout the set, often involving three members of the band.
I’ve kept my eye on The Orielles for a few years now, seeing them play in Brighton numerous times. After a string of singles and EPs, the band have now signed to Heavenly Records and have released their first single on the label ‘Sugar Tastes Like Salt’ which sees the band at their most refined but also starting to play around with their sound. They’ve started to shift away from the surf-pop tag that has followed them around for so long and are concentrating on developing their songs further. I met up with them in a small pub by Brighton’s train station to talk about the band’s beginnings and their future. They are a few dates into their current UK tour, which will run throughout April, playing dates all over the UK.
It’s my first time to the Rialto Theatre in Brighton, a venue tucked away just off Brighton’s main shopping centre. It’s a slender building with a lounge bar that doesn’t serve the typical treats of canned Tuborg and RedStripe that you usually have to indulge in at gigs. Upstairs is the venue itself; the room is dark and tall and full of atmosphere. It’s not just the anticipation for tonight’s bands, the place itself commands a certain feel. It’s the kind of place where you’d see a great band just before they plant their flag and make their name.
The Big Moon have been hovering around that crucial point just under the radar until the vital time to come up and attack. They’ve been gaining traction in all the right places for a while now, earning them long-time support from both the industry and the fans. They’ve had spots on BBC Radio 1, Amazing Radio, played a massive 11 shows over four days at this year’s SXSW and been photographed by the illustrious Charlotte Pattmore, who seems to capture every key indie band of the past few years before anyone else. Now they’ve finally played their hand and released Love In The 4th Dimension, the debut that has been anticipated since the release of their single ‘Cupid’ back in 2016.
Samantha Crain comes onstage to huge applause and announces she’s going to play her latest album You Had Me At Goodbye in full, which is met with another wave of approval from the crowd. The album has already received lots of praise from critics and fans alike and to watch it unfold live was something to savour. Considering she’s got three other albums behind her, this experience feels like a rare delight.
There’s no sense of forced progression, her songs flow as if like they came very naturally to her when writing. The strings and clarinet provide a seamless flow which give the set that authentic sheen and smoothness that are so present on her album. Her voice sounds brilliant: in no way overpowering, but soft with a perfect delivery.
I walk into the Green Door Store in Brighton unsure of what to expect from tonight’s show. Brighton’s hipster elite have all donned their glad rags and gathered to celebrate the launch of King Mob magazine. The Facebook page describes King Mob as “dedicated to giving a platform to creatives in the UK and celebrating the underground talent we encounter day to day”. Having a peek online, the magazine has the feel of a Zine, it celebrates the DIY scene, its ethic and has bags of personality along with a very home-made feel.