How old I felt as I walked up the narrow stairs of The Quadrant pub, where I’m greeted by the pair collecting tickets on the door playing the game Buckaroo and the question, “What’s your favourite emoji?” Drawing a blank I stupidly reply “The poo”, and before I could rethink my answer my arm was being tagged and I had been given an unwanted conversation starter on a Friday night still in its infancy. These added theatrics all give hints to what kind of band the headliner is – a band that aren’t happy to settle for the norm, a band that are driven to stand out in a congested crowd.
The recent string of incredible gigs happening at The Joker continues and it doesn’t look like it’s going to slow down any time soon. This time it was Australian mellow melody makers Good Morning filling out the upstairs of the London Road pub on Friday night.
Friday night at the Green Door Store rarely fails to impress. Not only is the crowd in party mood for the beginning of the weekend, but bands usually bring their top game to the stage. With it being the cassette launch for Projector’s double A-side single, they went the extra mile – creating “perhaps the best local grunge line-up our city has seen in years”, to quote one of the crowd members, as well as transforming the Green Door Store into a place of surreal wonderment with plants and old TVs scattered around the stage.
Brainchild is certainly one of the best and most forward-thinking festivals in the UK, and yet it is still relatively unknown even though it has won the AIM Best Independent Festival award in 2015 and 2016. It happens in the beautifully serene setting of the Bentley Wildfowl & Motor Museum on the Lewes Road heading to Uckfield and boasts only 2,000 people, including all the acts and workers on site.
The idea behind Funk The Format is a good one – a festival made by a local for the locals, with no big corporate companies from out of town leaching in on the weekend utopia. The festival, which is in its fourth year, is the idea of Lucy ‘Elle J’ Small – a once globetrotting music journalist and musical tastemaker from London, turned mother of two and now a funk festival curator. Using her experience from her time working the music biz, she has brought together other mums and friends to create a crack team who are in touch with the local community. Starting out as a one-day event, the festival turned into a two-day extravaganza – Funk The Format which focuses on music, as well as Funk The Family which focuses on the family side of things by having free activities, workshops and performances designed for kids.
Husky Loops are a band at the start if something good – playing heavy hitting riffs with influences coming from the intense blistering beats reminiscent of Suuns and the divine emotional indie likened to early Arctic Monkeys. The trio, who originally come from Bologna, find themselves living in London where they joined forces to create some of the most thrilling and most imposing music around at the moment. Danio, Pietro and Tommaso release their debut self-titled EP on April 7th, which perfectly captures their ferocious live show which has got them support slots with the likes of Sunflower Bean, Yak and then this summer with The Kills. We see big things for this band, so we made sure to find out more about them.
Bliss. Bliss. Bliss. Three Real Estate albums of continual musical wonderment and now for their fourth. Three years since their last – there has been an empty Real Estate plot that we have been longing to be filled by some chilled out grooves as frankly, no one does it quite like the elegant mellow mastery of the band from Brooklyn. A few things have changed since their 2014 breakthrough album Atlas – firstly, main songwriter Martin Courtney has become a father and has moved to upstate New York whilst bass player Alex Bleeker has relocated to California, then one of the founding members and guitarist Matt Mondanile has parted company from Real Estate (to focus on his Ducktails project) which has let long-time friend of the band Julian Lynch be added to the lineup. Will much have changed consequently? After hearing the first two singles from In Mind, they may have just stepped up to another level.
Making some of the coolest and most interesting pop around at the moment, Dutch Uncles have become a staple of the UK’s music scene through a string of art pop albums and their latest release, Big Balloon, is no different. Opting for a more restrained sound pallet, Big Balloon is an addictive concoction of 80s sounds and extremely likeable melodies with an added emotional edge. Ahead of the band making a stop in town, performing at The Haunt on 11th March, we spoke to Duncan to find out more from the band.
Perth-based Methyl Ethel have long been a favourite of Brightonsfinest, releasing a spectacular debut album in Oh Inhuman Spectacle (2014), one of the sounds of our summer, as well as gracing Brighton for some stunning live shows in 2016. Dreamy pop and surf rock with Perth’s now legendary psych tinge sounds so organic and so natural, it is as if mastermind Jake Webb has brought Methyl Ethel’s sound to light from the depths of the musical vaults where it has been lying dormant for eternity. With album number two, Everything Is Forgotten, being released this week and a Brighton date at the Green Door Store on 7th March, we spoke to Jack to find out more about Methyl Ethel.
The Hundredth Anniversary are another incredible band from Brighton, who have recently released an exceptional debut album that we have been obsessing over at Brightonsfinest.com, perfectly summed up by our writer Ben Walker as “musical euphoria”. Falling into no particular category, The Hundredth Anniversary drifts seamlessly across 90s indie, post punk and alternative rock in one smooth and glorious motion. On their debut, Sea State Pictures, they have put together a spectacular and intriguing 34 minutes full of exquisite vocals and striking instrumentation that is as compelling as it is pleasing. We had to find out more about the group so we met up with Eleanor Rudge (vocals, guitar), Chris Lowe (bass) and Dem Marther (drums) from the band.