You simply cannot keep a great songwriter down. A founding member of Brighton based The Mojo Fins, Stephen (SJ) Brett has found his feet again, with a new band that includes Paul Pascoe on bass, Oddur Runnarson on guitar and Nick Van Vlaenderen on drums. This is only their third gig together, but there’s a natural chemistry apparent from the off, as they effortlessly gel as a unit.
The young singer-songwriter Maisie Peters cut her teeth in Brighton and via YouTube, where she posted a lot of her songs, just her and a guitar. Just 18, she’s already a brilliant and mature songwriter, developing quite a following in a short space of time. She’s just got back from supporting Tom Walker on tour in the United States, has released an EP, Dressed Too Nice For A Jacket, and is about to head out on a UK tour. In May she’ll be performing at The Great Escape.
Dirty Hit is the label that just keeps on giving. Set up in response to the supposed lack of industry interest in The 1975 (oh how some must be kicking themselves!), it’s now home to the likes of alt-indie artists such as Marika Hackman, Pale Waves, and The Japanese House, aka Amber Bain.
Moving down from Newcastle around the turn of the decade, Demob Happy have slowly but surely stamped their mark, with two glorious progressive grunge-pop albums, Soda Dream and Holy Doom, under their belts. More recently they’ve been out supporting the likes of Jack White, Frank Turner & The Rattlesnakes, and Nothing But Thieves, expanding their fanbase both here in Europe, and in the US. Hungry for more, they’ve just released a new single ‘Less Is More’, with an album expected later in the year.
Ploughing a distinctively folk favoured path since he signed to Domino and released Moving Up Country back in 2012, James Yorkston is now up to album number nine with the same label. That total doesn’t including the two recent albums of folk-world fusion music as one-third of Yorkston / Thorne / Khan, along with his recent forays into the world of prose, via his 2016 novel Three Craws.
Jason Williamson and Andrew Fearn continue to prick the bubbles of conformity, with another forensic journey into the dark heart and withered soul of this nation: a place sitting on the cusp of exiting from Europe, to the sleazy pleasure of capitalist benefit scammers, and ignorant nationalist flag wavers, alike.
White Denim are an American four-piece rock band from Austin, Texas, formed in 2005, who have established a riotous fusion of garage punk, soul, psychedelic boogie, prog, jazz and country blues. They’ve done this along with a home-based recording style, and jamming approach, alongside looping work, unusual song structures, and an insatiable lust for musical adventure.
Founder members James Petralli and Steve Terebecki are still at the helm, currently joined by Greg Clifford on drums, and Michael Hunter on keys. Already with eight studio albums under their belt, including last year’s Performance, they’ve decided to release an album’s worth of B-sides, rarities, outtakes, and new songs, called Side Effects, out this spring on City Slang. With a UK tour that takes in London’s Roundhouse, and finishes in Brighton for Mutations Festival, Steve Terebecki took some time out before hitting the road.
I’ve always enjoyed an afternoon gig. It’s a big reason I’m a fan of The Great Escape. Why should shows always be in the evenings? Well, judging by today’s sell out, no reason at all! Tatty Seaside Town are local promoters of what could loosely be described as alt-goth-outsider-folk and today’s line up is a reflection of that.
Considering herself to be an “Afro-progressive”, Traoré has made six albums, drawing on her Malian roots, but also incorporating sounds from around the globe. Bowmboï (2003) won the Critics Award category at the BBC Radio 3 Awards for World Music in 2004, and Tchamantché (2008) won Victoires de la Musique World Music Album of the Year in 2009. Traoré also won Best Artist in the Songlines Music Awards in 2009.
I stumbled upon Gwenifer Raymond when I came across a glowing review of her debut album, the 100% instrumental You Never Were Much Of A Dancer, released last year. I had no idea she was Brighton-based and, later on, during the course of a conversation with an old friend, it transpired that he knew her, and was a big reason why she was eventually picked up by the esteemed American record label, Tompkins Square. Subsequently, she has been announced for this year’s The Great Escape festival. A highly accomplished guitarist, who plays in the so-called ‘American primitive’ style, I caught up with her on her lunch break.