Bombay Bicycle Club – Brighton Dome – 18th March 2014

Only very occasionally does there come a gig where all the ingredients for a perfect storm seem to coalesce. BBC are riding high, very high… number one with their new album, and well deserved too. It’s heartening to see, especially in this day and age, a band with strong artistic credentials who can make it to number one. And so, the beautiful people of Brighton and beyond descended upon the beautiful architecture, setting and wondrous history of the Dome, to see a once-in-a-year type gig. Could they deliver?
Read More...

Midlake – St. George’s Church – 27th Febuaray 2014

A surprising thing about Midlake is the inadvertently real (or otherwise) myths they seem to regularly generate. First, there’s the ‘fact’ that Bella Union’s boss Simon Raymonde signed them on the basis of a recording he heard – they had never gigged outside their home state of Texas, and Raymonde hadn’t seen or met them. Or so claims Midlaker Eric Pulido in a recent interview I did with him. Then there’s the lazy Fleetwood Mac comparison that is still churned out. Yes, there are one or two elements that spring here and there on their breakthrough album, The Trials of Van Occupanther, but bigger influences are undoubtedly The Beach Boys and the more pastoral elements of early to mid-70s prog rock, such as Caravan; influences that have remained throughout their career, pre and post-Tim Smith, the original frontman and main songwriter. Which brings us to the myth that Smith was Midlake. Tonight, one rather unfortunate member of the audience thought so, creating ripples of mild embarrassment on behalf of the band before Pulido himself politely pointed out that the venue had an exit at the back…

Read More...

British Sea Power – Interview – 2014

For those who have been living in the Brighton area this last decade you’ll probably have come across British Sea Power, a quintessential INDIE band in the old fashioned sense of the word, purveyors of non-mainstream guitar based music that generally paddles its own canoe, never quite following the diktats of current fashion or flavours; where virtuosity is not a pre-requisite of authenticity or quality. Alternative is perhaps an appropriate single word summation of this band who have dabbled successfully in the sub-genres of punk, lo-fi, noise pop, post-rock and melodic rock whilst managing to stay within the general confines of what we know as pop and rock.

Read More...

Warpaint – Brighton Dome – 23rd Januaray 2013

This band are so, so so average, a musically learned friend of mine remarked to me when I told the world via Facebook I was reviewing them… I had been charmed by their music, the new Warpaint album in particular, seemingly striking a new pose, albeit one borrowing heavily from the post-punk worlds of The Cure, Siouxie and The Cocteau Twins. On record, the bass and drums strike up trancey, repetitive  grooves, while the guitar (when featured) picks interesting figures, and the vocal overlay work is unpredictable, otherworldy and often creative. The vocals (and I'm talking about the 'sound' of the vocals, not the content, which I can hardly make out) sometimes turn decent grooves into good songs, and the band try and not let things become predictable, a change of tempo, sound, drum pattern, anything, keeps it interesting, much like a decent dance track does.

Read More...

ALT-J – Concorde 2 – 4th November 2015

I braved the bitterly cold weather one Sunday evening to make it down to the Concorde 2 (Brighton) to see Alt-J (?) who recently released what I would say is one of my favourite albums of the year. The band is incredibly inventive and original in their song writing – this comes across in their debut release ‘An Awesome Wave’. I was looking forward to seeing how this would translate to the stage.

Read More...