We’re big fans of indie-pop outfit Safe to Swim here at Brightonsfinest, having seen their devastating live display numerous times around the city, most recently with their excellent set at Hidden Herd’s festival back in September. Now the band look set to take it to the next level with new single ‘Friends’.
Whether it was a natural progression, or down to promoters and labels like QM Records, but Brighton is not just known as guitar band central anymore. Over the last year to 18 months, the genres of soul and funk have gained prominence on the unsigned scene with the likes of Banumathi, Caged Tigers and Francesca Fulmini each releasing soul-tinged delights. Now, Scarlett Fae, from seven-piece funk-rock band One Eyed Jacks, has dropped her debut single ‘Knew You’.
The Specials’ new 10-song Encore album was produced by their founding members Terry Hall, Lynval Golding and Horace Panter, alongside Danish musician/producer Torp Larsen. It is the first time Hall, Golding and Panter have recorded new material together since the band’s 1981 No.1 single ‘Ghost Town’.
As part of the victory lap for their acclaimed album, Combat Sports, released earlier this year, prime garage rockers The Vaccines will be kicking off the new year with a run of shows. The tour will be calling at Brighton (25th January, Brighton Dome), Oxford, Blackburn, Newcastle, Motherwell, Cardiff, Exeter, Southampton, Leicester, and Guildford, before culminating at London’s Roundhouse.
London’s Community Festival has just announced the line-up for their third festival, taking place on 30th June in Finsbury Park, London. A festival that focusses on and celebrates British guitar bands, the Brighton-formed The Kooks are next year’s headliners, along with Blossoms, Kate Nash, The Amazons, The Night Cafe, Sea Girls, Gerry Cinnamon and Bloxx, with many more to be announced over the coming months.
This being one of the most highly-anticipated gigs of the year, from one of the most important bands of recent times, expectations were understandably elevated tonight, for what had been an immediate sell out when tickets went on sale a few months ago. Idles duly delivered, in what was a riotous celebration of music and communion, led by the exuberant singer/lyricist Joe Talbot.
Music has this tendency to throw up the unexpected. Take Elizabeth Benholz, aka Gazelle Twin, a new mother, and outwardly normal looking. However, when she immerses herself in music, she wholeheartedly takes on a partial alter-ego (part her, part someone else), and makes sounds and sings lyrics utterly at odds with her public persona. Appearances, in her case, can be misleading.
Local indie treasures British Sea Power love an alternative venue, and this time around they’ve plumped for Lewes’ Con Club, 14th December.
Fleetwood Mac have announced three European dates next year, with tickets being released Friday 25th October. No doubt they will be gobbled up extremely fast, so better get your fingers on the button. London, Dublin and Berlin are the lucky cities, with Wembley Stadium the venue for their London show on 16th June. These dates will feature a line-up of Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Stevie Nicks, and Christine McVie along with newcomers Mike Campbell and Neil Finn, who recently replaced Lindsay Buckingham.
With the sounds of the 60s very much on their mind, Brighton’s Hollow Hand have nevertheless managed to carve out an exquisite psychedelic pop beauty in the form of Star Chamber, recalling The Zombies, The Move, The Beatles, and all those classic bands of the era, as more modern outfits such as Super Furry Animals. “When I recorded the album we were literally affected by the elements, the changing of the seasons,“ says singer/songwriter Max Kinghorn-Mills. “We didn’t have much protection from the outside, if there was a storm we would have to record through it, if the Yamaha DX7 was waterlogged from a breach the night before we’d have to dry it out on the heater and record some other parts first."