Bridlington duo Seafret have, impressively, overcome being dropped by their label Sony Music Entertainment due to one thing and one thing alone: the enthusiasm and passion of their fanbase. Sticking with them every step of the way, the band have come through the other side looking bigger and better than they ever did before. Their gig at Patterns – their first Brighton gig since supporting Amber Run at Concorde 2 back in 2017 – was an excellent showcase of the progress the band have made and the extended love-in that has grown between the band and their fans.
Despite previously appearing back in 2015, the return of Mutations Festival feels like a brand-new festival. Now an all-dayer in a single venue rather than a multi-venue bash, as well as relocating to Portslade’s Hansen Hall and bringing Small Pond on board as co-promoters, it already felt like a whole new thing entirely. As such, there were certainly some teething problems on the day, such as a lack of facilities for such a large number of people, problems with the screens in the main room and, crucially, running out of pints way before its conclusion. However, there was certainly enough promise to keep Mutations alive long enough to become an annual tradition.
Despite building up a loyal following in the UK, Toy never quite reached the potential that it looked like they would back in 2012 with their self-titled debut album Toy. Their show at Patterns was in support of their fourth record, Happy in the Hollow, which we described as, “A wild ride through the darkness of psychedelia in just about every way, it’s a delightful journey that changes at the drop of a hat”. As huge fans of the five-piece, and certainly their latest album, this was an inanimate and almost lifeless performance from the Brighton band.
Despite hailing from Norway, dynamic quartet Pom Poko will always have a Brighton connection. Not only are they signed to Brighton’s Bella Union and accidentally share a name with an iconic Brighton restaurant (they’re actually named after the Studio Ghibli film of the same name), but they played their first ever UK headline show on our sunny shores back in 2017. Since that occasion, which we described as “satisfying, vicious and addictive”, they’ve grown from an indie-pop outfit into a pop-punk behemoth. Their debut album, Birthday, is a showcase of this evolution with its spiky riffs, theatrical glamour and infectious pop sheen.
Signed to Brighton label Cannibal Hymns at the back end of 2018, newcomer Nancy showed huge promise with debut single ‘Teenage Fantasy’. Thankfully, the artist has fulfilled that promise with his quite brilliant debut EP Mysterious Visions. A 17-minute treat, that truly creates its own surrealistic world, it’s an erratic, yet beautifully put together record that features ‘Teenage Fantasy’ and a beautiful cover of Nancy Sinatra’s ‘These Boots are Made for Walkin’’.
Not happy with being one half of the most celebrated and successful Brighton bands in recent years, Mark Breed and Kristian Bell have been working on a side project away from The Wytches. Simply titled Mark and Kristian Band, the offshoot project released the double A-side You Call that Rock n Roll / Eleven Days back in 2018. The duo have now returned with two more songs titled ‘Birthday’ and ‘Key to My Door’.
Brighton’s Banumathi have shown a glistening pop shimmer fused with r’n’b tendencies on their early singles ‘Sugar Rush’ and ‘Jam Cafe’. A soothing mixture of genres, they’ve announced themselves as something truly different in the Brighton music scene. Now the band have returned with their third single ‘Breathe’ which is, simply, a breathe of fresh air.
Despite being born in Australia, Nick Cave has always been considered an adopted son of Brighton, after making it his home for the best part of 20 years. An artist that needs no introduction, he’s a musician that has matured like a fine wine with his last two albums – Push the Sky Away and Skeleton Tree – becoming arguably his most well reviewed works to date.
Describing themselves, quite brilliantly, as “Organ-driven dark trippy alternative rock”, Brighton’s Something Leather have been impressing us ever since their debut 2017 single ‘Shotgun Persona’. Since then, the trio have followed that single up with the equally fantastic ‘Disappear on Me’, as well as dazzling us with superb support slots for the likes of Phobophobes.
Brighton’s Public Body were a band that came to our attention, and impressed us, when they opened Green Door Store’s eighth birthday celebrations at the beginning of this year. Describing it as an “assembly of punchy, dirty post-punk”, we certainly touted them as a Brighton band to keep an eye on. They’ve now proved that we were very right to think that.