It’s been a long time coming, but Brighton six-piece Pollon have finally announced their debut single ‘Strong’. After impressing us supporting Alfie Neale at his huge Haunt headline show, where we described them as, “A dizzying mix of rock and roll sounds that reach everything from theatrical Queen-esque vocals all the way to euphoric 80s post-punk”, we couldn’t be more excited for the single to drop.
There aren’t many promoters and labels that support Brighton’s thriving music scene like QM Records. From live gigs, to single launches, as well as appearances on radio stations and conferences, the label is at the centre of a flourishing scene. Which makes it all the more exciting that they’re bringing back Moves Festival. This time taking place at The Old Market, it’s announced its first two acts for the evening section of the festival.
How fitting that Brighton’s very own dream boys Fur would release their EP and play a very special Brighton headline show around Valentine’s Day. For the quartet are this generation’s quintessential romance band. The leader of a burgeoning scene of 50s throwbackers, also including the likes of Trudy and the Romance, Her’s and their support on the night, Honey Moon, Fur are one of the most exciting indie bands in the country. This show, too, was further proof of that, with the band bringing their debut EP to Patterns in some style. Magical and spellbinding, and witnessed by an enthusiastic and adoring crowd, Fur truly are infectiously affectionate.
The announcement of a brand-new festival in East Brighton, curated by Brighton Rox, got us really excited at the beginning of this year. Finally a replacement for Wild Life and Together the People, it looked set to be one of the highlights of the summer period. Now, we can confirm that it’s destined for great things, as the first headliner has been announced for the event.
Last year’s Brighton Festival, curated by David Shrigley, produced some of the finest gigs of the year. The likes of Ezra Furman and Jungle graced the Brighton Dome stage for some unforgettable performances, and the 2019 edition looks set to be similarly fantastic. Directed this time by Malian singer, songwriter and guitarist Rokia Traore, this year’s programme is brimming with beautiful talent.
After a 2018 which saw them support the likes of Kasabian and Bring Me the Horizon, as well as playing at some of the most prestigious music festivals Europe has to offer, last year was the year that saw Yonaka break out of Brighton and truly enter the mainstream arena. With huge rock bangers such as ‘Teach Me to Fight’ and ‘Creature’ under their belts now, too, the band look to have all the ingredients to become rock juggernauts.
It’s funny witnessing the difference 18 months can make. The last time Oxford singer-songwriter Willie J Healey played a Brighton headline show it was at a half-empty Green Door Store. Now, after switching from Sony to Yala! Records, as well as supporting Slaves around the UK, he’s one of the brightest indie sparks in the country. His headline set at a rammed Prince Albert – and, honestly, is there a better sight in the entirety of Brighton’s music scene? – was testament to this; no longer a breezy UK alternative to Mac DeMarco, Willie J Healey has developed into a varied talent brimming with indie joy and an added bite.
Built on surrealist pop hooks, and psychedelic tendencies, Methyl Ethel – the musical project of Jake Webb – created a world of sheer pop wonder on Everything Is Forgotten (2017) and Oh Inhuman Spectacle (2015). Dark and evocative, yet brimming with pop joy, they were brilliant pop-rock albums that had a wholesomely Australian twang of the ilk of Tame Impala and Pond. Things have changed for maestro Webb, however, as the musician turned 30 and started to look introspectively. The result is Triage, a more contemplative album lyrically than its predecessors, which explores the ideas of coming of age. Musically, though, it’s an expansive, sweeping pop behemoth with its influences rooted in funk, disco and glam-rock.
Anyone in and around Brighton will have come to love post-punk quintet Ditz at this point. Having supported everyone from Projector, to Lice, and Queen Zee, as well as awesome headline shows of their own, they’ve become an integral part of the Brighton music scene. With a steady amount of momentum now built, they’ve returned to the studio for another thrilling slice of noise-rock in the form of ‘Gayboy’.
Since being handpicked by indie icons Dream Wife to open for them at their Concorde 2 show, things have been picking up for dynamic two-piece Arxx. After releasing 2018’s Daughters of Daughters, too, the band are looking to continue the momentum that they built so well last year. Kicking off their 2019 with a brand-new European tour, the duo look like they’re showing no signs of messing around.