Cub Sport – Interview 2019

Australian four-piece Cub Sport are about to ride the high of a third album, following on from Bats, which was released to huge acclaim in 2017. Originally formed by singer-songwriter Tim Nelson in 2010 as a backing band for his solo songs, Cub Sport is also made up of bassist Zoe Davis, keyboardist Sam Netterfield, and drummer Dan Puusaari.

In the summer of 2107, the song ‘O Lord’ marked Nelson’s first song about his coming out, and declaring his love for bandmate Netterfield. The love had been mutual for quite some time, and they got married, allowable under Australia’s new same sex marriage laws. Producing music that combines an r’n’b feel with a pop sensibility, the combination of pop energy with a deeply personal take, has endeared them to a young audience of forward-thinking millennials and Generation Z’ers. While Bats chronicled Tim’s journey of coming out, the new self-titled album is both a confirmation of that coming out, and expressed love, as well as a confident and powerful statement.

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The 1975 – Interview 2019

The 1975 frontman Matt Healy is a very smart boy, albeit one caught up in the temptations of the human mind, exaggerated by the pleasures and pains of being a bit of a rock star. Yet, like all 20 somethings, he has energy, passion, and confidence in abundance. Along with the help of his childhood friends and bandmates, he also has the wherewithal to channel these qualities into artistic pursuits, that while having countless detractors, is pure and brilliant enough for The 1975 to become perhaps the biggest and most important indie band of the decade, a very rare beast of an alt-pop band to be still having top 40 single hits. If they can keep it together, there could be no stopping them becoming bigger still, perhaps the biggest 21st century band of them all.

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The Vaccines – Interview 2019

The Vaccines’ Combat Sports was released in the spring of 2018. That it ever saw the light of day was a testament to the band’s inner belief, but a belief that had been badly dented by the departure of founding member Pete Robertson, in mid-2016, after the completion of their third album; the less-than well received English Graffiti. There had also been some well-publicised inter-band fighting, most notably between Freddie Cowan and Justin Hayward-Young.

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Pale Waves – Interview 2019

Since we last interviewed Pale Waves, in 2017, the Manchester four-piece have been making much bigger waves with their infectious and upbeat indie-pop. Label mates with The 1975, they only performed their first headline show two years ago, and since then their debut album, My Mind Makes Noises, has reached the top ten. Having already performed in New York’s legendary Madison Square Garden with The 1975, they are about to go out on tour again with them, including a date in Brighton. We caught up with guitarist and frontwoman Heather Baron-Gracie, to talk about The 1975, and the whirlwind that has been the fast and furious rise of Pale Waves.

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Razorlight – Interview 2018

Guitar music has had a bit of a rough time of late. The 00s represented its last great heyday, when the likes of The Libertines, Franz Ferdinand, The Zutons, Arctic Monkeys, and The Kooks et al, bestrode the world stage, guitars, drums and bass at its beating heart. The internet was young, smartphones did not exist, singles still mattered, Brtipop a fresh memory, and mainstream radio continued to shine a light on the classic pop-rock formula, via beat combos with six-strings at its epicentre. Johnny Borrell still loves his rock’n’roll, but he is under no illusions that the landscape has changed, and not for the best, in his opinion. “It’s not very fashionable at the moment. Every song in the charts is by Rita Ora, isn’t it?” he claims. “It sounds like it, I can’t really tell the difference. There’s no B or C list anymore. There’s A and D. A is absolute bullshit right now, bands pretending to be electro-pop or that millenial electro-pop thing which is the same fucking melody for every song, which is dog shit. Or you’ve got D, which is really underground, and alternative. I can see those things going on, but B and C is just being wiped out. I think the thing that was great ten years ago, even on mainstream radio, you would have some big Dre-produced thing, followed by Kaiser Chiefs, followed by Outkast, followed by Gnarls Barkley, followed by The Zutons or Razorlight or Libertines. There was much more variety. Some people send me links to stuff on YouTube. Too many bands use click tracks. Quite often, I can’t tell the difference between the advert, and when the song begins.”

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Best of 2018

It has been one hell of a year. From the influx of thousands of artists during festival season to watching many of our most-loved Brighton bands bloom into genuine world beaters, 2018 has been an incredibly successful year for music locally. Our Brightonsfinest writers now look back over the past 12 months to remember their highlights on record and in the live sphere as well as the ones we missed.

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Beans on Toast – Interview 2018

Jay McAllister, aka Beans on Toast, has released an album every year for the last ten years, always on his birthday, 1st December. A Bird in the Hand is his tenth, and marks the first time since his debut album that Ben Lovett of Mumford & Sons fame, has produced him. A brilliantly witty, engaging, honest and emotional singer-songwriter, he has spent a great deal of his time singing about festivals, drugs, and politics. However, the birth of a daughter has given him new perspectives, and an optimism that sees him celebrating life and all that is good about it. He talks to Jeff Hemmings about how his music career took shape, working with Ben Lovett, his new daughter, and plastics…

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Self Esteem – Interview 2018

Rebecca Taylor is best known as one half of maverick indie duo Slow Club, who released five albums, with 2016’s One Day All of This Won’t Matter Anymore being the last. Playing the drums, guitar, and duetting with Charles Watson, the band built up a considerable following, but for Rebecca it clearly wasn’t enough. Over the years she has been developing her own creative outlet, as Self Esteem, moving decidedly into urban, r’n’b, pop, and hip-hop territory, a million miles away from the scruffy indie-pop of Slow Club. With Slow Club on indefinite hiatus, and Watson concurrently developing his own solo career, a number of tracks have been released including her debut ‘Rollout’, made with Django Django’s Dave Maclean. Rebecca talks to Jeff Hemmings about her self-esteem, her creative needs, her love of dancing, and what we can expect on the love stage.

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Architects – Interview 2018

On 20th August, 2016, Tom Searle, founding member of the Brighton-based metalcore band Architects, passed away, aged just 28. Unbeknownst to fans, he had been suffering from skin cancer the previous three years. It was hugely cruel blow, not only for friends and family, but for a band who had started to make some serious in-roads, their previous two albums, both top 20 affairs, were the result of hard work ever since he and his twin brother Dan formed Architects back in 2004.

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Blood Red Shoes – Interview 2018

Brighton indie-punk duo Blood Red Shoes have announced the release of their fifth album, Get Tragic, out 25th January on their own label, Jazz Life. Laura-Mary Carter and Stephen Ansell had been pretty much tied to the hip since when they first formed back in 2004. However, by the end of their touring commitments following the release of 2014’s self-titled album, and an aborted attempt at recording new material, the duo had finally run out of track. They were badly in need of a break, from each other, and from the cycle of touring and recording they had committed themselves to over the last decade. However, with their batteries now recharged, they’ve fully embraced the absurdity of their life (hence the title of the new album), are about to release their most eclectic collection yet, and a raring to go, this time with a band behind them. They’ve also got a date lined up as part of Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar’s closing celebrations, 11th December. Laura-Mary tells all to Jeff Hemmings…

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