Girl Band – Interview

The Dublin four piece have been kicking around for more than a decade. With vocalist Dara Kiely, guitarist Alan Duggan, bassist Daniel Fox and drummer Adam Faulkner, making up the band. They have two albums under their belt, both released on the Rough Trade label: Holding Hands with Jamie (2015), and last year’s The Talkies. With a loud, tightly coiled aggressive sound, the band are literally manipulating their instruments, while Kiely howls his way though via impressionistic lyrics. Portraying themselves as ‘the least macho bunch of people you could think of’, the band’s name has also caught the imagination. Brightonsfinest Jeff Hemmings caught up with Dara Kiely, chatting about the importance of noise, Leonard Cohen, and how he became a singer.

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Beat Hotel – Interview

Paul Pascoe has been a stalwart of the Brighton music scene since the 90s, featuring in a number of bands including Mudlow, Fire Eyes and Palm Springs, as well as working at Church Road Studios, recording, mixing and producing many artists who have come through their doors since it was set up back in 1996. Another band of his, Beat Hotel, has been recently resurrected again after a lengthy hiatus, and which also features Arash Torabi (The June Brides, The Granite Shore), Stephen Brett (Mojo Fins) and drummer Dave Morgan (The Loft, The Rockingbirds). They have a mini-album ready for release at the end of January, and a launch gig at The Hope & Ruin. Paul chatted to Brightonsfinests’ Jeff Hemmings about the studio, Beat Hotel, songwriting and music in general.

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The Big Moon Interview

Formed in 2014, the London all female four-piece hit the big time when their stunning debut album Love in the 4th Dimension was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize, a recognition that here was a good old fashioned indie rock and pop band who had the tunes to back up their enticing female gang imagery. Since then they have indulged in their various solo projects, played backing band to Marika Hackman on her I’m Not Your Man album, toured with The Pixies, and are about to release their second album, Walking Like We Do, followed by a tour with Bombay Bicycle Club and their own UK headline jaunt.

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Tiawa – Interview

For two decades the Brighton based record label Tru Thoughts has been a prolific force amidst electronic music, jazz and hip hop, with artists such as Bonobo, Rodney P, Ty, Quantic, and Alice Russell gracing their books. Still headed by founder Rob-Luis, they continue to find, and nurture new talent. Tiawa Blackhorse has just signed to the label, and is one of many acts performing at Tru Thoughts 20th birthday celebrations, along with Hidden Orchestra, Anchorsong, Wrongtom, J-Felix, and many more. Tiawa took some time out from touring to have a chat with Jeff Hemmings, about Brighton, music and her musical partner Jack-Chi (Jack Kingslake).

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Steve Hackett – Interview

This legendary member of Genesis during their classic 70s heyday, and guitarist extraordinaire, is still making and playing music, even as he approaches 70. He joined Genesis in1971, and played on six of their studio albums, including Selling England by The Pound and The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. Hackett released his first solo album, Voyage of the Acolyte, while still a member of Genesis in 1975. After a series of further solo albums beginning in 1978, Hackett co-founded the supergroup GTR with Yes’ Steve Howe in 1986, releasing one album. Hackett then resumed his solo career. He has released albums and toured worldwide on a regular basis since, his body of work encompassing many styles: progressive rock, pop, blues, world music and classical music. According to Guitar World: “Hackett’s early explorations of two-handed tapping and sweep picking were far ahead of their time and influenced Eddie Van Halen and Brian May.”

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Flamingods – Interview

Unusual band, the Flamingods. From Bahrain, and made up of Kamal Rasool, Charles Prest, Karthik Poduval, and Sam Rowe, for many years they had been beset by visa issues, to the extent that they could hardly make music together as a band, instead getting together for the odd tour and gig, whilst exchanging files over the internet in concocting their heady fusion of upbeat middle eastern psychedelia. Regular visitors to Brighton – they recently performed at Mutations – they have a fourth album Levitation, the first one they have recorded fully as a band, and will be here for this year’s The Great Escape. Kamal took some time out from a band rehearsal to chat about Bahrain, the new album, and being an Exceptional Talent…

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Mr Bongo – Interview

Starting life in the late 80s as a record shop in London, selling super rare Latin music, Mr Bongo eventually became the Brighton-based label and publisher for some of the finest selections in Brazilian, Latin, African, Jazz, Soul, Reggae and Psychedelic flavours. With a new shop in the heart of the North Laine, and a 30th anniversary celebration gig as part of Brighton Festival, Jeff Hemmings visited the offices/shop and met up with Graham Luckhurst, to talk all things Mr Bongo.

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The Japanese House – Interview

Amber Bain aka The Japanese House, has just released her debut album, Good At Falling, on The 1975’s label, Dirty Hit. It sees her face up to fears in tracks that lay her personal life and heartbreak bare, especially her relationship with fellow songwriter and label mate Marika Hackman. Co-produced by Bon Iver producer BJ Burton, it follows up a set of stellar EPs, co-produced by George Daniel from The 1975. She talks to Jeff Hemmings about the emotional turbulence involved in the making of the album, her inspirations, The 1975, and why name The Japanese House.

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These New Puritans – Interview

Whilst still at school twin brothers George and Jack Barnett formed These New Puritans in 2006, along with Thomas Hein. Electronica, synth pop, and orchestral music informs their dark, panoramic music, and has resulted in four albums, the most recent album Inside the Rose recorded largely in Berlin, in an old studio which was used by the communist East Germans for propaganda purposes. Berlin is where Jack has made his home, and he took some time from band rehearsals to chat with Jeff Hemmings about the album, the studio, their music making process, the forthcoming tour, and comparisons with Bros!

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Rozi Plain – Interview

Refined during a year spent touring the world playing bass in This Is The Kit, What A Boost is Rozi Plain’s fourth solo album, recorded over an extended period of time, and released on Memphis Industries. Gentle, pastoral, rootsy, freeform, folksy and warm to the touch, it showcases her blossoming songwriting skills. Whilst in Brighton supporting and playing with This Is The Kit, she took some time out to talk to Jeff Hemmings about the new album, growing up with This Is The Kit’s Kate Stables, and juggling her dual roles as a solo artist, and member of This Is The Kit.

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