Of Empires – Interview 2018

Sunday night saw Brighton’s Of Empires return for a very special homecoming performance at The Prince Albert where they showcased their brand-new double A-side single ‘Waist Up in Gold/Gunslingers’. The gig was a delight, exhibiting just how fantastic a live band the four-piece are with their reverb-drenched desert-rock sounding fresh and exciting in the tiny venue. You can read our full review here.

The band seem to have a new lease of life and, after a few years of playing excellent shows up and down the country, look set to explode into the broader sphere. I sat down with vocalist Jack Fletcher and lead guitarist Matthew Berry to talk about the hardships of being an unsigned band, their new music and streaming music.

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Gwenno – Interview 2018

Written entirely in Cornish, Gwenno’s new album Le Kov is an exploration of the individual and collective subconscious, the myths and drolls of Cornwall, and the survival of Britain’s lesser known Brythonic language. As one of the language’s few fluent speakers, Gwenno felt a duty to make her second album entirely in Cornish: to create a document of a living language, explore her identity and the endless creative possibilities of a tongue that has a very small surviving artistic output, despite having been around for at least 15 centuries.

Not only can she speak fluent Cornish, but also fluent Welsh and English, making a very rare thing indeed. Some will remember her as a member of the polka-dot dress wearing The Pipettes, the Brighton formed, kitsch meets 60s-influenced indie-pop band who were making some waves at the tail end of the last decade.

She is certainly an interesting artist, and she took some time out to have a chat with an intrigued Brightonsfinest.

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Franz Ferdinand – Interview 2018

The Scottish indie-rockers made a big splash back in 2004 when they were spearheading the so-called new wave of post-punk revival, heavily-influenced by the likes of Gang of Four. Still signed to Domino, and following the release of their collaboration with Sparks, FFS, they are back with their first studio album since 2013's Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action. There are new members, a new sound, and a new lease of life for this durable Glasgow-formed outfit who are made for the live stage. Brightonsfinest caught up with both frontman Alex Kapranos and new kid Julian Corrie.

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Public Access T.V. – Interview 2018

Public Access T.V. are one of the most polished and finessed bands on the scene at the moment. Their first record, Never Enough, garnered comparisons to The Strokes for its hook-heavy, jovial take on indie guitar music, but they’ve certainly got the depth and the tunes to not just be a hand me down Strokes rip-off. Filled with great indie-pop tunes, as well as a juvenile sense of fun and freedom, it was an exciting record that lovingly looked back to early 2000s American rock.

Their second record, Street Safari, out 23rd February, has seen them move in a different direction. Sounding more like Talking Heads, David Bowie and Television, it’s a funk-laden record with more than enough disco beats to soundtrack your Saturday night out. Brightonsfinest spoke to frontman John Eatherly about the new record, touring the UK and his vast array of influences – including the life-changing first listen to Television’s Marquee Moon and how he was influenced by Mick Jones’ Big Audio Dynamite without even listening to them!

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David Shrigley – Interview 2018

The 52nd Brighton Festival, the largest of its kind in the UK, is headed up this year by Guest Artistic Director David Shrigley. A relative unknown, Shrigley operates in the world of the visual arts, as a lively, sly, sometimes subversive illustrator, writer, film-maker, conceptualist and sculptor. You may have seen his Really Good sculpture (a massive sculpture of a thumbs up, or a 'like'!) on Trafalgar Square's Fourth Plinth. Or his 2013 Turner Prize-nominated installation David Shrigley: Brain Activity. Or perhaps his headless stuffed ostrich, or his cast of a single tooth (Brass Tooth) which he then created multiple editions of, and sold at £1,200 a pop. He's also a big music fan, and has worked with many artists, including making videos for both Blur and Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, designing record sleeves, and collaborating with musicians such as David Byrne and Grizzly Bear for his spoken word project Worried Noodles. Brightonsfinest got the chance to catch up with him at this year's festival launch.

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Rejjie Snow – Interview 2018

Rejjie Snow is one of the most exciting artists in the UK right now. Having worked with everyone from Loyle Carner, to Joey Bada$$ and Yellow Days, he’s been consistently releasing excellent projects since he first turned up five years ago. Now, and finally, we’ve reached the moment of his debut album, Dear Annie, which was every bit worth the wait. Over an hour long and incredibly high-concept, it masterfully combines 90s American rap with jazz and 00s r’n’b. I spoke to Rejjie about the album, how the internet shaped him as a musician and his politically-infused music.

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Simple Minds – Interview 2018

Hard to believe, but these Glasgow legends have been going since 1977, forming from the ashes of punk band Johnny and The Self Abusers. Jim Kerr and Charlie Burchill remain at the helm of this remarkable group who have stayed true to their origins and to the music they make. Refusing to join the celebrity/cabaret/retro circuits, they instead continue to release original music that is always heartfelt, and euphoric in tone and atmosphere. Walk Between Worlds is their 18th studio album, and their first one since 2014’s Big Music. Jim Kerr took some time out to chat with Brightonsfinest.

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Hookworms – Interview – 2018

The much admired Leeds-based band Hookworms suffered a near total catastrophe when the studio they practised and recorded in was severely flooded on Boxing Day, 2015. As well as losing their back catalogue they lost all the new material they had just started working on. However, thanks to a variety of sources, including a Crowdfunder campaign, they were eventually able to rebuild the studio and start again from scratch. Their third full studio album, Microshift, which has just been released to rave reviews, is a continuation of the electronic/psychedelic-rock flavours of the past work, it’s a big leap forward for the band, who released their first record on a small Brighton imprint back in 2011, and Brightonsfinest spoke to Hookworms’ Matt (‘MB’) Benn.

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Django Django – Interview 2018

The four-piece pop-psychedelic art rockers have returned with another album of crazy beats and melodies, Marble Skies. There is no one quite like them. Jimmy Dixon takes some time out of child rearing activities to have a chat with Brightonsfinest.

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To Kill A King – Interview 2018

Produced by Gethin Pearson and the band’s keyboard player Ben Jackson, The Spiritual Dark Age is the London five-piece’s third album and the follow-up to their self-titled album of 2015. Following spells with Virgin, Communion and Xtra Mile, here’s yet another band in a growing line of DIY bands interested in crowdfunding their work. To Kill A King employed the services of Patreon to tap into their substantial fanbase to help fund the new album. It’s a work that took nearly three years to make, hence the remarkable eclecticism of sound; from glam and epic stompers, to raw acoustica, while the lyrics revolve around issues of compassion within what frontman Ralph Perrymounter believes is a spiritual dark age. Here he takes time out from their UK tour to have a chat with Brightonsfinest.

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