Demob Happy – Interview 2015

As I write this, today (2 October, 2015) is a big day for Brighton based four-piece Demob Happy. After seven years as a band, and with the same line-up, they are releasing their debut album, playing an in-store at the recently expanded Resident Records, and a 'secret' show later tonight, a celebration of where they've got to so far.

Back in May they performed several shows as part of The Great Escape, including bringing the house down at the rammed Latest Bar, their fearsome, yet intricate and melodic stoner grunge rock sending many of the audience delirious. Their grooves are bouncy, and their stage manner infectious. You can't help but like this band. They look like they are are giving it all, and at the same time having a ball, a difficult to ignore combination that has seen them quickly gain a buzz in the UK and Europe. No doubt, with the release of the album Dream Soda, they will be building stronger and bigger foundations, as they concentrate fully on getting their music heard far and wide.

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Frank Turner – Interview 2015

Come ye come ye to bedrooms, bars and bunker squats/The sound is ringing clear/Now, who'd have thought that after all/ something as simple as rock 'n' roll would save us all (I Still Believe).

The old cliche about hard work paying off couldn't be more apt for Frank Turner, one of those heart-warming, yet unlikely success stories in this often bitterly difficult industry, where there are vastly more fallers and non-finishers than there are those who can actually make a living from doing what they invariably love. Of course, hard work doesn't often equate to success; artistically or commercially. Luck always plays a part, and being at the right place and the right time is a factor. But certainly, hard work, perseverance, and sheer bloody mindedness all play a big hand in achieving that elusive thing they call luck. And those handy/timely breaks, too. It also helps if your young, full of beans, and perhaps a little naive…

"I'm not given to half measures," says Turner. "I'm very passionate about music and passionate about being creative, and I am very aware of how fortunate I am to be able to do this thing that I do. I feel that it gives me an obligation to do something properly."

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Squeeze – Interview – 2015

Squeeze - Interview - 2015

They were once called the new Lennon and McCartney. In their commercial and artistic heyday of the late 70s and 80s, Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook were a super melodic, and sublime songwriting partnership, that while nowhere near as commercially successful as the Fab Four, magically evoked the spirit and times of their South London roots and upbringing, many of their songs up there with the best of John and Paul. Songs such as 'Cool for Cats', 'Up The Junction', 'Take Me I'm Yours', 'Another Nail In The Heart', 'Is That Love', 'Labelled With Love' and 'Hourglass' were highly melodic, clever, and distinctly British pop gems, that rode the new wave era, when records were selling by the boat load. With roots in council estate South London, and featuring the lyrical nous of Difford along with musicality of Tilbrook (as well as Jools Holland, a school mate of Tilbrook's, and founder member of what became Squeeze), the band were pop sophisticates, where Tilbrook's music often brilliantly interpreted and elaborated on the literate and engaging story songs of Difford.

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Sun Kil Moon – Interview – 2015

Sun Kill Moon - Interview 2015

Sometimes I feel a little sad for those born, say, 1995 onwards. They've been brought up in the age of the internet, mobile communications, computing, social media, and super-fast instant gratification. They hardly know what a landline is, have never had much use for the post office, and little need for notebooks or personal organiser, or things like cassettes… In this day and age (at least as far as the communication rich West is concerned) where almost everything is almost everywhere, the notion that you had to spend much time searching out the things you wanted and/or liked is a little quaint, perhaps even hard to fathom…

 
According to the founder of legendary UK label 4AD, Ivo-Watts Russell: "Journalist Martin Aston passed on a tape that Mark Eitzel (of American Music Club) had given to him. Every morning and evening, driving to and from work, I would start at the beginning, '24' (I know, I know, what more do you need to hear, right? What a song.), but only get about half way through that and whatever the second song on the tape was before arriving home/at 4AD. When I finally did listen to the full 90 minutes I called young Mark K. and left him a message. I learned later he was sitting in the bath listening to me talk. It was a perfect time for me to hear that brilliant band."

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Everything Everything – Interview 2015

The New Complexity they call it. And the aptly named Everything Everything have it in spades. While their sound has been called ‘a riot in a melody factory’ and been compared to ‘Timbaland if he cocked an oblique ear to Yes’ , the band prefers to see themselves as simply a pop one, albeit one that does so much more than simply trade verses with choruses, instead preferring to deliver a technicoloured and multifaceted sound palette that speaks of sophistication and invention, whilst remaining very accessible, often joyous, and often sublime

Certainly, EE are a remarkably intelligent band, made up of members who are deep thinkers. Indeed, original member Alex Niven – who played guitar on a few of the early singles – left the band to become a full-time writer and poet, and is currently working at New Left Review, the highly regarded bi-monthly politics magazine. He, along with Jonathan Higgs and Michael Spearman are all from Northumbria, and met at school in Hexham where they played music together. Another Alex – Robertshaw – took over guitar duties in 2009. But, it wasn’t until they went their separate university ways that the idea for EE took shape. Like similarly musically complex minded bands such as alt-j, Foals and Django Django, the members of Everything Everything went to university with ideas of making music, deciding perhaps wisely that some kind of education would be needed as a priority in this present-day world, where safety/welfare nets are fast disappearing. Gone, it seems, are the days when particularly creative and talented people could develop their craft while drawing on the dole… But music has an almighty pull for some, and eventually it took over this foursome…

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Brighton Music Conference – 2015

Electronic Music has been one of the biggest things to influence the music world in recent times, with everybody dipping their toe in the genre (even Coldplay). The once underground sounds of Electronic Music have now become big business and understandably there has been a growing amount of music conferences popping up all over the world to provoke networking and innovation in the genre; Electronic Music Conference in Australia, Winter Music Conference in USA, Amsterdam Dance Event in Netherlands, and the International Music Summit which takes place in Ibiza, China, Singapore and USA. With the UK being a main hub for the development and progression of the electronic genre as well as the birthplace of some of the most celebrated electronic artists in the world (including The Prodigy, Chemical Brothers, Aphex Twin, Pete Tong, Four Tet, , Massive Attack, Shy FX, Orbital, Richie Hawtin, Jamie XX, Underworld, Judge Jules, London Elektricity, Leftfield, Goldie, Skream, High Contrast, Carl Cox, Squarepusher, Burial, The Orb, Calvin Harris, Sacha, Rusko…. it could go on and on) it was only a matter of time before UK had its very own conference for the genres glitterati to converge.

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Love Supreme – 2015 – Interviews

One of the great jazz (nay, music) albums of all time, John Coltrane's 'A Love Supreme' is the perfect title for this three day festival, now in its third year, that takes place in the grounds of Glynde Place, just a few miles east of Brighton. Filling a long overdue gap for an actual outdoor/camping jazz festival. The first two years featured the likes of Jamie Cullum, De La Soul, Bryan Ferry and Chic, establishing itself as a quality event that attracts music lovers from all over the UK and even abroad. Jazz is just the anchor though, for Love Supreme covers funk, soul, R'nB, hip hop and loads of other associated genres and many of the acts are making their debut UK festival appearance. When the weather is fine, it's a glorious place to be…

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The Great Escape 2015 Interviews

Amazing to think that this annual showcase for music from around the globe is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year. Firmly established, it has grown to become one of the premier events of its kind, anywhere in the world, with over 450 acts performing in 30 venues across the city, from midday to the early hours. And, as always, it will feature loads of new music, some old favourites, and tonnes of secret shows and street gigs, which won't be announced until the festival actually kicks off.

A new feature for this year is the pop-up restaurant, The Plate Escape (geddit?), taking place in One Church Brighton for Friday night supper and Saturday morning brunch, where refuelling will be at a premium… Other highlights include Great Day Out, a mini multi-venue festival for ages 14+ on the Saturday, Brighton's first International Record Label Market, the new artist and delegate hangout space in Jubilee Gardens, open to all festival-goers from 7pm each evening, and of course, the The Alternative Escape, which features an additional 200 artists.

Brighton's Finest asked a number of this year's acts to be so kind as to answer some questions, and here are their obliging answers…

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Public Service Broadcasting – Interview – 2015

Two geeky looking technicians called Willgoose and Wrigglesworth, looking uncannily like the current Q in the Bond franchise – Ben Whishaw – but hopefully without his irritatingly arrogant disdain for 'field agents', have risen from the anonymity of their musical laboratory experiments to become unlikely minor pop stars, usurping the more telegenic and youthful looking amongst the vogueish indie brigade. Well, that's how it looks… In practice, mssrs J Willgoose Esq and Wrigglesworth are both musicians and audio technicians, and since their formation seven years ago, have released two highly distinct albums, that fuse together film and audio of the past with beats, live instrumentation and electronica of the present, producing an end result that works equally well via their studio recordings, and on the live stage.
 
While their debut album Inform-Educate-Entertain was successfully conceptualised around British and American propaganda and public safety film and audio of the 30s-70s, the follow up album The Race For Space employed a mix of the propagandist and 'live' audio captured in the control room of Houston, as it attempted to trace this historic 'race', conducted at the height of the Cold War, between the arch enemies of the USA and USSR. "It was the result of working on The War Room EP (the precursor to their debut album) and wondering where to go next after that," say J Willgoose from the back of a van, as PSB and crew traverse Europe on a tour, promoting said album. "The space race suggested itself for a number of reasons, not least the fact that I’m very interested in it.

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Wolf Alice – Interview – 2015

"We had a proper late night in the studio last night," says a sleepy Joff Oddie, lead guitarist with the band, "getting some tracking done. My girlfriend woke me up when she went to work at 7am, and I went back to bed. And you woke me up!" he laughs. "But, that's OK… I got in at 3am; we'd been going at it since nine in the morning. Pretty tiring. It's mix time at the moment, ready for release to the public. We recorded the album in just under two months, before Xmas, with a guy called Mike Crossley, in a studio in Wood Green.

Despite not having yet released an album, the London based four piece have already achieved a tremendous amount in their short time together. From playing the John Peel Stage at Glastonbury, to touring with Alt-J, and headlining various UK tours including easily selling out Concorde 2 recently ("Brighton is a beautiful place, we always have such a nice time in Brighton. It's got a Londony vibe, but just seems so much more relaxed."), they are eagerly riding this bull, and looking forward to another jam-packed year of touring and festivals, along with the release of the album, My Love is Cool, in June.

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