It’s testament to Brighton’s love for Nottingham three-piece Kagoule that when bassist Lucy Hatter cheekily asked for someone to buy her a beer, five minutes later she had one in her hand. “Works every time”, Hatter responded with her tongue firmly in her cheek. There’s always been a rapport between Brighton and Kagoule and their gig at The Prince Albert, fresh from the release of their second record, Strange Entertainment, will go down as a roaring success – both for the band and the tightly packed Prince Albert audience.
The latest band to offer a very modern voice of dissent in a world of discord, Manchester’s The Blinders steam into Brighton for a night of sweaty, intense and dark post-punk. First from an interesting line-up, Brighton’s Swoon. A fascinating, heady combination of punk and electro, they ignore the empty space that is initially present in front of them and seize the show as if it is their own. Their recent Fun Police EP release is one of the most exciting debut releases for some time, and there is a potent energy to their live performance tonight. Expect to hear a lot more about these in the months to come.
The complete antithesis to his former bandmate, Johnny Marr put on the kind of show that gets spoken about on the morning after for the right reasons. Warm, friendly, relevant, the tightrope between heritage and relevance – a fine balance at the best of times – walked successfully. One of indie music’s finest, and most beloved, guitarists showed just why he is still revered.
It was as if I had immersed myself within a Jack Kerouac novel. Suddenly, without a word of warning, the quartet emerged on stage. An exhilarating and explosive start left the room roaring, as the revolving cast of twinned percussionists catalysed the crowd into dancing fruition; with their syncopated and scattershot rhythms building up the energy in the room.
Support act, Brighton-based Ellie Ford, could be part white witch for the Joanna Newsom tone to her voice. Often sounding like the fairy from much-loved 80s Christmas film, Scrooged, by this I obviously mean that Ford can switch from sailing purity to something more guttural in the pluck of her harp string, making for a captivating performance. Also drawing on influences such as Karen Dalton and Nick Drake, she fronts a band of four other musicians who champion her brand of understated contemporary folk.
As live bands go, you don’t get much more bang for your buck than Yak. Our first experience of the London band was at 234 Fest 2015, when lead singer Oliver Henry Burslem climbed up to the ceiling of the Green Door Store and dangled from the steel beam above the stage whilst screeching his rock’n’roll tones – memorable to say the least. Having released the fantastic debut Alas Salvation LP in 2016 and having featured on our Brightonsfinest Volume 2 compilation in 2017, the trio came to The Haunt for what should only be a show of epic proportions; especially with the almighty Sons Of Raphael in support.
On a night that sees the headline act stroll onto the stage nearly an hour later than scheduled, a messy, strange, confusing evening with Julian Casablancas and The Voidz eventually tapers away leaving nothing but a faint sense of disappointment behind at Concorde 2.
Fireworks night proved to be the perfect timing for The Prodigy to put on a seriously explosive show, the only casualties being a few thousand sets of eardrums and surely a few sore heads the following morning. A night with Liam, Keith and Maxim is not one that goes by gently, and tonight is no exception. It is deafening, it is incendiary, it is a performance from a band that, despite some shaky recent recorded output, still put on one hell of a live show.
This is a concert I had been looking forward to for a while now. To start with, it features two local artists I’ve know for over ten years, Sam Walker and Shona Foster, who I’ve seen countless times in a variety of venues and a number of different line-ups. Also, it’s in one of my favourite venues, The Brunswick, where I’ve seen them both play before numerous times and always left having enjoyed the gig.
“Make bad better” goes the advice from the pre-show tannoy, followed shortly by, ”This is the room where you get better in.” Public service announcements at gigs normally get disregarded, but not tonight. Not this time. Bad Sounds, the indie-pop sensations from Bath, provided a hungry crowd with nothing but better times, and hands down one of the best live shows of the year in Brighton.