Does every venue in Brighton have a glitterball? The Prince Albert’s twinkly, shiny sphere casts a lovely light over the intimate band room this evening, as The Grand Nowhere kick off. A Brighton-based quartet, bedecked in bad Hawaiian shirts, one of their singer/guitarists looks like a fairly awkward rabbit in the headlights, the other potentially thinks he is Jim Morrison – said shirt unbuttoned just enough to give a glimpse of a medallion amidst plenty of posturing. As different as the two men’s performance is, so too is their vocal style, a brash self-assuredness from Jim’s incarnation, the nervous guy punctuating his melodic voice with the right amount of falsetto and vibrato, a la Muse. I’m not sure if it works alongside the solid basslines and guitar-based songwriting that dominates their short set, though recent single ‘My Thoughts Again’ displays particular promise. Generally, though, it appears that they are really still finding out who they are as a group. I’m rooting for them to do so because they can pen a tune.
This was a gig with a difference. There would be no mobile phones allowed within the auditorium. If you wanted to come to the show, you would need to dispatch your phone within a Yondr pouch. If necessary you could then use your phone in designated areas within the centre. An interesting idea, whose time has come.
We often talk of an artist capturing the imagination of the youth, so much so that they become obsessed, but when it comes to Davey Newington, aka Boy Azooga, he seems to have reignited a spark in middle-aged minds. With arguably 80% of his gig populated by the 40-plus, it’s clear to see he’s heralded as not only a throwback due to his vast 60s-80s influences, but as a quasi-saviour of rock and roll too. For good reason, no less, as his wonderful fusion of soft-rock, early heavy rock, and the 80s avant-garde makes for a genuine uplifting experience at his Green Door Store show.
On the current live music scene, there’s not a single band that comes close to Liverpudlian duo Her’s. Awful grammar aside, no one can quite match the sheer entertainment, intense laughter, and the absolute joy of their dream-pop. The definitive answer to the popular meme “name a better duo, I’ll wait” and the musical equivalent of the brain releasing serotonin, Her’s are simply a delight in a live setting. Outrageously tight (despite frequent sound issues) and with the best chemistry in a band you’re ever likely to see, Her’s are a musical marvel.
There’s a beautiful, yet muffled buzz surrounding Art School Girlfriend at the moment. Halfway between ‘the next best thing’ and intimate venues ‘best kept secret’, the Welsh singer-songwriter, now based in Margate, has proved quite the force to be reckoned with since signing to arguably the coolest indie label in the UK, Wolf Tone Records (the home of The Horrors and Glass Animals). Having just released one of the finest EP’s of the year so far in the form of Into the Blue Hour EP, Art School Girlfriend brought her brooding pop songs in a magnificent, and mesmerising, performance that knocked The Hope and Ruin off its feet.
For someone who was lacking confidence in her voice until her early 20s, Anna Calvi displays no lack of confidence on the live stage in the here and now. Nor does she lack any confidence it seems with her inventive guitar playing, or her stage persona in general, as she more than amply demonstrated here with this stunning show.
It’s not every day you get the chance to see a Belgian rapper of Congolese origin perform in Brighton, but that’s exactly what the audience got during Baloji’s gig at The Haunt this week.
Baloji began his musical career as a member (under the name Balo) of hip-hop group Starflam, who achieved great success with their album Survivant going platinum. Since going solo in 2004, he’s released four albums, his latest being 137 Avenue Kaniama. This show was the first night of his UK tour, which additionally sees him play London, Bristol, Leeds and Gateshead.
Fresh off the back of the release of their third studio album, Sum Of All Your Parts, Scottish rockers Fatherson took to the stage at Patterns this week to perform an intimate show in support of their new record. The band have previously toured with the likes of Biffy Clyro, Frightened Rabbit and Enter Shikari, stopping off in Brighton for the ninth date of their 27-date tour. This show featured support from Blue Americans and Brighton locals Vesture.
Since forming in 2014, dream pop band Anteros have made quite the impression, supporting the likes of Two Door Cinema Club and White Lies, along with performing at huge festivals such as Glastonbury. To date they’ve released three EPs and have just announced their debut album, When We Land.
The second bite of the apple is proving even juicier than the first. Following the sad demise of highly-rated indie-popsters Pete and the Pirates, three fifths of the band eventually reformed as Teleman. Since then, three albums have brought something that their previous incarnation mystifyingly never managed – commercial success to match the critical acclaim. This year’s Family Of Aliens sneaked (just) into the Top 40 charts, and continued that rise in fortunes.