One of NME’s top 100 essential acts of 2018, indie-rock four-piece Thyla have been making waves in recent years. As well as having some great tracks on their newly released debut EP, the group have also allegedly built a “sterling live reputation”. With this knowledge, I was very excited to see for myself just how true this statement was when visiting The Hope & Ruin for their headline show, which included support from LibraLibra and La Lune.
I’ve always enjoyed an afternoon gig. It’s a big reason I’m a fan of The Great Escape. Why should shows always be in the evenings? Well, judging by today’s sell out, no reason at all! Tatty Seaside Town are local promoters of what could loosely be described as alt-goth-outsider-folk and today’s line up is a reflection of that.
The fantastic recording and performing space, Brighton Electric, gave us a night of immersive and authentic electronic live music, hosted and presented by Werkstatt Promotions in partnership with local music academy BIMM. This evening also had the noble goal of raising money for Brighton-based charity Grassroots Suicide Prevention. As well as this, it presented us with many fantastic upcoming electronic artists.
How fitting that Brighton’s very own dream boys Fur would release their EP and play a very special Brighton headline show around Valentine’s Day. For the quartet are this generation’s quintessential romance band. The leader of a burgeoning scene of 50s throwbackers, also including the likes of Trudy and the Romance, Her’s and their support on the night, Honey Moon, Fur are one of the most exciting indie bands in the country. This show, too, was further proof of that, with the band bringing their debut EP to Patterns in some style. Magical and spellbinding, and witnessed by an enthusiastic and adoring crowd, Fur truly are infectiously affectionate.
It’s funny witnessing the difference 18 months can make. The last time Oxford singer-songwriter Willie J Healey played a Brighton headline show it was at a half-empty Green Door Store. Now, after switching from Sony to Yala! Records, as well as supporting Slaves around the UK, he’s one of the brightest indie sparks in the country. His headline set at a rammed Prince Albert – and, honestly, is there a better sight in the entirety of Brighton’s music scene? – was testament to this; no longer a breezy UK alternative to Mac DeMarco, Willie J Healey has developed into a varied talent brimming with indie joy and an added bite.
The genre-defiant, mostly instrumental group Polyphia gained a lot of positive traction in 2018 with the release of their newest full-length record New Levels New Devils. Their ever-growing popularity is by no means a fluke of any sort as the complexity and depth of their arrangements certainly has its wow factor. I was very excited to see how this would be presented in a live performance.
Ed The Dog made quite the impact last year. With the release of his debut record Shame, as well as a much loved live performance at 2018’s Great Escape Festival, it seemed like a breakthrough for the artist was closer than ever. Taking place at the Green Door Store, Ed’s headline set would mark the finale to the first of a four-night series of gigs presented by Hidden Herd; the Sptlght series, which aims to raise awareness of some of the most exciting upcoming bands.
The rise of Dorchester-via-Brighton artist Alfie Neale has been a joy to watch. Through hard work and perseverance – as well as a truckload of talent – the youthful singer-songwriter has become one of the hottest artists in the South East. His Haunt headline show, however, was a revelation. Outing him as not only one of the most talented artists Brighton has seen for a long time, but also one of the most popular and charismatic stars Brighton has produced in years, it was an utter joy to behold.
With their newest album Doom Days “imminently coming” this year, it was definitely a suitable reason behind commencing Bastille’s latest tour. Titled ‘Still Avoiding Tomorrow’, this tour brought the band to the Brighton Centre.
The venue and the people who arrived there were as lively as ever. The sold out status of the performance really reflected when looking at the sheer capacity of people who would pack out the auditorium later on. When I arrived to queue up for the show, the line went as far back as the Odeon. However, it moved down incredibly quickly and smoothly. The staff at the Brighton Centre were clearly prepared for a very busy and important evening. There was much buzz among fans about the band and a noticeable waft of excitement in the air. Expectations were set very high for this show it seemed.
In our interview with indie rockers White Lies, frontman Harry McVeigh told that, “With us, we’ve stuck to the course. We haven’t necessarily grown any bigger, but we haven’t gone anywhere at the same time. We still attract new people.” This was evidently clear with their Concorde 2 show – the first date of their huge UK tour in support of their brand-new album Five – where they showcased an awesome exhibition of their entire catalogue to an extremely passionate crowd both young and old.