Since catching a raucous opening set in their native Barcelona at Primavera Sound Festival, I’ve been relatively hooked on Holy Bouncer’s fusion of surf and garage rock. Since last summer, however, they’ve released their second album, the eponymous Holy Bouncer, and it’s sparked an evolution of the band. Gone are the sleazy guitar lines and strident rhythm section, instead something reminiscent of groovy psychedelia arose. Their headline showcase at Brighton’s The Hope & Ruin, which kicked off their five-date stretch across the UK, was an amalgamation of both sides of the band which proved to be a thrilling, exciting, and wholly impressive exhibition of one of Spain’s finest bands.
Despite the cold weather and even signs of snowing befalling the evening that Australian pop-rock group The Faim were set to headline a show at The Haunt, that did not put fans off in the slightest. Pool Valley was full of exited and eager fans, as well as an abundance of photographers wanting to grab a piece of the action.
The archway under Brighton station known as the Green Door Store is crammed and packed out to the brim – meaning you can hardly move. The crowd is a mixture of fine art students and obsessive music fans alike.
The Vaccines, whether you like it or not – and that’s very much up for debate – are a UK indie staple. Formed at the backend of the 00s revolution, when the likes of The Strokes and The Libertines were either disbanding or slowing down, the West London band picked up sizeable crowds with their energy-bursting two minute bangers on their debut album What Did You Expect from The Vaccines? Now on their fourth album, Combat Sports, which we described as “a return to form”, the indie quintet have become a far more well-rounded band than they ever were before.
The Toronto-raised hardcore-punk pirates that go by the name of Cancer Bats did a marvellous job of moving their legacy forward with a brilliant 2018, in which the group released their sixth studio album, The Spark That Moves, and laying waste to The Hope & Ruin after a sold out show. It seems that they are off to an equally impressive 2019 with their new single ‘Inside Out’ and a brand new tour, which sees Cancer Bats return to Brighton once again for yet another sold out gig, this time at The Haunt.
Tryptich is a festival over three days in the middle of January, which you might think is a crazy time to have a festival. Though Brighton has a long tradition of mini-festivals around this time of the year and I’ve been to quite a few over during that time. Despite it being the coldest night of the year so far, The Hope & Ruin was rammed when I turned up at the beginning of the night. It’s a bit of an eclectic mix of bands tonight but I have been looking forward to this show for a while.
Triptych, a three-day festival courtesy of Love Thy Neighbour, has seen such an amazingly eclectic mix of Brighton’s favourite artists play, that it is vital to providing a platform for up-and-coming talent. Winter Gardens are determined to use the opportunity wisely. Touting themselves as ‘dream punks’, the quartet amalgamate everything that was glorious about bygone days of 4AD and Creation to produce a melodic, synth-driven journey through time that definitely gets the crowd’s attention. Singer Ananda is confident in her performance and she is ably accompanied by the rest of the band. Latest single ‘Coral Bells’ means WG are definitely of note on the East Sussex scene and one of their next appearances is at Austerity Records’ Hastings launch party in February, where Idles are doing a DJ set, no less.
After a rather eventful 2018 in which psyche-punk group Dog Of Man released their debut EP, named Musically Transmitted Diseases, as well as headlining a number of shows across the UK, they certainly started this year off strongly as well with their performance at the Green Door Store.
I think it’s safe to say that many – including myself – were wrong about The 1975. The tide began to change when the follow-up to their critically-panned debut eponymous record, I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It, was received slightly warmer than its predecessor and topped the album charts on both sides of the Atlantic. Their third album, A Brief Enquiry Into Online Relationships, however, has seen many a critic eat humble pie. A record with a dizzying amount of experimentation and intensely laid-out themes, it’s an uneven but incredibly impressive record, that has genuinely seen the band become world beaters.
Despite this being my fourth time seeing Astroid Boys live, I was especially excited to see them perform at The Prince Albert, as I really didn’t know what to expect this time around. A lot had changed within the Welsh group that put hardcore-grime on the map since their last live performance I saw, supporting Enter Shikari at the Brighton Centre back in 2017.