Pizzagirl – The Hope & Ruin, Brighton – 5th December 2018

You can’t deny that record label Heist or Hit, home to Her’s, Honey Moon and Pizzagirl, doesn’t have a type when it signs its acts. Those three in particular make dreamy, soothing indie-pop music and, in the live sphere, are terrifically funny and entertaining. Pizzagirl, also known as Liam Brown, displayed this superbly with his headline set at The Hope & Ruin. Made up of brilliant pop songs, a superb sense of occasion and amazing stage presence, Pizzagirl is wickedly talented and an excellent live performer.

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Ride – St. George’s Church, Brighton – 29th November 2018

Shoegaze legends Ride aren’t known as an acoustic band. Their huge, melodic noise rides waves of ethereal vocals and guitars. They did (and still) do it well, and that was the reason people got into them in the first place. It may seem strange for a band to want to do this. Yet, like Nirvana, who helped pave the way for stripping things back via their legendary MTV Unplugged sessions of the early 90s, it is perhaps surprising how effective it can be. Especially if it’s in the right setting.

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Ryley Walker – The Old Market, Hove – 30th November 2018

Ryley Walker, the singer and songwriter from Rockford, Illinois visited us in Brighton and Hove as part of his 2018 international tour, promoting his latest recording. A homage to The Lillywhite Sessions (a scrapped album by the Dave Mathews Band), this album uses the same name. Walker manages to put his own dynamic and modern twist on the record that inspired it, making it a very interesting and entertaining listen. Fans had a lot of these new track to look forward to on the night of the show at the marvellous Old Market in Hove.

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Ezra Collective – Patterns, Brighton – 16th November 2018

Opening with a brass rendition of Skepta’s grime-anthem, ‘Shutdown’, was perhaps the perfect way to introduce Ezra Collective and their sound and attitude to a fresh face of hip-shakers. It’s grimey, playful, very London-centric, and of course the buzzword: it’s jazz. In fact, they are trailblazers in the scene, as it was only a few weeks ago that keys wizard, Joe Armon Jones, played to a sold out crowd upstairs in the very same venue courtesy of Mr Bongo’s new Jazz Club night.

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Gently Tender – Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar, Brighton – 2nd December 2018

The demise of Palma Violets was a sad thing, indeed, both indicating the difficulty in keeping an indie band going and how hard it is to make the next step after minor success. Despite the sadness, however, there’s reason to be positive. While Chilli Jesson has created Crewel Intentions, who we witnessed supporting Johnny Marr early last month and called, “A heady, intoxicating mix of Nick Cave and Echo & The Bunnymen”, the remaining members – Sam Fryer, Pete Mayhew and Will Doyle – have created Gently Tender. Also recruiting The Big Moon’s Celia Archer and guitarist Adam Brown, the band’s first trip to Brighton was a positive and upbeat one, showcasing that Palma Violets’ collapse may be a blessing in disguise after all.

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