An unbelievable level of talent was on show at the 2018 Great Escape festival and some live shows stood out particularly, including Kojey Radical, Mahalia and Jimothy Lacoste. However, it is the big 02 Arena show that has taken the crown for me this year. Seeing King Kendrick rise out of the smoke on-stage before a light show and flame explosion, launching him into ‘DNA’, was something I’ll never forget and the show only reached higher and higher peaks.
Truly one of Brighton’s finest, Black Honey have gone from strength to strength since their inception. 2018 was, without a doubt, their greatest ever year too with the release of their immense debut record and a very special show at Brighton’s Concorde 2. This gig was a celebration of the group between both the band and their adoring fans and a huge statement of just how far they’ve come as a band. From outings of their early, desert-rock-inspired singles ‘Madonna’ and ‘Spinning Wheel’, to their innovative takes on disco and funk with album cuts ‘Midnight’ and ‘Crowded City’, the band have become an incredibly well-rounded machine and their Concorde 2 show was testament to this.
It has been one hell of a year. From the influx of thousands of artists during festival season to watching many of our most-loved Brighton bands bloom into genuine world beaters, 2018 has been an incredibly successful year for music locally. Our Brightonsfinest writers now look back over the past 12 months to remember their highlights on record and in the live sphere as well as the ones we missed.
Since coming to prominence in 2015 with the excellent Venice, and its genius follow-up Malibu, Anderson .Paak has been celebrated as somewhat of a savour of the sun-tinged r&b genre and, with tracks such as ‘Come Down’ and ‘The Waters’, has been a genuinely exciting presence with both his studio output and as a live presence. As his popularity has organically grown, however, his music has strayed further and further into hip-hop. His latest release, Oxnard, named after his place of birth in California, sees the drumming-producing- singing maestro make an almost completely West Coast hip-hop influenced release – and it’s an absolute belter.