The most highly anticipated show the city’s LGBTQ festival has possibly ever seen, it was as crazy as it was wonderful. Britters in a corset and suspenders, lip-syncing to her biggest hits, in front of an ‘up for it’ crowd, on a balmy summer’s evening after one of the best days in BN1’s calendar. So what if Southern Fail cocked up the end of the evening in the most spectacular fashion? Ms Spears had us partying on the beach for at least a few days afterwards, right?
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.
Ex-Supergrass and former Brighton resident Gaz Coombes has announced a short tour of the UK this autumn, including a date in Brighton, 18th October, at Concorde 2.
Coombes recently released his third solo album, World’s Strongest Man, to great acclaim. ‘Wounded Egos’ – the third track to be released – is online now. A video for the track has been made from footage shot on and around Gaz’s recent run of UK dates by a crack team of crew, mates, band members and managers.
Gaz Coombes is one of those wonderful examples of a lead singer going solo and completely smashing it while moving away in a different direction. Since leaving seminal Britpop group Supergrass, he’s released three fantastic records, Here Come the Bombs, Matador, and brand-new album, World’s Strongest Man. We said that World’s Strongest Man was, “A continuing examination of ideas of masculine power, pride and ego” with, “Coombes laying bare his own frailties, in mind and body.” It’s a truly excellent record, and we sat down with Gaz Coombes to talk World’s Strongest Man, Frank Ocean, hip-hop, Record Store Day and Resident Records.
Supergrass are but a distant memory, the adrenalin teenage rush of ‘Caught by the Fuzz’ a brilliant footnote in the history of Brit pop.
However, Coombes is a musical survivor. We knew what a talent he was when he burst on the scene. His natural pop songwriting ability was there from a very early age (he wrote ‘Caught By The Fuzz’ as a young teenager), and since the demise of Supergrass, Coombes has been steadily building up a solo career. Stuttering at first with Here Come the Bombs in 2012, 2015’s Matador was a huge leap forward in terms of finding his feet; the songcraft elegant, epic and melody-rich, as well as being more experimental and darker than ever before, Coombes doing most of the work himself in his home studio. It was also a relative commercial success. Now this, his third solo album, and another baby-step into experimental waters, whilst that keen ear for a melody, which has stood Coombes in good stead for most of his recording career, remains at the heart of his music, a mix of heart-felt balladry and foot-tapping rhythmic propulsions.