Despite previously appearing back in 2015, the return of Mutations Festival feels like a brand-new festival. Now an all-dayer in a single venue rather than a multi-venue bash, as well as relocating to Portslade’s Hansen Hall and bringing Small Pond on board as co-promoters, it already felt like a whole new thing entirely. As such, there were certainly some teething problems on the day, such as a lack of facilities for such a large number of people, problems with the screens in the main room and, crucially, running out of pints way before its conclusion. However, there was certainly enough promise to keep Mutations alive long enough to become an annual tradition.
After announcing the return of Mutations festival a few weeks back, One Inch Badge and Small Pond didn’t take long to kickstart the excitement for the 2019 edition of the festival. Headlined by Texas psych outfit White Denim, fresh from their eighth record Performance, it will also feature South London’s Goat Girl and Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation in prominent roles up the bill.
Despite the fact they released their debut album, which we called “A procession of devastating and precise observations that get right to the heart (and guts) of modern Britain”, this year, it’s been a tumultuous 2018 for South London’s Goat Girl. Not only did drummer Rosy Bones suffer severe burns causing them to cancel shows on their album tour, but bassist Naima Jelly has also left the band. Their show at The Haunt, however, which they’ve dubbed the ‘burns’ tour, finally sees the band returning to normality, showcasing a fresher sound that is less akin to the South London scene they were born from.
Very much part of an organically burgeoning guitar scene that includes the likes of The Big Moon, IDLES, Dream Wife, Shame, and many many others, London’s Goat Girl have already released a brilliantly incisive, raw, and energetic album – 19 songs in 40 minutes – that was not afraid to tackle social-political and ugly urban realities issues head on, with songs such as ‘Scum’, ‘The Man’, ‘Burn the Stake’, and ‘Cracker Drool’. Clottie Cream, Rosy Bones, Naima Jelly and L.E.D until recently made up the four-piece, although Naima has recently announced her (amicable) departure, and new bassist, Holly, filling in, including a date in Brighton which was re-scheduled from earlier this year following a nasty accident involving Rosie.
Brightonsfinest caught up L.E.D to find out what the crack is…
Goat Girl have shared new video for ‘Viper Fish’, a track taken from their Top 30 debut album.
The video is made in Claymation and director Edie Lawrence says, “It’s great working with Goat Girl and bringing their dark lyrics to life. Previously, I worked on their set design for their UK tour, creating a bright orange five foot-high half goat, half girl, as well as goat heads for their mic stands. Stop motion provides a great opportunity to interpret lyrics while offering a narrative of its own. I found it interesting depicting not only a song, but a dream that Ellie (Davies) had in my own way. It was incredibly time consuming but worth every minute.”
To paraphrase that Marmite film classic, the streets were alive with the sound of music! Over three long days and nights, Brighton did truly come alive as The Great Escape juggernaut rolled into town for its 13th edition. The festival for new music saw over 500 acts playing in 40-odd venues, representing countries from all around the globe. If you add in the The Alternative Great Escape, and the plethora of events and pop-up performances arranged off the back of TGE and AGE, you’re looking at closer to 1,000 acts in 80-odd venues. Yes, it was mad, but glorious. Helped along by some beautiful mid-May sunshine, somehow within all the chaos, Brightonsfinest were out in force, documenting, commenting, and enjoying what we like to do best. Watch live music.
So, brace yourself. If you were there, hopefully memories will be stirred. If you weren’t, dive into our thoughts about the state of new music, and check out our many recommendations.
Back for its 13th year, The Great Escape is the premier showcase in Europe for new music. Over three days and nights, Brighton is host to 450-plus acts playing over 30 venues, from around 20 countries. You won’t have heard of many of these acts, but quality and potential is the name of the game here. Along with a few fairly established names, the bulk of the bill is made up of acts who have shown their talent, and are on the cusp of bigger and better things. It is a fabulous opportunity to check out new music, covering almost all genres known to man. Alongside The Great Escape, there’s The Alternative Escape, which also features a wealth of stunning new talent, and The Great Escape Convention, where many of the music industry’s movers and shakers congregate to check out the talent, and do a spot of networking and deal making. For three days in May, Brighton truly is the place to be! To help you get a grasp of what is out there, we asked various Brightonsfinest contributors, along with some industry players, to give us the lowdown on who they are looking out for.
Around 20 years ago, The Good Mixer in Camden was where it was at, a pub where you would almost always be guaranteed to find a stray member of Blur, Elastica or some other Britpop legend hanging out. Now, it is Brixton’s The Windmill that has built for itself a similar reputation in being a musical hub around which the indie scene’s most vital bands have found a home. Following hot on the heels of Shame, Goat Girl are the latest from that creative hotbed to release a superb debut album of their own.