On the independent venue live circuit right now, there really isn’t anyone like Skinny Pelembe. Born in Johannesburg, but raised in South Yorkshire, he makes “Hazy afro-tipped soul with psychedelic tangents” and his set at Green Door Store, which was surprisingly packed-out considering the niche appeal of his music, was an impressive and experimental 45 minutes into the psyche of Skinny Pelembe. World music, with an indie and trip-hop sensibility, it was incredibly unique and profoundly impressive. There’s many artists around at the moment that seem intrinsically linked to Brighton and Skinny Pelembe’s genre-bending style looks like it’s perfectly made for the city’s aesthetic.
Skinny Pelembe has returned with a new track, ‘I Just Wanna Be Your Prisoner’, after the success of his debut single release for Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood label, ‘Spit/Swallow’. Drawing out new shades of his offbeat hip-hop-influenced and psychedelically-minded vision, it features low-key south-east London legends Hejira, including lead singer Rahel Debebe-Dessalegne, who joins Skinny’s vocal throughout the song, singing a dual harmony.
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.