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.
White Denim are an American four-piece rock band from Austin, Texas, formed in 2005, who have established a riotous fusion of garage punk, soul, psychedelic boogie, prog, jazz and country blues. They’ve done this along with a home-based recording style, and jamming approach, alongside looping work, unusual song structures, and an insatiable lust for musical adventure.
Founder members James Petralli and Steve Terebecki are still at the helm, currently joined by Greg Clifford on drums, and Michael Hunter on keys. Already with eight studio albums under their belt, including last year’s Performance, they’ve decided to release an album’s worth of B-sides, rarities, outtakes, and new songs, called Side Effects, out this spring on City Slang. With a UK tour that takes in London’s Roundhouse, and finishes in Brighton for Mutations Festival, Steve Terebecki took some time out before hitting the road.
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.
Nothing if not regular, Performance marks the eighth studio album in ten years from the Texan indie-rockers. It marks a new beginning of sorts, with Conrad Choucroun (drums) and Michael Hunter (keyboards) joining stalwarts James Petralli (vocals, guitar) and Steve Terebecki (bass) in a revamped line-up following a partial exodus to Leon Bridges’ backing band. It also signals a return to form after the slight drift of 2016’s Stiff, and a definitive re-alignment away from the smooth sounds of recent years and back to the ramshackle style of earlier albums.