Category Archives: 2016

The Lady in the Van and Other Stories Review

Last night at the Royal Festival Hall in the Southbank Centre, London, I attended a special one-off performance of film music by George Fenton, conducted by the man himself, entitled ‘Lady in the Van and Other Stories’. With the Philharmonia at his fingertips, pianist Clare Hammond as the soloist, and playwright, author and the man behind Lady in the Van, Alan Bennett as narrator, it looked like it would be a very interesting evening – and it certainly was that, but not always for the right reasons.

Many less film-score savvy amongst us will probably best know Fenton for his work as the composer to the original series of Planet Earth, Frozen Planet and Blue Planet, but from after yesterday’s concert it is clear that he is more than a one-trick-documentary-scoring pony. The theme of the concert was true stories, but this did not limit the scope of his music, with extracts of Fenton’s music performed in the concert ranging from animation (Valiant) to World War II documentary (Memphis Belle) to his latest project, BBC Predators (coming soon to IMAX cinemas in the UK). The concert also featured a collaboration with Alan Bennett, combining his spoken word readings with an orchestral underscore for the piece titled ‘untold stories’. Whilst individually I thought that both aspects of the composition had artistic merit, and were very interesting, I felt that combined they seemed somewhat disjointed from each other, like estranged brothers rather than twins.

That leads on to my main criticism of the concert – by combining extracts of music from a film over specially-edited montages, with both film footage and stills –  but not the scenes which the music was originally composed for, I felt that the two aspects of the compositions – the video and the music – did not gel in the way that the original score almost certainly did with the real films. The music for the most part was a triumph though, showing Fenton to be a true master of sweeping melody, orchestral timbres and thematic development, but the visuals left me slightly confused, as if trying to overhear two conversations at the same time, not knowing which to pay more attention to.

The Lady in the Van

Confusion aside, the finale of the first half of the concert, The Lady in the Van, was a fascinating story, with Alan Bennett regaling the audience with his experiences, in particular those with Miss Shepherd, aka the Lady in the Van. The snippets of dialogue interspersed with footage from the film scored by Fenton’s wonderful music, which sways from lighthearted to melancholic in the bat of an eye, was a pleasure to discover for the first time.

As a big fan of film music, I will always advocate for more film music concerts, but I think that there is scope for amending the delivery format, as for me I find film score extracts being performed live over original footage far more engaging. Having seen Fenton conducting live to film his Planet Earth and Blue Planet scores, for me this concert was a little disappointing, but this was mostly due to its delivery format rather than the content.

What’s On Brighton October 2016

Here are my picks of the bunch for gigs coming up in Brighton this month.

What’s On Brighton October 2016

Sami James EP Launch @ The Brunswick – Wednesday 5th October

Sami James EP Launch at The Brunswick, Hove
Sami James EP Launch at The Brunswick, Hove

Marbella born and Brighton-based singer-songwriter Sami James is no stranger to the local music scene in Brighton. You’ll often see him performing at open mic nights around the city, such as those by Eyes and Ears Brighton (Hop Poles Open Mic is one of our favourites at AfterDark Brighton) but on 5th October at The Brunswick, Sami will be releasing his latest single ‘Judge Me‘. The night will feature supports from two Sussex songwriters, Shaune Murray and Amber Anderton and advance tickets are just £3 in advance (£4 on the door).

READ MORE  about why The Brunswick is the perfect launch venue on AfterDark Brighton

Brighton Philharmonic’s 2016-2017 Season – Starting Sunday 9th October

Brighton Philharmonic's 2016-2017 Season
Brighton Philharmonic’s 2016-2017 Season

Starting on Sunday 9th October, The Brighton Philharmonic will be returning to the Brighton Dome for their 92nd Concert Season. This season contains 8 concerts between October and March including the traditional New Year’s Eve Viennese Gala, which always proves popular with an audience of all ages. I take a look at some of our highlights from the upcoming season.

Read more on AfterDark

Pictish Trail @ Green Door Store – Monday 10th October

Pictish Trail coming to Brighton's Green Door Store
Pictish Trail coming to Brighton’s Green Door Store

Coming to Brighton’s favourite stables-turned-venue (Green Door Store) on Monday 10th October, Melting Vinyl and One Night Only present Pictish Trail, with supports from Monoganon + TAiL (Mum, Dad & The Kids) + DJ Buried in Space SEE THE AFTERDARK EVENT LISTING – Tickets are just £8 in advance so book now to save being turned away on the door at this pretty limited capacity venue!

Read my full preview on AfterDark

Lisa Hannigan @ The Old Market, Hove – Friday 14th October

Lisa Hannigan performs at The Old Market in Hove
Lisa Hannigan performs at The Old Market in Hove.

On Friday 14th October, Irish singer-songwriter Lisa Hannigan will be coming to Brighton & Hove to perform at The Old Market, performing songs from her extensive back catalogue, as well as tracks from her recent release At Swim which was released in August 2016. The show is currently sold out, but it may be worth contacting the box office to see if there are any returns as this is a show that you won’t want to miss.

Read my full preview on AfterDark

All Tvvins @ The Hope & Ruin – Tuesday 18th October
All Tvvins perform at Brighton’s Hope & Ruin

Dublin duo Conor Adams and Lar Kaye (better known as All Tvvins) are coming to Brighton this month as part of their October UK & Ireland Tour, celebrating the release of their long-awaited debut album IIVV. Other dates across the south include Southampton (17th Oct), Bristol (22nd Oct) and London (26th Oct). All Tvvins are performing at The Hope & Ruin on 18th October (hosted by One Inch Badge), with support from Safe To Swim.

Read my full preview on AfterDark

InMe 20th Anniversary Tour @ Patterns Brighton – Friday 28th October

Inme 20th Anniversary UK Tour 2016
Inme 20th Anniversary UK Tour 2016

Ahead of their upcoming dates in the South – Bristol’s The Fleece (24th Oct), Cardiff’s The Globe (25th Oct) and Brighton’s Patterns (28th Oct), AfterDark spoke to InMe’s lead guitarist Gazz Marlow about his favourite InMe tracks, venues, guitarists and the band’s current tour, celebrating 20 Years of InMe.

Read my interview with InMe guitarist Gazz Marlow on AfterDark

Other Music News

End of An Era – The Last Eyes and Ears Brighton Open Mic Night

Eyes and Ears Brighton
Eyes and Ears Brighton

For those of you who are familiar with the open mic scene in Brighton this will no doubt come as a bit of a shock but Eyes and Ears Brighton (aka Amy Forrester and Rosie Powell) will be stopping their open mic nights at The Hop Poles (Tuesday nights) and Martha Gunn (Wednesday nights).

Full story

Review of the Month – Heart to Heart EP

Mari's EP Launch on 4th Novermber in London
Mari’s EP Launch on 4th Novermber in London

“There’s similarities to Destiny’s child and Leona Lewis too, which are certainly not bad comparisons to draw in the early stages of your musical career.”

“Closing the EP, this Tracey Chapman-esque waltz is the records crowning gemstone – Beyoncé & Alicia Keyes have nothing on this girl! It sounds like a BIG hit in the making – it just needs to reach the right people.”

Read my full review

What’s On Brighton August 2016

Here are my picks of the bunch for gigs coming up in Brighton this month.

What’s On Brighton August 2016

Time for T @ Green Door Store – Wednesday 3rd August

Catch Time for T playing a free show at Green Door Store on Wednesday 3rd August

Brighton favourites Time For T will be returning to their hometown for a FREE show at Green Door Store on Wednesday 3rd August 2016. Tiago, the frontman of the band recently moved back to Portugal, but they will be reunited to play a show in their adopted hometown, before playing a string of shows in Germany and Portugal, alongside some festivals such as Green Man Festival later this month.

READ MORE on AfterDark Brighton

Imarhan @ Brighton Komedia – Thursday 4th August

See Tuareg musicians Imarhan live in action at Brighton Komedia on 4th August.

Referred to by The Line of Best Fit as “Tinariwen’s younger brothers”, Imarhan are a 5-piece from Mali whose self-titled debut album is “intent on dismantling the ideas western listeners have about popularized Tuareg music”. With an image that is more leather jackets than traditional shroud clothing and head coverings, Imarhan are certainly changing the way that Tuareg music is perceived by many, showcasing the diversity of music produced in and around the Sahara Desert. Imarhan are playing at Brighton Komedia (Studio) on Thursday 4th August 2016.

Read my full preview on AfterDark

Guy Jones @ Hope & Ruin, Brighton – Sunday 7th August

See Guy Jones + Chris Marsh at Brighton’s Hope & Ruin on Sunday 7th August.

Brummie Americana/folk singer-songwriter Guy Jones will be sharing his music far and wide in the UK this August, with performances from Glasgow (Hug & Pint, 28th August) down to Brighton (Hope & Ruin, 7th August) and many places inbetween. His Brighton show features support from the awesome finger-tapping guitar-hitting singer-songwriter Chris Marsh.

Read my full preview on AfterDark

(31/07) More to be added next week


What’s On Brighton July 2016

Here’s my picks of the bunch for gigs coming up in Brighton this month.

What’s On Brighton July 2016

Love Supreme Festival – Friday 1st – Sunday 3rd July

Love Supreme Festival takes place between Friday 1st and 3rd July at Glynde Place.

Check out where you might have first seen some of the stars of Love Supreme Festival outside of the music sphere in my article for AfterDark Brighton.

Lola Colt at Hope & Ruin Brighton – Tuesday 5th July

Lola Colt are performing at Brighton’s Hope & Ruin on Tuesday 5th July 2016.

Following the release of their second album Twist Through The Fire on 1st July, London 6-piece Lola Colt will be starting their UK tour on the south coast, at Brighton’s The Hope & Ruin on Tuesday 5th July.

Read my full preview on AfterDark

Tunde at Brighton Komedia – Wednesday 6th July

Tunde performs at Brighton Komedia on Wednesday 6th July 2016.

When you’re close to tears remember / Some day it’ll all be over / One day we’re gonna get so high.” Any man who can turn the frankly terrifying thought of our own mortality into a comforting blanket is clearly some kind of mind-wizard! Tunde Baiyewu, best known as the voice of 90’s duo The Lighthouse Family, has emerged from wherever he’s been hiding for the last couple of years with two great new covers of 70s classics ‘Summer Breeze‘ and ‘I Saw The Light‘, and a short string of tour dates and festival appearances this July.

Read my full preview on AfterDark

Kristin McClement at Dome Studio Theatre – Thursday 7th July

Kristin McClement performs at Brighton Dome’s Studio Theatre on Thursday 7th July.

Brighton’s monthly local showcase SPECTRUM presents Kristin McClement and The Boy Who Kicked Pigs at Brighton Dome’s Studio Theatre on Thursday 7th July. SPECTRUM Live puts on the best Brighton-based acts from all genres of music – covering the full spectrum – in association with the city’s best-known independent record store, Resident Records and supported by The Pebble Trust, a Brighton and Hove based charity which supports local causes and local people.

Read my full preview on AfterDark

Suuns at Patterns – Thursday 14th July

SUUNS Patterns Brighton
SUUNS play at Patterns Brighton on Thursday 14th July.

Sandwiched between a European tour and a summer of music festivals across the UK and Europe, Suuns are coming to Brighton to play a one-off show at Patterns on Thursday 14th July, hosted by One Inch Badge and Love Thy Neighbour Promotions. The Montreal 4-piece have a busy touring schedule lined up for the remainder of 2016, and this looks like the only date in Brighton planned for this year, so don’t miss your chance to see them if you’re a fan.

Read my full preview on AfterDark Brighton.

Evans The Death at Hope & Ruin – Friday 15th July

Evans the death hope and ruin Brighton
Evans The Death are performing at Brighton’s Hope & Ruin on Friday 15th July.

London indie-rock quintet Evans The Death released their third LP, Vanilla last month. AfterDark gives it a listen to see if the sound is more exciting than the name, ahead of their forthcoming UK tour (14th – 28th July) and their upcoming gig on Friday 15th July at Brighton’s Hope & Ruin.

Read my full preview on AfterDark Brighton.

Sir Tom Jones at Sussex County Cricket Ground – Sunday 17th July

sir tom jones hove country cricket ground
Sir Tom Jones will be performing at the Hove Country Cricket Ground on Sunday 17th July.

Sir Tom Jones has pretty much done it all musically. He has sang the theme tune to a James Bond film (Sean Connery’s fourth Bond film, Thunderball), performed the infamous murder ballad ‘Delilah’, which has been the unoffical Welsh rugby anthem since the 1970s, and showed off his lighter side with the playful and uncontrollably catchy ‘Sex Bomb‘. He was even awarded a knighthood for his services to music in 2006, following an OBE in 1999. Most recently though, he has been known by many as one of the 4 judges on the BBC vocal talent content, The Voice. Sir Tom Jones will be playing a show at Hove’s County Cricket Ground on Sunday 17th July.

Read my full preview on AfterDark Brighton.

Folklore Sessions at The White Rabbit – Tuesday 19th July

folklore-sessions july 2016
Folklore Sessions takes place on the 3rd Tuesday of every month.

If you’ve not heard of Folklore Sessions are you are a big fan of live and acoustic music, then you are in for a treat! Set up by local singer-songwriter Jacko Hooper, Folklore Sessions is the kind of gig that performers dream of playing (and music lovers can’t wait for).

Read my full preview on AfterDark Brighton.

Team New Band ‘Freaks’ Single Launch at Green Door Store – Wednesday 20th July

Team New Band are launching their single ‘Freaks’ at GDS on Wednesday 20th July.

Brighton-based Team New Band will be celebrating the release of their new single ‘Freaks’ with a launch party at Green Door Store, the city’s favourite disused stables and hot-box venue, on Wednesday 20th July. The band promises there will be “balloons, ticker tapes, dance routines and much, much more.” We’re listening…

Read my full preview on AfterDark Brighton.

Living Body’s UK Tour Comes To Brighton

Living Body are performing at Brighton’s Green Door Store on Monday 25th July.

Leeds-based post-Brexitcore (topical I know) 5-piece Living Body are travelling the country at the end of July to showcase their debut single, ‘Don’t Give Up On Me‘, a song they describe as written for hope, optimism and the European Union. Living Body will be performing a FREE show at the Green Door Store in Brighton on Monday 25th July 2016. Support comes from Calico and Patchwork Natives.

Read the full preview on AfterDark Brighton.

(22/07) More to be added next week


Signals Band Interview – June 2016

Before their gig tonight at Brighton’s Komedia, read more about the gig here, I spoke to lead singer Ellie to ask her 13 questions about herself and her bandmates. Of all of the interviews I’ve done, this has to be one of my favourite because of its great straight-shooting honest replies. I look forward to seeing the band live tonight! You can check out their social networks below the interview. Enjoy!

13/4 – Signals Band Interview

1. For those not familiar with the genre, what is math-rock and is it cooler than it sounds? 
DEFINITELY! Well probably not. It’s a bit nerdy to be honest. It basically takes elements from jazz and rock and metal and pop and mashes them up. It allows you to do so much more musically as a band, and you can push the boundaries and create something challenging. There is no direct formula to stick to and that’s quite exciting. I think math-rock specifically is defined as music that plays with time signatures, has certain playing techniques that crop up like ‘tapping’ guitar, post-rock qualities with builds and loops and textures, and tends to have really rad rhythmical qualities. It doesn’t really lend itself towards vocals though normally, which is why we have changed it up a little and involved a sprinkle more RnB and electronic elements too. We were trying to describe our genre more accurately the other day, and came up with ‘algebrock’. Algebra is math, right?!
2. Who takes the longest to get ready before a gig?
I’m pretty sure it is me haha. There’s no getting around it, I have more makeup to do than the others. Only slightly though.
3. Do you have any pre-gig rituals?
We like our food. Our bassist, Alex, tends to pass out when he hasn’t eaten for about 23 minutes, so snacking is imperative. We like getting the stage sound as top notch as possible in the time, and we love chatting to the other bands and learning new shit. No harm too in a little warm up with deep lunges, star jumps etc either, where appropriate of course. Like the mating dance of a bird of paradise.

4. What do you think your album artwork and band photos tell potential fans about you? 
That we are hip, trendy, very important people, with great hair. But no, that we are probably quite anal. Mikey spends years on the artwork and finding really decent people to work with. Our promos are always quite serious and stern, but in person, we are pretty giggly. We take our music quite seriously, but not ourselves. Hopefully though, it generally makes the point that we work pretty hard and put the effort in to all sides of creating something. We are not ones to half-ass stuff. I think it’s quite easy to see a CD and think ‘oh that’s cool you have a CD’, when actually it’s taken years of crafting all the songs and working together and the production and the manufacturing and packaging and the visual representation we wish to portray and all of the official jargon that goes with a professional music release. We like to keep the quality as high as we can without just being ridiculous haha.
5. What do you when you’re not making music? (jobs-wise)
We lead a pretty successful interpretative dance group. Unfortunately though we still have to earn money somehow (damn, right), so we all have little jobs that, to be honest, all just get in the way with each other and we then realise that we only have like 2 hours a week all together where we can make shit happen haha. Ryan is a TA at a primary school and also teaches drums, but don’t be fooled in to thinking he’s a softie, because he hates kids. Alex is a music teacher on the Isle Of Wight, which adds the inclusion of ferry timetables in to our scheduling (most expensive stretch of water by the mile to cross IN THE WORLD (sort of) BY THE WAY – fact of the day). Ellie works front of house at an independent restaurant and teaches piano to littluns, so illness aplenty. Mikey also works at the restaurant with Ellie (can’t get rid of him), and runs a tea shop every so often, but can’t read our future in leaves yet, so he’s useless. We are also all in a function band together doing weddings so get to see a lot of punch ups, which is alright. Yeah, basically we are very busy, so now I’m writing this, i don’t know how we fit the band stuff in to be honest.
6. Favourite subject at school and why?
RE, because of watching all the movies, obviously.
7. If you had to split into teams on Countdown, who would take the numbers rounds and who would take the letters rounds and why? 
I would probably take the letters round because, despite being in a math-rock band, i’m ashamedly poor at maths, and also Alex and Mikey can’t spell. So I guess that leaves Ryan with letters too, although they’d probably all end up being naughty words, and Alex and Mikey with numbers, but only if they could count with various mini snacks. God help us all. When is the general knowledge round?!!? Alex is a ceaseless fountain of irrelevant wisdom. Ceaseless.
8. Favourite unusual time signature and why?
We made something in 21/8 by accident the other day and that sounded quite snazzy.
9. Which songs mean more to you: the most recent, the first or the most popular ones?
Good question! We kinda hate the really old stuff to be honest haha because we’ve grown out of it, but Alex still loves it, because he joined a bit later, and was a bit of an embarrassing super fan first hahaha. We like ‘Paraesthesia’ because it was silly to write. Luckily, it seems to be popular so far too, so that’s always handy. ‘Trojan’ goes down well live too, so that’s satisfying to play. I think you always favour your newest one because it’s all sparkly and exciting to perform, so we actually have a new favourite one, currently called ‘Bird Bath’, that we are enjoying at the mo. It’s a bit heavier than some of our more twinkly orientated ones. If we created music based upon how popular it was, we would have died about 5 years ago haha. It’s equally for us as it is for fans.

10. If you could tour with any band or artist who would it be?
Everything Everything. They are rad and we are more in their vein of commercial music than most others (they call themselves ‘bizarRe&B’ so that’s close enough). There’s also an American band called ‘From Indian Lakes’ that we would cherish the opportunity to tour with. More locally, ‘Little Comets’, or ‘TTNG’ who we have played with before, and there will always be a little piece of our hearts attached to them. We’d have to contain our fangirling though. Wear our fangirl control pants.
11. Festival that you’d like to play in the next 5 years?
Reading & Leeds, ArcTanGent, Glastonbury. Please. Yep.
12. Who came up with the title ‘paraesthesia’ and where did you first hear the word?
We actually put a little competition up to name the song on the line and some amazing chap called Paul Armfield offered the term. It’s kinda the scientific word for pins and needles, or when a limb goes numb, and that made sense with the lyrics, because they relate to when you’re feeling numb in a relationship. And then you chop off your arm. You know, the standard. Plus it just sounds cool.
13. Finally, what’s next for the band? More gigs/tours/an album?
Gigs everywhere, festivals, recording in July. More EPs and videos hopefully. Would be beyond amazing to do a support tour maybe in winter, but we will keep you posted.
SIGNALS logo 2016

Love Supreme Festival 2016 – One Month Away

With just a month to go until Love Supreme 2016, I thought I’d write a quick update for all the latest news and announcements for the festival.


Love Supreme Festival 2016 - Podpads
Love Supreme Festival 2016 Accommodation – Podpads

This year, Love Supreme are taking glamping to the next level with some SERIOUSLY comfortable accommodation options available.  If you’re looking for the ultimate luxury, Blue Bell Tents come with timber-framed beds with real mattresses, not to mention a 5m wide tent frame, allowing you plenty of room to relax and recharge your batteries throughout the festival. Quirky campers will love the Podpads, situated in the Boutique Camping Village, which also include free tea and coffee and free phone charging facilities throughout the festival. For fans of the Shire, get the Hobbiton feeling by staying in a Hobbit Hut (only 2-berth huts are still available so book no to avoid disappointment). Finally, if there is a large group of you attending the festival, why not get a Field Lounge Festival Gazebo, large enough to cover 6x 4-man tents, complete with hay bales, so come rain or shine, you can still eat, drink and be merry with your friends.

Verve Jazz Lounge

Love Supreme Festival 2016 - Verve Jazz Lounge
Love Supreme Festival 2016 – Verve Jazz Lounge

To celebrate The Verve’s 60th year as a record label, they will be at Love Supreme celebrating in a big way – with talks, film screenings, guest speakers, playbacks and artist interviews throughout the weekend. There will also be free Wi-Fi, so you can bet your bottom dollar that it will be busy! The full line-up of events planned will be on the Love Supreme website soon so keep an eye out for further updates.

Lazy Bird Kitchen

Love Supreme Festival 2016 Catering - Lazy Bird Kitchen
Love Supreme Festival 2016 Catering – Lazy Bird Kitchen

For the ultimate luxury food experience, dine in the footsteps of Mick Jagger with bespoke luxury caterer Caiger & Co’s Lazy Bird Kitchen. Offering breakfasts and dinners, made on site from the freshest (and where possible local) ingredients, you can say goodbye to burgers and hot-dogs for this festival and feast in style! Banqueting tickets can be pre-booked and the food will be served at fixed times, so check out the full menu and serving times online to avoid disappointment.

After Parties

Love Supreme Festival 2016 After Parties
Love Supreme Festival 2016 After Parties

As ever with Love Supreme Festival, the music doesn’t stop when the stage times end, and this year there is more than ever planned for the after parties, which include:

  • Funky Sensation’s Purple Patch – a Prince tribute 1-2am (Fri)
  • The Arena – Jazz FM’s Funky Sensation (Fri)
  • The Arena – Dingwalls Session ft. Gilles Peterson and Patrick Forge plus Dayme Arocena live (Sat)
  • Blue in Green Bar – Jazz Rooms vs. Soul Casserole (Sat)
  • The Blue In Green Bar – Tru Thoughts Disco feat. Wrongtom, J-Felix & Harleigh Blu (Sun)
  • The Arena – Nick Hollywood (Sun)

Stage Times Announced

Love Supreme Festival 2016 Line Up
Love Supreme Festival 2016 Line Up

You can now view all the stage times for the full line-up live on


You can check for clashes and plan your day with the Love Supreme Clashfinder, created for free on

See the Love Supreme Festival 2016 Clashfinder


You can buy tickets for Love Supreme Festival 2016 on

What’s On Brighton June 2016 – Tom Sayer

Hello once again live music lovers. I hope you’ve been busy filling your ears with the best live music you could find during the Brighton Festival, Brighton Fringe, Great Escape and the Alternative Great Escape. We were certainly spoiled for choice and whilst I appreciate that financially May might have packed a bit of a punch, let’s not forget that there is always great live music to go and see, for free or on a very tight budget. Here are my top picks for June 2016.

What’s On Brighton May 2016


Stiff Promotions – Wed 8th June – 7pm
Komedia, Studio – Tickets £6 adv/ £7 otd – BUY TICKETS

One of my favourite parts of writing my blog is discovering new talent that is coming to Brighton. This band is one such band that I will be seeing live for the first time this month, and I think that you should too. Here’s five great reasons to come along:

  1. They write great music – I’m always one to support new talent (particularly from Brighton and the surrounding areas) and it’s great to discover a new act for the first time (especially to see them live).  Signals’ songs are crafted and calculated, precise and purposeful.
  2. Festival tried and tested – With performances at Isle of Wight Festival, Bestival and Larmer Tree and performance scheduled for Kendal Calling and Common People planned later this year, the band have experienced playing on larger stages, which is a great experience for upcoming bands.
  3. Great supporters – With great reviews from local websites as well as BBC Introducing‘s Adam Dowling and Radio 6 DJ Rob Da Bank, they are certainly worth giving a first listen to.
  4. Great venue – Komedia’s Studio is a fantastic intimate venue, with a great sound team always keeping everything sounding crisp.
  5. 3 strong supports – Support comes from a trio of great local bands: cutecore twins Bentcousin, fellow math-rockers Orchards and pop quartet  Fond of Rudy.

I’ll be speaking to the band this week so watch out for my interview with them in the next few days! IN the meanwhile, check out their latest track Paraesthesia below.

whats-on-brighton-june-2016-thousand-yard-stareThousand Yard Stare

Mute Elephant – Tickets £12.50 adv – BUY TICKETS
Hope & Ruin – Thurs 9th June – 7pm

Whilst many bands take a break from time to time, few manage to pursue other projects for over two decades before coming back as strong as ever. Well that is what Slough 5-piece Thousand Yard Stare have done, reforming in 2016 after first calling it a day in 1993. After playing an originally planned one-off sell-out show at the Borderline in London in June 2015, public demand from their dedicated following was so strong that it has no led to their reformation and revitalised their joy for performing together once more.

With their latest album ‘Live At Electric Studios’, recorded at Brighton Electric in just two days, being released the day after the show at an album launch at the famous 100 Club in London, this show is a great opportunity to see the band performing their new material live, as it was recorded, before its official release.

Support comes from some the old friends, Southampton band The Lost Boys.

wildlife-festival-2016Wildlife Festival

Facebook Event – Sat  11th June/ Sun 12th June – 1pm
Brighton City Airport – Tickets from £64.90 for 1-day or £115.50 for a weekend ticket – BUY TICKETS

A cheeky 2-day non-camping festival called Wild Life is returning after it’s successful debut last year. With some great names including Rudimental and Disclosure (the organisers of the Festival), DJs including Annie Mac, Carl Cox & Eats everything, bands like Bastille, De La Soul and The Avalanches and solo artists including Jack Garrett, James Bay plus many more, there is something at Wild Life for all musical palettes.

Read my full preview for Wild Life Festival

whats-on-brighton-june-2016-beach-houseBeach House

 One Inch Badge – Mon 13th June – 7pm
All Saints Church, Hove – Tickets £20.50 + bf – BUY TICKETS

Beach House are one of those bands that I’d heard a lot about before I’d heard them myself. Baltimore duo Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally work with legendary independent record labels Bella Union and Sub Pop to distribute their dream-pop/indie-rock records, which have captured the hearts of their widespread international fan-base.  With not one, but two albums released in 2015 within 2 months of each other (Depression Cherry & Thank Your Lucky Stars), there is certainly a wealth of recent material for the band to showcase in this concert at one of Brighton and Hove’s best music venues – for atmosphere and acoustics it is up with the best of them, with a larger capacity than many of the city’s venues but still keeping its intimate setting.

Check out their set at the Pitchfork Festival in Paris 2015 and book now, as this gig has already been moved from a smaller venue in Bexhill due to popular demand!

whats-on-brighton-june-2016-phoriaPhoria ***POSTPONED***

One Inch Badge – Facebook Event – Wed 15th June – 7pm
The Haunt – £8.50 + bf – BUY TICKETS

After great anticipation from the band’s dedicated online following, Phoria will finally be playing their next hometown show this month on Wednesday 15th June at The Haunt, following the release of their eagerly awaited debut album, Volition. Championed by the likes of Radio 1 and with a 4**** review of the album already in Q Magazine, there are high expectations for this show, the first that the band have played in Brighton in TWO YEARS!

If you’ve not heard of Phoria before, they are a prime example of what hard work, creativity, perseverance and patience can produce, with their first album coming out 5 years after their debut release.

Support is yet to be confirmed but the show is bound to be a blinder so don’t miss out on a rare chance to see the band live in their home-town. Watch the video for their recent release Undone. (Video by Jeb Hardwick and Thom Novi)

whats-on-brighton-june-2016-crossing-borders-festivalwhats-on-brighton-june-2016-crossing-borders-festivalCrossing Borders Festival

Sanctuary On Sea – Sat 18th – Sunday 26th June – Various events
Various Venues – Shows individually priced – BUY TICKETS

The Crossing Borders Festival is an 8-day event spreading across a number of venues in Brighton & Hove this June. The festival is organised by local group called Sanctuary on Sea, the Brighton & Hove branch of the UK-based network ‘City of Sanctuary’, which welcomes individuals who have sought sanctuary within the UK. The festival is a celebration of the international musicians who are based within the UK and is designed to cross cultural and musical borders by opening people up to new music, possibly from countries whose music they are not familiar with. See my top two picks from the festival below.


My first pick from the festival is the opening event, which sees the Regent’s Orchestra (conducted by Peter Michael Davison) performing Barber’s signature Adagio For Strings and Benjamin Britten’s Simple Symphony and Les Illuminations and Shostakovich’s Chamber Symphony Op. 110a. The concert is on Saturday 18th June at 7:30pm at St. Mary’s Church on St James’s Street. Tickets cost just £12+bf. BUY TICKETS


My second pick is a double bill gig at The Old Market in Hove, featuring charismatic jazz duo Claire Martin and Ian Shaw, followed by the Congolese and Cuban music of Grupo Lokito. The Festival is particularly pleased to have Ian Shaw on the line up, due to his tireless efforts helping refugees in the Calais Jungle. The show will offer a real variety of music with North and South American as well as African influences Tickets are £15 and are available from TOM Box Office or online.

You can find out more about the Festival and all of the shows on their website below.

If you have any gig suggestions for next month, please drop me a line on

Wild Life Festival 2016 Preview – 11-12th June – Brighton City Airport

Following the huge success of Wild Life Festival 2015, Rudimental and Disclosure  present the bigger and better Wild Life Festival 2016 at Brighton City Airport (Shoreham Airport to those from the area) on 11-12th June 2016. With a line up including some of the hottest DJs, bands and solo artists covering a wide spectrum of genres, this two-day non-camping festival is a great excuse for a trip to the south coast of England to get in the mood for the summer festival season before it begins.



As mentioned above, this festival is a 2 day non-camping festival so you will need to arrange accommodation off-site. Two easy options for accommodation for non-locals attending are in the neighbouring locations of Brighton and Worthing, which will be linked to from the festival site by a shuttle bus arranged by the Big Green Coach. There should be some tickets bookable on the day, but is cheaper if you book in advance and you will be guaranteed a seat.


There will be shuttle buses leaving Brighton and Worthing travelling to the festival site between 1pm and 5:30pm inclusive. The return service from the festival site will be from 10pm until 2am (Saturday night) and 1am (Sunday night). There will be no public transport running from the festival site so you will need to plan this before you arrive. If you book these when you buy your festival tickets, you will receive the shuttle bus at a discounted rate.  There will be ample parking on site for those wishing to drive (and not drink) at the festival.

Shuttle Bus Tickets

The nearest train station is Shoreham-by-Sea, which is approximately a 15 minute walk from the festival site, however there will be no extra services running so it may get very busy.

On Saturday night, the last train from Shoreham-by-Sea to Brighton is at 00:09, to London Victoria is at 23:32 and to Worthing is at 00:19.

On Sunday night, the last train to Brighton is at 23:13, to London Victoria is at 23:13, and to Worthing is at 23:34.

Pre-book your train tickets on National Rail.

Food & Drink

Unfortunately you won’t be able to bring your own food and drink into the festival site, however, sealed 500ml bottles of water will be permitted. The festival site will not be opening until 2pm each day so you will have plenty of time to have some lunch and a few drinks before arriving on site if you are worried about spending too much money on the site. There will be cash points on site, but from experience of festival cash points, there is usually a charge  so best to take out some money before heading to Shoreham, particularly as it is quite a small High Street and the cash points are unlikely to have enough for tens of thousands of withdrawals.

There are a number of reasonably priced pubs between the town centre and the festival site and on the high street. Shoreham also benefits from having a lovely and usually quite quiet beach. It’s a great place to sit and relax before heading the festival and is only about a 10 minute walk from the festival site.

Line Up – Saturday

Wild Life Festival 2016 Saturday Line Up
My Saturday Top Picks – FrancesFour TetDe La Soul Eats EverythingAnnie MacDisclosure

Line Up – Sunday

Wild Life Festival 2016 Sunday Line Up

My Sunday Top Picks – Lady LeshurrJack GarrattJames BayBastilleRudimental

Listen to the Wild Life Festival 2016 Playlist on Spotify

Buy Tickets for Wild Life Festival 2016

Ticket Prices (including all booking fees):

Weekend  – £115.50

Weekend with return bus – £129.25

Day ticket (Saturday or Sunday) – £64.90

Day ticket with return bus – £73.15

VIP day and weekend tickets also available

Buy on Ticketmaster

More info –


Live at Theatre Royal Brighton Review

I’d not been to the Theatre Royal for some time, but every time I go I wonder why I don’t go there more often. So far as venues in Brighton go, it is definitely in my top 5 (alongside Brighton Komedia, Brighton Dome, Corn Exchange and The Old Market, Hove). Bursting with grandeur and usually filled with the Brightonians on the sophisticated side of middle class, it was great to see the venue used for comedy as well as the usual theatre programme that it offers.

For a Sunday night, notorious a difficult night for people to attend live entertainment (“I have work tomorrow…”), the place was packed almost to capacity, which is always a good sign as sheerly by probability that many people shouldn’t be so wrong in their judgement of what makes a good night out. As the lights dimmed I was ready to be entertained and Live at the Theatre Royal Brighton certainly did not disappoint.


The host for the evening was Canadian comedian Mae Martin who initially cleared the air by acknowledging the fact that she looks like Justin Bieber. What do you think?

Justin Bieber mae-martin

Her set was based mainly about her past relationships, neuroses developed from her parents and abbreviating words in a way that seemed both genuine and also slightly cringeworthy – but perhaps that was just me! Mae had all the enthusiasm that you’d want in a host for a show like this, sometimes coming across slightly as a try-hard, but her introductions to Sam Simmons and Adam Buxton were for me the best parts of her set, in particular the anecdotes and impressions of Miriam, a member of her mum’s ‘Goddess Group’.

The first of the three acts was Dane Baptiste, a straight-talking South-East Londoner of Grenadian parentage. Without dwindling on race, which a lot of non-white comedians can often be tempted to do, Dane covered a number of astute observations including reasons why the new James Bond being black could pose multiple issues for the story line, the decline in roles for ‘little people’ due to the enhancements in CGI and the differences in attitudes to dating since the 90s. His confident delivery brought his performance home and he is definitely somebody that I would like to see perform again soon.

Next on the bill was Award-winning off-the-wall Aussie comedian Sam Simmons with a routine ranging from slightly odd to flat out bizarre.  His set was a mish-mash of impressions, conversations with himself (literally in conversation form with a voice-over playing the second role throughout his act), strange prop-based jokes and other obscure antics which needed to be seen to be believed. Whilst not always to my personal tastes, the audience seemed to really react to his routine ( I guess that says a lot about Brighton as a whole) and the more eccentric he became, the more the laughs followed.


Finally, after some technical issues with the projector cropping off about 30% of the screen, Adam Buxton began what was exactly what we were all hoping for, essentially a brand new episode of his YouTube hit series BUG, a show that looked at the latest videos on YouTube and ripped to shreds the comments left on them. Interspersed with short home-made videos, expertly Photoshopped images and presentations, a set by Adam Buxton feels like the best university lecture you’ve ever attended – with a presentation actually worth watching .

The themes for this particular set included the mispronunciations of ‘Zavid Bowie’, the John Lewis ‘Man on the Moon’ Christmas advert and his other work projects including testing the slipperiness of a pub toilets floors. A highlight for me was Adam’s highly professional dance routine to David Bowie’s ‘Let’s Dance’ – those hours toiling away at Pineapple Studios in London had clearly paid off. The headline set was everything that the audience had hoped it would be, but definitely felt like it could have lasted a little longer. Perhaps if there had not been the technical issues at the start of his set, we would have heard the file on his laptop labelled BOND song – hopefully this will emerge another time.

Having never been to a comedy night at the Theatre Royal before, I am convinced that it is a great venue for it and think that if these nights were taking place on a monthly basis, the venue would continue to draw in new crowds and be visited by a wider demographic of people from Brighton.