Category Archives: Acoustic

Review: Alexis Taylor – Komedia Brighton 12 March 2017

What looked like it was going to be a slow Sunday night at the Studio Theatre in Brighton Komedia quickly turned into one of the busiest shows that I had seen at this little venue in a long time. The lightning rod drawing people in? A piano solo set from Hot Chip frontman Alexis Taylor. The stage was set up sparsely, with a black upright piano on the right-hand side of the stage, leaving a small sampler and plenty of space on the left. As the audience meandered in before the show started, it all looked set for a lovely evening..until the support band started playing.

The opening act was a duo who played long reverb-laden dirges for around 30 minutes. The piano was pleasant at times but the electronic backdrop from the sampler of sweeping noises, drum machines and vocal samples did not seem to fit with the piano and vocals. The levels were way too loud, so even sitting at the back of the room with earplugs in, the noise was still quite overpowering. Playing in a venue with 50-100 people does not call for the level of reverb that you would expect in an arena show. The effect was a cacophony of sound that detracted away from any merits that their songwriting may have deserved. Possibly their recordings are much better, but as a live act, unfortunately, they were one of the worst that I have seen in a very long time.

Following the intermission, Alexis Taylor took to the stage to win over the somewhat perplexed crowd. From his first track, it was clear why the audience had come, although the levels were once again a bit on the loud side, which is totally unnecessary for a venue of that size. His first song was quite drab and drawn out but did seem to gain some momentum by the end, however, the la la la’s in the refrain seemed more like forgotten lyrics than meaningful musings.

Alexis Taylor Brighton Komedia March 2017
Alexis Taylor at Brighton Komedia March 2017. Image by Nicola Jackson.

As the set continued, I warmed up to his style of playing; his rendition of the Hot Chip track ‘White Wine & Fried Chicken’ was great, really catchy and lyrically intriguing, and his Win Win song ‘Interleave’ was quite heartfelt and warm with sweeping synth sounds emerging from his sampler. As the show continued, it felt very much like theme and variation on the same song, with all of the tracks following a down-tempo melancholic pattern that didn’t seem to have an awful lot of substance to it. His vocals were quite fragile in places, which may be his style, but they came across as a little pitchy in places and felt a little on the weak side.

All that said, it is an incredibly brave thing to do to play a solo piano show, particularly in a time when even superstar singer-songwriters like Ed Sheeran can sound pretty amateurish during their live performances without the studio wizardry to back him up.

However, I don’t think that Alexis Taylor will go down in history with Elton John, Chris Martin or Billy Joel as being one of the great piano balladeers of our time.

2.5/5

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

whats-on-brighton-august-time-for-t
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

whats-on-brighton-august-imarhan
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

whats-on-brighton-august-guy-jones
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 March 2016 – Tom Sayer

Welcome to the latest instalment of my live music Brighton What’s On Guide – What’s On Brighton March 2016. This month’s guide will be slightly abridged, as due to moving house I am a bit late to the bandwagon. Regardless, here are my picks of the best upcoming shows that March 2016 has to offer. Without further delay, here’s my What’s On Brighton March 2016 Guide.

What's On Brighton March 2016 - FoxesFoxes

 One Inch Badge
Tue 8th March – 7:30pm
The Old Market, Hove – Tickets £16- BUY TICKETS

Following a number of sell-out performances in Brighton, including at the Concorde II in October 2015, Louisa Rose Allen (better known as the artist Foxes) is returning to Brighton & Hove to showcase her new album, All I Need, which was released on 5th February this year. With the Brighton tour date located towards the end of her tour, she is sure to be polished and slick when she arrives, with the new songs having the benefit of the earlier tour performances. With just shy of 300,000 YouTube followers, I imagine the last few tickets will sell out quickly so don’t hang around!

www.iamfoxes.com
@iamfoxes

What's On Brighton March 2016 - Tom SayerTom Sayer + Support

Thur 10th March – 8:00pm
Cellar Bar, The Brunswick – FREE ENTRY

After a great gig at Mucky Duck last month, I was really pleased when the promoter, Rich asked me to headline a show at the relatively new venue, Cellar Bar at The Brunswick, Hove. I must confess that I’ve not yet been to the venue – I’ve been to many great shows in the main space at The Brunswick but not yet visited the Cellar Bar – however I’ve heard great things about it and the nights that Rich puts on there, and I’m really looking forward to the show.

Supports come from two great local acts, Tagore Chayne and Amelia Caesar and it’s a free entry show so see something local this Thursday!

www.soundcloud.com/tomsayeruk
@Tomsayeruk

What's On Brighton March 2016 - Lubomyr MelnykLubomyr Melnyk

Melting Vinyl – Tue 15th March – 7:30pm
Komedia, Brighton – Tickets £16 + bf – BUY TICKETS

You are forgiven if you have not heard of Ukranian pianist and minimalist composer Lubomyr Melnyk. Before searching for gigs coming up this month, I was among you in not knowing who this enigmatic man. But from a first listen, it was clear that he had something special to give with his unique Eastern-European blend of minimalistic soundscapes and virtuoso pianistic skills. Without words, his music tells stories, takes you on journeys and reminisces over a deep loss of time. With a strong programmatic and filmic edge, I can imagine Lubomyr having a prolific career as a film composer, should that be the direction that he wanted to go in.

Meanwhile, as a touring performer, his latest release Rivers and Streams is out now and I strongly suggest that you watch the clip below, and if it takes your fancy, book yourself a ticket to a piano show like no other.

“lightning-speed pianist will make your heart tingle” – Guardian ★★★★★

www.lubomyr.com
@Lubomyr_Melnyk

Whats On Brighton February 2016 - Brighton Philharmonic OrchestraBrighton Philharmonic Orchestra

Sun 20th March – 2:45pm
Brighton Dome – Tickets from £11.50. 50% student discount – BUY TICKETS

The close of the Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra’s 91st Concert Season is by no means going quietly. With three guest soloists (Rob Clark on piano, soprano Elin Pritchard and baritone Nicholas Lester) and an appearance from the Brighton Festival Chorus, this final concert will be drawing to a close with one of the most epic and ambitious works performed by the orchestra yet, Vaughan Williams’ Symphony No. 1 (A Sea Symphony), weighing in at 60 minutes in duration. The first half will be notably more lightweight, with an Overture from William Alwyn to start with, followed by Leonard Bernstein’s Symphony No. 2 (The Age of Anxiety). These three pieces were all written in the 20th Century, and as such you can expect complex harmonies, textures and more contemporary uses of the orchestra, moving away from the traditional forms of earlier classical pieces into more experimental structures, tonalities and timbres.

This is the last chance to see the BPO in full force before the start of the season next year, so get your tickets now. You’d be mad to miss it! Hear Bernstein himself at the piano in the recording of his Symphony No. 2 with the LSO in 1949.

www.brightonphil.org.uk
@BPO_orchestra

What's On Brighton March 2016 Heath QuartetHeath String Quartet

Strings Attached – Sun 27th March – 11am
Corn Exchange – £18.50/16. Free for under 25s. – BUY TICKETS

Strings Attached is a series of monthly chamber music concerts held in Brighton between October and March, in association with Brighton Dome & Festival. Having attended my first of these concerts at The Old Market a couple of years ago, I was delighted to rediscover them last month, attending a performance by the Elias Quartet. This month, I’ll be returning to see the Heath Quartet, showcasing string quartets by Mozart, Tchaikovsky and Ravel (one of my personal favourite string quartets is the Ravel String Quartet in F major).

Working alongside these Strings Attached concerts is Cavatina, a charity organisation which helps young people to attend classical music concerts by subsidising their entrance fee. Anybody aged 8 to 25 can see any of these concerts free of charge (subject to availability) with no strings attached. I believe this to be a very noble cause, as if we do not integrate classical and orchestral music into the young society of today, the next generation may lose one of the greatest and longest standing traditions of live music that there is.

Find out more about Cavatina online, and watch this short film below about the Heath Quartet and their work with Tippett’s String Quartets.

www.heathquartet.com
@heathquartet

If you have any gig suggestions for next month, please drop me a line on tom@tomsayer.co.uk

What’s On Brighton February 2016

Welcome to the February 2016 instalment of my What’s On Brighton guide for live music. This month has somewhat of a classical music takeover with 4 fantastic concerts in the Dome and Corn Exchange, covering a wide spectrum of orchatral/instrumental music from contemporary film music to a romantic Valentine’s Day piano concerto, Stravinsky’s ballet suite The Firebird to three lovely string quartets. There is of course my usual picks of the best unsigned, breakthrough music as well as a few established artists who are gracing Brighton with their presence, so without further delay, here’s my What’s On Brighton February 2016 Guide.

Whats On Brighton February 2016 - Lindi OrtegaLindi Ortega

Brighthelmstone Promotions & One Inch Badge
Wed 3rd February – 8:00pm
Brighton Komedia – Tickets £12.50 – BUY TICKETS

I last saw Lindi Ortega performing in Brighton almost 2 years to the day (1st Feb 2014 at The Haunt), touring her 2013 album ‘Tin Star’, a fabulous collections of rootsy country tales of woe and adventure. Lindi’s latest record ‘Faded Gloryville’ proves that she is very much here to stay, with this sultry selection of mid-tempo ballads, reminiscing yet looking forward to a happier time that lies ahead. The gig will surely be filled with Americana and country fans, and most likely more than a few lonely hearts who will be using Lindi’s music and easy-on-the-eyes looks to ease their heartaches whilst sipping on tumblers of whisky.

A friend of mine who is really into his old-school country music thinks that Lindi is the bee-knees, so that’s good enough for me to think that I’m not barking up the wrong tree. One thing is for sure: her days of working in pizza places and fleamarkets look to be long behind her.


www.lindiortega.ca/
@lindiortega

Whats On Brighton February 2016 - Bournemouth Symphony OrchestraBournemouth Symphony Orchetsra

Sat 6th February – 7:30pm
Brighton Dome – Tickets from £10.00. Children for £1! – BUY TICKETS

One of my very first reviews of a Brighton concert was the BSO performing a programme of film music entitled ‘Hollywood Blockbusters’ in 2013. It was one of my favourite classical concerts at Brighton Dome – read my review – and I am thrilled that three years later, they are back in Brighton with a new programme of film music to perform. ‘Heroes and Aliens’ will showcase some of the most famous and loved scores of John Williams (Star Wars, E.T), Michael Giaccino (Star Trek) and the sadly recently departed James Horner’s Apollo 13  and Avatar. – See my review of In Conversation With James Horner from May 2015.

Film music has long since made classical music more accessible to younger audiences and with shorter pieces of music,  the concert will be filled with short bursts of magic from well known films which will surely keep the whole family entertained. With children’s tickets available for just £1, this is one concert that really is out of this world and not to be missed.


www.bsolive.com
@BSOrchestra

Whats On Brighton February 2016 - Take ManhattenTake Manhatten

Overhead Wires – Tue 10th February – 8pm
Mucky Duck – FREE ENTRY

Slightly bias on this gig as I am playing it myself, but if I didn’t then I would probably still be going anyway! Overhead Wires are one of few local promoters who really champion local music, giving a platform to up-and-coming young performers for their first gigs and more experiences performers good slots at decent venues across Brighton and Hove. Headlining on this Pancake Day gig Take Manhatten – yet that is the correct spelling! This duo combine blues and acoustic guitars to great effect with their dueling guitars underpinning Andy Moore’s vocals.

The night will be completed with supports from well known acoustic artists Ross Trigwell and Tom Sayer with Tom Greenfield.


www.facebook.com/TakeManhatten
www.facebook.com/ross.trigwell1
www.facebook.com/tomsayersingersongwriter

Whats On Brighton February 2016 - Brighton Philharmonic OrchestraBrighton Philharmonic Orchestra

Sun 14th February – 2:15pm
Brighton Dome – Tickets from £11.50. 50% student discount.- BUY TICKETS

Take the one you love to the Brighton Philharmonic for a cultured treat this Valentine’s Day. Featuring some truly beautiful music from Chopin, Rimsky-Korsakov, Berlioz/ Weber, and Mascagni, this is the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon. With a 50% student disount, tickets start at £5.75 each, which is a mad price for seeing music of this calibre at the Dome. For the older audience, rekindle your love of classical music in the flesh with our resident orchestra, performing their 91st season. So get the bus to town and come down to show your support for our local philharmonic orchestra: there are only 2 concerts left this season after this one.

www.brightonphil.org.uk
@BPO_orchestra

Whats On Brighton February 2016 - Rob Godfrey EP Launch Brunswick HoveRob Godfrey EP Launch

 Wed 17th February –  7pm
The Brunswick – FREE ENTRY

No month in Brighton would be complete without an EP Launch and this is my pick of the bunch for the month. By following the simple rules of a successful EP Launch: 1. Design a cool flyer (TICK), 2. Get a great sounding venue (TICK), 3. Get the price right (TICK) and 4. Promote the gig (I can tick that one myself), you can set yourself up for a great night, which is what this one certainly looks to be!

With a number of videos of covers including John Martyn and Tallest Man On Earth, if nothing else I can say that the guy has good taste. This track below, is the opening  track from the EP ‘Quarterman’, and it definitely piqued my interest to hear more from Rob.

Support comes from Josh Mac and Hazey.


www.facebook.com/robgodfreyuk
@RobGodfreyMusic

Whats On Brighton February 2016 - Gabby Young And Other AnimalsGabby Young And Other Animals

SP Promotions – Fri 19th February – 7:30pm
The Old Market, Hove – £15 adv/ £20 otd – BUY TICKETS

After a gig in Paris earlier this month, Gabby Young And Other Animals (GYAOA) will be coming to Brighton & Hove to perform at The Old Market. With a host of 4-star reviews from the national presses, Gabby’s jazz and world-music influenced songs are sure to draw you in with a haunting operatic twist, lingering from her earlier training from her youth. Upon playing her music aloud for the first time, my dog was singing along to the whole song – make of that what you will – so I’m taking that as a good sign, as he is quite picky to what he sings along to, usually only vocalising to Daft Punk’s ‘Get Lucky’.

Support comes from one of my favourite local singer-songwriters, Mr Edd Mann, whose fiery flamenco guitar playing will set alight your passion for his music.


gabbyyoung.com
@gabbyyoung

Whats On Brighton February 2016 - Elias String QuartetElias String Quartet

CAVATINA Chamber Music Trust – Sun 21st February – 11am
Corn Exchange – £18.50/16. Free for under 25s. – BUY TICKETS

If you’re not heard of CAVATINA before and you’re under 25 – LISTEN UP. It’s a great charity organisation with the primary aim to promote chamber music to younger audiences – by allowing them to see it for free. As part of a series of events hosted nationwide, the Coffee Mornings Series on Sunday mornings at Brighton Corn Exchange are the perfect way to start your Sunday with some beautiful classical music performed by renowned ensembles.

The Elias Quartet is an internationally acclaimed string quartet, known for their intense and vibrant performances. They will performing works by Haydn, Britten and Mendelssohn are are sure to ignite a passion for chamber music in whoever hears them play. Whether you’re a music student, international student or just have an interest in hearing something new, this will be a great morning’s entertainment guaranteed. Find out more about Cavatina.

eliasstringquartet.com
www.facebook.com/eliasstringquartet

Whats On Brighton February 2016 - Jesse Malin Jesse Malin

 MJR Group Presents 25th February – 7:30pm
Green Door Store – £12 – BUY TICKETS

Having collaborated with Green Day and Bruce Springsteen, you are not alone if like me you feel a little late to the party in discovering Jesse Malin. This New York songwriter who has previously performed in a number of bands ranging from Hardcore to Rock n Roll, before starting his solo career with his breakthrough record ‘The Fine Art of Self Destruction’ in 2002. Five records later, Jesse has just released ‘Outsiders’ which he will be promoting on this tour.

With a definite Hozier feel, despite Jesse being around long before his time in the Radio 1 and mass market came, his new record is instantly likely, quietly understated in places but driving throughout. With Green Door Store being a quite compact venue, I’m confident that Jesse will raise the roof off it! Be sure to get down early to catch the supports Don DiLego and Trapper Schoepp, who is touring his new album ‘Rangers & Valentines’.

www.jessemalin.com
@jesse_malin

Whats On Brighton February 2016 - London Philharmonic Orchestra
London Philharmonic Orchestra

 Sat 27th February – 7:30pm
Brighton Dome – Tickets £10-£32.50 – BUY TICKETS

Finishing off my quartet of classical concerts in Brighton this month, which are conveniently spread out at one per week, the London Philharmonic will be travelling south from their home at Royal Festival Hall, Southbank, to perform at our friendly neighbourhood concert hall, Brighton Dome. The programme features Richard Strauss’s Macbeth, Mendelssohn’s Overture, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Khachaturian’s Violin Concerto and the grand finale of Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite (1919 Version). As one of few orchestras to reguarly perform in Brighton, apart form the resident BPO of course, it is important to support these visiting ensembles else there may be a time when they do not visit any more.

With a busy concert series including a number of challenging contemporary pieces by 20th Century composers, the LPO is a valuable British resource for the development of classical/orchestral music and one which has to be seen, and heard, to be truly appreciated. Watch a movement of the Violin Concerto in the video below.

www.lpo.org.uk
@LPOrchestra

If you have any gig suggestions for next month, please drop me a line on tom@tomsayer.co.uk

TGE 2016 – January Festival Update

Hello fellow Brightonians (and those reading from further afield too of course!). Unless you’ve had your head in the sand for the last decade, there’s no ignoring The Great Escape, one of the UK’s leading new music inner-city festivals! Forget wellies, overpriced food stalls and camping in a cesspit. TGE is completely different festival experience, and as the name suggests, it truly is a great escape from reality. Find out more about the festival, apply to play and check out The Great Escape playlist in my TGE 2016 January Festival Update.

TGE 2016

As in previous years, the festival will be taking over almost every pub, venue and outside space suitable for hosting gigs, showcasing the very best of the very newest in unsigned and emerging acts, as well as a few well known names thrown in for good measure too! Taking place from Thursday 19th to Saturday 21st May, TGE 2016 is the perfect escape in Brighton, particularly for all the industry big-wigs, A&R and musicians who will be in town for the Convention, taking the opportunity for the annual networking and conference events.

TGE 2016 Convention

TGE 2016 EARLY BIRD DELEGATE PASSES

For the complete experience of TGE16, you’ll want to get a Delegate Pass, granting you access to all the shows PLUS all of the industry events and networking sessions that go on throughout the festival. Last year’s included talks on songwriting, protecting your work, music photography and album artwork and a mini-conference on the future of music marketing. If you work in the industry or just want a chance to meet the right people, find out a bit more about the music industry or just keep up to speed with the latest developments on the music scene, a Delegate Pass is a must. The EARLY BIRD Delegate Pass is on sale now for just £150. Numbers are limited and they will sell out quick so snap one up now to save some money!

BUY A DELEGATE PASS ON SEE TICKETS

First 50 Artists Announced at TGE 2016

TGE 2016 LINE UP

Whilst most festivals focus on the Main Stage headliners to attract the audience, TGE has managed to run for 10 years without relying on a few big names to sell tickets. It is the experience and the unknown which attracts people to Brighton for The Great Escape and the variety that it offers is unrivalled at any festival in the UK (even Glastonbury). This is due to the number of venues that are holding gigs throughout the three-day period. TGE 2016 will be a complete city takeover for 3 days and nights!

Recent additions to the line up include Mystery Jets and two artists recently showcased by Communion Records, Dan Owens and Jack Watts. More artists will be regularly added to the line up in the upcoming months. See the latest artists confirmed on greatescapefestival.com/line-up/

Jack Watts at TGE 2016

BUY 3-DAY WEEKEND TICKET

BUY A YOUTH (16-17) 3-DAY WEEKEND TICKET

TGE 2016 - Apply To Play - Holy Holy at TGE 2015

APPLY TO PLAY TGE 2016

In association with Music Glue, you can submit your application to play at TGE 2016 for free online. Entries will close February 2016 so don’t dilly-dally! Find out how to Apply Online for TGE 2016

FINALLY, THE TGE 2016 PLAYLIST

Last but not least, try before you buy with the TGE 2016 Spotify Playlist below. Just don’t wait too long as tickets always sell fast!

Read my article on why you shouldn’t miss TGE from last  year –
10 Reasons To Not Miss TGE

Interview with Daudi Matsiko at TGE 2015
Interview with JP Cooper at TGE 2015

What’s On Brighton January 2016

Happy New Year and welcome to my What’s On Brighton January 2016. As usual I will be highlighting my top picks of the best musical talent on display in Brighton & Hove this month. As I’m already a few days late after the Christmas break, let us get right to it!

dua-lipa-3-whats-on-brighton-january-17th-2016 Dua Lipa

One Inch Badge – Sun 17th January – 8:00pm
Hope & Ruin – Tickets £6 –  BUY TICKETS

In between the constant gushing about Jack Garratt on Radio 1, you may have heard the occasional mention of BBC Sound of 2016 Longlist artist Dua Lipa. For those unfamiliar with it, the BBC Sound of…. is their top picks of upcoming talent that they think will really take off in the next year, and they aren’t often wrong. Previous winners include Adele, Ellie Goulding, Jessie J and the James-Bond-theme-murderer (but otherwise good singer) Sam Smith.

Having only just discovered Dua when looking through the listings this month and I was instantly drawn in by the confident performance of this 19-year old and her band, with her assured songwriting showing that she had quickly mastered the basics for writing catchy upbeat pop tunes. She will be one to watch over the next 12 months and definitely one to see with this cheap price tag and in a nice intimate venue on her first UK Tour.


www.dualipa.com
@DUALIPA

barnett-brothers-whats-on-Brighton-21st-January-2016Barnett Brothers

One Inch Badge – Thur 21st January – 7:30pm
Green Door Store – Tickets £9.20 – BUY TICKETS

Take two brothers from punk rock bands, remove the rest of the line up and replace their electric guitars with acoustic ones and you’ve pretty much got what’s going on here! Greg and Bobby Barnett will no doubt be playing stripped down and mixed up versions of some of The Menzingers and Captain We’re Sinking‘s finest tracks, as well as some previously unreleased songs aired for the first time in the unique acoustic tour. You can be sure that there will be a lot of energy on stage and a great vibe throughout Green Door Store so don’t miss out!

Check out this full acoustic set from Menzingers below for a taste of what is to come on the night. I’m sure that the atmosphere will be just as good as in the video!


www.facebook.com/themenzingers
www.facebook.com/captainweresinking

maisie-peters-whats-on-Brighton-January-26th-2016 Maisie Peters

Stiff Promotions – Tue 26th January – 7:30pm
Latest Music Bar – Tickets £4/ £5 otd – BUY TICKETS

15-year old Maisie Peters is already a seasoned performer on the local circuit within West Sussex, and with a promising 2016 ahead, including a video shoot at Duran Duran’s former studio in Battersea Park Studios, as well as an interview with Sky TV for a programme that will air in the Spring. Her young and cutesy style reminds me of Zooey Deschanel’s She & Himalthough the songs sound a lot more innocent and less twee than their sickly-sweet ones.

The night will be completed with supports from Charlie Moss and Morgan M James. Get there early to get a seat as this tiny venue fills up fast!


www.facebook.com/maisiepetersmusic
@maisiehpeters

wainwright-sisters-whats-on-Brighton-January-27th-2016Wainwright Sisters

MELTING VINYL – Wed 27th January –  7:30pm
Komedia – Tickets £16 + bf/ £18 otd – BUY TICKETS

Known by many as the sister of gay icon Rufus Wainwright, but also by probably just as many as an artist in her own right, Martha Wainwright will be performing alongside her sister Lucy, showcasing tracks from their recent album ‘Songs In The Dark’, a gently haunting, mesmerizing and sleepy release – I think that is a fair comment as 5 of the 15 tracks contain “lullaby” in the titles!

With gentle finger-picking and acoustic strums blended with soft vocal harmonies, it’s probably a good place to bring any restless babies who find it difficult to get off to sleep. Let’s hope that Komedia set out some seats otherwise you may be watching the audience sleeping on their feet.

Having received 4-star reviews from The Independent and The Guardian,  these tried and tested acousticians will deliver a sultry performance for certain that will leave you with a warmth in your heart. Support comes from local artist Laish, the songwriting project of Daniel Green.


www.marthawainwright.com/
@WainBright

air-waves-whats-on-Brighton-January-31st-2016 Air Waves

MELTING VINYL – Sun 31st January – 7:30pm
Prince Albert – £8 adv/ £8 otd – BUY TICKETS

Last by by no means least this month is Air Waves, performing at The Prince Albert in Brighton as part of her extensive European tour this January/February.

Revered by indie critics The Quietus and Pitchfork, New Yorker Nicole Schneit (AIR WAVES) and her band will be performing tracks from their fall 2015 release ‘Parting Glances‘. The album looks at the effect that these final stares between perfect strangers can have and imagines how they can lead to fictional and real situations, depending on how you play them out. Have a listen to ‘Thunder’ featuring Jana Hunter below to see what you think!

Support comes from Brighton-based acts Penelope Isles and Will René.

www.facebook.com/Air-Waves-50591783797/
Facebook Event

If you have any gig suggestions, CD review requests or live review requests, please drop me a line on tom@tomsayer.co.uk

This Is The Kit Interview – Brighton

Before her packed out show at Brighton’s The Haunt, I caught up with Kate Stables, front-woman of This Is The Kit, to talk about philosophy, influences and wooden spoons.

Hi Kate! I can see that you’ve got a busy schedule lined up, playing shows across the UK and Europe before Christmas. How do you think that gigs in the UK and Europe differ?

I think that it’s more that countries than the views that changes. European shows sometimes have more of a theatre vibe, compared to the club vibe that UK shows often have. Wherever we play we try to be warm and welcoming. When you’re opening for other bands you’re never sure if people are thinking “this isn’t what we came to see!” or that it’s a nice surprise.

This is the third time that I’ve seen you perform in 2015, the first time at Brighton’s Green Door Store in March and the second at the End Of The Road Festival in September. How do you prepare for different shows of such different sizes.

Part of it comes down to a show being a show and making sure that the audience have the best time possible. Festivals are a bit mad. You have more control over the sound of your music at a smaller gig, so at a festival you just have to go with it, and that can be more fun some times. We just try to have a nice time wherever we play.

Do you have a live performance highlight of 2015?

EOTR Festival! The show was just unexpectedly rammed and everybody seemed to be having a great time. (Editors note: I arrived about 5 minutes into the set at EOTR and couldn’t even get into the tent, it was that packed!)

If you could go back to when you were first playing and tell yourself something, what would it be?

(after some thought) Take your time. Don’t apologise to the audience so much. Maybe I still do that a bit now but not as much. I used to be quite apologetic and twitchy. I’d say just to have a nice time and that you’ve got nothing to prove to yourself.

It must be a big boost to have high profile fans of your music such as Guy Garvey (Elbow) advocating for your music. If you had a Radio 6 show, who would you be championing?

Ooh, so many people. Apart from the music of my bandmates, Richard Dawson – I have his music on repeat almost every day. There’s lots of great French bands – Moodoid, Kids Are Dead, Hyperclean – and some Belgian ones – Castus and VO.

Read my track by track review of Bashed Out, the most recent album by This Is The Kit

Having supported the likes of Lisa Hannigan and with an upcoming show with Jose Gonzalez, is there anybody in particular that you’d like to play a gig with?

All of the above! But aside from that somebody that I’d love to play a gig with is a Belgian electronic/dance artist called Stromae. Our music is so different that I don’t think his audience would get it, but I’d just love to collaborate with him on a track.

I’m currently reading a book by Japanese Author Murakami, who once ran the original marathon course to accompany an interview feature for a magazine. If you could do something to show off another talent as part of an interview what would it be?

I know it’s not very cool but I quite like knitting! Aside from that thought I think that doing a swimming interview would be fun!

Speaking of running, when is the last time than you ran and was it for pleasure or necessity?

The last time I can remember running is sadly to avoid missing an aeroplane. We had a mad dash to the airport on Amsterdam with all of our equipment and somehow made it for our flight to Cork. I should really look to do some fun runs…

Can you put the following in order of least to most influence to your music?

8. Social Media
7. Film
6. Art
5. Other popular music
4. Love interests
3. Real-life events
2. Nature
1. Personal Stories

Do you have any songwriting rituals?

I like to be on my own for as long as possible. A nice little shack away from people. I usually need solitude and time to write songs. I also like to write when I’m travelling – sat on a train or in the back of a car, but that’s just for lyrics.

Do you believe in anything after life and how does this affect your daily life?

Compost. I spend a lot of time thinking about where everything goes – all in the ground. I don’t buy many new things from shops as I just think about all of the waste. I much prefer to shop in 2nd-hand shops.

Finally, when you performed in Brighton last, a fan had kindly created some wooden spoons for you to sell at your gigs. Did you manage to sell them all?

The fan had spent a lot of time on the spoons, and so they were priced quite highly. We sold some of them, 1 was stolen and I gave 2 away as a wedding present.

This Is The Kit have a new EP coming out mid January so keep your eyes peeled. In the meanwhile, here is a video directed by Sam Wisternoff for their song Magic Spell. Enjoy!

www.thisisthekit.co.uk

What’s On Brighton November 2015

Hello one and all and welcome to by What’s On Brighton November 2015 Guide. This November in Brighton is a great month for live music, covering a wide span of genres at venues across the city.

You can see below a playlist I’ve curated of many of the acts and supports that are playing at the gigs included in my What’s On Guide (and a few extra for good measure) so why not give it a listen and see if anything piques your interest for this month. I hope you enjoy it and I hope that you find the time to see some live music this month, wherever and whatever it may be!

Nizlopi and Moulettes - Whats on Brighton November 2015 Nizlopi and Moulettes (DOUBLE HEADLINE TOUR)

Weds 4th November – 7:00pm Doors
Brighton Komedia – Tickets £16 –  BUY TICKETS

Having seen Luke Concannon (Nizlopi singer) performing a some of his solo works with a new band at The Brunswick a couple of months ago, my appreciation for his songwriting talents and on-stage showmanship and performance have only grown. I was lucky enough to have had a chat with him before the show (see my interview with Luke here) and he was a top bloke who absolutely goes for it when he’s on stage. For those who’ve not been following Nizlopi since their JCB song fame, this is the last tour that Nizlopi will be playing on for at least 2 years, so catch them now or you might not get another chance.

Joining Nizlopi for this double headline tour are a folk band called Moulettes, whom I saw for the first time performing at The Latest Music Bar in May as part of the Alternative Great Escape. With an unconventional line-up, there’s a lot about Moulettes that stands out, but mostly their music speaks for itself and is quite a spectacle that needs to be seen live to really appreciate it. This is my first gig of November and I can’t wait for it! Tickets still available online.

www.nizlopi.com
@NizlopiOfficial

Normanton Street - Whats On Brighton November 2015Normaton Street + Guests

Fri 6th November – 7:00pm
Brighton Dome Studio Theatre – Tickets £8 – BUY TICKETS

Aside from international performances, touring, music festivals, residencies, running their own label and working alongside other local artists, Normanton Street have been pretty quiet over the last year.

The band have come on leaps and bounds since I went on tour with them back in April 2014 (Read my tour diary published on BN1 Magazine Online) and are always pushing themselves to be better and do new things.This show is no exception, as one of their biggest adopted hometown shows to date at the Brighton Dome Studio Theatre, with a line up of great local talent in tow for the show including uprising star Tommy Sissons, a spoken word artist who is pushing the boundaries of contemporary poetry through collaborations with local producer St. Longplayer, BBC Radio1Xtra and Channel 4.

Their shows are energetic and full of good vibes and I have no reason to suspect that this one will be any different. Normanton Street are going places so why not let them take you with them? Here’s an old video from Normanton Street, featuring Frankie Stew who will also be performing at the show!

www.normantonstreet.com
@NormantonStreet

What's On Brighton October 2015 - Brighton Philharmonic OrchestraBrighton Philharmonic Orchestra

Sun 8th November, 2:45pm
Brighton Dome – Tickets from £11.50 – BUY TICKETS

Continuing their 91st concert season, The Brighton Philharmonic will be performing Elgar’s Sanguine Fan, Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme and Schubert’s Symphony No.9 (The Great).

Last month’s opening concert was a packed one, with a great atmosphere as ever in the Brighton Dome, a venue perfectly designed for performers and audience with its great acoustics and clever design that makes every seat a great seat. The orchestra is once again being conducted by the charismatic Barry Wordworth, whose years at the helm of the Brighton Philharmonic make him a familiar and comforting face to see on the stage. The concert also  features solo award-winning cellist Gemma Rosefield so will be an extra special performance. Don’t miss out. It’s a lovely and relaxing way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

www.brightonphil.org.uk
@BPO_orchestra

Alela and Ryan - Whats On Brighton November 2015Alela Diane & Ryan Francesconi

Tues 10th November, 7:30pm
Komedia – Tickets £12 + bf/ £14 otd – BUY TICKETS

When singer Alela and guitarist Ryan started talking at a friend’s gig last year, they realised that they were both exactly what the other one needed to get themselves out of a creative standstill. The result is the collaboration which led to the production of an album, Cold Moon, adding Alela’s vocals and melodies to Ryan’s intricate compositions made up of beautiful guitar lines.

Both established as soloists in their own fields before working together, each has a rich catalogue of solo material as well as their collaborations, so the show could be a real mix of old and new material from these vastly different artists who found each other. Support comes from Vikesh Kapoor + Ellie Ford


www.facebook.com/aleladianemusic
www.facebook.com/ryanfrancesconimusic
@aleladianemusic
@ryanfrancesconi

Mountain Goats - Whats On Brighton November 2015The Mountain Goats

Weds 18th November, 7:30pm
Komedia – £20 adv/ £22 otd – BUY TICKETS

Sure-footed and impervious to all weathers…I think I may have the wrong mountain goats there! The Mountain Goats are an indie-folk band from North Carolina who have crossed the pond to tour their latest record Beat The Champ.

The album is a concept album, based around the stories of many people working in the professional wrestling industry – certainly a bit more exciting that you’re run of the mill boy-meets-girl narrative, which still proliferates popular culture today after decades of fine songwriting from across the world. With jazz-infused harmonies and a smorgasbord of musical influences on show within their songs, this will be a night to remember. Support comes from The Weather Station + The Hornblower Brothers.

www.mountain-goats.com
@mountain_goats

Kate Daisy Grant and Nick Pynn - Whats On Brighton November 2015Kate Daisy Grant and Nick Pynn

Sun 22nd November, 7:15pm doors, 8pm start
The Old Market – £12 adv – BUY TICKETS

It was September last year when I first saw and heard Kate and Nick performing at The Old Market at the Album Launch of Kate Daisy Grant’s Portrait. (Read my full review of Kate’s album Portrait). 14 months later, it is Nick’s turn to have his album launch at the same venue, with his highly anticipated Waterproof is finally out on the shelves (and in the digital stores that we are all used to now).

Nick’s instrumental soundscapes and Kate’s delicate vocals will fuse into a unique blend of experi-pop songs and melodic avant-folk, for what Kate describes as “our last gig for the forseeable future”. With more instruments than a small orchestra on stage, Kate and Nick’s performances are far from boring. Recently announced as a special guest for the show is Beverley Martyn, the former wife of folk sensation John Martyn, and an established musician in her own right with 50 years of professional experience including collaborations with Simon and Garfunkel, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant plus many more. The show is sure to be spellbinding and I can’t wait for the weekend to roll around. Check out the live video of Kate and Nick below, shot in September 2015 for a taster of what’s to come on Sunday.

www.katedaisygrant.com
www.nickpynnmusic.com/
@katedaisygrant
@nickpynn

This Is The Kit - Whats On Brighton November 2015This Is The Kit

Tues 24th November, 7:30pm
The Haunt – £10 adv + bf – BUY TICKETS

This Is The Kit are a fantastic chilled out folk outfit that I have seen playing packed out shows at both Brighton’s Green Door Store and the Tipi Tent at End Of The Road Festival this year.

Endorsed by Guy Garvey from Elbow on his radio show, the bands’s third album ‘Bashed Out’ sounds anything but; it’s a well crafted record, and …”a triumph of what folk is meant to sound like”. Read my full review of Bashed Out. Wherever Kate Stables and her troupe go, the venue are filled to the rafters so don’t miss this chance to see This Is The Kit play an intimate show in your home town, and for just £10 too! You’d be a fool not to! Watch the video for Silver John and see if you’re not hypnotized as well!

thisisthekit.co.uk/
@thisisthekit

Communion New Faces Tour - Whats On Brighton November 2015Communion New Faces Tour

Thurs 26th November – 7:00pm
Green Door Store –  £8 +bf – BUY TICKETS

Communion Music have always had their eye on the ball when it comes to spotting new music breaking through the ranks. Amongst their discoveries are Bear’s Den, Catfish and The Bottlemen and Twin Peaks (to name just three). With this tour, they are taking 4 artists across the country to give them a nice boost to their nationwide fan-bases and help them to realise their potential as professional artists and bands.

This tour features acoustic duo Seafret, alt 4-piece Flyte, Shrewsbury singer-songwriter Dan Owen (who just released his Bad For Me EP) and his previous touring buddy, Brighton lad Jack Watts. Previous artists on the New Faces tour have included Luke Sital-Singh, Annie Eve and Eliza and the Bear, so I have high hopes for some great things at this show. Check out the artists performing in the videos below.

Communion New Faces Tour Event Page
@CommunionMusic

Stornoway - Whats On Brighton November 2015Stornoway Unplucked

Sat 28th November, 7:00pm
St Georges Church – £18 + bf/ £20 otd

Melting Vinyl presents Oxford folk indie-pop band Stornaway, fresh off the release of their third album, Bonxie, which has been described as “their most personal, engaging and best album to date”.

Performing in one of my favourite Brighton venue, St Georges Church in Kemp Town, Stornaway will be showcasing their songwriting craft through their songs about ornithology, literature and wildlife, amongst others, in what promises to be a night of great entertainment, culture and high class musicianship.

Support comes from Katherine Priddy, whose hypnotic tracks clearly demonstrate that she is a female who attended the school of Nick Drake and John Martyn. Don’t miss this chance to catch both of these fantastic acts in such a beautiful venue. Tickets are still available so book now to avoid disappointment!

www.stornoway.eu
@StornowayBand

If you have any gig suggestions, CD review requests or live review requests, please drop me a line on tom@tomsayer.co.uk

New Music Review – October 2015

Over the last few months I’ve been sent a lot of great new music which I’ve unfortunately been too busy to give a proper listen to, but no more! I’ve finally devoted an afternoon to the task and am pleased to be able to give you all my take on a selection of great local and unsigned music which has graced my ears over the summer and into the autumn. If you have a listen and like any of the music, please check out the links provided to see where you can the artists live, buy there music, or just tell them that you’re a fan. After all, it’s only fair that good work should be appreciated. Without further ado here is my New Music Review – October 2015, featuring Gavin Chappell-Bates, Lewis Bootle, Vices, Tommy Sissons and Daudi Matsiko.

Gavin Chappell-Bates – We Are The Ones EP

new music review - gavin chappell-bates

Following on from his charismatic debut EP Black Holes, Cambridge-based singer-songwriter Gavin Chappell-Bates (hopefully no relation to the Norman Bates from Psycho) has released his follow up single, We Are The Ones. Mixing influences reminiscent of melodic American pop-rock with a certain Brit-pop sensibility, We Are The Ones sounds like a new single from an established band, not a solo artist at the early stages of a promising career. With simple and catchy guitar lines and vocal melodies, the song could be a festival anthem if given the chance with its subtle simplicity weaving its way under your skin. Check out the video below and listen to the full EP on soundcloud.

Download on Bandcamp
@gchappellbates

Lewis Bootle – Friction In The Funds EP

new music review - lewis bootle

The world must be moving pretty fast for Herefordshire singer-songwriter Lewis Bootle. One minute he is getting picked up by BBC Introducing, then he releases his debut EP ‘Friction In The Funds‘, and now he has been announced as Best Unsigned Male in the Best of British Awards in association with Richer Sounds. Just like George Ezra, Hozier and Ed Sheeran before him, Lewis is somebody that you will want to latch on to now before it’s nigh on impossible to see him play live in a venue smaller than a stadium.

The EP mixes acoustic stripped back acoustic vibes with Sheeran-esque vocals (half-sung and half-rapped) in a self-aware showcase of vocal and instrumental dexterity . For fans of narrative, modern and suburban songwriting, such as that of Frank Hamilton and Brighton band Half Crown.

Buy on iTunes
@Bootytunes

Vices – Forest Floor EP

new music review - vices

Another debut EP, this time from Greg Simpson a.k.a Vices, Forest Floor opens like a bull in a china shop, hitting everything in its path. Musically it has a lot going on, with a strong American influence which brings to mind +44 in places, and elements of shoe-gaze, electronica and in a non-conventional way, jazz. There’s something slightly unorthodox about the music, but its unpredictability and variety is fresh, exciting and enticing. The 7-track EP was released on 19th October so why not try something new today with the Forest Floor EP. Listen to track 2 of the EP, ‘Catholic Funeral’ below.

Download on Bandcamp

Tommy Sissons – Summer of Discontentment EP

new music review - tommy sissons

Mixing spoken word with dance production from St. Longplayer, Tommy Sissons’ latest EP is a socio-political commentary on the events of summer 2015. In Tommy’s effortless and clear poetic style he addresses the election (Who Gives A Fuck About Politics) and respecting women (Be My Woman) amongst other topics,  all the while seeming to scream “what is wrong with my generation? Why don’t people care about anything that matters?” This sobering reality draws your attention to many shortcomings of the youth of today, and in truth the majority of society, in an easy to digest way. You don’t have to be a fan of spoken word or dance music to appreciate what Tommy is doing. He’s a one man revolution, and a true uprising talent which has already been spotted by BBC Radio1Xtra and Channel 4 . See my review of his previous EP Etchings and do yourself a favour and download Summer of Discontentment EP for free here!

Download on Bandcamp
@TommySissons

Daudi Matsiko – The Lingering Effects of Disconnection EP

new music review - daudi-matsiko

After spending a lovely sunny afternoon on the beach during The Great Escape, I’ve been a big fan of the guy as well as his music. Just like his music, he’s humble, understated and definitely something special. This cheeky little 4-track acoustic EP is like a mix of Jack Johnson’s guitar, Benjamin Francis Leftwich’s vocals and an overarching sombreness of a funeral .  The tracks are raw like flesh-wounds from falling off your bike as a child, or emotionally somewhere between heartbreak and grief. Yet somehow, hope is not lost. Listen and enjoy a live version of track 4, take me old below and check out the EP when it drops on 27th November.

Download his previous EP on Bandcamp
@hellodaudi

Folklore Sessions Birthday – Jacko Hooper Interview

This month marks the first birthday of the Folklore Sessions, a monthly acoustic night hosted by Jacko Hooper at the White Rabbit, designed to give some of the finest acoustic musicians a great platform to showcase their music to a respectful audience. In this Jacko Hooper Interview, we reflect on the first year of Folklore Sessions, his highlights and the future of Folklore Sessions.

So one whole year of Folklore Sessions! Did you think that it would last this long?

Well I sort of fell into it… I didn’t really go into it with a game plan as such. Some friends asked if i wanted to play at the pub they work at and I said that it sounded fun.
It has grown a lot since then and i realised soon after starting it that it could really grow into something.
So to answer your question no! I didn’t think it would but it’s become an incredibly enjoyable journey so far and now have some really exciting plans for it all.
Folklore Sessions Jam
Gabrielle Aplin, Hudson Taylor, Joe (Amber Run) and Jack Morris join in for a jam

How do you go about choosing the artists to play at Folklore Sessions?

Well luckily there are a lot of very talented artists in Brighton and the surrounding areas. Initially it was a case of getting friends to play and other musical friends that I have played shows with myself over the years. Nowadays it is done more on submissions, I can get anything between 10-30 submissions a week.

What makes Folklore Sessions stand out from other acoustic nights?

Well I hope that the quality is the first thing. Folklore only has the very best artists play and the calibre of music is always exceptionally high. People can come to Folklore and be guaranteed that everyone on the line up is excellent.
The fact that it is also organised by a musician who is actively gigging might help it too as too often shows aren’t organised very well. I try and put as much time and effort into the lead up to the shows as I can.
Folklore Sessions Newspaper Cutting
Fresh Off The Presses – Folklore Sessions

Do you have a favourite moment from the first year of Folklore Sessions?

Very tricky. I think running the Folklore stage at Together The People festival was a real exciting moment. When Mara Simpson first went on stage as the first artist on the first Folklore stage it was quite a satisfying and exciting moment. As it was when Aniseed Treats played to a packed out tent on the last night surrounded by fairy lights. The event for The Great Escape was a lot of fun too though…

How do you think the local scene for acoustic music has changed much in the last 12 months and if so do you think that Folklore Sessions have played a part in that?

I hope so? I mean, there has always been such a wealth of good acoustic music in Brighton. I just wanted to try and deliver a night that could represent that as well as possible. Brighton has in the last few years had such a surge in electronic based music and left field stuff and the acoustic side of things has always been there too… but perhaps without the proper ‘home’.
There are so many awesome open mics in the city and venues like The Brunswick that really support the scene but hopefully Folklore has given it another place to flourish.

What was it like to host a stage the Together The People Festival earlier this month?

Very exciting! I was really happy when the guys asked me to be involved. It was quite stressful mind you! 20 artists in two days was a lot to try and juggle, not to mention I was playing on the 2nd stage myself on the Sunday! But I loved every minute of it.
The festival seemed to be a total success and it was a real privilege to have been involved with it, especially for its first year.
Jacko Hooper TTP Festival
Jacko Hooper at Together The People Festival after hosting the Folklore Sessions Stage

Where would you like to take Folklore Sessions in the future?

There are a lot of things I have planned. Inner city festivals, an album, all kinds of exciting things. They will be kept firmly under my hat for now however regarding details or other ventures.

Have you thought about releasing a Folklore Sessions Mix Tape to celebrate it’s first birthday? I think that would be well received!

Oh Tom, you read my mind.

Folklore Sessions - Photo by Josh Harrison
A Captive Audience at Folklore Sessions – Photo by Josh Harrison

Finally, do you think social media or word of mouth have played a bigger part in the night’s success so far?

I think that social media will always play a big part in any sort of venture like this. I think for Folklore word of mouth has probably been more key. We also have a mailing list that goes around every month at the showcases. This has helped too I think.
Here is a playlist of what you can expect at the Folklore Sessions Birthday Party on Tuesday 20th October. See the Facebook event for more information.