Category Archives: Brighton Dome

What’s On Brighton February 2017

Check out my monthly roundup of some of the best gigs happening in and around Brighton and Hove in February 2017, including gig previews, features and interviews.

There Will Be Blood: Live

Mon 6th February – Brighton Dome

there will be blood live brighton

Following on from their performance at London’s Royal Festival Hall on 30th January, this week sees the London Contemporary Orchestra (LCO) performing three dates of their fantastic ‘There Will Be Blood: Live’ show, with performances at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall (Sun 5th Feb), Brighton Dome (Mon 6th Feb) and Bristol’s Colston Hall (Tue 7th Feb).

Read Full Preview

Barry Hyde (Futureheads) Acoustic Show

Thursday 9th February – Brighton Komedia

Barry Hyde (Futureheads) solo acoustic show brighton komedia feb 2017

Fans of indie post-punk rockers The Futureheads will be delighted to hear that guitarist and vocalist Barry Hyde will be coming to Brighton to perform an intimate solo show at Brighton Komedia (Studio) to showcase his debut album, Malody, which was released in June 2016 on Sirenspire Records. The show is hosted by local promoter Melting Vinyl, and as with most of their shows, features a great support from a local artist – in this case the gentle folksters Lutine, a Brighton 3-piece known for their delicate arrangements and vocal harmonies.

Read Full Preview

Little Comets + Eliza and The Bear

Sunday 11th February – Concorde II


7 Little Comets Quick Facts

1. The band is from the North-east of the UK, near Newcastle-upon-Tyne and their names are Robert, Michael, Matt, Nathan and Matt II.

2. They were signed to Columbia Records in 2009, following a series of gigs in unusual locations, such as lecture halls and on public transport.

3. The Little Comets are the only act inside the top 200 to self-produce, record, release, market, distribute and publish an album.

Read the rest on

Gabrielle Aplin

Tuesday 14th February – The Haunt, Brighton

gabrielle aplin february 2017 tour brighton interview

This week, UK singer-songwriter and YouTube favourite Gabrielle Aplin will be embarking on a short 3-date tour in the south of England. Unsurprisingly, the shows have all sold out, but we are using this as an opportunity to trace her history so far, to give you a brief history of Gabrielle Aplin, told in just 6 videos. Enjoy!


More gigs to be added soon!



MOVES Festival 2017 banner


Esben and the Witch February 2017 UK Tour Interview Brighton



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


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!

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!

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 ★★★★★

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.

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.

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

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra Review

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra’s Triumphant Return To Brighton Dome

As the Brighton Dome Concert Hall filled up with a notably diverse audience, young children were noticeably part confused as to what was going on and part excited to have been brought out to see the spectacle that is a symphony orchestra performing in full force at the beautiful venue.

From the conductor’s entrance in a bright red waistcoat, worn under his jacket, to the dominant brass showcasing the opening credits to Star Wars, everything was set to stun the audience into silence as the programme of film music classics began. As with most film music concerts, the shorter pieces help to keep the audience in full attention, with an intermittent commentary from the conductor, who already has to keep the sizeable orchestra in check and in-time throughout. As by no means a pre-requisite of the job as a conductor, it was a delight that Pete Harrison took to it like a duck to water, providing the audience with some interesting back-story into the pieces, films and composers of the music which was being performed. He was straight-talking but engaging and steered away from bad jokes and awkward non sequiturs which can often come too easy in these kinds of concerts.

The orchestra was in fine voice, with notable performances from the Principal Trumpet, Chris Avison for his delicate and controlled solo from Apollo 13, Eluned Pierce with her beautiful harp playing, which added a contrast to the brass fanfares and sweeping strings of the film music repertoire, and the 5-strong percussion section and timpanist who kept everything together with strong rhythms on a wide assortment of instruments. The repertoire was well chosen for a concert of this type, although in my opinion could have done with an addition of a few more 21st Century film scores in lieu of one too many John Williams tracks, as is often the case  whenever a film music concert is performed.

It was great to see a number of younger musicians in the orchestra, as well as the seasoned professionals who had clearly been performing all of their adult lives. This will ensure that the future of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra will live on for a long time and is something that I would like to see more of in orchestras across the country. I hope to see the BSO return to Brighton again soon with another film music concert, which if complete with a few more contemporary soundtracks, will surely help to resonate with the younger audience and have them coming back to concert halls time and time again.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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’.

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.

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

Brighton Music Conference 2015 – June 5th-6th @ Brighton Dome

Brighton Music Conference is back for a second year this June, returning to the Brighton Dome for another great showcase of all the latest innovations in music technology.

Brighton Music Conference 2015

Brighton Music Conference 2015

The two-day event, running from Friday 5th until Saturday 6th June includes a host of panels, talks and masterclasses, as well as utilising the great exhibition space at Brighton Dome to exhibit some of the country’s biggest names in DJ and professional audio equipment, such as Allen & HeathNumark and Roland,  software giants like Ableton and Native Instruments and a host of other music businesses with expertise from education (ACMBIMM and Northbrook College) to royalty collection and legal advice (PRSforMusic).

As well as the daytime event, there will be a host of great music nights across Brighton that weekend (more so than usual) as some of the visiting and speaking DJs will be playing shows across the city. Announcements to be confirmed soon but it’s looking very promising already.

Brighton Music Conference 2015

The show is currently finalising its programme but word on the street is that the line-up this year is sure to be something special once again. For the latest information, updates and competitions, follow their social media on Facebook and Twitter, or visit their website and sign up for their Newsletter.

Tickets range from just £10 for Academy (perfect for students and young musicians) to £79 for a Professional Ticket (for the complete BMC experience). These early bird prices run until 31st March so don’t delay!

Brighton Music Conference 2015 Footer

Mid-December Gigs Update

As only the bravest are going out, even with their Christmas Jumpers and Duffle Coats, December is always a  tough time for musicians to fill out their gigs. That said, I’ve been to some amazing gigs already this month at some great venues that you may not have been to before. Have a read and checkout what is on over the upcoming months.

Martin Harley @ Latest Music Bar – 3rd December

Having first seen Martin play in a small cafe in Bangor a few years ago, it felt very comfortable seeing him this time from the back of the small basement venue at Latest Music Bar. The place was packed with fans of the music and the venue, as everybody sat comfortably at their little tables enjoying the support Sam Lewis and I saw a lot of people come up and by his CD during the interval after his performance of his self-confessed sad songs, which he performed in between sips of red wine.

Martin came on to play a few tracks during Sam’s set, which is always nice to see as it is usually the support who is “honoured” to play on a single track for the main act. It was clear that the guys were close friends and performed well together in a very relaxed way, improvising over each other’s parts confidently. Martin has a really calm demeanor on stage and a crazy powerful voice which goes hand in hand with his brilliant guitar skills. I’ve certainly never seen a white man play the blues like him before. Check out his music if you like that kinda thing. It’s awful good!

The venue is intimate, great for acoustic music but equally good for bands as the sound man is some kind of wizard who can make anybody sound great playing there from his dedicated crows nest at the back of the venue. With a varied programme, there is a lot to choose from so why not have a look below and see what is coming up soon?

British Sea Power @ All Saints Hove – 5th December

Always a fan of this venue, One Inch Badge have been using it over the last year as a larger venue to put on some of the great acts that come to Brighton. With plenty of space at the back for the bar and merchandise tables, it’s only real downside is the toilet facilities which often leave you queueing for a little while. So go before you leave the house, like your mum probably used to tell you as a child. Other than that, the sound is great and the setting is beautiful. What more could you want.

British Sea Power were performing as a part of the Brighton Drill Festival, a winter-equivalent to May’s Great Escape Festival, just with fewer venues and bands, but nonetheless still an impressive lineup.

The band on before BSP were called It Hugs Back, an atmospheric and slightly spacey band who made some great musical textures. They were also selling CD albums for £5 with a free t-shirt. Other bands should take note of this as I’m definitely gonna give the album a proper listen very soon and the t-shirt is great promotion for the band so it’s a win-win really.

British Sea Power played a beautiful hour-long set, mostly with accompaniment from a brass quintet from the Bournemouth Symphonic Orchestra, which really gave their filmic dreamy sound some teeth to bite into you with. BSP are also playing at The Haunt on 19th December and from their strong performance on 5th December, I’m keen to see them again!

Brighton Philharmonic @ Brighton Dome Concert Hall – 7th December

I’ve always been a big fan of the Brighton Dome as a venue. Inside it looks like a palace, and is the closest thing that Brighton has to the Royal Albert Hall. The sound is great and the venue works just as well for electronica raves, northern soul parties, pop and rock concerts and somber instrumental music. The seats sometimes feel a little bit on the cozy side, but the sound from anywhere in the venue is good. I would recommend the circle if possible though, particularly for an orchestral affair.

The Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra‘s concert series is in its 90th year, so they must be doing something right. The audience is primarily made up of connoisseurs of classical music who were clearly raised on it or grew to love it over time, but there is always room for new faces and younger members in the audience, and it is quite an experience to see an orchestra playing live for the first time. Each concert is quite different, this one being based on the compositions of British composers. The next show is on New Year’s eve at 2:45pm and is always the busiest of the year so book now to avoid disappointment.

Alfie Boe @ Brighton Centre – 9th December

Unfortunately, due to illness the concert was cancelled at the last minute. However, The venue still deserves a shout out for the varied programme that it provides. Admittedly, a lot of the music that is performed there is quite mainstream, but you need to be popular to sell out an over 5,000 capacity building to make it worthwhile playing there on your tour.

However, despite this the venue still has a part to play in supporting the local music scene, with Brighton-based singer-songwriter Jacko Hooper recently supporting James Blunt for his sell-out show at the Brighton Centre. Hopefully more of the acts performing there will handpick local supports as it’s a fantastic opportunity to perform to such a large hometown audience.

London Symphony Orchestra @ Barbican Hall, London – 11th December

Not in Brighton, but pretty easy to get to in London, The Barbican is a multi-purpose arts centre that features a theatre, cinema, galleries, exhibitions and of course the concert hall. I’ve only been to a few concerts there but they have all been sensational, and last night’s was no different. The film music of Alexander Desplat including suites from The King’s Speech, Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows and a previously unreleased extract from The Grand Budapest Hotel were all performed by the LSO and conducted by the man himself, with some visual accompaniment too. What a night!

There is a great view from the circle wherever you sit and you can join the Young Barbican scheme for free if you are under 25 and get cheap tickets (and sometimes even free tickets) for a number of concerts all year round. My ticket for the concert cost £10. I’d definitely recommend checking out the programme at the Barbican as most of London’s orchestras perform there regularly, and they are the best in the world! Have a day trip to London and have your mind blown in the amazing venue.

Who To See in Brighton in December 2014

Sol3 Mio in Sydney - Who To See in Brighton in December
Sol3 Mio performing in Sydney
When I asked Sol3 Mio how excited they were to be featured in my blog this month, they took this photo from Sydney with a few of their fans to show their appreciation.
Now as anybody who has been into a shop in the last few months will realise, Christmas is fast approaching. I’m pretty certain that this year has gone at a record pace so before you knew it, the time for advent calendars, sock buying and going through the all important Christmas card list to see who makes the final cut.
Fortunately for those who are driven slightly crazy by the frenzy of people all around EVERYWHERE, the music scene in Brighton does not shut down for December and there are some great gigs coming up this month, from local bands to international artists. So whether your musical tipple is classical, orchestral, operatic, acoustic, folk, electronic or experimental, there will hopefully be something for you this month in my guide “Who To See in Brighton in December 2014”.
I hope that you all have a musical December! Keep music live and alive.
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Monday 1st December

Melting Vinyl Presents: Xylouris White + Thus Owls
The Hope – 7pm – £11/9 
Two for the price of one! Everybody loves a BOGOF deal at the supermarket, so why should a gig be any different? For this wonderful show, Melting Vinyl have paired up two duos for your delight – far better than a partridge in a pear tree if you ask me! Xylouris White is a combination of Jim White, the founder of Australian instrumental trio Dirty Three, and Giorgos Xylouris, a master Cretan lutenist – (it means he plays the lute – don’t worry, I had to google it first to be sure). Expect contemporary, melodic and adventurous music from this duo.
The second act performing is called Thus Owls – (A great name, that I would love to imagine stemmed from a fantastically intellectual conversation between two professors at Oxford University). Thus Owls is based around husband/wife duo Simon and Erika Angell, who were drawn together across the Atlantic (Simon was based in Canada before he moved to live with Erika in Sweden). Musically, her beautiful vocals rest comfortably on his spacious yet gutsy guitar parts in a delightful counterpoint.

OIB Presents: Beardyman
Concorde II – 7:30pm – £12.50 +b.f

If duos aren’t your thing, then perhaps you will prefer the eclectic genre-juxtaposing musical mayhem of Beardyman, the beat-boxing laptop-wielding looper genius man. Combining elements from Drum’n’Bass, Dubstep, Trance, Techno and pretty much every other niche of dance music, his music screams diversity as he carelessly throws a reggae beat or some folk ballad into the mix of things. Figuratively speaking, he opens the kitchen cupboards and throws a little of all the herbs and spices into the mix, but giving each on the chance to have its unique flavour before shifting it into something else. It will be something special so don’t miss out! 


Wednesday 3rd December

Martin Harley + Sam Lewis
Latest Music Bar – 8pm – £10
I first saw Martin Harley playing an intimate gig in Blue Sky Cafe in Bangor, whilst I was studying at the University there. I was very pleased to discover that he would be returning to play there again this year on his UK tour, as well as at Brighton’s Latest Music Bar. Martin is a sensational guitarist and a charismatic storyteller. His songs combine elements of blues, folk and roots, often featuring slide guitar playing and lap-guitar for an authentic country Americana sound, but coming from the UK (Martin was born in Cardiff). With his diverse range of songs and strong musicianship, I am sure that it will be another captivating performance.
Support for the tour comes from Nashville-based country and soul singer-songwriter Sam Lewis, who was handpicked by Martin after a chance meeting to accompany him for Sam’s first UK tour. Lets be sure to give him a warm welcome eh?


Sunday 7th December

Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra
Dome – 2:30pm – £11 – £35

The third installment of the BPO’s 90th Concert Season is a varied programme of shorter works, perfect for those worried about clapping at the wrong time in the middle of a symphony! The concert includes well known pieces such as Mendelssohn’s ‘Hebrides Overture (Fingal’s Cave)’ , Sullivan’s Overture: Pirates of Penzance and Vaughan Williams’ ‘A Lark Ascending’ to some less widely known pieces by composers Arnold, Butterworth, Coates and MacCunn. This concert provides a wide range of composition styles and forms all performed by the style and panache of the Brighton Philharmonic, u

Who To See in Brighton in November 2014

As the autumn leaves adorn the trees (and pavements) we welcome in the closing months of the 2014 – Where has the time gone really? With the Brighton Comedy Festival passed, November is the perfect chance to get back into live music and wean yourself off evenings at home in front of the TV or reading the latest Buzzfeed about absolutely nothing. This November has an exceptional variety of artists from jazz to folk and everything in between so why not take a look at my hot picks for for the month in Brighton and see what you like the look of. Keep music live and alive.

Wednesday 5th November

Melting Vinyl Presents: Ben Watt Trio – Komedia – 8:30pm – £15/£17
Ben Watt, it’s safe to say, has more than a few strings to his bow. As a performer, songwriter, singer, DJ and author, he certainly has plenty to keep himself busy and I’m sure that he rarely has idle thumbs! Former half of alt-pop duo Everything But The Girl, Ben has embarked on several other projects since their final performance in 2000 including a successful DJing career, setting up his own independent label, an online radio show, writing and publishing a couple of books and as of March 2013 continuing his solo career as a singer-songwriter. This month he will be performing some of his recent material with his trio. Support from Meadowlark


Thursday 6th November

The Sonic Agency Present: John Power Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar – 7pm – £10
Formerly of The La’s and Cast, John Power is a Liverpudlian singer-songwriter who has been performing music since the 80’s. Probably most famous for the song “Guiding Star” with Cast, his solo material has a grainy detail to it, with experienced hands of a seasoned guitarist and undeniably relaxed stage presence, he is just as comfortable flying solo as playing with a full band. For fans of Ocean Colour Scene and other Britpop/folk acts. With support from Alex Lipinski and local solo artist Lewis McKale


Saturday 8th November

The Thirst – Green Door Store – 7pm – £5

I first saw this band supporting Will and The People back in September 2013 and they were actually the first band that I ever did a video interview with, discussing Jamie Oliver, viral videos and of course their music. The guys were really friendly, hard-working and perform their catchy upbeat funky music with style and swagger. For fans of Bloc Party and funk bands. Check out their great cover of Get Lucky below!


Wednesday 12th November

Gregory Porter – Brighton Dome – 7:30pm – £27.50 – £37
Having seen Gregory perform at Cheltenham Jazz Festival and Love Supreme Festival two years running, I can safely say that he is not somebody that you will ever get tired of seeing live. His band of piano, double bass, drums and sax are super tight, supporting Mr Porter’s huge and beautiful voice which can fill concert halls and stadiums with ease. His songs are catchy, rhythmic, heartfelt and melodic, earning him great critical acclaim including the Best Vocal Jazz Album Grammy for his second album Liquid Spirit. Having spoken to him on several occasions, I know that Gregory loves performing in the UK and always puts on a fantastic show so dig deep for this one and come along to check out a contemporary jazz legend in the making. You won’t be sorry!


Tuesday 18th November

iluvlive – Komedia – 8:00pm – £2

iluvlive is a live music event which launched in London in 2004. Supporting homegrown talent through regular nights in London, Birmingham, Bristol, Liverpool, Nottingham and Manchester, it has previously featured big-hitters such as Jessie J, Ed Sheeran, Tinie Tempah, PLan B and Emile Sandi. Following the launch night in October, iluvlive is returning to Komedia for the second installment, showcasing local artists featuring Staniford, Kyra, Lu’Ami, Ceezlin and more artists to be announced. With 15 minute sets and a penchant for hip-hop/dance music, it’s a chance to see a wide range of up-and-coming artists for just a couple of pounds, or free when you sign up for the guestlist on


Wednesday 19th November

Paul Thomas Saunders – Green Door Store – 7pm – £9
Reviews of “Devastatingly Brilliant”, “Sensational” and “A revelation” from the national presses captured my attention with Paul Thomas Saunders, and rightly so. With rich synth textures Snow Patrol drums and Fleet Foxes style vocals, his music is quite poppy, friendly and very easy to listen to. With interesting track titles including ‘A Lunar Veteran’s Guide To Re-Entry‘ and ‘In High Heels Burn It Down’ his album Beautiful Desolation is certainly an interesting addition to any CD collection. Check out the video ‘Appointment In Samarra‘ below.


Thursday 20th November

Marika Hackman – Green Door Store – 8pm – £9.20

Another find of mine from Latitude Festival this year, Marika Hackman is closing her November tour of the UK with a performance at Brighton’s Green Door Store. I was instantly captivated by her song “Bath Is Black” and from then on I was hooked. She combines a lyrical rhythm and narrative style often associated with the likes of Arctic Monkeys, telling things how they are, underpinned by a wash of bouncy synths, guitars and drums. Lots of acute little melodies to keep you humming along for weeks after. Don’t miss out!

Monday 24th November

Melting Vinyl Presents: Asgeir – Komedia – 8pm – £12.50/£14.50

Writing and performing catchy Icelandic folk-pop songs with a beautiful atmospheric edge to them has brought Asgeir a strong international fanbase. I saw his set at Latitude this year and the audience were captivated by his soft falsetto vocals and simple yet moving lyrics: 

“Higher, higher
Far away
And the glare of this world
Is small and humbled”

For a man with a clearly limited knowledge of English language – there was not a lot of talking in between his tracks – Asgeir is a straight down to business kinda guy with the music to back it up.


Tuesday 25th November

Ruarri Joseph Trio – Komedia – 7:30pm – £11.50

Edinbugh-born Ruarri Joseph found his roots in songwriting after moving to New Zealand at the age of 11 in a remote farming community called Dannevirke. After moving to London (age 16) and then Cornwall (age 17) Ruarri had the first of his three children aged just 19. After prioritising his family, he decided to venture on with his music as a solo artist, with his first EP ‘All Substance and No Style‘ catching the attention of Atlantic records who oversaw the release of his debut album ‘Tales of Grime and Grit’ in 2007. Since then, Ruarri started his own label, Pip Productions which he released his following albums on, including most recently Big Brother in 2012/2013. His folk songs are personal, warm and sincere. For fans of classic folk artists like Dylan and Cohen, as well as next generation folk artists like Jack Johnson and Ben Howard.


Wednesday 26th November

Melting Vinyl Presents: Perfume Genius – The Haunt  – 7pm – £10/£12

Fresh from the release of his third album, Too Bright, Seattle-based solo artist Mike Hadreas aka Perfume Genius, is touring America in October before heading over the Atlantic for his European and UK tour, Performing in Brighton on 26th November. With a reputation for piano ballads, Perfume Genius builds on this in his critically acclaimed new album which is no longer “a little timid” and more staring you straight in the eye and giving you a good talking to. As he recently told Port Magazine 
“[For this album] I have this very specific man-dressed-as-a-woman-dressed-as-a-man kind of thing, like an Inception drag. I want things to look iconic and have a classy feel, but still feel like me”. 
Check out the video below for his track ‘Grid‘.


Sunday 30th November

Ian Shaw – The Brunswick – 8pm – £12/£10 advance

Twice winner of “Best Jazz Vocalist” at the BBC Jazz Awards, presenter of the Ronnie Scott’s radio show on and performer on a number of highly acclaimed albums, Ian Shaw’s name has become a household name when talking about male jazz vocalists. Having performed on a number of TV shows from Jools Holland to Top of the Pops and collaborated with everybody from Quincy Jones to Cleo Laine and Joe Beck, Ian has had a prolific and successful career in the jazz arena. His latest show, A Bit of a Mouthful, fresh from his run at Edinburgh Fringe Festival, combines comedy, original songs and great musicianship for a night of class and entertainment.


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