Category Archives: Brighton Komedia

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 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

little-comets-2017-tour

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 AfterDark.co

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!

WATCH TOP 6 GABRIELLE APLIN VIDEOS

More gigs to be added soon!

FEB INTERVIEWS & FEATURES

MOVES FESTIVAL FOUNDERS NED & NICHOLSON

MOVES Festival 2017 banner

ESBEN & THE WITCH

Esben and the Witch February 2017 UK Tour Interview Brighton

VICTORIOUS FESTIVAL 2017 – FIRST LOOK 5 TOP ARTISTS

victorious-festival-2017

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

Whats-on-brighton-july-2016-love-supreme-festival
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

whats-on-brighton-july-2016-lola-colt-hope-and-ruin
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

whats-on-brighton-july-2016-tunde-brighton-komedia
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

spectrum
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
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-uk-tour-brighton
Living Body are performing at Brighton’s Green Door Store on Monday 25th July.

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

Read the full preview on AfterDark Brighton.

(22/07) More to be added next week

 

Signals Band Interview – June 2016

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

13/4 – Signals Band Interview

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

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

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

What’s On Brighton May 2016 – Tom Sayer

Welcome to this month’s live entertainment guide What’s On Brighton May 2016 featuring 3 metropolitan Festivals – Brighton Festival (7-29 May), Brighton Fringe (6 May – 5 June) and The Great Escape (19-21 May) – and much more besides. If you’re not one to go out to gigs, theatre, comedy and the like, then this month is the perfect opportunity to see some of the finest performers, musicians and artists from around the world showcasing their wares in our humble city. I will go into more detail with them as the month goes on and my show previews begin to surface. So for now, it’s business as usual with my monthly what’s on live entertainment and music guide for Brighton for May 2016.

What’s On Brighton May 2016

whats-on-brighton-may-2016-adam-buxtonLive at the Theatre Royal with Adam Buxton

Invisible Dot Promotions – Sun 1st May – 7:45pm
The Theatre Royal – Tickets £22.90 – £32.90 +b.f – BUY TICKETS

Many of you will have no doubt heard of Adam Buxton through the same way that I did – his YouTube hit series BUG, where Adam would trawl through the internet for the best comments on music videos and rip them to shreds with a clever deadpan delivery. His comedy comes not only from his delivery but his great choice of content, which resonates with the average internet user – and some would say the more time you spend online, the funnier BUG becomes. Fast forward a few years and Adam Buxton has moved on from BUG – I recently saw him on 8 out of 10 Cats Does Countdown which was also hilarious.

In a similar format to the Live at the Apollo comedy nights, Live at Theatre Royal features a number of other comedians alongside Adam Buxton including Edinburgh Comedy Award winner 2015 Sam Simmons, mischievous observations from Dane Baptiste and comedy pop star Mae Martin MC for what promises to be a memorable night of comedy!

For those who’ve not heard of Adam Buxton, below is an episode of BUG to give you an idea what may be in store for the show.

adam-buxton.co.uk
@AdamBuxton

whats-on-brighton-2016-ed-sansom-ep-launchEdward Sansom EP Launch

  Facebook Event – Tue 3rd May – 7:30pm
The Hope & Ruin – FREE ENTRY

Local singer-songwriter Ed Sansom is releasing his long-awaited debut EP, The Talk at this FREE EP Launch at The Hope & Ruin. Moving from being a solo artist with a loop pedal to enlisting a full backing band, Ed’s music has taken a step away from singer-songwriter towards a fully-formed frontman for his own band and I look forward to hearing them in force at the show, having only seen Ed playing solo before.

You can listen to the EP on Spotify and it’s available to buy online from iTunes for just £2.99. Support comes from some great emerging local talents, Megan Lara Mae who will be playing a full band set and Sam Jordan, ahead of his own EP launch at The Joker on Friday 6th May.

www.facebook.com/EdwardSansomMusic
@ZedRansom

whats-on-brighton-may-2016-time-for-tTime For T

Facebook Event – Mon 9th May – 8pm
The Prince Albert – Tickets £5 adv + bf, £7 otd – BUY TICKETS

After seeing Tiago performing a solo set, in support of Basia Bulat last month at the Hope & Ruin, I’m thrilled to see that Time For T will be back performing in Brighton as part of their May tour – and not just once, also performing at Marwoods on 21st May as part of the Alternative Great Escape Festival. Which vocals off the scale and impressive guitar licks to fill in, Tiago is very comfortable in his own skin when performing solo and takes it to another level when playing with the full band. Tiago’s solo EP released last month and is available to buy now – you can get a cheeky preview of it on Soundcloud too. Head on down for what will undoubtedly be a busy one at the pint-sized Prince Albert.

Support comes from regular gig companions Normanton Street and Little t.

www.timefortmusic.com/
@timefortband

What's On Brighton March 2016 - FoxesFoxes (RESCHEDULED FROM MARCH 8TH)

 One Inch Badge
Wed 11th May – 7:30pm
Concorde II – 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 to showcase her new album, All I Need, which released on 5th February this year. 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

whats-on-brighton-may-2016-9Bach9Bach

DHP Presents – Sun 15th May – 7pm
Brighton Komedia – £14 – BUY TICKETS

Welsh language folk music group 9Bach is returning to Brighton this month, fresh from the release of their latest album Anian – which translates roughly as temperament, nature or instinct (I am sure this will be clarified at the gig). Their previous 2014 album Tincian won Best Album at the BBC Folk Music Awards 2015, so the bar is set pretty high with the follow up, and judging by the music reviews that I’ve seen of it so far, it does not disappoint at all.

Whilst listening to music in a language other than your own can be challenging at times, you appreciate the melody, intonation and feeling of the songs more without having to make out the lyrics, something that I usually find takes dominance when listening to folk songs. 9Bach’s performance last year was intimate, intricate and engaging and left you with a sweetness in your ears in the way that a lollipop leaves its residue in your mouth long after you’ve finished it.

Read my review of Tincian 

9Bach return with the same support as their last Brighton show , Scottish duo Twelfth Day, who are well worth arriving early for!

www.9bach.com/
@9bach

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

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

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

What’s On Brighton October 2015

It’s been a busy September. My highlights from the hectic last month include:

  • End Of The Road Festival –  4 days of fantastic live music (and I even got to play a few songs on the piano stage)
  • Getting to interview Luke Concannon (Nizlopi) and see his and Jimmy Davis’s spectacular live show
  • Releasing another single online – The Architect/ Moving On
  • Having a much needed catchup with my guitarist Tom and recording this rough demo of a track called “Is This It?”
          Is This It (live demo) - Tom Sayer

Looking on, here are my picks of what I’m looking forward to this month in my guide to What’s On Brighton October 2015.

What's On Brighton October 2015 - Hippodrome BenefitThe Golden Years of Theatre: Our Brighton Hippodrome Benefit

Sun 4th October, 2:30pm doors, 3pm start
Brighton Komedia – BUY TICKETS

Find out about the history of theatre from actor Nigel Nevinson as he talks about his mother, Nancy Nevinson, and her long career as an actress, examining how theatre has changed from the 1930s to the present day.

This event is a benefit for the Our Hippodrome charity, which is currently raising funds and awareness for the Brighton Hippodrome, and trying to bring the venue to be restored to its former glory. Even if you can’t make the event, please have a look at their website, and if you can donate some time or money to help their noble cause.  Brighton needs venues like the Hippodrome to attract  musicians, theatre companies and a wealth of other performers to our south coast so help get the building back on its feet!

ourhippodrome.org.uk
@ourhippodrome

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

11th October, 2:45pm
Brighton Dome – Tickets from £11.50 – BUY TICKETS

Starting their 91st concert season, The Brighton Philharmonic will be opening the bill with Tchaikovsky’s Francesca da Rimini, Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No.1 and closing the afternoon with Kallinikov’s Symphony No.1. It seems quite fitting that on this opening concert two of these piece were the composer’s first entries in the mediums of piano concerti and symphonies.

Brighton Dome is a fantastic venue for hearing classical music in, with its architecture giving every audience member a great sound as well as a wonderful view. My personal tip is to get seats in the circle if possible, as I find the sound carries better up and towards the back. So sit back, relax and enjoy a Sunday afternoon with the Brighton Philharmonic. And if you like it, why not think about getting a season ticket to make sure that you never miss a performance.

www.brightonphil.org.uk
@BPO_orchestra

What's On Brighton October 2015 - Rival ConsolesRival Consoles

Tuesday 13th October, 7:00pm
Green Door Store – £8 + bf/ £10 otd – BUY TICKETS

London-based producer Ryan Lee West aka Rival Consoles will eb showcasing his ambient atmospheric electronic in the confines of the dark and damp stables that is the Green Door Store.  Ryan is a kind of aural cosmonaut, exploring musical soundscapes and ideas of time and space in his music. Check out his track ‘Odyssey’ and see if you’re ready for the journey.


www.facebook.com/rivalconsoles
@rivalconsoles

What's On Brighton October 2015 - Sahara

Sahara + The Habitats + Object Object + LoupZillas

Thursday 15th October, 7:30pm
The Hope & Ruin –  £5 adv/ £6 otd

Hear the latest upcoming indie grooves with this 4 band line-up including 3 local bands and out-of-towners The Habitats. With the upstairs of the Hope (&Ruin) now completely redone, there’s a lot more space to see the bands (plus the sound man there is a dude and always gets it spot on). Get down early to avoid being stuck at the back by the bar, unless you like being at the back by the bar, in which case arrive whenever.

Check out this live video (albeit it 2 years old) to get an idea about the night. Expect jangly guitars and upbeat tracks so bring your dancing shoes.

www.facebook.com/SAHARASUCK
@SAHARASUCK

Oxjam BrightonOxjam Brighton Takeover

Saturday 17th October, ALL DAY
MULTIPLE VENUES ACROSS BRIGHTON–  £9 – BUY TICKETS

Love music? Like multi-venue inner-city festivals? Have a spare tenner? If the answer to these three questions is yes then Oxjam Takeover is definitely for you. It’s kind of like a scaled down version of The Great Escape taking place on just one day, but there is still a wealth of bands on display and with a pricetag that everybody can afford, it’s definitely worth a punt. Do so something great and help out Oxfam by enjoying a full day of live music all across Brighton. See an interview with the organisers of the festival below and see you there!

www.facebook.com/OxjamBrightonTakeOver
@OxjamBrighton15

What's On Brighton October 2015 - Brighton FolkBrighton Folk

Sunday 18th October, 8:00pm
The Brunswick–  £FREE

A monthly folk/acoustic night hosted by singer-songwriter Amy Hill in the intimate setting of The Brunswick. Each month, different hand-picked artists perform to the eager audience. I can’t find the line up for this month’s edition yet, but I’m still up for checking it out, based on the callibre of acts that have previous played on the night. So if you’re at a loss for a Sunday evening, why not pop along and ease the harsh transition out of the weekend!

www.thebrunswick.net
www.facebook.com/brightonfolk

What's On Brighton October 2015 - Folklore SessionsFolklore Sessions 1st Birthday

Tuesday 20th October, 8:00pm
The White Rabbit –  £FREE

I can’t believe that it’s been a whole year since local singer-songwriter Jacko Hooper set up this monthly acoustic showcase at The White Rabbit. From sultry solo artists to stripped down bands, Folklore Sessions is everything that Live Lounge used to be (before Radio 1 went a little bit mad with it). The music is always top notch, the atmosphere is respectful for the performers and the general buzz around Folklore is always one that you leave on a high with. Having recently hosted a stage at Together The People Festival, Folklore Sessions is definitely going places, and I’m keen to see where the next turn in the road will take it.

This month’s anniversary line-up includes some of Jacko’s favourites from the last year: Bess Atwell, Oktoba and Aniseed Treats. See you there! Hopefully there will be baloons!  

www.facebook.com/folkloresessions
@jacko_hooper

What's On Brighton October 2015 - BeardymanBeardyman: An Album Per Hour

Wednesday 21st & Thursday 24th October, 8:00pm
The Old Market, Hove – £18/16 conc – BUY TICKETS

Come and witness a truly unique event (twice if you really want) at The Old Market, Hove where Beardyman will be making a brand new album live on stage for your enjoyment. If you’ve not heard of Beardyman before, check out the video below which features this show live at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2015. Don’t worry, there are no spoilers. He’ll be doing it completely fresh on the nights. Check it out!


www.beardyman.co.uk
@beardyman

More to be added as the month goes on….. If you have any gig suggestions, CD review requests or live review requests, please drop me a line on tom@tomsayer.co.uk

What’s On Brighton September 2015

After taking two months off to work on the music for a feature film (something that I have always wanted to do), I find that my musical vigour and passion has concentrated and I look forward to making a lot more music as well as writing about. In the meanwhile, since finishing my role working up north mid-August, I have been very busy readjusting back into normal life (if you can ever call it that). Some of my highlights from the last month are:

  • Me and Earl and The Dying Girl – A fantastic film that I was lucky enough to see a preview of through Show Film First. It’s a great place to get free preview tickets to shows at short notice. Sign up and keep an eye on their twitter.
  • Krater Comedy Club – I think sometimes Brightonians take for granted that we have this multiple award-winning night on our doorstep throughout the weekend, with up to 5 shows per weekend. I’ve never seen a bad act and I’ve been to a fair few. Definitely a good plan if you’re without a plan at the weekend! Sign up to their mailing list for great deals and keep an eye on the @KomediaBrighton for competitions too!
  • Life Story Prom : Royal Albert Hall – Not in Brighton but just a short train ride away, the proms are a must for me every year and this was one of my favourites. The music of Murray Gold performed by the BBC Concert Orchestra and narrated by none other than Sir David Attenborough. With 1,350 tickets available on the day for gallery and arena areas, there’s a great chance of nabbing a £5 day ticket. The proms finish on 12th September so don’t miss out! More info on www.bbc.co.uk/proms 


Without further ado here are my picks of the best of What’s On Brighton September 2015.

What's On Brighton September 2015 - EOTR

End Of The Road Festival

4-6th September
Llama Tree Gardens – SOLD OUT

It’s the tenth anniversary year of this festival and my first time coming but I can’t wait! My girlfriend has been for the last few years and has always enjoyed it, speaking highly of the music, the people attending and the general good vibes going around during the festival. The line-up has a few big names that I recognise, like Sufjan Stevens, War On Drugs, Laura Marling and Tame Impala, but mostly I am looking forward to discovering some new music whilst I am there.

endoftheroadfestival.com
@EOTR

What's On Brighton September 2015

Together The People Festival

5-6th September
Preston Park – BUY TICKETS

If I hadn’t already booked up for EOTR, I’d definitely have been attending Together The People Festival (TTP) for its first year. The line-up looks fantastic, including Jose Gonzalez, Super Furry Animals, Ghost Poet, Luke Sital-Singh + more, featuring a whole stage filled by Folklore Sessions, the monthly showcase brainchild of local singer-songwriter Jacko Hooper. I am genuinely sad that I won’t get to check out the festival in its first year, but hopefully it will be back next year! Tickets are still available online at a real bargain price of just £75 for the weekend and £39.50 for one day, so if you’re looking for something to do for the weekend in Brighton, this is probably your best bet!

www.togetherthepeople.co.uk

@ttp_festival

Whats On Brighton September 2015 - Luke Concannon and Jimmy Davis

Luke Concannon + Jimmy Davis

Friday 11th September – 8:00pm
The Brunswick – £7 adv/ £8 otd – BUY TICKETS

Before returning to Brighton with his full band (Nizlopi) in November, Luke Concannon is embarking on a solo tour with fellow troubadour and hip-hip songwriter Jimmy Davis for this joint headline tour across the UK. The pair have the Ed Sheeran seal of approval, with Luke being referred to by the ginger Prince of acoustic pop as his ‘role model’, they supported Ed on his London previous tour dates at Brixton Academy and Shepherds Bush Empire.

As a lovely added touch, before each show on the tour, Luke and Jimmy will be running a free 1 hour songwriting workshop at the venues, allowing their fans to talk about the techniques behind the songwriting and perhaps get a chance to play them one of their songs. Attendees of this exclusive session will also get 1/2 price entry to the evening shows. You can’t say fairer than that!

 www.lukeconcannon.com
www.jimmydavisdavis.com

Willard Grant Conspiracy

Wildwood &Brighthelmstone Promotions Presents Willard Grant Conspiracy + Old Lost John

Thursday 17th September – 7:30pm
Prince Albert –  £12 adv – BUY TICKETS

Rounding off their UK tour with a performance at the prestigious Prince Albert in Brighton, Willard Grant Conspiracy will be raising the roof in a trio formation – with guitar, vocals, cello, viola and, of course, a musical saw! The band caught my attention from first listen, and they have been rightly compared to Warren Ellis and Nick Cave with their dark yet rich songwriting style – like an 85% cocoa Lindt chocolate bar.

Support comes from one-man band Old Lost John aka Swedish folk noir songwriter Tomas Thunberg.


www.willardgrantconspiracy.com
@willardgrant

What's On Brighton September 2015 - Addictive TV Orchestra of Samples

Addictive TV: Orchestra of Samples

Saturday 19th September – 7:30pm
The Old Market, Hove – £10 – BUY TICKETS

As a part of the Brighton Digital Festival, TOM and BDF Present a one-off special performance of their show “Orchestra of Samples”.  Created by filming over 200 musicians all across the globe, the live performance will bring them together for an audio-visual sensation, supported by the innovative street percussion masters from STOMP for a performance which will be like no other! With rave reviews from national and international presses and online media, I can’t wait to see what the guys will conjure up and will be attending with an open mind and open ears. Support comes from the wonderful singer-songwriter Cate Ferris and an exclusive new screening of some short films from  animation house DOG & RABBIT.


www.addictive.tv
@addictivetv

What's On Brighton September 2015 - A Night At The Hucklebuck

A Night At The Hucklebuck

Friday 25th September – 8:00pm
The Old Market, Hove – £15/10 concessions – BUY TICKETS

Forget X-Factor and Britain’s Got Talent, if you are looking for a local equivalent of The Royal Variety Performance, you need look no further than A Night At The Hucklebuck. Arranged by comedian and ventriloquist Steve Hewlett in memory of his close friend and colleague Nathan Zahorchak, who sadly passed away aged just 38, A Night At The Hucklebuck is a good old-fashioned variety show featuring magic, music, comedy, circus, film and much more. The audience are invited to attend in fancy dress and there will be a celebrity raffle and a special surprise guest joining the bill too. So come, bring your family and be truly entertained for one Friday evening!

www.thestevehewlettshow.com
@ventriloquist29

More to be added as the month goes on….. If you have any gig suggestions, CD review requests or live review requests, please drop me a line on tom@tomsayer.co.uk

Porchlight Smoker – Water Into Sand – Album Review

Porchlight Smoker is a folk/roots band formed of members from the USA, Scotland and London, giving the band an authentic folk sound with a nomadic feel to it, which you would not necessarily associate with Brighton. By combining elements of Traditional American folk, Celtic folk and English folk, the band is almost a complete history of folk music in itself, fused together by a host of quirky (and folky) instruments such as the mandolin, lap-steel guitar, banjo, stand-up bass and clarinet (ok that one is not too common amongst folk groups), and their four part vocal harmonies, which give their songs a communal inclusive feel which projects onto their audiences.

Porchlight Smoker Review - Album Cover Water Into Sand

Water Into Sand‘ is the band’s third offering, following on from their self titled previous albums ‘Porchlight Smoker‘ and ‘Porchlight Smoker 2′ released in 2011 and 2012 respectively. The album was launched with a sell-out performance at Brighton Komedia on Saturday 24th January. Check out my review of the album below and if you like it, it is available to buy online, and the old fashioned way from Resident Records in Brighton.

Porchlight Smoker Review - Resident Records

1. Mary Mary

Opening the album with a harmonica, guitar and banjo in full swing, combined with the first line from a nursery rhyme – “Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow?” – is quite a bold thing to do, but I think that it really works.

This first track, for newbies to the band, establishes not only their sound but also their generation. They are by no means young men, like a lot of the folkies out there at the moment are, but they are not trying to be, and having a confidence to do your own thing regardless of what the trends are doing is something which deserves credit. Coming from a different perspective, this track defines their voice, and it’s certainly one that I want to hear more of.

2. Man In A Boat

Following on from the English folky opener, Man In A Boat definitely has more of an Americana feel, with the pedal-steel guitar, call and response vocals and an unmistakable Southern States vibe. Watch their live video for the track below.

3. Maria Kennedy

The first signs of sentimentality rear their heads in this track, as the singer recalls nostalgically about a lost love (assumingly named Maria Kennedy), with a fiddle and all! This slightly twee track actually has a really catchy melody to it that you may find yourself humming a few days later and not too sure where it came from.

4. A Day in Mid July

This track opens beautifully with the distant cry of a harmonica in the background, reminiscent of old western films and their desolate settings.  The song is a confessional, with the narrator apologising to his parents for his ill-deeds, with the feel of a cowboy returning home after a shoot-out in the desert, except with mention of TV and phones bringing us back to the present day (or not too distant past).

5. US75

US75 is undeniably a hoedown. Grab your partners, swing them round. Do-si-do and shake it down for this square dance style track. If there were folk songs that could make the crowd go wild, this is probably the kind of thing that would do it!

6. Instead

Another Americana track, Instead is a gentle and slow ballad about forgiveness with a lovely wash of pedal-steel guitar underneath.

7. Cleaner’s Rag

Possibly a slight tip of the hat to George Formby’s ‘When I’m Cleaning Windows’, this mandolin driven track is a light-hearted relief from the previous track, taking the album once again into a new direction into ragtime, quite far from the previous varieties of folk, but it works really well and musically is a very interesting track with interesting harmonies and instrumentation, without any vocals.

8. If I Had A Way

In contrast to the upbeat instrumental before, If I Had A Way is a somber and poignant song about longing for a lost loved one and pleading to get them back, whatever it takes.

9. Waiting For A Train

Another Southern influenced Americana tune, this track feels slightly old fashioned, but I think that may well be the point. A lot of American folk was written in a different time when lives were very different, so I personally find that it can be hard sometimes to relate to tracks set in this era. That said, I am often waiting for a train, but in a very different way I feel!

10. Homeline

Described by Radio 2’s Whispering Bob Harris as “An absolute gem”, Homeline has a quirky Dylan feel to its melody, with the vocal harmonies giving the track a lovely lift. Check out a live video of this track taken from Union Music Store earlier this year.

11. I Don’t Mind

Rounding off the album with this smooth 3-minute bluesy track, Porchlight Smoker show that they are more than your average folk band, with many strings to their folky bow, guitars, mandolin and banjo. The album is a far-reaching and broad ranging one, and a stong continuation from their previous works which is sure to turn heads in the local and national folk scene.

For more information on Porchlight Smoker visit:  –http://www.porchlightsmoker.com/
Facebook.com/porchlightsmoker
@porchlightsmokr