Category Archives: Brighton Music

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 October 2016

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

What’s On Brighton October 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more on AfterDark

Pictish Trail @ Green Door Store – Monday 10th October

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

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

Read my full preview on AfterDark

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

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

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

Read my full preview on AfterDark

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

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

Read my full preview on AfterDark

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

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

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

Read my interview with InMe guitarist Gazz Marlow on AfterDark

Other Music News

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

Eyes and Ears Brighton
Eyes and Ears Brighton

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

Full story

Review of the Month – Heart to Heart EP

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

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

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

Read my full review

What’s On Brighton 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 June 2016 – Tom Sayer

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

What’s On Brighton May 2016


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

wildlife-festival-2016Wildlife Festival

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

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

Read my full preview for Wild Life Festival

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

What’s On Brighton April 2016 – Tom Sayer

Welcome to this month’s live music Brighton What’s On Guide – featuring two EP launches, the return of a Canadian folk favourite of mine and much more.

Before we begin, I’ve created a playlist for you to sample the artists coming to Brighton this month – it’s great listening whilst you’re at work. The playlist is just under an hour and has some great new music for your ears. I hope that you enjoy it!

What’s On Brighton April 2016

What's On Brighton April 2016 - FoxesGood Rockin Tonight with Si Cranstoun

 Terry Dash Music – Fri 8th April – 7:45pm
The Old Market, Hove – Tickets £17/16 concessions – BUY TICKETS

Fancy a night of something a little different? Then head down to The Old Market in Hove for ‘Good Rockin Tonight’, the latest show from doo-wop crooner Si Cranstoun. Combining influences from many of the greats from Northern Soul and Motown, Si has been likened to Sam Cooke and Jackie Wilson – certainly not something that you hear every day!

Complete with a 6-piece live band, Good Rockin Tonight promises to be a night where you won’t be sitting down quietly and politely clapping between tracks. With his overpowering vintage vibes and contemporary R&B edge, Si Cranstoun will start your weekend with an energetic bang that will leave you on a high until Monday morning. Check out his track Dance For Evermore below and buy your tickets from the link above from The Old Market.

What's On Brighton April 2016 - Tom SayerGiorgia-May EP Launch

 QM Records – Tue 12th April – 8pm
Patterns – FREE ENTRY

The latest in a series of regular nights put on by QM Records, local talent Giorgia-May will be launching her second EP, the follow up to her debut Trouble Sleeping (2014) at Patterns in this FREE night of great live music from a host of emerging Brighton musicians – the city where many great musicians are born, but even more visit and never leave (except to go on tour of course).

Giorgia-May’s music is smooth and well-crafted easy listening, mixing jazzy chords with a sultry vocal which doesn’t need to shout to draw the attention of the listeners in – it’s the musical equivalent to draping a silk scarf around somebody and slowly pulling them towards you.

Supports come from some great local acts, soulful rising star Mariella West (who will hopefully be performing her recent release ‘Sober‘), Francesca Fulmini (playing with her amazing new band) and fresh from his very own EP release show in February, Rob Godfrey. It’s a free entry show so if you’re free, get down and support some local live music.

the-island-club-whats-on-brighton-april-2016The Island Club

One Inch Badge – Thur 14th April – 8pm
The Prince Albert – Tickets £5 adv + bf, £7 otd – BUY TICKETS

The instantly likeable The Island Club caught my attention with a single track, Paper Kiss (video below) and I straight away felt like they were a band that I’d been listening to for years. Headlining at the intimate Prince Albert (just underneath the arches of Brighton station), The Island Club’s music will surely have people up and dancing, bouncing off the band’s infectious energy and feel good music.

Island Club have been busy over the last few months, playing some packed out London shows, including gigs at KOKO and Hoxton Bar & Kitchen. Catch the band live in Brighton ahead of their upcoming set as part of The Great Escape Festival (19-21st May 2016) where you can be sure to expect big things, with industry scouts on the look out for the hottest new talent to snap up.

Support comes from Brighton based guitar duo Tuska, performing their spacious alternative anthemic tracks to start the night off.

normanton-street-ep-launch-april-2016Normanton Street EP Launch

Fri 15th April – 7pm
Patterns – Early bird £6. £10 otd – BUY TICKETS

Returning from a recent crowd-funded trip to perform at SXSW in Austin, Texas, Normanton Street are sure to receive their usual strong local support for their first Brighton show since their return (and since their NYE bash at Prince Albert).  The show is part of a 3 date tour Brighton – Manchester – London) to support their new EP, ‘Life’s Real’, starting with the official EP Launch show in their adopted hometown of Brighton.

Turning what was formerly Audio, primarily a club venue not particularly associated with live music, into a regular venue for emerging live music, supporting local artists through their label QM Records has been one of their great contributions to the city of Brighton – and one that people need to take notice of.

Support for this show comes from Lebeaux, One Eyed Jacks and old friends Frankie Stew and Harvey Gunn.

basia-bulat-brighton-april-2016Basia Bulat

Good Lies – Wed 19th April – 8pm
Hope&Ruin – £11 adv – BUY TICKETS

Two years is too long to be away from Brighton in my opinion, but Basia Bulat has finally returned, bringing with her the spoils of her labours in the form of her latest album ‘Good Advice’, which was released in February this year.

Following on from a mammoth USA tour, including a number of shows at SXSW, Basia is in the UK for just a handful of dates before continuing her tour across Europe throughout April and into May. Her catchy melodies, charming stage demeanour and assortment of instruments that she plucks out of her flight case are three great reasons to see her live – and if you’ve heard her music then you’ll know it’s not a particularly hard sell.

Read my review of her last Brighton show in 2014 on – Basia Bulat Blows Brighton Away (Feb 12th 2014) – and watch the video for the track that I first discovered her from ‘Tall Tall Shadow’ the title track from her 2013 album.

laura-reznek-uk-tour-april-2016Laura Reznek

 Fri 21st April – 8pm
The Marwood – FREE ENTRY

If you’re into fine coffee (or tea), cake and music then The Marwood is the venue of your dreams. This cafe is filled during the daytime with everybody from businessmen to hipsters, students to single mums – a wide array of the people from the cosmopolitan city of Brighton, and in the evening a few nights a week, the place doubles up as an intimate music venue, particularly suited to acoustic acts and stripped down band sets.

Laura Reznek is a Canadian singer-songwriter, based in London who is heading to Brighton as part of her mini UK tour, showcasing her 2015 album ‘Who Came Before Us’ – You can listen to the album on her soundcloud page. From first listen there is something captivating about her music, from her soprano highs to her gravelly lows and her smooth tones in between, Laura’s songs are varied in mood, texture and style, with an album that effortlessly fluctuates between slower ballads and up-tempo Alanis-esque tracks. Watch the video for her track Staircase below and come along (if not just for the coffee and cake, but also for the great music).

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

New Music Review – October 2015

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

Gavin Chappell-Bates – We Are The Ones EP

new music review - gavin chappell-bates

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

Download on Bandcamp

Lewis Bootle – Friction In The Funds EP

new music review - lewis bootle

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

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

Buy on iTunes

Vices – Forest Floor EP

new music review - vices

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

Download on Bandcamp

Tommy Sissons – Summer of Discontentment EP

new music review - tommy sissons

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

Download on Bandcamp

Daudi Matsiko – The Lingering Effects of Disconnection EP

new music review - daudi-matsiko

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

Download his previous EP on Bandcamp

Sofar Sounds Brighton @ Dynamite Gallery

Last week I was fortunate enough to be one of three performers at the June edition of Sofar Sounds Brighton, which was held inside the lovely venue of the Dynamite Gallery in Brighton on Trafalgar Street.

Sofar Sounds Brighton - The Fiction Aisle
The Fiction Aisle. Photo by Nicola Jackson.

After pretty severe delays on the train (considering it was just a 3 minute journey from Hove to Brighton station), I arrived about 15 minutes before the doors opened and a stage was set inside the bay of the shop window. The first act on was a very stripped back version of The Fiction Aisle, just 1/5 of their full line-up with just Tom White on vocals and acoustic guitar, backed up by the lovely sounds of a Korg played by Alan Grice. Their set consisted of just three songs, as unfortunately Alan had somewhere else to be straight afterwards, however the set was certainly short but sweet! Tom’s soft vocals were expressive and dynamic in places, which slotted in well under his guitar playing and the smooth wash of sound on the keys, which featured well throughout, embellishing the chords and playing solos to give the songs a welcome new dimension. I’d not heard TFA before and this appetiser has certainly made me want to see the full band set-up live very soon.

Sofar Sounds Brighton - Tom Sayer
Tom Sayer. Photo by Nicola Jackson.

After a quick removal of equipment from the stage I went up to play. As the gig was unplugged, there was no technical wizardry required and without amplification it definitely felt like there was less of a barrier between the performer and the audience. Having not played a live show in a little while, particularly one of this kind with nowhere to hide, I was keen to get my first song out of the way to feel more comfortable. I glanced at my set-list and then ignored it and played an old track Sway that my girlfriend had requested I play and I had previously dismissed. The audience were silent and still. It is quite unlike anything I have experienced as a performer before. I looked up and felt like I was some kind of teacher with the best behaved class in the world. Except I wasn’t teaching them anything, just playing them a few of my songs.

After encouraging the audience to imagine that they were inside the cool looking painting behind me (it was quite hot in the gallery mid-heatwave) I played Is This It then High Masts, a tale of two friends from uni who were never meant to split up (which the audience seemed to genuinely care about). Finally, a shameless plug of my new single All I’ve Got/Heartstrings (neither or which I played as they are piano-based songs) which I encourage people to look up on YouTube as they have cool videos, before finishing off with Spend A Little Time With Me. Applause. Interval. And relax. Buzzed.

Sofar Sounds Brighton - Lights
Lights, Camera, Sofar! Photo by Nicola Jackson.

Some of the audience spoke to me during the interval as we all stood outside, some smoking and many heading to the corner shop for a drink or two. One thing Sofar Sounds does very well is uniting the performers and the audience, which makes it much easier to interact with everybody and help to develop your fans in an organic and honest way.

The final act of the evening was Will Mussett who performed some solo acoustic versions of tracks from his album November Storm. (You can here the album in full here). Leaning on the pop side of singer-songwriter, Will was featured as last Wednesday’s BBC Introducing Track of the Day with his song Follow, so he is definitely one to keep an eye out for in the future.

Sofar Sounds Brighton - Snake
Watch Out! Photo by Nicola Jackson.

Overall, the Sofar Sounds Brighton gigs have been some of the best unplugged and stripped back shows that I have been to in recent months. The unusual venues add an excitement for both the performers and the audience and by keeping things short it gives the audience a chance to try out some new bands and listen to more online/ speak to them after to find out about upcoming gigs. I would strongly recommend all local performers to try to get a slot to perform at Sofar Sounds Brighton, and any new music fans to apply for tickets each month to some of the most memorable intimate gigs you will ever see.


Love Supreme 2015 Clashfinder

The weather for next weekend is looking to be a scorcher, so if you’ve been waiting to buy your tickets, now may be a good time to do so!

Love Supreme 2015 Weather

In the meanwhile, I’ve made a Love Supreme 2015 Clashfinder based on the given set times which were released online on 15th June here.

You can download the Clashfinder to your phone or print off a copy to bring with you (in case your phone battery dies whilst you’re away at the Festival) to make sure that you never miss an act at Love Supreme 2015.

Download the Love Supreme 2015 Clashfinder or view it online here.

See you at the festival and lets hope the weather stays good for a third year running!

More on Love Supreme…

Love Supreme in 3 weeks
Love Supreme 2015 May Update
Love Supreme 2015 Line-up Release
Love Supreme 2015 – Early Bird Tickets
Love Supreme 2014 – New Discoveries
Love Supreme 2014 – 10 Artists Not To Miss
Love Supreme 2013 – Review


Andrew Phillips Interview (GRASSCUT)

Before GRASSCUT’s gig in Basement at the Otherplace, I caught up with founding member Andrew Phillips to talk about his career as a film composer, the new GRASSCUT album and how he let Passenger go…


To what extent do you think that university prepared you for going out into the working world?
Well I didn’t study music at university. I studied English and Spanish and then did an MA in American Poetry. When I was in London I was into the avant-jazz scene and that was a big influence in my work. As a composer, I think that university prepared me for it academically, but as a musician I think that it’s something that I’ve picked up over time.


Was there a pivotal point that made you realise that you wanted to be a composer?
Yes there definitely was. It was in the mid-90s and I’d written this piece which combined spoken word with a Steve Reich style piano part. I played it back and I thought “This is pretty good!” and it seemed that my friends agreed too. In the early stages I was experimenting with melody, spoken word, minimalism and field recording, but I didn’t really have the tools to do it like I can now.


Nowadays, a lot of music graduates turn to teaching for fear of not finding another job. Did you find it hard when you came
out of university to get your first commissions as a composer?
I got my first commission from Thames TV after a friend of mine had heard one of my demos and played it to them. At the start it’s hard to find regular work. I’m sure that anybody in this line of work will tell you that. It’s the ‘freelance disease’. But it’s about building relationships with Directors and Producers and editors, sharing a rhythm and an understanding of how each other works. Then if you keep going things build and you get more and more work.


Is there a particular score which you’ve heard that really influenced you and your work over the years?
Paris Texas – It wasn’t the blues of it. It was the loneliness and how it was textured. It was both melancholic and beautiful at the same time.
North By Northwest – And all of the Bernard Hermann/ Hitchcock scores. They were just so powerful.
The Ipcress File – John Barry. We had the same agent for a couple of years. We didn’t cross paths but I’ve always been proud of that.


With a massive film composition scene in the US, particularly in LA, and in London in the UK, what made you settle in
Brighton & Hove?
Mainly because of my family. My wife works in television and we lived in London for a few years. Now we have two children and it’s nice to be in Brighton. We had a great few years in London and made some good friends there though. Now with broadband internet it doesn’t really matter as much where I work, so it’s nice to be in a good space, particularly for the kind of reflective music that I write.


Do you have a favourite score of your own work and what do you like about it?
Battle for Marjah (for HBO) and Fire In The Night (BBC), based on the Stephen McGinty book. Marjah is mad, electronic and very intense, and got me an Emmy nomination. Fire In The Night is elegiac, string based, and features Emma (violin) from Grasscut.


You were one of the founding members of the Passenger band, which is now just Passenger, as most people will know him. Was the split amicable? Are you still in contact?
Very much so. I think he may be coming down tonight actually. I had great fun playing in Passenger and I produced the first album, and then a couple more, even after I had stopped playing with Mike. He is a lovely guy, and a dear friend, and it though was a completely different kind of music, although I can hear parts of GRASSCUT in the production of the first album. It’s how I met Marcus O’Dair too (the other half of GRASSCUT).



Why did you first start up GRASSCUT? Was it as a musical escape from writing for film/TV?
 It started out as sketches really, trying out different things with the music. It was nice to be able to do something without the restrictions of commissions. There were still restrictions, but they were imposed by us – like writing pieces for a fixed ensemble and of a certain length. But it is nice to have that control over the music and I think it helps with my other compositions too.


How do you divide up your time between GRASSCUT and your other musical work?
It does involve a certain amount of juggling. Sometimes I’ll just focus on one and take time off of the other, but when time doesn’t allow you just have to work twice as hard and manage everything at once. I think it’s very important to play live and not get stuck in the studio with your music. For me, it’s about experiencing the physical force of it, the power of the music and seeing the reactions of people when they’re listening to it.


With the first album receiving such praise from the press, did it make it a hard act to follow?
It was to an extent. We were honestly quite surprised at how well the first album was received. It was made up of pieces some of which I’d had for years, although not in that form, and we were trying to figure out what Grasscut was exactly. The second album is a transitional record, looking back on it now. There are still some tracks on it that we’re really pleased with and we learned some different skills with it. I think the new album is the best we’ve done though, as a whole.


What is your favourite thing about performing live with GRASSCUT?
Singing in harmony. Without a doubt. It’s a great feeling just singing live in harmony.


Is it difficult to replicate the music that you produce live?
Not with this album. I wrote it to be performed. The first album was very difficult to play live, as it was a studio record really. We try not to just replicate the music when we play it live. It’s more like a development or an interpretation of it.
Finally, with the new album out what is next for you both within GRASSCUT and individually?
I’m working on a new film with Channel 4 about the Charlie Hebdo, which I’m sure you can imagine is not an easy thing to work on. For GRASSCUT, we’ve got a bunch of shows lined up and some festivals over the summer and then we’re looking onwards to the next record, which is pretty exciting. But there will definitely be a lot more live performing.

Half Crown Interview

After their sellout gig at The Haunt in Brighton, I caught up with the boys from Half Crown to talk about the past, present and future of Half Crown.

1. What have you been working on since the release of Everything Goes last year?

That record in particular acted as a showcase of sorts, a body of work with a range of different genres and styles that we’ve been influenced by since the beginning. We learnt a lot from producing that LP and have since then been focusing hard on honing in on a more refined, complete and palatable sound.

2. What is a typical Friday night for Half Crown?

Anything from a night in with a couple bottles of Rioja and the latest HC video to edit, to 5am night cap in a bohemian bass bin, feet stuck to the floor and eyes rolling back into our brain boxes. Bleurrgh!

3. What is your favourite Brighton venue?

Blind Tiger was a cheeky one until the authorities backed the local party pooper and had the place exterminated of any potential good vibrations. These days, the Haunt seems to be a good place for us to throw a show. However, the next stop is The Old Market for the back-end of summer. That’ll be a new one for us, we love the style of the venue and it’s in our parta’ town.. “Hove actually”.

4. What has been your best show to date?

From the Brighton Dome to Cambridge May Ball, (where Louie ended up carried off stage half naked on the shoulder of a security guard, as we got shut down early and ended the set acapella) nothing quite compares to our own party at the old HCHQ, West Street, Brighton, 75 People in the lounge of our flat. Even Oceania filed a noise complaint.

5. What has been the most influential album for the band since you formed?

There are so many influences in the group man, if each writer had to choose I’d say ‘Black Keys – Rubber Factory’ meets ‘Dizraeli and The Small Gods – Moving In The Dark’ and ‘Fat Freddy’s Drop – Based on A True Story’.

6. Did you ever think that you’d be playing a sell-out show at The Haunt?

Oh this is just the beginning Tommy darling. May I call you Tommy?

7. If you could support any artist live who would it be?

Backstage with The Libertines would be interesting.

8. Who is your latest new musical discovery?

Glass Animals, although quite shamefully just properly discovered Van Morrison.

Fresh Jams February 2015

9. How is the search going for new band members?

It’s been pretty challenging actually, after working solidly for 5 years as the original group we’ve developed a working relationship that even the most talented of musicians would struggle to connect with immediately. However we’re confident that the right human will appear at the right time when working so hard in the right direction and pushing forward with our goals.

10. Finally, what lies ahead for Half Crown?

It’s a seriously exciting time for us man, we can’t say much BUT get to BLEACH (above Hare & Hounds) on Saturday 30th May to support us and we may have a whole lot more to discuss in the next interview! There will be a free after party too, with intimate performances from us and a handful of our favourite and most talented Brighton delights.

Check out my review of Half Crown’s EP ‘Everything Goes’ here.