Category Archives: jazz

Review: Kandace Springs – ACCA Brighton – 2nd May 2017

Last night I went back to my old university campus, the University of Sussex, to see American jazz pianist and singer-songwriter Kandace Springs and her trio performing at the Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts (ACCA), formerly the Gardner Arts Centre. The place had definitely changed since I left in 2009 but I must say that the new and improved ACCA is a stunning new venue. As I felt when I visited the Ropetackle Centre to see Courtney Pine last weekend, I was amazed that there was another great venue within close proximity of Brighton that I’d not visited, and again this is another venue that is really worth the effort to visit.

The Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts

Located near the sports centre and facing Falmer Bar on the University of Sussex campus, there is ample free parking in the evenings near to the centre and a cafe/bar just outside the auditorium for you to get a pre-concert beverage. Inside, the venue is a modern theatre space with tiered seating and a stage big enough for any sized ensemble. The building itself is Grade II listed, but inside you would not tell as it looks like something that was made for this purpose very recently. The performance space is used for everything from dance and theatre to debates and live music, making it a very diverse venue indeed and a real asset to University of Sussex.

Kandace Springs at ACCA Brighton - 2nd May 2017. Photo by Nicola Jackson.
Kandace Springs at ACCA Brighton – 2nd May 2017. Photo by Nicola Jackson.

Kandace Springs

Following on from her bassist and drummer who led the way onto the dimly-lit stage, Kandace Springs bounced onto the stage with a broad smile from ear to ear and buckets of enthusiasm as she greeted the audience before taking her position behind the Steinway & Sons grand piano which occupied the left side of the stage. Her performance was confident and assured, not something that you would necessarily expect from an artist who is just 27 years old and on their first UK headline tour. It was clear from the start that Springs was a very accomplished jazz pianist and that the Steinway was not there for decoration whilst she plodded along through the set – she gave elaborate and technical jazz piano solos and extended introductions throughout the set without the tendency to overdo it or show off., as can be easy to do.

Springs’ trio played a solid 90-minute set, including tracks from her debut album Soul Eyes,  her previous EP,  some new and unheard tracks from their forthcoming album and some classic contemporary jazz standards including ‘The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face‘ by Roberta Flack and Etta James’ big crowd-pleaser ‘At Last‘.  The musicianship of all three musicians was top-notch, with the drums and bass playing intricate parts to underpin the piano/vocal lead throughout. With her original tracks varying from upbeat grooves to down-tempo ballads, Springs is by no means a one trick pony, and with songs written for her by the likes of Grammy-award winning songwriter Jesse Harris (amongst many credits, Harris wrote Norah Jones’ hit ‘Don’t Know Why’), you know that you are in safe hands when you go to see Kandace perform live.

From the taster track from her next album, Black Orchid, it looks like the new record might be a bit more sombre than the first, but perhaps that track is just a curveball to catch the audience unawares. Whatever it may be, Kandace Springs is certainly one to watch out for in the future and I hope that her visits to the UK become far more frequent.

http://www.kandacesprings.com/

Review: Courtney Pine – Ropetackle Centre Shoreham

Courtney Pine Review: Saturday 29th April 2017

Last night I took my first visit to Shoreham’s resident arts centre, The Ropetackle Centre, to see jazz saxophonist Courtney Pine and his troupe of accomplished musicians redefine my understanding of instrumental jazz. The Ropetackle Centre is currently celebrating its tenth anniversary and is in the home stretch of raising the £20k required to help keep the centre up the times and developing great programmes and events for the locals to enjoy. This is the second time that Courtney Pine has played at this venue, and he was quick to tell the audience that he’d had a great time on his last visit and that is why he came back.

“My name is Courtney Pine and I love jazz!”

After an initial technical hiccup, the band left the stage and re-entered creating a polytextural multi-rhythmic collage of sound. Pine introduced himself by saying “My name is Courtney Pine and I love jazz!”, which met with great applause from the audience.  The crowd was a mixed one, generally of a certain age, but all with a lot of enthusiasm for the music, which is really what fuels the fire in shows like this. Pine engaged with the audience between songs, creating a real dialogue between himself and everybody else in the room, making each person there feel a part of something bigger – the benefit of intimate shows in comparison to arena tours.

The venue itself is in very good condition and everything seemed how it should be in an arts centre – well-stocked bars, a tidy box office and helpful staff on hand to lead you in the right direction. The performance space is quite modestly sized, but there is still plenty of room for several hundred people standing, and the sound throughout the performance was great, barring the opening mishap.

Pine’s set consisted of a few extended pieces, or perhaps jams/experimentations might be better terminology here. Within the first few minutes, Pine showed the audience the breadth of sounds that could be produced by an expert experimental saxophonist, many of which were a million miles away from what you might be used to hearing in typical jazz venues. Producing a mix of clicks, breaths, high and low sound, wails, toots and far more besides, his performance was captivating from start to finish, with his larger-than-life personality beaming from the stage all night long.

Pine – A Master of Musical Juxtaposition

One thing that really stood out about Pine and his band, aside from their energy and technical abilities (which goes without saying), was their humour and their enjoyment of what they were doing. Pine, in particular, made a lot of musical jokes throughout the set, by playing extracts of everything from well-known songs, jazz classics like ‘Take Five’ and even snippets of nursery rhymes, albeit disguised as a series of tapping/clicking sounds. You could see that there was nowhere else they would have rather been than on stage at The Ropetackle last night, and I am sure that it will not be very long before Courtney Pine will be back again – and I’m confident that most of the audience would return to see it too.

Find out more about upcoming events at The Ropetackle on:

ropetacklecentre.co.uk 

www.facebook.com/ropetackleart

www.twitter.com/ropetackleart

Review: Bill Laurence At Glee Club Birmingham 7th March 2017

After some slight difficulty finding the venue’s entrance off a side street (no thanks to Google Maps),  I found my way inside The Glee Club, a very clean and classy looking venue which regularly hosts comedy nights and music gigs. It’s always interesting to see how different venues use their space and the Glee Club used theirs very well, with a stage area set up along the side of the venue, rather than at the back as is common, with seats laid out in rows to give the most people the best view and sound of the show. The live sound was incredible, unusually not too loud even when sitting right near to the front and considering the mix of instruments being played by the quartet, including drums, percussion, synths and acoustic and electric bass, this was no mean feat.

The quartet played without a support, instead opting for the more traditional jazz format of performing two sets with a short interval between. With songs often lingering between the 7 and 10-minute mark, this seems like a good way for the musicians to pace themselves and for the audience to have some time to digest what is going on – and make no mistake, this is no walk in the park. The music that the Bill Laurence Group produce is highly technical, polyrhythmic, deeply layered and without a vocal in sight. Each track seems to take you somewhere far deeper than its duration should allow and the context in which most of the songs were created (a lot of the material was written by Laurence and the others whilst on tour as members of Grammy-winning group Snarky Puppy) seems difficult to believe given the complexity of the sounds that they achieve.

Bill Laurence Group - Glee Club Birmingham March 2017
Bill Laurence Group – Glee Club Birmingham March 2017. Photo by Nicola Jackson.

Laurence fronted the group from the left-side of the stage with various keyboards, synthesisers and his brand new ROLI Seaboard (fresh out of the box that day) at his disposal. His three-piece rhythm section included percussion, bass and drums, all of which seemed to be playing to their own rhythms, yet somehow it all worked together. Snarky Puppy drummer Robert ‘Sput’ Searight is one of the best drummers that I have seen perform live, effortlessly adjusting and modifying his kit mid-song to get the sounds out of it that he required. Far from the standard role of merely supporting the down-beats, the bass was played as a melodic instrument in its own right, with stunning lines, rhythms and interplay with the rest of the group. Finally, the mixture of percussion threw a real spanner in the rhythmic works of the group, often playing against the beat or groove laid down by the others, albeit clearly intentionally, but definitely making the music more challenging to listen to overall.

The advantage of no vocals on the tracks is that the music can ebb and flow as it sees fit, rather than conforming to a strophic formula that dominates popular music today. Following this show, the band has played a number of sell-out dates around Europe and it’s clear to see why they are so popular on the scene. Anybody who is able to make jazz more accessible and instrumental music more melodic and interesting is somebody with as skill that will always be in demand. It looks like the future will be very bright from the Bill Laurence Group.

Love Supreme Festival 2016 – One Month Away

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

Glamping

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

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

Verve Jazz Lounge

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

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

Lazy Bird Kitchen

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

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

After Parties

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

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

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

Stage Times Announced

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


You can now view all the stage times for the full line-up live on www.lovesupremefestival.com/lineup/stages

Clashfinder

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

See the Love Supreme Festival 2016 Clashfinder

BUY TICKETS

You can buy tickets for Love Supreme Festival 2016 on lovesupreme.ticketline.co.uk

Love Supreme 2016 – An Introduction

Earlier this month, the line up for the 4th iteration of Love Supreme Festival was announced, and following the lead from previous years it was far from disappointing.

Love Supreme 2016 Line Up

Opening the bidding with Burt Bacharach, Caro Emerald, Lianne La Havas, Grace Jones, Average White Band, Kelis, Giles Peterson and more, there is plenty already to entice you to buy your tickets for this weekend of jazz, soul, funk, blues and more. Set in front of the beautiful backdrop of Glynde Place, if you’ve not visited the area before it will give you an nice overview of the Sussex countryside in summertime.

Love Supreme 2016 Line Up Announcement

Targeted at people with older, slightly more diverse music tastes or those with young children looking for a festival that will be free of hypodermic needles and acres of muddy fields to traverse in adverse weather, Love Supreme has always been the kind of festival that you can bring your whole family too, from grandparents to toddlers, and everybody is sure to have a good time.

Love Supreme 2016 - Arial shot from Love Supreme Festival

Love Supreme Festival – Better Every Year

Each year the festival has added to its offering, without ever overcrowding the site and taking away from one of its greatest virtues – it’s compact size. With enough empty space to avoid any horrible noise bleeding between the stages, wherever you are – the big top, the arena, the main stage (outdoors) or the bandstand, the rest of the festival will not be encroaching on you, but will only be a couple of minutes walk away.

The food stalls keep the site aromatic from breakfast til the early hours of the morning, with a wide range of different cultures’ foods on offer – long gone are the days when all that festivals had to offer was a greasy burger and chips and an expensive bar serving cheap beer for central London prices.

Love Supreme 2016 Tickets

Tickets went on sale on Feb 11th. Adult weekend tickets are available from £121 for non-camping and £159.50 for camping (including all booking fees). A weekend family camping ticket for 2 adults and up to 3 children costs just £352 (including all booking fees). Children under 5 can visit/camp for free when accompanied by an adult. This year, there will also be the Love Supremium Tickets, offering better facilities, free trolley service, dedicated car park and more. Find out more about Love Supremium Tickets.

BUY TICKETS on www.lovesupremefestival.com/tickets

Love Supreme Festival – More Information

You can read more about previous Love Supreme Festivals here:

Ten Triumphs of Love Supreme 2015
Love Supreme 2015 Festival Update
Love Supreme 2014 – New Jazz Discoveries
Love Supreme 2014 – Who Not To Miss

Keep up to date with the latest Love Supreme 2016 news on

www.lovesupremefestival.com
www.facebook.com/lovesupremefest

 

Ten Triumphs of Love Supreme 2015

After an almost wholly sunny Festival this year, I look back at some of my highlights and what is hopefully be developed for Love Supreme 2016.

1. The Jazz Lounge

New for 2015, the Jazz Lounge was a great addition to the festival, showing a really nice collection of live sessions and jazz footage. Some of the popular films were shown on multiple occasions, giving you another chance if you missed it the first time. There were also some plug sockets, a cafe and free Wifi, so it was overall a great place to come to chill out. The seating in the area was a little sparse, particularly for the makeshift cinema and with a rough material resembling the outside of a coconut on the floor, it was not the most comfortable place to be unless you got there early. Lets hope they have a few more seats next year.

2. The Schedule

An advantage to smaller festivals such as Love Supreme is that you don’t have to make as many compromises as you do at larger festivals. There is no taking 45 minutes to trek across 4 fields to be 1/2 mile away from the stage as is sometimes the case at Glastonbury and other larger-scale festivals, and you will often miss a lot of what you want to see through clashes in stage times. The well organised staggered set-times between the stages enabled you to see a lot more music for your money, and with a reasonably small festival site, you are never more than 5 minutes away from who you want to see next.

3. The Main Stage

Quite a pop/mainstream line-up on the main stage this year,but what they may have lacked in a traditional jazz sense they made up for with experience in abundance, with headliners Chaka Khan and Van Morrison certainly having a few years behind them. If you are the parents with younger children or have come along with a group of mates/work colleagues, odds are this is probably where you will frequent.

Love Supreme 2015 - Big Top Hats

4. The Big Top

For me this was my favourite venue by a long way, not least of which because it was still audible from the campsite so you could still clearly hear the music whilst sitting in your camping chair, eating your picnic of bread, fruit and pimms whilst lazing the day away. The line-up was much more “jazz”, covering a wide spectrum from crooners to experimental jazz, all of which was performed very well to what looked like a slightly depleted audience from last year – and from the quality of the acts I can’t see why!

5. The Arena

Having spent a lot of my time in the Jazz Lounge and The Big Top, the Arena fell a little by the wayside for me this year. However the few acts that I saw there, who seemed to be geared towards a slightly younger audience, were fantastic.

Love Supreme 2015 - Bandstand

6. The Bandstand

Located near the main food area (nice thinking guys!), the Bandstand was programmed by local venue Verdict Jazz and was showcasing a range of local jazz acts from youth ensembles to much more established south-based jazz groups. By cleverly placing this near to the food stalls yet still just within earshot of the main stage, the area had a steady audience throughout the weekend, giving some of the younger performers an attentive and receptive audience.

7. The Late Night Sessions

For those who like to keep the party going, the late night sessions in the Blue in Green Bar in the woods and the late night sessions in the Arena were considerately placed away from the main camping area, so as not to keep those who wanted to get to bed from doing so. The White Mink night was a very popular choice on the Saturday night, with Flash Mob Jazz getting the crowd (and even me) dancing along to their collection of swing tracks.

8. The Campsites

There was a main campsite which housed most of the overnighters, and separate campsites for the VIPs/Glampers, Campervenners and families, which people all seemed to be quite content in. The main campsite was a little far from the car park, and the wheelbarrows available to hire were and expensive option for a poor solution, not a touch on last years giant wheelbarrows which came with a pusher for you and your stuff so that you weren’t worn out by the time that you got there. Lets hope that they return for next year.

Love Supreme 2015 - Gaucho Meats

9. The Food & Drink

As with most festivals these days, the food selection was broad ranging from fish and chips and burger/hot dogs to more worldly dishes from Caribbean Jerk, Soul Food Company and a number of specialist vegetarian providers. The prices were a little steep for the food but the bar prices were about the standard for central Brighton, circa £5 per drink, but the £35 per bottle of Prosecco was a little out of my price range this time. Maybe next year!

Love Supreme 2015 - Flags

10. The Atmosphere

Finally the atmosphere, as it has been every year, is a friendly and welcoming one. The average attendee is slightly older that the usual fesival-goer and perhaps a bit more cultivated with their musical tastes, but they are there for the same reason: to see the live music and to eat, drink and have a good time.

The festival, which just completed its third year, is still in its infancy but has been learning quickly how things should be done and is growing and changing each year. I look forward to seeing what form it will take next year. Tickets for Super Early Bird are on sale now for just £108.90 Weekend Camping and £97.90 Weekend Non-Camping (including all fees). Book online and start brushing up on your jazz repertoire.

www.lovesupremefestival.com/tickets-on-sale-now
https://www.facebook.com/lovesupremefest
https://twitter.com/lovesupremefest

 

 

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

 

Love Supreme 2015 in 3 Weeks

Its just under 3 weeks until Love Supreme and I for one can’t wait for it to come around! Having been to the previous 2 festivals in 2013 and 2014, it is just great to watch it grow up as a new festival with a strong family ethos, encouraging everyone to hear new music, enjoy the beautiful surroundings and really feel the Love Supreme!

Here is the latest playlist from the Love Supreme 2015 crew, displaying just some of the artists that are performing this year:

For those of you who have not been before, here is a brief rundown on just some of what you can expect at Love Supreme 2015:

  • World famous headliners including Van Morrison (Moondance & Brown Eyed Girl) and Chaka Khan (Ain’t Nobody & I’m Every Woman).
  • International acts from across the world, with a nice chunk of American jazz artists over for the festival – after all America does know a thing or two about jazz
  • A wide ranging line-up of artists, many of whom you will not be familiar with unless you are really into your jazz, but that really won’t stop you having a great time – the focus of Love Supreme is more based on rhythms, moods and grooves and Love Supreme 2015 will undoubtedly have more than you can shake a stick at!
    Love Supreme 2015 - The Jazz Lounge
  • New for this year, The Jazz Lounge will be featuring discussion panels, artist Q&As, exclusive playbacks, film screenings and much more.
  • A well spaced out festival site – it’s not a huge site but everything is well-positioned to avoid sound bleeding between stages without everything being too far to easily travel between stages
  • A host of fantastic food and drink stalls and bars – I recommend the Grand Mariner Bar if it is back this year as for the last two years they have been a highlight. You can expect foods from all across the world, not just a burger van with questionable meats.
  • And if you don’t wanna stop dancing when the headliners have finished, Love Supreme 2015 will be featuring some great club nights in the Arena to keep the music going into the wee hours.  On Friday night there will be Jazz FM’s Funky Sensation, on Saturday, the electro-swinging White Mink : Black Cotton and closing out the weekend on Sunday night is Brighton’s very own Russ Dewbury – Jazz Rooms Sound System.
    Love Supreme 2015 - Arena Club Nights

For all the latest festival updates, like the Love Supreme Facebook page or follow them on Twitter.  (Psst….There are a couple of great competitions to win VIP tickets and a Boutique Camping experience for Love Supreme on their Facebook page!)

Get your tickets here from just £66 for a day ticket, £126.50 for a weekend (non-camping) and £154 for a weekend (camping).

Find out more about the festival on www.lovesupremefestival.com

Love Supreme Festival 2015 – May Festival Update

It’s been a busy month this April, so in case you missed it here’s the latest news from Love Supreme Festival 2015 including updates on tickets, camping, the festival line up and a dedicated children’s area at Love Supreme Festival 2015.

One Week Left For Discounted Tickets

Love Supreme Festival 2015 - Tickets

As Love Supreme Festival 2015 is drawing ever closer, jazz fans still have one week left to secure tickets at the current price band before they go up to the final tier.

Tickets are on sale at the current price until Friday 8th May, with adult weekend tickets at just £121 for non-camping and £148.50 for camping, inclusive of all fees. Love Supreme also offer a family ticket for the great price of £352, which include 2 adults and up to three children aged 5-17, saving up to £176 on booking the tickets individually.

There are also day tickets available for£60.50 for adults and junior tickets for £33. Buy your tickets now at this great price on http://bit.ly/LoverSupremeTix.

Giant Steps Kids Green

Love Supreme Festival 2015 - Giant Steps Kids Green

This year’s Love Supreme Festival will feature a dedicated area for the kids, the Giant Steps Kids Green. There’ll be an all-day party with our special BugBar mini disco, a converted camper van complete with a DJ performing from a super-sized ghettoblaster, dance offs, bubble machine games, a hula hoop workshop, a huge bouncy castle and swing dance lessons all enclosed in a families-only area. For parents, there’s a picnic area for you to relax that faces the main stage so you won’t miss any of your favourite artists.

Camping at Love Supreme

Love Supreme Festival 2015 - Camping

There’s so much so see and do at Love Supreme, the best way to see as much as possible is to stay over in the dedicated camping area. To find out more about camping at Love Supreme and 10 reasons why it is a great place to camp for the festival. Reason number 11 should be the weather, as this has been super-sunny the last two years – but let’s not jinx anything! http://bit.ly/LoveSupremeCamp

Line-up Update

Love Supreme Festival 2015 - April Line-up Additions

Joining the already legendary weekend line up at this year’s Love Supreme Festival are Neneh Cherry, Larry Graham, Rebecca Ferguson, Lisa Stansfield + more.

Already confirmed alongside headliners Van Morrison and Chaka Khan are Grammy-nominated quartet  Hiatus Kaiyote, 2015 Grammy Award winner of ‘Best Vocal Jazz Album’ Dianne Reeves, along with young talent from 9-piece brass group Young Pilgrims and Spanish jazz sensation  Andrea Motis.

Read more…

Love Supreme Festival 2015 - Young Pilgrims and Andrea Motis

 

Who To See in Brighton in May 2015

May is here and we have before us one of the busiest months of the year for Brighton’s culture rich nightlife and music scene. This month sees the town filled with performers of all shapes and sizes for THREE Festivals: Brighton Festival, Brighton Fringe and The Great Escape.

With over 400 bands coming to Brighton for The Great Escape, I will be looking at this separately next week so keep your eyes peeled for my picks of that very large crop. Meanwhile, I have selected a handful of my highlights from the Brighton Festival and will be updating some Fringe highlights as the month goes on!

If you think there is a gig that I am missing out on, drop me a line on tom@tomsayer.co.uk or via twitter on @tomsayeruk.

So here it is, without further ado, Who To See in Brighton in May 2015. Enjoy!

Saturday 2nd May

Who To See in Brighton in May 2015 - Half Crown

Redaux Music Presents Half Crown
The Haunt – 7pm
Tickets £8 otd – BUY TICKETS

Since reviewing their LP Everything Goes back in August last year, Half Crown have been busy writing songs, playing shows and recording new material. Unfortunately for HC, as their LP title suggests, things rarely stay the same and this gig will be the last with founding member Frankie Harper before he and the band are moving on to new things. Come on down to celebrate the band and the music that they’ve made over the last few years at this gig which will include all the hits from their extensive back catalogue.

Support comes from Renegade Twelve who will be playing at 7:30pm. Advanced tickets have sold out so get down early if you need to buy a ticket!

www.halfcrownband.com
@half_crown

Wednesday 6th May

Who To See in Brighton in May 2015 - All Things Must Pass

Brighton Fringe Presents ‘All Things Must Pass’
 The Brunswick – 7pm
Tickets £10/12 – BUY TICKETS

My first pick from this year’s Brighton Fringe is the wonderful George Harrison Band’s show, ‘All Things Must Pass’. Celebrating the music of the former Beatle, including his songwriting contributions to the Fab Four’s back-catalogue, such as ‘Here Comes The Sun’ and ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’, as well as his post-Beatles hits including a number of hits from the triple-album which the show as named after. This Brighton-based 10-piece will take us on a journey back through time, from the sixties forward to Harrison’s final works at the end of the nineties.

I’m particularly looking forward to this show as I am currently reading a book by a music journalist who went on tour with The Beatles in America in 1964, called “The Beatles and Me On Tour”. Read more about the book here – www.ivordavisbeatles.com/

And the great news is that if you really love the show, it’s on again the next night (Thursday 7th May)!

www.allthingsmustpass.co.uk
@GHarrisonBand

Sunday 10th May

Who To See in Brighton in May 2015 - DakhaBrakha

Brighton Festival Presents DakhaBrakha
Brighton Dome Corn Exchange – 8pm
Tickets £14 – BUY TICKETS

I don’t quite have the words to describe this group – and that is saying something. Broadly speaking, world music would be the best way to describe them, but this broad term does them an injustice to capture their multi-style music – the band describe their sound as ethno-chaos which says it all.

The name means give/take in Ukrainian and refers to the gift of giving music and the “take” of inspiration from everything around them. Their music can have heavy European folk elements, tribal rhythms and a strong avant-garde contemporary harmony all at once. They are really something that needs to be heard to be believed, so go forth and hear them when they are in our city.

Facebook
@DakhaBrakha

Wednesday 13th May

Who To See in Brighton in May 2015 - Thea Gilmore

Melting Vinyl Presents Thea Gilmore
Komedia – Doors 7:30pm. Music 8pm.
Tickets £15 – BUY TICKETS

To mark the release of her forthcoming album Ghosts and Grafitti, Thea is embarking on a UK tour, kindly stopping of in Brighton on the way to showcase the new tracks. Described by the British music press as being “one of the few world-class female singer-songwriters Britain has ever produced”, I have high expectations from this gig.

Gilmore is blazing her own path towards classic status as a songwriter” – The Guardian.

‘Vituperative, intelligent and sharp as a tack..’ –The Observer

It’s not just the press who seem to admire her work: her professional supporters include Bruce Springsteen and Joan Baez, so she really must be a force to be reckoned with! Come and see her play on the main space at Komedia, with support from Jo Rose. If you’re still not sure, here’s 10 reasons to visit the Komedia

www.theagilmore.net
@theagilmore

Thursday 14th – Saturday 16th May

The Great Escape 2015

The Great Escape Festival
All over Brighton
Tickets £59.50 for a 3-day pass/ £200 for a delegates pass – BUY TICKETS

Read more about TGE15 in my guide here – Tom’s TGE15 Guide

Thursday 21st May

Who To See in Brighton in May 2015 - Julie Fowlis

Brighton Festival Presents Julie Fowlis
Brighton Dome Corn Exchange – 8pm
Tickets £15 – BUY TICKETS

Multi-instrumentalist Scottish singer-songwriters usually have a fair few strings to their bow,  and Julie Fowlis is no exception! Between co-hosting the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards last month, receiving a nomination for ‘Best Artist’ from Songlines Music Awards 2015 and doing a number of interviews and shows, it’s surprising that Julie has time to sneeze, let alone finish a tour of Ireland before popping down to Brighton to play as part of the Brighton Festival this May. Her delicate folky sound reminds me of the Welsh group 9Bach, whom I saw last year at Komedia, crossed with Twelfth Day, as Scottish duo who were actually supporting 9Bach at that gig.

If you’re into gaelic music, or just have a soft spot for a folk singer with a pretty face, then this will be a great gig for you. Tickets are limited to don’t faff about and buy yours today – BUY TICKETS

www.juliefowlis.com
@juliefowlis

Friday 29th May

Who To See in Brighton in May 2015 - Bill Laurence Project

Melting Vinyl Presents Bill Laurence Project
St George’s Church – Doors 7pm. Music 8pm.
Tickets £15 – BUY TICKETS

Founding member/keyboardist of Grammy award-winning jazz pioneers Snarky Puppy Bill Laurence will be performing some of his solo works with the help of his brothers from the rhythm section of Snarky Puppy, Michael League (Bass) and Robert Sput Searight (Drums) alongside the incredible Katie Christie (French Horn) and the Metropole Orchestra’s own West Side Trio: Annie Tangberg, (Cello) Issabella Petersen (Viola) and Vera van der Bie (Violin).

Recently receiving a nomination for Breakthrough Artist from Jazz.fm, these guys are seriously hot right now so don’t miss the chance to see them play in the wonderfully atmospheric venue of St. George’s Church in Brighton and check out the recent album Swift.

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@billlaurance

Saturday 30th May

Hans Chew

Brighthelmestone Promotions Presents Hans Chew + StevieRay Latham
The Verdict – Doors 7:30pm
Tickets £9 – BUY TICKETS

I previously attended a gig at The Verdict earlier this year, to see Amelia Curran who was also put on by Brighthelmstone Promotions, where I was treated to a lovely evening in a beautiful setting which created an intimate relationship between the performer and the attentive audience. I can only hope that this gig is just as enjoyable.

Born and raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Hans Chew sounds like a mish-mash of Star Wars characters (by name of course). His music is a cross between MOR and edge of the highway, with blues riffs interspersed with driving percussion, honky-tonk keys and vocal harmonies. For this show, he will be performing on the beautiful baby grand that the Verdict has on offer – and some tracks on guitar too. Expect rocking Americana of the highest calibre.

Support comes from London-based singer-songwriter StevieRay Latham, whose debut LP Modern Attitudes has earned him comparisons to Jake Bugg, Leonard Cohen and other folk songwriter greats. With a BBC Young Folk Award nomination already under his belt, this guy is clearly on the road to somewhere and I look forward to catching him for the first time live to see where that may be.

Facebook.com/hanschewmusic
@hanschew