Category Archives: Live Music in Brighton

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: 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 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

https://afterdark.co/blog/event-previews/all-tvvins-come-to-brighton
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

Ma.r.i.am – 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 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 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.

www.terrydash.co.uk
@SiCranstoun

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.

www.giorgia-may.co.uk
@GiorgiaMaay

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.

www.facebook.com/theislandclubuk
@theislandclubuk

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.

www.normantonstreet.com
@NormantonStreet

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 Welovebrighton.com – 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.

http://basiabulat.com/
@BasiaBulat

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).

www.laurareznek.com/
@LauraReznek

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

What’s On Brighton March 2016 – Tom Sayer

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

What's On Brighton March 2016 - FoxesFoxes

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

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

www.iamfoxes.com
@iamfoxes

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

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

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

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

www.soundcloud.com/tomsayeruk
@Tomsayeruk

What's On Brighton March 2016 - Lubomyr MelnykLubomyr Melnyk

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

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

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

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

www.lubomyr.com
@Lubomyr_Melnyk

Whats On Brighton February 2016 - Brighton Philharmonic OrchestraBrighton Philharmonic Orchestra

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

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

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

www.brightonphil.org.uk
@BPO_orchestra

What's On Brighton March 2016 Heath QuartetHeath String Quartet

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

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

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

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

www.heathquartet.com
@heathquartet

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

What’s On Brighton February 2016

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

Whats On Brighton February 2016 - Lindi OrtegaLindi Ortega

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

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

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


www.lindiortega.ca/
@lindiortega

Whats On Brighton February 2016 - Bournemouth Symphony OrchestraBournemouth Symphony Orchetsra

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

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

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


www.bsolive.com
@BSOrchestra

Whats On Brighton February 2016 - Take ManhattenTake Manhatten

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

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

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


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

Whats On Brighton February 2016 - Brighton Philharmonic OrchestraBrighton Philharmonic Orchestra

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

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

www.brightonphil.org.uk
@BPO_orchestra

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

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

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

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

Support comes from Josh Mac and Hazey.


www.facebook.com/robgodfreyuk
@RobGodfreyMusic

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

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

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

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


gabbyyoung.com
@gabbyyoung

Whats On Brighton February 2016 - Elias String QuartetElias String Quartet

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

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

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

eliasstringquartet.com
www.facebook.com/eliasstringquartet

Whats On Brighton February 2016 - Jesse Malin Jesse Malin

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

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

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

www.jessemalin.com
@jesse_malin

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

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

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

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

www.lpo.org.uk
@LPOrchestra

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

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

Folklore Sessions Birthday – Jacko Hooper Interview

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

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

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

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

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

What makes Folklore Sessions stand out from other acoustic nights?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oh Tom, you read my mind.

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

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

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