Category Archives: singer-songwriter

What’s On Brighton April 2016 – Tom Sayer

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

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

What’s On Brighton April 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

basia-bulat-brighton-april-2016Basia Bulat

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What’s On Brighton February 2016

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

Whats On Brighton February 2016 - Lindi OrtegaLindi Ortega

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

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

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

Whats On Brighton February 2016 - Bournemouth Symphony OrchestraBournemouth Symphony Orchetsra

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

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

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

Whats On Brighton February 2016 - Take ManhattenTake Manhatten

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

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

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

Whats On Brighton February 2016 - Brighton Philharmonic OrchestraBrighton Philharmonic Orchestra

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

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

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

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

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

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

Support comes from Josh Mac and Hazey.

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

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

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

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

Whats On Brighton February 2016 - Elias String QuartetElias String Quartet

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

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

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

Whats On Brighton February 2016 - Jesse Malin Jesse Malin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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!

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!

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.

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.
Facebook Event

If you have any gig suggestions, CD review requests or live review requests, please drop me a line on

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.

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!

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.

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

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.

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.

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!

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

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!

If you have any gig suggestions, CD review requests or live review requests, please drop me a line on

What’s On Brighton October 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What's On Brighton October 2015 - Rival ConsolesRival Consoles

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

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

What's On Brighton October 2015 - Sahara

Sahara + The Habitats + Object Object + LoupZillas

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

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

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

Oxjam BrightonOxjam Brighton Takeover

Saturday 17th October, ALL DAY

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

What's On Brighton October 2015 - Brighton FolkBrighton Folk

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Luke Concannon Interview – 11/09/2015

Before opening the doors at The Brunswick in Hove, I caught up with Nizlopi frontman and travelling troubadour Luke Concannon to see what his future plans are, the recent changes in the musical climate and whether or not the JCB song was based on playing truant at school.

TOM: Hi Luke. Thanks for taking the time to have a chat with me before the show. Do you have any hidden musical talents?

LUKE: I can play the bones. You play them kind of like the spoons, but they’re just cow bones. It’s a very Irish instrument.

T: Why did you decide to do these songwriting classes as a part of the tour?

L:  With my music, I’ve got to love and believe in what I’m doing, but it can be hard to draw people in to gigs sometimes, particularly mid-week. My idea of doing the songwriting workshops came from Fiona Bevan and Kal Lavelle when they did workshops on their ‘Song Sisters’ tour. I wanted to encourage songwriting, to engage with the audience and from a PR point of view, radio stations really like it.

T: How has the standard been so far?

L: It’s been good. There haven’t been a lot of people turn out so far to be honest, but those that have all had some previous experience. It’s nice to work together with people, so that you don’t feel alone when you’re writing a song. One song that I wrote with a guy was to be performed at an intimate family occasion. It’s really special to be involved in something like that.

T: If you could pick one musical festival to headline, which one would it be and why?

L: Oh that’s a tough one. Glastonbury, for obvious reasons. But actually also maybe the Willie Clancy Festival in Miltown Mabay. It’s a tiny festival. I once saw a travelling bagpiper performing in a church hall there and I think it was probably the best gig I’ve ever been to. I’d love to be a part of that.

Luke Concannon Interview

T: When you’re not hitch-hiking to Palestine, touring and songwriting, what do you like to spend your time doing?

L: I like to go to Quaker meetings, I practice meditation and I spend time with my girlfriend . We hitch-hiked to the mountains recently, sleeping under the stars. It was just the best thing. I also watch an unhealthy amount of boxing and MMA. My dad used to fight so from the age of about 5 up til I was 12 I used to fight with him each day for around an hour. We had boxing gloves and he just let me spar with him. I had some troubles at school with being bullied from a young age. There was one particular bully who was a couple of years older than me and I’m ashamed to say that I did  get into a fight with him. I probably shouldn’t have done that.

T: If you could achieve just one thing with your music, what would it be?

L: I love to see my friends together and engaged, creating a community to work around and a harmony amongst people. I like to sing for justice. It nourishes you. It creates a sense of empathy, a sense of values and makes your work great when it is believed by others. It’s all about making music of the people for the people.

T: How do you feel the musical climate has changed since your success with the JCB song back in 2005?

L: I feel there is a real expectation of artists to use social media these days. I find it hard as I like to focus on what I am doing and social media take the essence away from that. Distribution wise, it is great that a lot of talented newcomers can make it without a big label behind them. It’s good that somebody with a really authentic voice, like Ed Sheeran, has thrived in this new generation of technology.

T: What are you views on music streaming services?

L: I feel kind of pressured into them really. It feels a bit like the days when you would play a gig for no money, even though the promoter was charging on the door, so that you could get ‘exposure’ for your music. Thinking about it, I might take my music off Spotify.

T: Have you ever considered using crowdfunding for a record?

L: I’ve thought about it before and people have asked/offered before but I guess the answer is I don’t know if I would. There’s part of me that likes to be able to go away and make a record on your own, but then again if people want to help then that’s really nice.

T: Going back a while now, I was watching the clip of you playing the JCB song on Top of the Pops and the audience looked pretty unsure what to do when you were playing. How did it feel to play to such a staged audience?

L: We were brought on as this underground act and the producers just decided that we would play in the middle of the audience and it would be very different from what they were used to. It was very strange playing to such a staged crowd and I don’t think anybody really knew what to expect from it.

T: So was the JCB song written about playing truant with your dad when you were just 5?

L: I wasn’t always in school you know! The song was about remembering a time in my life when my dad was working on that machine, that and his vibrant Irish charisma.

T: Finally, what is next after the ‘Love & Revolution’ Tour?

L: This is Jimmy’s last tour for a while, but I’ll be carrying on with more tours soon. My album Give It All is out on iTunes and there will be more new music soon!


What’s On Brighton September 2015

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

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

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

What's On Brighton September 2015 - EOTR

End Of The Road Festival

4-6th September
Llama Tree Gardens – SOLD OUT

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

What's On Brighton September 2015

Together The People Festival

5-6th September
Preston Park – BUY TICKETS

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


Whats On Brighton September 2015 - Luke Concannon and Jimmy Davis

Luke Concannon + Jimmy Davis

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

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

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

Willard Grant Conspiracy

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

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

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

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

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

Addictive TV: Orchestra of Samples

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

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

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

A Night At The Hucklebuck

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

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

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

Sofar Sounds Brighton @ Dynamite Gallery

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


StevieRay Latham Review

At the end of last month, after receiving his album a few months before, I finally had the chance to see StevieRay Latham performing live, with a support slot for American pianist-songwriter Hans Chew at the lovely Verdict Jazz Cafe in Brighton. It was a packed show put on by Brighthelmstone Promotions and everybody was in good spirits as StevieRay took to the stage.  When he introduced himself, he did so timidly, looking like something of a startled boyband member without the other 4 members around to support him. Then he played, and his music was a literal “fuck you” to his clean-cut image. His patter was honest and witty, talking about his career as a car parking attendant and dishing out anecdotes between the tracks to give his songs a bit more context. Whilst I felt that the songs that he played lacked the occasional solo or slide guitar part, StevieRay artist is the type of artist that Jake Bugg wishes he could be: young, talented, authentic in his songwriting and packing a mean punch with his melodies and lyrics.

Here is my track by track account of his debut album ‘Modern Attitudes‘.

1. Get On Out & Run

Instantly taken back to the Wild West in America,  his narrative is clear and traditional but with a contemporary twist “It takes a million broken light bulbs for just one of them to shine”. The track is driving, confident and assured as an opener to the album, already displaying clearly what Modern Attitudes is about, combining the old and the new to show similarities and disparities between the two.

2. Sunday Blues

Taking the pace down with this Sunday Blues, this track reminds me of Alex Turner’s (Arctic Monkeys) acoustic score for the film Submarine, which is a personal favourite of mine. A melancholic and emotive track, perfect for a Sunday afternoon.

3. It Feels Alright

The opening to this track sounds like a cross between Joshua Radin’s debut album and Let It Be (The Beatles) but then StevieRay’s vocals come in and take the track in a different direction, with a Dylan-like narrative. The track is just over 2 1/2 minutes so don’t blink or it might pass you by like a freight train at the station.

4. Modern Attitudes

Another track which chugs along gently until it reaches a particularly catchy chorus.

Will you remember me when I have gone away,
Will you still wait for me o every single day…

5. Melissa’s Song

A down-tempo slowly winding ballad, which is deeply poetic and contradictorily very fast-paced in its delivery as it slaloms through the hypnotic guitar part, ending as “just a puppet on a string”.

6. It’s Been A Long Time

After opening with a classic blues/Love Me Do harmonica intro, this song rambles along in a mock-Dylan style without ever really going anywhere. For me this is one of the weaker tracks on the album as it lacks StevieRay’s identity and doesn’t venture much north of pleasant.

7. Feather Down Blues

After a rather shrill harmonica intro, not at all like the previous track, the vocals are a welcome respite. It comes back again in the middle of the track and after the second chorus, which I think it could have done without, as the song is over 5 minutes long and as in the last track, doesn’t seem to really go anywhere.

8. South Coast Blues

A return to the confident form of the first 5 tracks, South Coast Blues is another rattling 2-minute-something track with a strong riff to open up and good mix of melodic hooks and harmonic shifts to keep the listener drawn in from start to finish.

9. I’ll Wait For Morning To Come

Another Dylan-style track (Times They Are A’Changin springs to mind), I’ll Wait For The Morning To Come is a good track that lacks any textural or dynamic contrast. A stop-chorus or whispered verse would have done a lot to break us the continuous duo of plucked guitar and held vocals.

10. Take Me Back

A lovely melancholy track, Take Me Back is very visual, giving the listener a vivid picture of a time gone by, which the singer/protagonist is trying to remember. A song about a lost love, as many folk/blues songs are, the lyrics are what stand out about the track for me, making it definitely another favourite of mine from the album.

11. ‘Til The Dawn

 Bringing the album to a close with more brash harmonica (maybe it’s just my speakers?) ‘Til The Dawn is an epic 6 1/2 minute ballad, once more in a traditional Dylan-style.

Overall, for me I think the album would have been better as a 6-track EP and I found the tracks somewhat disjointed and disconnected from each other as the album went on. That said, there are some great tracks in there which show a lot of promise from such a young artist at an early stage in his career. I will be keeping an eye on StevieRay Latham to see what his next record brings.

Beginner’s Guide To Busking

I was recently asked by a friend for a few tips on how to get started busking. I quickly jotted down a list which soon turned into this Beginner’s Guide To Busking.

This is based on my extensive experience of having busked about 5 times in London, Bangor and Bath. If you have any experience of busking I’d love to hear any tips that you may have! Here are my selected words of wisdom.

Beginner's Guide To Busking

  1. People Don’t Care

Probably at least 90% of people will be indifferent to buskers, so focus on the 10% that are interested and engage in a friendly but not pushy (e.g give me money) way. If they think you’re enjoying  yourself they are more likely to enjoy it too.

  1. People Expect Things For Free

People are tight bastards and in a society where they can stream almost anything on their phones for free, they are often reluctant to dig into their pockets.

  1. Location Location Location

Don’t busk near a cash-point as you look like an aggressive tramp. Do try to find a place slightly away from the centre, perhaps with outside seating near to a coffee shop. Also near-ish to shops were people are likely to have change isn’t a bad place to be e.g. supermarkets, but not RIGHT outside. Also, make sure that your music is not too loud. I think the legal side of things says that you shouldn’t be able to be heard 50m from where you are playing. Less is more.

  1. Not Getting Arrested

If you get asked to move on by a shopkeeper don’t be offended. They are within their rights if they do not want you there so find another place in a different location – not just one shop to the left – and see how that goes. In some areas you need a permit/licence to busk so be sure to check the local laws. Also, in most places it is illegal to sell your CDs as this counts as street trading, which again you’d require a licence for. I’d suggest it’s better to have some CDs if people ask, but don’t have them in front of your case with a price. Maybe invest in some business cards and give people a link to download one track for free from the album and then the details of where to buy the rest of your music.

  1. Set Times

As a general rule it’s considered polite to not play for more than one hour in a particular spot/area. Also, don’t play within close proximity of another busker.  If there is somebody playing in an area that you would like to play in, why not ask them how long they plan or playing for and if you can take over when they have finished.

  1. Marketing/Coverage

Do mention if you’re planning on busking in an area on Facebook/twitter as people may be around town anyways and will keep an eye out for you. If you can get some videos/ pictures of you busking that is a good way to generate some attention online and shows that you are putting your music out there. Also, don’t forget to promote any gigs that you have in the area with flyers, posters, hand-made signs or whatever you can muster together.

  1. Repertoire

In general people like hearing stuff that they are familiar with but sometimes people will want to hear something completely new. Maybe have a couple of well known covers to throw in if needed.

  1. Be Polite

Always throw somebody a smile or a thanks and make eye contact if they give you some money or say something nice about your music. It goes a long way and you can start to build a good reputation.

  1. Get Advice

Don’t be afraid to get advice from other buskers on where is good to play, when they like to play etc. It’s always handy to have musical friends in the same boat as you. You never know who you may work with in the future.

  1. Finally

Have fun! Do it for the enjoyment of the music, not the money and you’ll never be disappointed with any money that you receive. HAPPY BUSKING!