Category Archives: UK Tour

Review: Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness – Zombies On Broadway

With an instantly recognisable voice, Andrew McMahon is perhaps not known as well by his name but more as the vocalist and songwriter behind piano pop-rock outfits Something Corporate and Jack’s Mannequin. With 20 years of performance experience under his belt, it’s no surprise that McMahon has gone through many guises, from his first college band Left Here to Something Corporate to Jack’s Mannequin to Andrew McMahon and now to the latest iteration, Andrew McMachon in the Wilderness. Following on from his 2014 self-titled album which included the Gold-selling, cross-genre, US hit ‘Cecilia in the Satellite‘, McMahon’s latest album Zombies On Broadway was released earlier this year in February 2017. Here’s what I thought:

Zombies on Broadway Review

 

Opening with 30 seconds of city sounds from New York, this intro track sets the scene for a metropolitan record, which is soon followed up with the first track proper, ‘Brooklyn You’re Killing Me’. This fast-paced lo-fi industrial sounding track leaves behind the sounds of Something Corporate and Jack’s Mannequin, with an almost +44 level of intensity in the driving drum rhythms and punchy powerful choruses. I can see this being a real summer festival anthem.

‘So Close‘ sounds a bit more like an early SC track, with its unashamed pop/synth vibe, which is contrasted with the 2000’s r’n’b feel of ‘Don’t Speak For Me (True)‘.  ‘Fire Escape’ sounds quite like the DIY sound of London singer-songwriter Frank Hamilton whereas ‘Dead Man’s Dollar’ has an almost Bastille feeling in the euphoric big beat chorus. Are you noticing a theme here?

The album could be seen in two ways: confused or diverse. I lean toward the latter. Despite moving from genre to genre quicker than a monkey changing branches on the treetops, the consistency of the songwriting and the wealth of McMahon’s musical experience unite the record. The tracks are all piano/keyboard-centred with plenty of hooks, big choruses and lyrics steeped in imagery and metaphor – ‘My heart is an apartment building oin the verge/ A testament to days more optimistic.’ – Love And Great Buildings.

If you’re a fan of the old-school tracks by Something Corporate and Jack’s Mannequin and can handle your pop-rock leaning more to the pop side of the spectrum and without the overdriven guitars of McMahon’s former bands, then this new album will no doubt be a delight to listen to, with his familiar voice guideing you through his new experiences and music. For first time listeners of McMahon, the album is a real mix bag so there’s sure to be something in there that you like, and I’m sure that it won’t take too much rummaging around to find it.

McMahon is currently on tour in the US with Atlas Genius and Night Riots, playing many sold out shows along the way. He will be over in the UK performing shows at London’s Bush Hall, Manchester’s Deaf Institute, Glasgow’s King Tuts and three UK dates of Slam Dunk Festival. See his tour dates and book tickets here – www.andrewmcmahon.com/tour

 

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

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

The Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts

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

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

Kandace Springs

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

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

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

http://www.kandacesprings.com/

Review: Courtney Pine – Ropetackle Centre Shoreham

Courtney Pine Review: Saturday 29th April 2017

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

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

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

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

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

Pine – A Master of Musical Juxtaposition

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

Find out more about upcoming events at The Ropetackle on:

ropetacklecentre.co.uk 

www.facebook.com/ropetackleart

www.twitter.com/ropetackleart

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 August 2016

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

What’s On Brighton August 2016

Time for T @ Green Door Store – Wednesday 3rd August

whats-on-brighton-august-time-for-t
Catch Time for T playing a free show at Green Door Store on Wednesday 3rd August

Brighton favourites Time For T will be returning to their hometown for a FREE show at Green Door Store on Wednesday 3rd August 2016. Tiago, the frontman of the band recently moved back to Portugal, but they will be reunited to play a show in their adopted hometown, before playing a string of shows in Germany and Portugal, alongside some festivals such as Green Man Festival later this month.

READ MORE on AfterDark Brighton

Imarhan @ Brighton Komedia – Thursday 4th August

whats-on-brighton-august-imarhan
See Tuareg musicians Imarhan live in action at Brighton Komedia on 4th August.

Referred to by The Line of Best Fit as “Tinariwen’s younger brothers”, Imarhan are a 5-piece from Mali whose self-titled debut album is “intent on dismantling the ideas western listeners have about popularized Tuareg music”. With an image that is more leather jackets than traditional shroud clothing and head coverings, Imarhan are certainly changing the way that Tuareg music is perceived by many, showcasing the diversity of music produced in and around the Sahara Desert. Imarhan are playing at Brighton Komedia (Studio) on Thursday 4th August 2016.

Read my full preview on AfterDark

Guy Jones @ Hope & Ruin, Brighton – Sunday 7th August

whats-on-brighton-august-guy-jones
See Guy Jones + Chris Marsh at Brighton’s Hope & Ruin on Sunday 7th August.

Brummie Americana/folk singer-songwriter Guy Jones will be sharing his music far and wide in the UK this August, with performances from Glasgow (Hug & Pint, 28th August) down to Brighton (Hope & Ruin, 7th August) and many places inbetween. His Brighton show features support from the awesome finger-tapping guitar-hitting singer-songwriter Chris Marsh.

Read my full preview on AfterDark

(31/07) More to be added next week

 

Signals Band Interview – June 2016

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

13/4 – Signals Band Interview

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

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

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

What’s On Brighton June 2016 – Tom Sayer

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

What’s On Brighton May 2016

whats-on-brighton-june-2016-signalsSignals

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

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

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

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

www.facebook.com/signalsuk
@SignalsUK

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

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

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

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

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

www.thousandyardstare.co.uk
@wearetys

wildlife-festival-2016Wildlife Festival

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

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

Read my full preview for Wild Life Festival 

www.wildlifefestival.com/
@WILD_LIFE_FEST

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

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

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

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

www.beachhousebaltimore.com/
@BeaccchHoussse

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

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

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

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

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


www.facebook.com/phoriamusic
@phoria

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

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

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

The-Regents-orchestra-in-rehearsal

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

Sara-Lokkito-composite-Cesar-1024x310

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

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

www.crossingbordersfestival.co.uk
@BrightonSanct

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

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 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 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