Category Archives: World Music

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:

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.

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.

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.

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!


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!

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

Sol3 Mio Interview 2015

Last month when Sol3 Mio were over in the UK to support the release of ‘I See Fire’, the soundtrack to the New Zealand’s Rugby World Cup team. In amongst a busy schedule, they took the time to answer some more of my questions (see my first interview with Sol3 Mio from 2014). Unfortunately the video had some technical issues, but here is the interview for you all to enjoy and to find out some more about the powerful voices supporting the All Blacks in their Rugby World Cup campaign.

Nice to have you guys back in the UK. I know that myself and many others will have been disappointed not to have seen you live last year when Alfie Boe had to cancel the Brighton tour date due to illness. When is your next UK tour planned?

Pene: We’re definitely going to do one again but at the moment there’s nothing planned as we’re incredibly busy for about the next two years but I’m sure we’ll come back again.

Shooting the video, I get the feeling it will be used for years to come by the New Zealand tourist board. Did it feel more like you were shooting a film rather than a music video?

Moses: Yeah when we were recording the vocals we did envision the video while we singing because of the orchestra stuff and the Haka elements – it was like a film. And so when we actually put everything together it was almost like creating a short film. It was an epic little piece what with Amitai opening it and then leading into these different chants. It didn’t have a particular genre it was just cinematic.

What made you choose this song to cover as your first single from the new record? Do you think that this track will make your music accessible to a new audience who are not familiar with your operatic style?

Amitai: We definitely hope it opens the music up to a new audience as that’s one of our main goals. Not many people listen to opera so If we can open an audience to this song in particular and then they can look us up online and hopefully they will see all our other music as well. We hope we can help them to get over that barrier that they might have with opera and seeing it as an elitist genre of music. They can see that we can also do contemporary stuff and hopefully they’ll like the rest.

Did you feel the brotherly connection between the Dwarves in the Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug was something that you could connect with and use to connect with your audience to rally them in support of the NZ rugby team?

Pene: That’s a good one! I didn’t think of it that way but the brotherhood that goes over to defeat the dragon and take back the homeland…this is what New Zealand’s doing right!

Sol3 Mio Interview 2015 Serious

The title of the new album ‘On Another Note’ seems to suggest that this is a move away from your debut record. How do you think the albums mainly differ?

Amitai: I guess you could look at it that way – it’s definitely a step-up. We’re staying true to our classic side but we’re taking it up to another level. People enjoyed what we did on the first album so we wanted to bring something different but also to do something portrayed us as both the group and individuals. Hopefully people will enjoy the diversity in it.

Pene: Yeah it’s not too different. People will instantly assume after listening to ‘I See Fire’ that we’ve swung that way but that’s not completely where we’re at. That song was put out first to coincide with the world cup but if they listen to the rest of the album there’s a lot of different stuff.

With such a wide range of styles, who do you imagine is your ideal listener and how do you think the album is best listened to?

Pene: We see our ideal listener as everyone which is a good and a bad thing. It’s that common saying of not focusing on just one audience but rather taking a risk and taking everyone on. But if you do pull it off you’ll have reached everyone!

Sol3 Mio Interview 2015 Laughing

When we last spoke, you said that your aim was to promote core opera as much as possible to new audience. To what level do you think you have done that with the new record?

Moses: We’ve absolutely seen the results! It has shown in everywhere that we’ve performed. When we first started our audience was little older which is normal for the kind of music that we do. But the proof is in the pudding and wherever we perform now we can have people as young as two years old coming to our concerts and absolutely loving it. And families loving it! A family will come and really enjoy what we do and they can all take something different away from whatever song and be inspired to do something.

Finally, having covered Ed Sheeran and Coldplay, is there anybody who has caught your eye/ear in the pop charts at the moment that you would like to cover?

Amitai: I’ve done a few pop covers but you probably wont hear them on this album. They’re shower songs! We’ve had a few ideas that have sprung to mind.

Pene: Yeah its not always ‘right-now’ pop; we really like those nostalgia pop songs that everybody knows but once you sing it people are like ‘oh I haven’t heard that in a long long time’. Stuff like ‘Something Stupid’ – it’s a popular song but it hasn’t been sung in a long long time.



Love Supreme 2015 Clashfinder

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

Love Supreme 2015 Weather

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

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

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

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

More on Love Supreme…

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


Love Supreme 2015 in 3 Weeks

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

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

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

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

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

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

Find out more about the festival on

Time for T Tom Tom – New Single Preview

Tonight at Green Door Store in Brighton, Brighton-based folk/world music fusion band Time for T will be launching their latest single ‘Tom Tom’.

With support from Yonaka and Bosco Rogers,  Time for T’s free single launch show will be kicking off at 7pm and is sure to be a busy one so make sure to get down early to you can get in!

With a string of European dates lined up later this month after a number of solo shows and a full band show for The Great Escape and the Alternative Escape, the band are also on the bill for a number of summer festivals this year including Larmer Tree, Kendal Calling, Forgotten Fields and Shambalaya. With these movers and shakers always moving and shaking, you have to catch them when you can in Brighton, as you never know where they will be playing next!

I caught up with the guys almost a year ago, just before the release of their self-titled EP – see the full interview for Brogue Magazine here.

Meanwhile, I am pleased to give all you fans a sneaky listen to their new track, named after either the Sat Nav or perhaps their favourite local music journalist? 😉

I present to you lovely people “Tom Tom”. Enjoy! And hopefully see you at the gig tonight!

Who To See in Brighton in May 2015

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

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

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

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

Saturday 2nd May

Who To See in Brighton in May 2015 - Half Crown

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

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

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

Wednesday 6th May

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday 10th May

Who To See in Brighton in May 2015 - DakhaBrakha

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

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

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


Wednesday 13th May

Who To See in Brighton in May 2015 - Thea Gilmore

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday 14th – Saturday 16th May

The Great Escape 2015

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

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

Thursday 21st May

Who To See in Brighton in May 2015 - Julie Fowlis

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

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

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

Friday 29th May

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

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

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

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


Saturday 30th May

Hans Chew

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

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

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

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