Tag Archives: Tom Sayer

Mid-December Gigs Update

As only the bravest are going out, even with their Christmas Jumpers and Duffle Coats, December is always a  tough time for musicians to fill out their gigs. That said, I’ve been to some amazing gigs already this month at some great venues that you may not have been to before. Have a read and checkout what is on over the upcoming months.

Martin Harley @ Latest Music Bar – 3rd December

Having first seen Martin play in a small cafe in Bangor a few years ago, it felt very comfortable seeing him this time from the back of the small basement venue at Latest Music Bar. The place was packed with fans of the music and the venue, as everybody sat comfortably at their little tables enjoying the support Sam Lewis and I saw a lot of people come up and by his CD during the interval after his performance of his self-confessed sad songs, which he performed in between sips of red wine.

Martin came on to play a few tracks during Sam’s set, which is always nice to see as it is usually the support who is “honoured” to play on a single track for the main act. It was clear that the guys were close friends and performed well together in a very relaxed way, improvising over each other’s parts confidently. Martin has a really calm demeanor on stage and a crazy powerful voice which goes hand in hand with his brilliant guitar skills. I’ve certainly never seen a white man play the blues like him before. Check out his music if you like that kinda thing. It’s awful good!

The venue is intimate, great for acoustic music but equally good for bands as the sound man is some kind of wizard who can make anybody sound great playing there from his dedicated crows nest at the back of the venue. With a varied programme, there is a lot to choose from so why not have a look below and see what is coming up soon?


British Sea Power @ All Saints Hove – 5th December

Always a fan of this venue, One Inch Badge have been using it over the last year as a larger venue to put on some of the great acts that come to Brighton. With plenty of space at the back for the bar and merchandise tables, it’s only real downside is the toilet facilities which often leave you queueing for a little while. So go before you leave the house, like your mum probably used to tell you as a child. Other than that, the sound is great and the setting is beautiful. What more could you want.

British Sea Power were performing as a part of the Brighton Drill Festival, a winter-equivalent to May’s Great Escape Festival, just with fewer venues and bands, but nonetheless still an impressive lineup.

The band on before BSP were called It Hugs Back, an atmospheric and slightly spacey band who made some great musical textures. They were also selling CD albums for £5 with a free t-shirt. Other bands should take note of this as I’m definitely gonna give the album a proper listen very soon and the t-shirt is great promotion for the band so it’s a win-win really.

British Sea Power played a beautiful hour-long set, mostly with accompaniment from a brass quintet from the Bournemouth Symphonic Orchestra, which really gave their filmic dreamy sound some teeth to bite into you with. BSP are also playing at The Haunt on 19th December and from their strong performance on 5th December, I’m keen to see them again!


Brighton Philharmonic @ Brighton Dome Concert Hall – 7th December

I’ve always been a big fan of the Brighton Dome as a venue. Inside it looks like a palace, and is the closest thing that Brighton has to the Royal Albert Hall. The sound is great and the venue works just as well for electronica raves, northern soul parties, pop and rock concerts and somber instrumental music. The seats sometimes feel a little bit on the cozy side, but the sound from anywhere in the venue is good. I would recommend the circle if possible though, particularly for an orchestral affair.

The Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra‘s concert series is in its 90th year, so they must be doing something right. The audience is primarily made up of connoisseurs of classical music who were clearly raised on it or grew to love it over time, but there is always room for new faces and younger members in the audience, and it is quite an experience to see an orchestra playing live for the first time. Each concert is quite different, this one being based on the compositions of British composers. The next show is on New Year’s eve at 2:45pm and is always the busiest of the year so book now to avoid disappointment.


Alfie Boe @ Brighton Centre – 9th December

Unfortunately, due to illness the concert was cancelled at the last minute. However, The venue still deserves a shout out for the varied programme that it provides. Admittedly, a lot of the music that is performed there is quite mainstream, but you need to be popular to sell out an over 5,000 capacity building to make it worthwhile playing there on your tour.

However, despite this the venue still has a part to play in supporting the local music scene, with Brighton-based singer-songwriter Jacko Hooper recently supporting James Blunt for his sell-out show at the Brighton Centre. Hopefully more of the acts performing there will handpick local supports as it’s a fantastic opportunity to perform to such a large hometown audience.


London Symphony Orchestra @ Barbican Hall, London – 11th December

Not in Brighton, but pretty easy to get to in London, The Barbican is a multi-purpose arts centre that features a theatre, cinema, galleries, exhibitions and of course the concert hall. I’ve only been to a few concerts there but they have all been sensational, and last night’s was no different. The film music of Alexander Desplat including suites from The King’s Speech, Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows and a previously unreleased extract from The Grand Budapest Hotel were all performed by the LSO and conducted by the man himself, with some visual accompaniment too. What a night!

There is a great view from the circle wherever you sit and you can join the Young Barbican scheme for free if you are under 25 and get cheap tickets (and sometimes even free tickets) for a number of concerts all year round. My ticket for the concert cost £10. I’d definitely recommend checking out the programme at the Barbican as most of London’s orchestras perform there regularly, and they are the best in the world! Have a day trip to London and have your mind blown in the amazing venue.


Ben Howard – I Forget Where We Were Review

Ben Howard has to be one of the greatest breakthrough artists of the century. The success of his debut album ‘Every Kingdom’ in 2011 earned him a Mercury Prize Nomination as well as two BRIT Awards in 2013 for Best Breakthrough Act and Best Solo Male Artist, besting Olly Murs, Plan B and Calvin Harris! Off the bat of his performance of ‘Only Love‘ at the BRITS, he went to the Top 10 in the singles chart (previously at 190!) and number 4 in the album charts (previously 46), proving that people had just to hear him perform live in order to be captivated by his music.  Continue reading Ben Howard – I Forget Where We Were Review

Migration to WordPress and New EP – FREE DOWNLOAD

Hello all! Just a quick note to say that I have migrated the blog over to WordPress which I will be using for future posts. All of the content from whattomwrites.blogspot.com has been moved over to the site and the interface means that the site can now integrate with my website www.tomsayer.co.uk too.

On other news, yesterday I recorded a new 4-track EP, which is available to download for free through Soundcloud. Enjoy!

Beautiful Boy Interview – 15/10/2014

This afternoon I caught up with Dane Lewis Etteridge, the frontman of Brighton-based pop-rock band Beautiful Boy to have a chat before the release of their new single ‘Bodies’, out exclusively on vinyl on November 10th on RAK Records, two weeks before the digital release. In between video shoot sessions for the new single, we met up to discuss musical aspirations, music videos and of course, the music itself.

I was fortunate enough to be given a preview listen of the two tracks of the new EP, ‘Bodies’ as the A-side with a cover version of ‘Kids In America’ by Kim Wilde. As part of RAK’s releases, they ask each band to record a cover version from their back-catalog and so Beautiful Boy chose this track to rewrite in their signature style. Check out the original track here. Bodies is a foot-stomping original track, carrying on from their double A-side Home/ Love Me More, Beautiful Boy’s track record for catchy hooks, strong melodies and singalong anthems continues unblemished. The track kind of sounds like a darker twist on The Feeling. The video will be up soon to accompany the vinyl release and will be the only place to hear it online until the digital release!

Bodies banner

Tom: When you formed BB what were you hoping to achieve musically and how far have you succeeded in that so far?

Dane: When we started we just wanted to make music that meant something. We wanted to connect with people, write sentimental music that was relatable.  We wanted our music to be shared with as many people as possible. And be fucking massive as well! We try not to be pigeon-holed, using a wide colour palette for our songs. Like a playground o songwriting.

T: How do you get the BB signature sound and what would you define it as?

D: Big drums and strong melodies. I think our music covers quite a wide breadth of styles but the voice is the constant in all of the tracks, keeping it all together.

T: What has been your favourite gig so far?

D: We played a gig at The Haunt about 6 months ago and it was rammed for us. We were 2nd on the bill and it was only our fourth gig or something, but it was empty before and the place filled up when we went on stage. That was a great feeling.

Also, our EP launch at The Hope. We had a 4-piece choir that sang with us for 3 of the tracks and that was really special.

Home/Love Me More cover

T: Which local bands influence you the most?

D: We tend not to focus too much on other bands in Brighton. There is so much great music going on it can be easy to turn into a competition and not an art form. We just like to keep our heads down and do our own thing. Brighton is spoiled for great live music and we have a lot of friends in bands but we try to keep focused on our own music.

T: Is there a debut album on the horizon?

D: Definitely. We’ve got a lot of material that we’re sitting on at the moment, waiting for the right time to bring it out. We don’t have any dates fixed yet but we’re hopefully going to have an EP out in the new year, then followed by a single, and then the debut album out in the summer 2015.  We’ll probably have about three album’s worth by then! We’ve got about 8 or 9 new tracks that are ready to perform live, but we just need to the right time to play them so the audiences still get to hear the tracks they are familiar with. Hopefully after the release of the new track  we will start to play some more new songs.

T: If you could support anybody live, who would it be?

D: Arcade Fire or Ryan Adams. It’s got to be your heroes from songwriting. We played a great show with Catfish and The Bottlemen a couple of months ago, and it would be great to do more shows with them. And if he were still alive, John Lennon.

T: Where in the world would you like to perform (not necessarily a venue)?

D: (takes a long sip of his coffee) I like the idea of somewhere romantic and old-fashioned, like a Coliseum or amphitheater outside somewhere in Greece or Italy. Either that or recreating something like The Beatles on Saville Row. My friend and I were in London when they were working on the Apple building, the site of The Beatles last gig, and we bribed one of the builders to show us up to the roof. It was great to see a piece of history and take some photos to remember it by.

Beautiful Boy ptomo

T: Who has been the most influential person in your musical career?

D: My parents have always been really supportive of my music and never made me feel bad for doing what I want to do. I had a great music teacher too called Dafydd Hughes. He was mad but amazing. I’ve got lots of friends who have helped out too, creating the infrastructure that everybody needs for playing music in their city.

T: Next month you have a gig at The Elgar Room in Royal Albert Hall with Amazing Radio. How did you get involved with them?

D: We first got involved by uploading our tracks to their online player and they just really got behind us. They’ve been great supporters, featuring us as track of the day, gig of the day , featuring us in their website header and even in their social media sites. They got in touch with out manager about playing the show and we were happy to play for them.

T: The ‘Love Me More’ video. Where was it shot? Was it a tip of the hat to Arctic Monkey’s ‘A view from the afternoon”?

D: The video was shot in a park in Thakeham, near Worthing. We made a last minute decision to make the debut single a double A-side and were told that we needed a video for the track the next day. Our manager pointed out that the track was all about the drums and so suggested that we focus on that for the video. So we went to the park at 6am on a Saturday morning to shoot the video with some Go Pro cameras with the editor Cliff T. We had a lot of noise complaints but were done within an hour. It was edited within a day and we had the video in time for the release. It wasn’t a reference to The Arctic Monkeys, although it’s kind of hard to look too different in a video when you focus on the drums.

T: You are filming music video later today for the new single ‘bodies’. What is the track about and what can we expect from the video?

D: The track is about coming to terms with a loss, the mortality of life and how we don’t have that much time and the revelations that can bring. The video for the track will definitely be a surprise. It’s the most risqué video we have done. We’re definitely sailing close to the wind to it being X-rated. We still want people to share it though so it’s going to be a fine line. I think the concept for the video is really good though, so hopefully that will come through.

T: Finally, if you could name one track to listen to for new listeners, which would it be?

D: Probably ‘Home’. That’s where it all started for us. It was the first song that we put online, the first video and what generated our first fans. If people like singalongs then maybe ‘Love Me More’. There’s a few tracks online that are only there if you look hard for them, like a song called ‘Begging The Moon’ which is only available as an acoustic video track. I think any of the tracks really. They’re so broad that it’s hard to pick just one. But I am a little biased as I wrote them.

Check out Beautiful Boy’s new single Bodies, out 10th November on vinyl and late November for download.