Fri 3 Feb
Lewes Con Club
Growing up on the Canadian prairies in Winnipeg, Manitoba to musician Wally Landreth, Joey was always going to flourish most with a guitar in his hands. At 25, Joey joined forces with his older brother David to create The Bros Landreth. Immediately successful, the duo (then with Alex Campbell on piano and Ryan Voth on drums) turned the heads of musical heavyweight John Oates, winning the Roots & Traditional Album of the Year Juno award in 2015.
Fast-forward to this year, and Joey is breaking away on his own. Having provided baritone harmonies on Kaia Kater’s track Saint Elizabeth, the singer’s ability to lay down his vulnerability while simultaneously blowing his audiences away mark him as one not to miss this month.
Fri 3 Feb
While the Christmas 2016 John Lewis advert may have been tainted by numerous parodies starring Herr Trump’s face transposed over the excitable #BustertheBoxer, one thing stands out in both versions: Blythe Pepino’s dramatically sweeping vocals on the soundtrack – their cover of Randy Crawford’s One Day I’ll Fly Away.
Adverts of trampolining bundles of CGI aside, Vaults are a force of their own, the electronica-pop trio accumulating over 20 million views on their YouTube channel even before the release of their debut Caught in Still Life (released via Virgin Records in Dec 2016). With mounting support from critics, Vaults have been hotly tipped by Zane Lowe and Scott Mills as one of the bands to watch for 2017.
Sat 4 Feb
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away (actually, fairly recently), a Star Wars heavy metal band was formed by some of the most infamous and feared villains in the galaxy. This month Dark Vader, Boba Sett, Bass Commander, Shadow Ranger and Red Guard bring their ‘crushing Force of shreddy goodness’ to Brighton’s Patterns the day after the launch of The Empire’s most powerful weapon yet: their debut album.
Expect the classic Star Wars theme, The Imperial March and many more, all thrashed out with violent aplomb. You’ll all succumb to the Dark Side before long…
By Imperial standards the five-piece’s instruments are crude, but will be more than adequate to shred some faces as they journey across the galaxy.
Thurs 9 Feb
Responsible for some of the biggest indie anthems of the past decade (including an incredible live a capella version of Kate Bush’s Hounds of Love), Barry Hyde – the ex-frontman of post-punk quartet The Futureheads – is gearing up for an intimate solo set at Brighton’s Komedia.
Those familiar with The Futureheads may immediately think to expect new-wave inspired, four-part harmonies and Inbetweeners-esque guitar music, however Hyde’s solo work couldn’t be further from that. Instead, the singer’s debut album Malody, which documents Hyde’s life with bipolar disorder, takes a more vulnerable turn based around Hyde’s first musical love: the piano. Beautifully orchestrated, the album hosts a plethora of instruments, including violin, cello, double bass, tenor and baritone sax, pedal steel and trumpet.
Fri 10 Feb
There are few contemporary acts with a musical palette as vibrant as Alexander Modiano (stage name Natty). Born in San Francisco, yet brought up in London, the songwriter grew up surrounded with an eclectic mix of classic folk, Motown and 60s Jamaican music, owing to the combined was forming music of his own.
Since his first full single release July in 2008, the singer’s gone from strength to strength, his breakneck vocals smattering across global charts for the last nine years; he’s definitely not one to miss.
Sun 12 Feb
With heaps of praise from BBC Radio 1’s Huw Stephens, Zane Lowe and Sara Cox, all of whom gave them air time on their respective shows, Little Comets release their new album Worhead this month. Perhaps the most wonderfully experimental indie acts in Britain, they also stand as one of the most upbeat. Super-sweet vocals collide with wonky percussion and expansive electronica – it’s all very challenging, seductive and truly funky. Even in the depths of winter, they’ll create a cheerful summery vibe. This is a band you’ll want to spend some time with. They might be bright and a little bit offbeat, but Little Comet’s total pop escapism is the perfect antidote to these complicated days.
So, if you’re a fan of catchy choruses, smart lyricism, and a sweeping sense of melodrama, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t entangle yourself in their web.
Tues 14 Feb
The UK’s preeminent sexy six-legged, guitar-pop juggernaut is back with their original line-up and a bold new sound. Now releasing their first new material in over a decade, new single – On What You’re On reveals a bright new disco-tinged aspect to the band. Notching up four number one singles, two triple platinum albums, a total of five million records sold, and over 750,000 ticket sales including and a record-breaking run of 13 Wembley Arena shows, the trio dissolved to pursue solo projects. Now, with a decade of experiences and newly discovered influences behind them, the two-time BRIT Award-winners have reunited with a fresh perspective, both personally and musically.
CHALI 2NA & KRAFTY KUTS
Thurs 16 Feb
Known for some incredible work with world-music/funk band Ozomatli and hip-hop crew Jurassic 5, 2na has also produced a handful of mixtapes, albums, and EPs. With over 25 years in the game, he’s now widely recognised as one of hip-hop’s most positive and best-loved voices. His rich voice and unmistakable flow have sealed the reputation of this fearsome MC. Expect a show blowing up with high energy, faultless delivery and booty-shaking funk. If this isn’t enough, you’ll also be treated to local legend and breakbeat pioneer – Krafty Kuts. Prepare to be well and truly shaken, both physically and emotionally.
MARRY WATERSON & DAVID A JAYCOCK
Thurs 16 Feb
There’s a new collaborative duo between Marry Waterson – from one of British folk’s most revered families – and David A. Jaycock – a mutual friend and collaborator of James Yorkston. Their first LP together Two Wolves is more than just two legendary English folk dynasties meeting, this is a unique pairing, full of whimsical and poetic appeal. With some understated singing, the often-biographical songs conceal a sense of true power. It’s enchanting, understated and completely magical. It is proper song brainfood, a gorgeous record, holding up a light to the blackest winter nights. Now there’s a chance to catch these two gentle titans in the most perfect and intimate of settings.
Fri 24 Feb
One of the most energetic, exciting and powerful live bands to emerge from the post-rave scene, Dreadzone unleash a brand new album, Dread Times, this month. Now into their third decade of performing, this new release sees a return to the old school dread sound, digging deeper into their dub and reggae roots. Conscious lyrics, social ills, matters of the heart and mind merge with 21st century dub-wise flavours blend over fresh beats and electronic textures. It’s an eclectic rolling journey that recalls elements from an illustrious 23-year history while always looking ahead to the next phase. Bringing a party to every club, dancehall and field they’ve shown up at, this crew always blow audiences away with their fearsome live shows.
Sat 25 Feb
A singer, poet, occultist and photographer, Julian Cope has enjoyed a 40-year career. This visionary rock musician has released over 20 solo albums, countless collaborative projects, and six acclaimed books. He began in 1977, as bassist in short-lived Liverpool punk group The Crucial Three, alongside future Echo & The Bunnymen singer Ian McCulloch, before forming The Teardrop Explodes. This band’s four-year reign as a Top Ten chart act collapsed at the end of 1982, when Cope’s infamous love of munching LSD onstage proved too much for both his management and record company. Since then he moved away from rock and making a detailed first-hand study of the occult, mythology and Britain’s prehistory. He’s also dabbled in proto-metal, lectured at the British Museum, and released an EP of drinking songs. This is one of Britain’s originals.
Mon 27 Feb
The Hope & Ruin
Straight out of John O’Groats, these indie-rockers are on the road once more. There’s some new material floating about which demonstrates their continued evolution and maturing. There’s a distinct folk edge in their hypnotic outpourings. At times they can soothing and introspective, at other times boisterous and forceful. It’s difficult to find fault in their instrumentation and vocal harmonies. They often touch on a number of different styles in the span of a single song, but theirs is a style easy to enjoy and quick to enrapture. A vividly creative and likeable band, Neon Waltz have appeared on many ‘one to watch’ lists in the last couple of years. Now this is a chance to find out why…