Here are some of the highlights of Brighton’s live music scene this month.
Sat 1 April
Formed in 1992 with their roots in Californian skate-punk. Grandaddy is the brainchild of guitarist/keyboardist/singer Jason Lytle. Having been described as “indie space-rock to neo-psychedelic”, they’ve grown up a lot since the naïve comedic musings of hits like AM 180. New album Last Place came out in March and is their first LP in 11 years. It’s Weezer meets Radiohead; there’s still a hint of comedy, but the songwriting has matured.
Lytle’s songwriting abilities are shown off in tracks like the heartfelt and memorable I Don’t Wanna Live Here Anymore and the Beatles-esque The Boat is in The Barn. The show promises to be a journey of fuzzy synth-rock transporting you back to the heyday of American Alt-Indie.
Tues 11 April
Manchester-based all-girl quartet PINS return with their stylised blend of dirty garage-pop. They’re touring in support of their new five-track EP Bad Thing, which came out in March. Earlier this year they collaborated with none other than punk veteran Iggy Pop on the hypnotic spoken word track Aggrophobe.
Formed in 2011 by lead singer and guitarist, Faith Holgate who wanted to create an all-female band as a way to “stick a middle finger up to a male-dominated industry.” You can see the inspiration from the riot grrrl bands but their influences are far vaster. Merging elements of krautrock, punk and indie with impressive songwriting to create an enthralling part-pop part-punk blend. They tick all the boxes live, remaining aloof and cool whilst energetic and compelling.
Weds 12 April
The Rose Hill
This Belgium based five-piece are not to be confused with the ‘70s New York jazz-funk band of the same name. Settling confidently between cool and serious they are rejuvenating jazz for the modern audience. Taking influence from an eclectic mix including: Aphex Twin, Flying Lotus and John Coltrane, they started jamming in an improv-jazz club in Antwerp and have spent the last five years perfecting their unique sound.
Combing elements of jazz, hip-hop, electronica and backbeat their sound is incredibly diverse. But despite their vast musical talent they have a modern outlook, embracing all forms of music (they even cover Cyndi Lauper!). This bunch don’t tour the UK often so don’t miss your chance to catch this unique band.
Tues 18 April
Hope and Ruin
After sharing their poignant new piano ballad, Through Windows in February, the London trio are back with a ten-day UK tour. Their debut album, Weird Little Birthday came out in 2014 and was a cult favourite. They won the 2015 NME Award for Best Lyric with the wonderful “I’m wearing Win Butler’s hair, there’s a scalpless singer of a Montreal rock band somewhere” from the song Montreal Rock Band Somewhere.
Some trios can struggle a little to match the sound of their recordings live, but these guys are a powerhouse. All three band members write their music and are known for swapping roles both in the studio and live. Embraced by counter-indie culture everywhere and with a sound you’d imagine came straight out of California, their slow grooves would appeal to fans of Mac DeMarco, Real Estate and Kurt Vile.
KESTON COBBLERS’ CLUB
Weds 19 April
The Kent five-piece successfully bridges the once cavernous gap between pop and folk. With a reputation for unique and quirky music videos, their live show is nothing short of captivating. Despite remaining folky at heart they are not afraid to push the boundaries of musical purity. Progressing from more traditional roots, their sound has evolved into a mix of melodic folk grooves and catchy pop in songs like Wildfire. There’s even a nod to ‘80s synth pop in tracks like Oh Euphoria. They have been compared to both Bellowhead and Mumford & Sons. With incredibly catchy songs and the finest of songwriting, you would struggle not to be in a good mood after seeing them play.
THE KING BLUES
Mon 24 April
Punk-poet heroes hailing from South London. With a mission to “combine great rock ’n’ roll with politics”, their street-wise sound merges ska, punk, hip-hop and spoken word. Activist and journalist Tariq Ali described their sound as “rough, radical music that should unsettle the rulers of this country.” The King Blues reunited in 2015 citing the unusual inspiration of David Cameron’s government, followed by the album Off With Their Heads, which was initially banned by both Facebook and Apple. Despite this censorship, the title track’s video received over a quarter of a million views on the first day alone.
With relentless live energy, lead singer Itch’s ability to rally the audience reflects the likes of Sid Vicious and Joe Strummer. New album The Gospel Truth comes out on Fri 14 April.
WHILE SHE SLEEPS
Tues 25 April
This renowned English metalcore band hail from the depths of Sheffield. Their recent anthemic single, Silence Speaks features guest vocals from the one and only Oli Sykes (of Bring Me The Horizon.) Forming in 2006 and having been in bands since school they have evolved together and developed a brother-like energy live.
The release of Silence Speaks sees the band going in a new, slightly political and more mature direction. “Our live shows try to encompass unity with everyone. We want everyone to have a great time and be a part of something cool” says singer, Loz Taylor. Long awaited third album, You Are We comes out on Fri 21 April.
Tues 25 April
Catch the young YouTube sensation on his first European headline tour. His recent EP Open Hands and Enemies has received extensive praise and was number one in the iTunes Singer/Songwriter Chart upon release.
After four years building up a huge YouTube following he was discovered by the legendary Mick Fleetwood. “Dan’s music is from the heart,” says Fleetwood. “It is genuine blues and Dan is at the forefront of the new wave in British singer-songwriter talent.” His EP has the perfect formula of genuine songwriting talent, youth appeal and fantastic production. Single Moonlight alone is proof that Dan will go far. The viral ballad Made To Love You features soft crooning vocals that would make James Bay proud.
Thurs 27 April
Mellow British hip-hop artist Rejjie Snow believes in “letting the music speak for itself.” He’s not come out of nowhere, either – his first EP Rejovich came out in 2013 and featured various guest performances, including the incredible Loyle Carner. The 22-year-old rapper was raised in Dublin and still holds his home close to his heart. His laid-back style of intellectual hip-hop fits in the vein of Kendrick Lamar and Earl Sweatshirt.
Unquestionably one of the most talented UK rappers of the decade, Snow is not shy to express politics and social issues such as that of deeply moving new single Crooked Cops. Despite his widespread success his music remains honest and original.
Sun 30 April
Future Islands’ new album The Far Field is out this month, following up to 2014’s hugely successful Singles. Penultimate track Shadows features guest vocals from New York punk icon, Debbie Harry. With their blend of original synth-pop, they’re a breath of fresh air among a sea of safe indie. But they haven’t come out of nowhere. Having been together for ten years polishing and perfecting their sound, they’ve all had years of experience playing and touring in every style of band, from metal to rap.
Singer, Samuel T Herring’s deep unique voice with his heartfelt brooding vocals transports you to a simpler time. This is a trip of empowering yet emotional love songs that would make the perfect soundtrack to a coming-of-age movie.
Mon 3 April
Sat 8 April
Fri 14 April
Weds 19 April
Weds 19 April
THE BIG MOON
Thurs 20 April
Fri 21 April
The Hope & Ruin
Fri 21 April
Green Door Store
FLOWERS MUST DIE
Tues 25 April
Weds 26 April
The Haunt, April