Best of Brighton music – Dec 2015

Thurs 3 Dec

The new Beans on Toast album – ‘Rolling Up The Hill’ – is his most creative record to date. It’s music about friendship, travel and art, and a little bit about drinking, protesting and growing older in these strange modern times. His seventh studio album in as many years is released this month, and was recorded in Kansas with husband and wife country music duo Truckstop Honeymoon.

Ten years in the game and he’s built up something of an underground following around the world, ramming out festival fields and venues in the UK. This year alone he’s played shows on rooftops in Cape Town, tropical islands in the Barbados, folk festivals in Canada and covered over 10,000 miles in the USA.


Thurs 3 Dec
St George’s Church

With his extraordinary voice and charismatic piano balladry, Benjamin Clementine returns. His debut album ‘At Least For Now’ has been dubbed as the future sound of London, accumulating fans with his unique piano-led songs.

His back-story is fascinating and colourful, so there’s little surprise at the depth of emotions displayed within his work. Exploring heartbreak, homelessness and reinvention, he has an undeniable way with words, and a voice that reaches deep into your soul.

Brighton MusicEZIO

Mon 7 Dec

The Mercury Award winner comes down to treat Brighton music fans. Gradually opening up to a wider spectrum of music fans, Cambridge-born Ezio Lunedei and Kenyan guitarist Mark ‘Booga’ Fowell are capable and rather wonderful song-smiths. Meeting in 1990, the pair plays with a rhythmical power and unity. Booga’s spontaneous fluid touch is the perfect complement to Ezio’s emotive songs, imaginatively adding to the moods they invoke.

Their debut album ‘Black Boots on Latin Feet’ was produced by Rupert Hine (Stevie Nicks, Tina Turner, Noa, Duncan Sheik) and resulted in support tours with acts like Paul Young, Les Négresses Vertes, Joan Armatrading and Big Country. Now with four albums under their belt, they’re become renowned throughout the folk scene.


Mon 7 Dec
The Old Market

To celebrate the very best that Brighton’s music scene has to offer, The Old Market presents another phenomenal line up of local bands. On the bill is psychedelic rock four-piece, Prince Vaseline, who shared a love of world psych and early experimental electronica.

Joining them is Grasshopper, whose blend of post-punk, surf-and shoegaze aesthetics. Their open-minded instrumentation and DIY ethos has seen them play festivals like Isle of Wight Festival, Kendal Calling and Festival Number 6, as special guests of Tim Burgess. Completing the line-up are Lutine, who are a mesmerising live act, combining haunting vocal harmonies with minimal, delicate instrumentation.


Thurs 10 Dec
St Paul’s Arts Centre, Worthing

You might have a massive organ, but has it got a rotating horn? Fearlessly strutting along the line between polite jazz noodling and feverish funk-soul party-starters, James Taylor has been the undisputed king of the Hammond keyboard.

Breaking through in the early 90s, the James Taylor Quartet saw their ‘Theme From Starsky & Hutch’ become an acid jazz dance floor anthem. Ultimately JTQ are thoroughly modernist, borrowing heartedly from sources like continental cinema soundtracks, TV themes and funk classics, to create a pulsating funk-drenched vibe. It’s intense, exuberant and urgent. It might have been a few years since their last hit, but this four still ‘Love The Life’.


Thurs 10 Dec
St George’s Church

Back in 1996 a group of friends broke into a North London cemetery and sang together, clad in flowing white gowns and crowns of ivy. Formed by Katharine Blake (formally of Miranda Sex Garden) the initial idea of getting a few friends together to sing for fun quickly escalated into a unique musical ensemble.

Years later, these fair maidens have taken three albums to the top of the classical charts and contributed to the soundtrack of BBC production of ‘The Virgin Queen’ which won them in an Ivor Novello Award. Sourcing lyrics from mediaeval and romantic texts and setting them to original scores using traditional instruments, the Baebes are a beguiling musical beauty.

Read our interview with the Baebes here!

Brighton MusicTHE RAMONAS 

Thurs 10 Dec
The Prince Albert

The UK’s only all-girl tribute to one of the most influential punk rock bands in history, The Ramonas were formed back in 2004. These days they travel internationally, capturing the magic that the Ramones had in their early days.

With their intense on-stage energy levels, whilst looking much better than Joey, Johnny, Dee Dee or Marky ever did, the girls have toured all around the UK and Europe and guarantee a good night out… Whilst it will never be possible to see the Ramones live again, The Ramonas are absolutely the next best thing for any punk rock fan.

Brighton MusicBERNARD + EDITH 

Fri 11 Dec
The Hope and Ruin

Dreamy Mancunian trip-hop duo – Bernard + Edith – come to Brighton to play a special Melting Vinyl Christmas night, co-curated with Dog In The Snow. Over the past year, the pair has been bubbling with their dark, subtly disturbing, electronica.

Their debut album ‘Jem’ showcases a rich landscape with a strange allure, it offered intimacy and a tangibility of emotion with their arrangements, despite their electronically constructed origins. It’s an auspicious debut, a worthy volley from a city whose popular music reputation has been built on genre splicing and boundary pushing that’s sat a bit quiet as of late.

Brighton MusicSTATUS QUO

Fri 11 Dec
Brighton Centre

Lock up your nan and get those battered old denim cut-offs out, because ‘The Quo’ are in town! Despite being in the game since the Gregorian calendar’s introduction, these rockers are still going strong. They’ve earned their status as Britain’s best-loved rock legends through sheer hard work and great tunes, so we should probably be treating them with a little more respect.

This 11 date tour will see the band returning to their fully electric set up after the huge success of the ‘Aquostic (Stripped Bare)’ and ‘Aquostic! Live At The Roundhouse’ albums. Packed with hits new and old, taken from an unsurpassable back catalogue, it’s a series of dates not to be missed.

TBrighton MusicHE RIFLES 

Sat 12 Dec
The Haunt

You’d be forgiven for not hearing of this four-piece. Purveyors of no-nonsense spiky guitar-pop, they certainly aren’t the trendiest of bands. Anonymity aside, they’ve capable of unleashing some infectious riffs and solid lyrics. Despite selling out venues around the country, The Rifles still don’t get any airplay. It seems they have become something of a cult band.

This year saw the ten-year anniversary of their debut album ‘No Love Lost’, something they celebrated by playing four sold out London shows. To round off the year they’re out on the road again, pulling into Brighton for a special acoustic show, before recording their fifth album in 2016. The truth is quality speaks for itself, and they’ll be around long after the fashionable bands have all acrimoniously imploded.


Sun 13 Dec
The Haunt

Founded in 2014 by Queensrÿche vocalist Geoff Tate, Operation: Mindcrime take their name from his former band’s landmark concept album. After Tate’s acrimonious split from his former group in 2012, a tense two-year period followed which saw Tate and Queensrÿche each touring under the moniker.

After an eventually settlement, the newly minted band now features a rotating cast of musicians with Tate at the helm. Following this, Operation: Mindcrime released ‘The Key’ last year, their debut studio album and the first instalment in a planned trilogy. It continued a proud tradition of melodic, narrative-driven progressive metal.


Brighton Music

Fri 18 Dec
Concorde 2

In November 1980 The Jam released their fifth studio album – ‘Sound Affects’. It featured their second single to reach the number one spot ‘Start’ and the acoustic masterpiece ‘That’s Entertainment’. This album still competes for the title of The Jam’s best record, due to its mix of 60s psychedelic rock and funk alongside a political commentary that was innovative for its time.
Celebrating the album’s 35th anniversary From The Jam, which features original The Jam member’s Bruce Foxton and Russell Hastings, will perform the album in its entirety. As well as a thrilling performance of ‘Sound Affects’ they’ll perform a selection of hits and album tracks from The Jam’s back catalogue and songs from Bruce Foxton’s own solo career. So let us ‘Set The House Ablaze’!

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