October Music Previews
Tues 4 Oct, Green Door Store
With a sound that equally emanates rock ’n’ roll greats (think Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis) and the indie bands of late (see: Arctic Monkeys), it comes as no surprise that Louis Berry has been hotly tipped over the last year by some of the music industry’s biggest influencers. Critically acclaimed by the likes of Radio 1’s Huw Stephens and Annie Mac, Beats1’s Zane Lowe, and NME and VICE magazines, the poetic Liverpudlian arrives in Brighton fresh from the release of his latest single, Restless.
A highlight of his live shows, Restless was written by Berry himself and lets his raspy voice take centre stage. Expect driving beats and gutsy guitars aplenty – this singer-songwriter is going places.
Thurs 6 Oct, The Prince Albert
Having initially cut their teeth on local circuits, releasing their first pair of full-lengths (2013’s No Makeup and 2015’s Show Us Your Mind) on their own label New Moss Records, Summer Cannibals come to Brighton better than ever, after signing to Kill Rock Stars earlier this year and releasing their new album.
Full Of It is the band’s defining statement to date, with lead vocalist/guitarist Jessica Boudreaux’s songwriting certainly having matured. It’s a leap forward that every band hopes to achieve at least once in their career – most likely as a result of an unhealthy amount of time on the road, earning accolades and adding plenty of fresh converts to their highly charged, no frills method.
ALISON RAYNER QUINTET
Sat 8 Oct, The Verdict
While London-born bassist Alison Rayner is more often seen driving the rhythm sections of the Deirdre Cartwright Group and Blow The Fuse club nights, the versatile composer also fronts her own jazz band. In the Alison Rayner Quintet, Rayner has gathered a group of fine musicians whose individual sounds each support her own: Steve Lodder (piano), Deirdre Cartwright (guitar), Diane McLoughlin (saxophone) and Buster Birch (drums).
Boasting a technical excellence and musical bond paralleled by no other in modern jazz, it’s good to see Rayner step out of the shadows to play her own compositions, chock-full of cool riffs, rhythmic grooves and sparky improvisation as the band preview their second album, A Magic Life.
Sat 8 Oct, Concorde 2
Formed in 1982 and led by the unpredictable Michael Gira, Swans began a lengthy sabbatical during the 90s. This decade they returned, with the critically acclaimed albums My Father Will Guide Me up a Rope to the Sky, The Seer and To Be Kind. This summer the band released another – The Glowing Man, which marks the last offering from their current incarnation. So Swans are out on an extensive worldwide tour. Now they operate as a rare creature, a cult act who inexplicably began producing their finest ever work after reforming. A rugged mix of post-punk, industrial, metal and blues, they remain one of the greatest and most underrated acts in rock history. Always a band with a surplus of ideas and enormous ambitions, they bring music which works on a million times more levels than your average boyband.
Weds 12 Oct, The Haunt
After a busy summer which saw him play to huge crowds at Glastonbury and V Festival, and his first single Running Away being play-listed on Radio 1 and 1Xtra, it’s safe to say that 2016 may just be the year for Nottingham-born Ady Suleiman.
Drawing plaudits across the board from the press to fellow artists (with Fader describing the singer-songwriter as a “holy trifecta of R&B, hip-hop and reggae”), Suleiman sold out London’s Oslo back in July, and his biggest UK headline tour to date looks set to follow suit. With his Brighton show closing the tour, it’s likely we can expect a finely tuned performance by the gifted lyricist, whose reputation only continues to shine brighter.
Weds 12 Oct, Concorde 2
Frankie Ballard returns to the UK this autumn for another highly anticipated tour. His recent sell-out tour and upcoming shows are another sign of the rocking Michigan native’s growing popularity as he prepares to release his new album, El Río, later this year in the UK.
Ballard’s first foray overseas included sold-out shows at London’s Hoxton Bar and Brooklyn Bowl. The new tour is much more ambitious with ten dates, beginning on Mon 3 Oct in Amsterdam. He then travels to Hamburg and Munich, Germany, before hitting Manchester, Glasgow, Leeds, Birmingham, Brighton, London and Dublin. Each has a rich pageantry of rock ‘n’ roll history, something Ballard taps into when he writes and records his music.
Weds 19 Oct, Concorde 2
With a career spanning more than four decades, Robin Trower’s hailing as one of the finest guitarists in rock history comes as no surprise – in fact, it’s probably a little overdue. After spending the 60s playing in various London-based bands (including symphonic rock band Procol Harum), Trower embarked on a solo career, innovating his way around the world with his trademark ‘soft psychedelia’.
Often regarded as the ‘white Hendrix’ due to his uncanny ability to channel Jimi’s bluesy playing style (on a Fender Strat, no less), Trower went on to gain widespread success with his power trio, Robin Trower Band. Having released his 21st album (Where You Are Going To) earlier this year, it appears there’s still a lot of musical juice left in this motor.
ROB HERON & THE TEA PAD ORCHESTRA
Tues 25 Oct, Komedia
Rob Heron & The Tea Pad Orchestra don’t care what genre you choose to put them in – western swing, country blues, ragtime hokum or whatever else. They’ll call it north eastern swing, a genre fairly unrecognisable to the untrained ear. In layman’s terms, let’s just say that if you have a penchant for early 20th century Americana and appreciate musical sincerity, you’ll probably get on just fine.
Penned by Rob Heron himself, the Tea Pad Orchestra’s songs are full of character, satire, and a good old-fashioned holler – earning them a solid global following and thousands of touring miles. With multiple sell-out shows across the UK (most recently playing a spectacular performance at Glastonbury), it’s clear this quartet are best experienced live.
Tues 25 Oct, Concorde 2
Formed in 2010, Leeds rock band Eagulls first sprang onto the scene on Moshi Moshi imprint label Not Even Records. They’ve since added six EPs and an album to their repertoire, receiving sustained attention from the press along the way. In 2013, they earned BBC Radio 6’s Steve Lamacq’s New Favourite Band, joining New York’s Partisan Records before dropping off the radar a bit.
Back this year with their second album, Ullages, Eagulls embark on a set of UK headline shows and festival appearances this autumn, including this co-headline tour with Protomartyr. It’s good to see they’ve kept their unique culmination of snotty, punk-tinged, melodic-rock intact.
Weds 26 Oct, The Hope & Ruin
From the very first demo of their debut album, Killer Brain Waves, Asylums have done it all on their own fiercely DIY terms. Post-modern, sarcastic, energetic and fun, the Essex foursome’s sound of discontent comes as a remedy to post-social networking malaise, their material reflecting a country in a state of change.
Asylum’s songs may have killer pop hooks, but there’s no bubblegum here – expect songs about the death of High Street retail, austerity, and rampant consumerism. Some of the songs you’ll know, with five of Killer Brain Waves’ tracks being vied over by Radio 1, 6Music and Radio X, but it won’t take long to learn the rest. Easily the best thing to come out of Southend-on-Sea since The Horrors, we’re expecting big things.
Fri 28 Oct, Concorde 2
Widely regarded as the best wordsmith of his generation, Akala has gained a lot more heat recently thanks to his political voice, having appeared on Question Time, with Frankie Boyle and publishing numerous features with the Guardian.
With 2016 continuing to be a year of solid progress and path-making visions, the artistic polymath celebrates ten years since the release of his debut It’s Not a Rumour with a triple vinyl anthology: 10 Years Of Akala. On the back of this, Akala steps out with his band on a live 10th anniversary tour, taking his hard-hitting live show to venues across the UK and Ireland. Fiercely independent before it was fashionable, Akala pushes all the boundaries, promising a show you’d be a fool to miss.
Mon 31 Oct, Brighton Dome
Vocalist Jason Williamson will undoubtedly get pissed off if we called Sleaford Mods ‘the most important band in British music today’. But I just did and perhaps it needed to be said. Recently signed to the unwaveringly cool Rough Trade Records, the wonderfully belligerent Nottingham duo finally broke through with last year’s punky and abstract album – Key Markets. Discordant, confrontational and occasionally downright unpleasant, their output forces anyone with a conscience to reassess their collective sins. Some things need to be said, and right now here’s the only band brave enough to say them. You’ll either be bewildered or amazed, but at least tonight you might actually feel something. Drop the mic, thanks for coming…