Of Empires started out the way most great things do: at a festival in a drunken haze. From a boozed-up conversation to now, OE now actually play at festivals across the country including the likes of Isle of Wight and Reading. Based in Brighton, where pure talent is never at a shortage, the band’s alluring and dynamic music has been compared to the likes of the Rolling Stones and The Black Keys.
After so much recognition from their previous EPs, OE are back touring with their newest double A-side singles. Waist Up in Gold leads with middle eastern vibes taking listeners on a journey to wonderland. In contrast Gunslinger tells stories of war and media coverage. This band with an envious rock ‘n’ roll aesthetic are going nowhere but up.
Sat 10 March
Country music seems to be hiding in the bushes these days, but it doesn’t mean it’s dead. Sarah Darling proves that the genre is still very much alive in all its glory. Born in Iowa, the BCMA nominee labels her music ‘dream country’ a sound which bloomed in the city of Nashville, Tennessee. It is an influence we see so strongly in her music, from her single Where Cowboys Ride to ballads about the Western night sky.
Most recently Sarah was awarded the Belles and Gals Award 2017, for going above and beyond to truly embrace the UK country scene. “I cannot wait to celebrate with my UK fans,” she says. Having sold out a show at St Pancras old church last Christmas, its clear his American lady has something us Brits love.
Mon 12 March
Paloma Faith is back with her long-awaited fourth album The Architect. As one of only two British female artists this decade to have their last three albums go double platinum in the UK, her comeback is set to be as just as breath-takingly beautiful as ever before.
While the music is classic Paloma – with sweeping orchestral tracks, smooth soul, sleek disco grooves and stomping electro pop all featured on the album – the lyrics raise social and political questions, and cover powerful and topical themes, such as motherhood, social anxiety, wealth inequality, technology… Oh, and also the future of the Western world, Donald Trump, Brexit and the refugee crisis. Of course, she’ll be putting it in a way that will make us want to listen.
BELLE & SEBASTIAN
Thurs 15 March
Since their first album, which was recorded in only three days and originally released on one thousand copies on pressed vinyl, The Scottish septet have come along way. Nine albums later Belle & Sebastian come to the Dome. The Glaswegian band have presented the world with their newest record How to Solve our Human Problems – a 15-track album which delivers every topic to suit your audio appetite.
The indie, folksters have a deliciously unique sound combining their range of vocals, guitars, keyboard, percussion and even occasional violins and flutes. Their retro sound radiates Scottish influences, which you may just want to jig (or weep) to. With their last trip to Brighton being over a decade ago, this soiree will be an exciting night of vibrancy.
Thurs 15 March
In today’s current social and political climate, there’s an overbearing urge to want to escape. White Room’s music is an invitation to that escape… If only momentarily. The band, based in this seaside city, offer psych rock sounds which is enigmatic and bound to have you in a grungy trance.
Their latest 8-track EP, 8, is partly inspired by the number itself: The number of infinity, it signifies positivity in the universe, joy, strength, balance and power in unity. 2017 saw them tour with Modfather Paul Weller, perform at multiple festivals and shows to sell out crowds. Their emergence into 2018 promises much more for this creative, if not confidently crude, group of guys.
Fri 16 March
Welsh electro-pop singer-songwriter Gwenno (of the Pipettes) returns to Brighton with her musique-concrete beats and synth-laden music and new LP Le Kov (out on Heavenly Records). Gwenno Saunders is a music producer, DJ, radio presenter and singer from Cardiff. Her debut solo album, Y Dydd Olaf followed a string of critically acclaimed releases, showing there will be no stopping her rise.
Written entirely in Cornish, new album Le Kov is an exploration of the individual and collective subconscious, the myths and drolls of Cornwall. As one of the language’s few fluent speakers, Gwenno felt a duty to make her second album a document of this living language. Her music creates a wonderfully unique way of listening, in a distinct musical gamut.
Weds 21 Mar
Internationally acclaimed jazz pianist and composer, Andrew McCormack will begin his UK spring tour, making a stop off at Shoreham’s Ropetackle. This is in support of his latest album release, Graviton, on PIAS Jazz Village. Andrew has assembled some of the most sought-after musicians in modern jazz, all of whom bring something special to the mix for the tour.
The musician has impressively appeared on more than 25 albums since the start of his young career. As a composer and having studied privately with Mark-Anthony Turnage, McCormack has written for many different classical ensembles, and his talent doesn’t stop there. Andrew’s film scores include orchestration, original music and performances, most notably for Clint Eastwood in several collaborations.
Image by Benjamin Amure
Ths 22 March
2018 looks set to be a different, yet very special year for Phil as he announces his solo tour String Theory in February and March. The tour will feature material old and new, showcasing his exceptional skill on all things stringed. From the fiddle, the Spanish guitar, mandocello to the viola, mandolin and South American cuatro there is almost nothing this man can’t play.
Let’s not forget, alongside these delicately different string instruments sits Phil’s rich vocals. Being a popular ambassador for acoustic roots music, the performer was previously in multi award-winning folk powerhouse Show of Hands – who sold out the Royal Albert Hall. As a solo performer he is equally, if not even more, captivating and enchanting to witness.
Image by Rex Preston
Fri 23 March
Hitting the road with a full live band, Roddy Woomble Is touring his thoughtful new solo album The Deluder. His back catalogue features over 12 Top 40 singles and eight acclaimed albums, as both a solo artist and frontman of Scottish indie-rockers Idlewild.
His recent single Jupiter sees Roddy in a surreal & playful mood, channelling both solo McCartney and Pavement, in a quirky, melodic and memorable pop song. During its recording, he turned 40 and the emphasis we place on age, particularly moving from one decade into another was not lost on him. ˜The Deluder might be some sort of reaction, maybe justification, in the context of my life, my relationships, my choices,” he says about this, his most personal, introspective work yet.
Image by David Gillanders
THE HANDSOME FAMILY
Sat 24 March
St. George’s Church
After a busy show in 2017 at the Concorde 2, The Handsome Family return by popular demand. For some this duo might ring a bell as their song Far From Any Road was used as the theme for the first season of True Detective. The Handsome Family were known around the globe for a song they’d written 12 years earlier about fire ants and desert plants, a song now linked forever to a show about cops in a psychic swamp.
The United States-born couple, who have been married for 26 years, have since released ten albums of their hypnotic and melancholic folk music. With Rennie and Brett Sparks, you can delve into not just a musical performance, but a musical experience.