The pioneers of ambient house are back, trippier than ever. Fresh off the release of their 16th studio album, COW/Chill Out, World!, duo Alex Paterson and Thomas Fehlmann return with creative renewal and an instruction for their fans: to “chill the fuck out”. While the duo’s new album takes a new direction, with Fehlmann explaining “we didn’t intend to rehash old chill out vibes” and Paterson describing it as “our most ambient album yet”, fans of The Orb will recognise the significance of their history, influences and peers reflected throughout. Expect a journey of sounds that bubble, flutter and float through myriad moods and atmospheres, and head down for the ride.
Mon 5 Dec
Selkirk’s finest play Concorde 2 this month as part of the tour of their fifth studio album, Painting of a Panic Attack. It’s been three years since we last heard from the five-piece, with Pedestrian Verse back in 2013. Having lost a band member (Simon Liddell replaced Gordon Skene on keys and guitar in 2015) and frontman Scott Hutchison releasing a solo album, there was concern for the future of the band. But the break seems to have put them in good stead, with Painting of a Panic Attack achieving the best critical reception of the band’s career. Despite the addition of The National’s Aaron Dessner on production, the album is still very much a Rabbit album – expect the same emotive undertones – only it seems they’ve finally grown into themselves.
Mon 5 Dec
Starting his career as the instrumentalist in the hugely influential punk band, Suicide, in the 70s, Martin Rev has gone on to embark on a successful solo career, which has seen him journey through a winding trail of genres across a number of record labels, including ROIR and Puu. With a style that varies widely from electronic ‘no wave’ (think avant-garde punk meets experimentalism) to bubblegum pop and heavy synth rock, Rev has continuously pushed expectations, and it’s difficult to know what to expect from his live shows – but then that’s part of his charm. Whether they’re laid-back tunes or explosive percussive smashes, there’s always a sense of ambience that is bound to translate well live.
LAURA J MARTIN
Tues 6 Dec
One-woman band Laura J Martin comes to Marwood on the 6th with her unique brand of alt-folk. Inspired by musical icons such as David Bowie and Serge Gainsbourg, her lyrics err on the edge of poetry, and are accompanied by delightfully layered tracks showcasing her range as an accomplished flautist, pianist and mandolin player. Martin plays a plethora of instruments on stage, with each one masterfully weaved through the next with the aid of her trusty loop pedal and an Akai MPC. The result is breathtaking – and she has three albums worth of tracks to prove it. Her latest album, On The Never Never, was released to deserved critical acclaim. A rare talent, Martin is surely not to be missed.
Fri 9 Dec
It’s difficult to know quite how to categorise Nottingham quartet Area 11’s sound. The band themselves call it “gaijin rock”, and we suppose that probably is the best description for it. Fusing metalcore, prog and glam rock traits with influences from Japanese pop culture (think anime, manga and video games), Area 11’s sound is truly unique. Part Enter Shikari-esque shred guitar, part 8-bit Nintendo, their live show guarantees the kind of nostalgia you can mosh to – like playing Mario on the NES but with an (even more) awesome backing track. Having released the much-awaited follow-up to 2013’s All the Lights in the Sky with their second album Modern Synthesis earlier this year, things are looking great for the band.
Sat 10 Dec
Brighton post-rock four-piece Black Peaks play an end-of-year homecoming show this month – set to be their biggest headline show to date. Since their beginnings under the moniker Shrine in 2012, the band have come a long way – releasing three EPs, getting noticed by Zane Lowe on Radio 1, followed by a debut album with label giants Sony. Statues was released at the beginning of this year, with the band creating further waves with a joint headline tour with Nottingham mathcore foursome HECK. Now they’re back in Brighton for a one-off show, with support from Krokodil, Bossk and the 2016 Aim Album of the Year-nominated Press To Meco – let’s give them one hell of a welcome home.
Sat 10 Dec
With three #1 records, over 10 million albums sold worldwide and three Grammy Awards to his name, NE-YO really needs no introduction. A decade may have passed since the release of his debut album In My Own Words, however the singer is nowhere near done. Having established himself as one of the finest songwriters and performers in the world, the prince of contemporary R&B’s shows just keep getting better, and his appearance at the Brighton Centre is no exception. With three years having passed since his last UK tour, the global superstar has a lot to make up for. We hear a seventh album is almost ready to drop…
EVERY TIME I DIE
Sun 11 Dec
New York metalcore icons Every Time I Die swap Buffalo for Brighton for a very special show to mark the release of their eighth album, Low Teens. With influences from heavy metal and rock to Southern and screamo, the quintet have spent a career defining and redefining the genre they crafted when they began back in 1998, with 2003 breakthrough album Hot Damn! often considered a total game changer for the category. It’s a variety that has won them countless fans globally – and their unforgettable live shows, which are known for their energy and intensity. Pull on your DM’s, buckle up, and get ready to mosh – this one’s going to be crazy.
LYDIA LUNCH + RETROVIRUS
Mon 12 Dec
Singer. Poet. Writer. Actress. Public speaker. There’s seemingly no end to the things that the queen of New York’s no-wave genre, Lydia Lunch, can do. Named one of the most influential performers of the 1980s, Lunch has single-handedly proven that an anti-commercial ethic really can pay off, having earned her success independently of major labels and distributors. Coming to Brighton at a politically apt time, she brings her signature provocative and confrontational repertoire, backed by all-star band Retrovirus (featuring Sonic Youth’s Bob Bert and The Flying Luttenbachers’ Weasel Walter). Take a sonically brutal walk through time, for a no-holds-barred survey of Lydia Lunch’s musical output, dated from 1977 to present.
MARTHA REEVES AND THE VANDELLAS
Mon 19 Dec
Travel back to the swinging 60s this Christmas, with the classic Motown sounds of Martha Reeves and The Vandellas. During their nine-year run in the charts from 1963-1972, The Vandellas charted over 26 hits from doo-wop and pop to R&B and rock ’n’ roll, marking them as one of the biggest trios of the decade. Concorde 2 presents the only show on the south coast to experience all the classic Motown hits in one night, including Jimmy Mack, Dancing In The Street, Nowhere To Run and many more. With DJs Mod n Soul and Pat Shevlin also playing classic anthems, this Christmas soul and Motown party at Concorde 2 is set for success, and is truly a must-see show for any soul music lover.
BENTLEY RHYTHM ACE
Tues 20 Dec
Brighton’s very own Skint Records’ electronic duo Bentley Rhythm Ace make a grand and very welcome return this December with a performance alongside special guest DJs Space Raiders and Slackshot. The epitome of the big beat era of the late 90s, the duo enjoyed success both commercially and on the underground scene, with their music entwining hip-hop, funk, jazz and exotica around some of the most recognisable rhythms of the decade. Following in the footsteps of the Chemical Brothers, BRA enjoyed a monthly residency at Heavenly’s Sunday Social club, where they garnered a cult following and critical acclaim for their flamboyant live performances, which tend to involve everything from strange costumes to unusual props.
CHAS & DAVE
Weds 28 Dec
Legendary novelty duo Chas & Dave are back for a good old Christmas knees up, playing ‘rockney’ classics from 40 years in the industry. Jumbling together pub singalong, music-hall humour, boogie-woogie piano and pre-Beatles rock ’n’ roll, Chas & Dave’s witty narratives on life in London are relatable as they are hilarious, making them one of the most-loved longstanding musical duos of the last few decades. To mark their 50th anniversary, they’ve recorded their first original album in 27 years, along with special guests along the lines of Jools Holland and Hugh Laurie. An integral part of Britain’s ‘identity’, accompanied by DJs playing 60s, 70s & 80s classics, their show is really not to be missed.