Normanton Street are an unstoppable musical force combining elements of Jazz, Soul, R’n’B and Hip Hop. Ned and Nicholson, who play guitar and bass respectively, lived on the same street in Bedford where they grew up together playing in various bands before making the move to Brighton in 2011. They initially played as a duo before meeting singer Phoebe following a gig at the Mesmerist. Wiith the help of a Lauryn Hill cover, the band was born.
Ned tells me their goal is simple: “To continue growing and spreading positive vibes in the UK, Europe and around the world.” Their work ethic is certainly impressive having self-released everything to date on their own label, QM Records. Ned and Nicholson set up the label in 2014, and in addition to releasing their own material they work with and help promote an impressive array of up-and coming-talent, including: Tommy Sissons, Tilda Allie, Mrisi, Lebeaux, Frankie Stew, Harvey Gunn, Francesca Fulmini and Bobbie Johnson. The boys also host regular DJ nights and showcases aiming to help “cultivate a local scene by putting on lots of events.” The nights always promise great atmosphere and a chance to discover fresh new talent.
Over the last few years they’ve played all around the world and received incredible reception. 2016 was an especially huge year for the band, seeing the release of single Take Time along with a six-part documentary shot by Londonbased Boom Productions. The film is a fascinating insight into the band, showing them from dressing room to stage to behind the scenes hanging out and writing. They also performed at the renowned South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas. While they were there they recorded a video for the single Angelene – an interesting change of scenery for a Brighton band. But there they found their element, seen in the video jiving down the wide streets and poring over vinyl in a dark basement club.
Live they are tight and polished, captivating audiences with their charm and charismatic flair. June sees the much-anticipated release of brand new single Supreme with a launch show at Brighton Unitarian Church on Fri 9 June. This will be a chance to catch them in a unique venue, where there will also be an exclusive screening of the new music video. Following the show, The Western will be host an official after-party featuring a special Normanton DJ set.
Their aesthetic is unique, smoothly bringing the grooviest sounds and styles of the past into the modern day. Each member brings their own flair and influences – you’d think they would clash but this just adds to their distinct vibrancy. Nicholson tells me they don’t have a definitive aim for the future, “besides creating plenty of real good music for many years to come, and touring extensively.” They’re impossible to put in a box and they truly stick out from so many others in the Brighton music scene. There’s a sense too that they do what they want and do it themselves