THE BEST UNSIGNED MUSIC IN AND AROUND BRIGHTON
Cardboard HIT Light Brigade Matt Fincuane Imbium
// GIGS // REVIEWS // INTERVIEWS // FEATURES //
SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 201 5 FREE www.brightonunsigned.com
// CONTENTS // Imbium....................................................4 Light Brigade.......................................... 7 Matt Fincuane.........................................8 Robin Coward.........................................1 0 Cardboard HIT........................................1 2 Worthing Oxjam 201 5.............................1 4 Mammothfest..........................................1 6 The Next Stage...................................... 1 8 Hot Moth................................................. 20 Brighton Unsigned Sunday Sessions..... 22 Bmusic....................................................23 Paths to Glory.........................................24 Dirty Weekend and Dirt Royal................ 26 The Slytones.......................................... 28 On The Air.............................................. 30 Greg Vernon........................................... 30
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Within this edition of the magazine I have written a longer piece and would like to use this editorial space to thank the following venues for allowing us to distribute the magazine. They are all great supporters of the local music scene and over the coming months we will tell you more of what they have to offer the musical community.
Brighton Unsigned, Block 3, Chalex Industrial Estate, Brighton, BN42 4NH email@example.com +44 (0) 1 273 422250
EDITOR David Croissant ASSOCIATE EDITOR Phil Nye PROOF READER Tree McCauley ADVERTISING
Greg Vernon, Jax Mitrovic, Robin Coward, Steve Dickson, Roy Weard, Michael Stone, Pete Jones
FRONT COVER The Slytones
mixture of different events and nights that they put on. Our appreciation also goes out to Northbrook College and Access to Music for their involvement. Hopefully, in the near future we will be able to add BIMM and City college to the educational side of things.
Concorde 2, Hope & Ruin, Prince Albert, We will soon be adding a page where you Green Door Store, Pav Tav, GAK, Bleach, can see what takes place on a regular basis, The Brunswick, Northern Lights, The and please feel free to drop us a line with Hampton, Big Beach Cafe, Dover Castle, anything that you would like us to cover in Prince of Wales, George Payne, The Hop the future. As always your content and ideas Poles, Balcony Cafe, White Rabbit, Brighton are very much appreciated. Electric, Poets' Corner, Worlds End, Brighton Tavern, The Albion, Monty, Mesmerist, All the best Neptune, Ranelagh, Duke of Norfolk, The Greys, The Neighbourhood. More venues will Phil & Dave(Brighton Unsigned) be added as we go along, but we fully recommend anyone on this list for the www.brightonunsigned.com SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 201 5 3
// REVIEW //
WRITTEN BY Greg Vernon Imbium? What's an Imbium? Merging the love of fine wine with old school rock & roll music, these lads have bundled together rock, punk and jazz influences with distant 70s sounds. ? I feel this says it all really and why this band are a must see. Upon first meeting Imbium last year at a gig where we were on the bill together, I'd already heard a lot about them and when they all got out the car bundling their equipment out I could see why. There's something about this lot that is special, and that shows in their personal lives and friendships. Performing music isn't the only thing they're good at. There's something about watching Imbium live which is so special. An Imbium gig is more than just the music itself, but an event filled with emotion, energy, and true passion for what they do.
I asked Matty a few questions about the song “Headspace” It was one I didn't understand at first, but there's a reason why. Its all about simplicity with this one. “Headspace" is sort of linked to Duck Sees Moth. It's about just going for a walk and getting away from all the unpleasant things that come with life. Having time to clear your head and actually think. I ended up going to the beach and writing four or five songs about serious topics and on the walk home I just thought, what the hell am I writing about? So I just wrote how it was a nice day instead and it developed from there”
1 01 is one of the older songs on the album. It's one of their 'Classics'. It's developed over the years from a slow acoustic song into something that merges the beauty of the lyrics and their Pop-Punky style that is Imbium. The track starts off slow and delicate, an almost classical sounding acoustic guitar trundling along in the background with Matt's distinct low voice pronouncing every word in a very Matt Charbonneau way... As the song builds, it hints that it's going somewhere a little heavier, when all of sudden the electric guitars burst through. These are the moments at an Imbium show that make it what it is. Brilliant.
Imbium will be starting their 201 5 tour during the release of this review which they have asked me to attach. I can't stress enough how important it is to go and see this lot! You'll regret it when it's £70 per ticket at the 02...
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"Backseat Bingo" is my favourite song on the album. I feel all the members have come together in recording to create something stunning here. After all, experiencing a true loss after keyboardist Jonny passing away the previous year, emotions were high and I think they all needed some way to channel their emotions. It's the sort of song everyone will relate to in some way which is all so important in songwriting, but it's been done without being forced. I believe that is what makes this song not only excellent but important to the band as well. It is, but not solely, a crowd pleaser. It has substance which so many bands seem to lack in their songwriting now.
IMBIUM TOUR 201 5 DATES:
2nd Sep – Green Door, Brighton 5th Sep - Bar 42, Worthing 27th Oct - Bideford (Palladium) 28th Oct - Northampton (King Billy) 29th Oct - Leicester (The Shed) 30th Oct - Stoke (The Full Moon) 31 st Oct - Pontypool (The Dragonffli) 1 st Nov - Bournemouth (The Winchester)
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// INTERVIEW // Light Brigade
Meet ‘Light Brigade’ – the South Coast’s best-kept secret. With more than a little Royal Blood trickling through their veins, an epic John Cornfield produced EP (Muse, Razorlight, Supergrass) and an ever growing local following – now is the time to catch Light Brigade as they charge through the Valley of Death straight towards the big time. Don’t say you weren’t warnedS
Arch Enemy (it was a metal bar). Dan: The Haunt is cool, great sound system. Every time the kick drum is hit it sounds like a giant on a pogo stick. Also The Green Door Store, for similar reasons but the giant’s little cousin who’s not old enough to go out is kicking the front door trying to get out and party, but is confined to his cave that smells of stone and perspiring human pores! Patrick: My room - some of the greatest gigs in the world have happened thereS
When and where was the best gig you've ever played? Damian: The Haunt last year. Kev: The Hope and Ruin earlier this year was up there, but I would have to say in a previous life a gig supporting Absent Elk at the Concorde 2 was one of the best gigs I've played. From one gig we picked up a huge group of new fans, sold out of merchandise and played the biggest venue (bar the Centre and the Dome) in Brighton. Dan: The Haunt, I was jealous I couldn't watch it. In the past I used to play in a band called Hakuna Pesa. We supported Wailers. It was really special. I met Aston Barrett (bass player) and was taken aback by meeting someone who influenced me greatly at the time. Patrick: The Riverbank with Dan a couple of years backS
What are your three essential albums? Patrick: Today it would be Portishead – Dummy, Bonnie Prince Billie - I See A Darkness and Tinariwen - Aman Iman Damian: LA Woman, Stone Roses, Nevermind . Kev: August and Everything After, 'o', and Wish You Were Here (although if you ask me tomorrow that will be different) Dan: Nevermind, Blood Sugar Sex Magic and Daisies of the Galaxy
Who is the best band you've seen this year? Patrick: Local band JOUIS, their music is a trip. Damian: Alt-j Kev: Doppler Shift - incredible every time I've seen them.
Acoustic or electric? Damian: Acoustic to sing to - electric to play to. Kev: Electric, because you've got more scope to experiment, but a song is only good if it works on an acoustic guitar. Dan: Electric... unless I'm in a swimming pool. Patrick: Whichever is to hand at the timeS
What's your favourite UK venue and why? Damian: The Roundhouse because it’s intimate –it’s a special venue. ... cont on page 9 Kev: The White Horse, High Wycombe – it has played a massive part in introducing me to some incredible bands, and some massive bands played there. Sikth, Napalm Death, www.brightonunsigned.com SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 201 5
// INTERVIEW //
WRITTEN BY Jax Mitrovic When I was asked to write about Matt Finucane I must admit that I hadn’t heard about him before. So I looked him up and then set about talking with him to find out more. I wasn’t sure what I’d make of Matt’s music as he is a self confessed ‘alternative’ performer but listening to his tracks I enjoyed what I heard. I felt that “In The Evil Empire” summed up the feelings of a lot of people on 8th May when we woke up to another 5 years of Tory Government. I particularly liked the frenetic pace and sweeping vocals in the tracks I heard, both of which are part of both Matt’s recorded and live sound. To get a feel for what makes Matt tick I asked him some questions. It was an interesting conversation and I hope you enjoy this somewhat abridged version. BU: How old are you & how long have you been making music? MF: I started relatively late, about 1 7 or so! I’m in my late 30s so in music years, ancient, which as an introvert and a non-hipster suits me – it took time to age into the vibe I put out on-stage. BU: When making music what instruments do you play? MF: Live, it's just acoustic guitar and voice. It's fun trying to suggest something bigger with just the barest elements – it can get 8
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really intense. It's also an excellent way of dying on your arse if you don't put it across right. When it works it's a real buzz. Recorded, that's the basis plus electric guitar, bass, and various kinds of computer/virtual synth tweaks etc. BU: Where do your influences come from when making music? MF: My main influence is Lou Reed and The Velvets. Also, I think The Fall is the best band this country's ever produced. I'm influenced by awkward neurotic sods, basically. At the moment I listen to a lot of minimal electronic stuff for the purity of it – people like Jorge Velez - and mixes of old 00s acidcore, real nosebleed techno. The main thing is, a lot of the music I feel connected to has a slightly ridiculous feel to it – you laugh at whatever's in there that's so extreme, and go “what the hell's that?!”, and it makes you take notice. Also, wanting to tell a story or have a conversation with people in music – express a state of mind or feeling, see what they make of it, leave it up to them how they respond instead of spelling it all out. Although that hasn’t ever seemed very fashionable it is a major factor that drives me, so another sort of influence. BU: Your Facebook Page classifies your music as Alternative – does that mean that you’re not easy to pigeonhole into any particular genre? MF: Alternative is pretty much the only ‘genre’ that fits! What I do is art-rock, for want of a better term, which is the problem! After all, that could mean pretty much anything. God, this is the hardest question of all! It's defeated me!
BU: You say that you’d like to see more music with darkness/challenge to it - where does your darkness come from? MF: A lifetime of emotional baggage and listening to antisocial post-punk bands. It'd just be inspiring to see something a bit more real in the mainstream. Challenge is energy! Darkness can be its own kind of idealism, even romantic and exhilarating; as in, face it, we're all screwed, let's go for it - whatever “it” might be. Or, say you hit rock bottom and then come out the other side, renewed. BU: Have you been told before that “In The Evil Empire” and some of your “Self Possession” EP is reminiscent of Bowie? MF: No, but thanks! I admire Bowie (without liking him much), for the level he operates on in terms of putting across complex images with catchy tunes. “Self Possession” is a
Light Brigade (cont...) Kanye or Royal Blood? Damian: Royal blood-fuck Kanye! Kev: Fuck off... Dan: Royal Blood. Sick drummer and a bass pioneer making distorted hurricanes ... but you can't argue, Kanye, is the biggest rock star in the world after all. Patrick: Never met either of them. How do you discover new music? Patrick: Earning my keep behind the bar word of mouth has introduced me to some gems. Kev: Spotify, their related artists, and radio things are pretty clever. Dan: With my earsS
transitional thing, done quickly and not very polished by choice, so that surprises me. “Empire” much less so, because it's more poised and “dramatic”, despite being a protest song. The comparison's come up in the past though, maybe because we have similar vocal styles and middle class accents. BU: What can we expect from you in the future? MF: I’ve just recorded two singles for a label called The Animal Farm, which is a huge thrill, but as yet there's no definite release date for them. I've also started recording a DIY LP. That's nowhere near ready and won't be for a while but it’s shaping up to be the best thing I've done yet, so it's quite exciting.
are unsignedS it's a shame there isn't a way for all the great bands to be recognised... Patrick: I'm not sure it means anything anymoreS Does it? Should music be free? Damian: If music is desired and in demand it should be paid for, if it's shit it should be free. Kev: Yes, there's too much shit music to warrant having to pay for it. However when you find a band you love, you should buy everything they release. Especially if they're unsigned! Patrick: Sure, along with food, shelter and water. Might be a while before that catches on thoughS Dan: Up to the artist! But nobody is going to buy a sandwich without knowing what's in it. Who would you most like to meet at the bar? Damian: Jim Morrison Kev: Adam Duritz and Thom Yorke having a conversation about Solipsism. Dan: The Swedish female gymnastics team HA HA HAS I'm very friendly and wouldn't know until after I’d met them. Patrick: Stephen Hawking or Death. Either way you’re going to learn something game changing.
How do you feel about being unsigned? Damian: Being unsigned shouldn't be a stigma as loads of awesome bands aren't signed! Kev: Amazing - no ties to the Man! Gives us lightbrigadeuk.com complete artistic freedom. facebook.com/lightbrigadeuk Dan: Like an adolescent trying to sleep with firstname.lastname@example.org Mila Kunis. A little lost... but loving it. I play music because I love it, so many great bands
// INTERVIEW // Robin Coward
The first open mic I ever performed at was in a little cocktail bar called ‘The Blue Parrot’ on New Road next to the Theatre Royal. Long gone now – anyone remember it? It was my first year of uni. I’d performed a lot in church, but bars were a new thing, churches, more forgiving(!). I nervously played one of my songs, and ‘Why Does it Always Rain on Me’. I performed, people applauded. And then I was unstoppable. The open mic seal, broken.
Not long after uni, my friends suggested I host my own – and in 2003 I started running my first mic night at the Bath Arms. These were golden days. A packed pub most Monday nights – I met many performers whom I still see today. People had more cash it seems, or drinks were cheaper, or both, or we didn’t care, and the smoky atmosphere was more romantic . . . Since then I’ve hosted at venues such as Sidewinder, The London Unity, The Black Horse, The Hope, and Cubar; I also revived Ali-Cats for our Acoustic Club. In my mind, open mics are one of the few remaining true community events. The variety of styles and ages and genders is wonderful. Quality isn’t the leveller – it’s a place to applaud effort, and with that, quality grows. They’re also a space for networking 10
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and connections . . . I actually found my yourgardenday bandmates through my nights At the moment I’m hosting two weeklies. Thursdays at The George Payne in Poets Corner is a ‘traditional’ amplified evening, three years old. Being in a residential area it draws a great variety of locals, and I’m touched that many folk from further afield make the effort to get out there. I always like to sort out a free drink for performers, and there’s £5 off main courses too; we also have a featured act to open and close the night, and they also get fed. It’s important to reward the effort people put into music. It’s not an expendable expense. Many performers have told me how important my encouragement as host had been to them – finding the confidence to perform in a supportive atmosphere. What are considered by some musicians to be silly low-brow nights are actually hugely important to a lot of folk. We also find ourselves getting a regular audience too – music needs ears. And I take time to get you sounding sweet through the PA and monitor. No one is ‘too good’ to play an open mic – it’s easy to perform for a crowd who has paid to see you, but not so easy to stimulate a response from randoms in a pub. I discourage snobbery and there’s no clique-iness around my nights. If I’m offering threesong sets and you push me to get more, cos you’re ‘special’, you’re likely to get less, or inexplicable electrical interference. My newest event is an early evening Broken Mic Night and I challenge you to try it. Anyone can get a drink and pizza for £5 from 6pm, and performers get a free drink too. It’s totally unamplified (we have to cheat with an electric piano). Your voice and musicalweapon of choice, unadulterated by electricity – a place for the brave.
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// INTERVIEW //
Cardboard HIT are a mongrel of a band formed in East Sussex. Singer & bass player Ross Towner is from North London, whilst guitarist, Lee Hayes, was brought up in Runcorn, Cheshire. The Drummer, Matt Rouse, is the only home-grown East Sussex contingent in this nomadic three piece. These three characters have morphed into a tight unit producing their own take on stripped down garage rock, combining unique vocal harmonies with heavy grooves and riff based tunes. A verbal wondering of their double single ‘All The Voices’ & ‘Say Yes’ bring to mind musical influences such as ‘Rage Against the Machine’ or ‘Queens of the Stone Age’ but with their quite unusual vocals invoking an early ‘Muse’ vibe. ‘Cardboard Hit’ do not fit into the box of ‘rock mediocrity’ that they shall surely have to represent , but somethin g tells me... they’re quite happy with this. 1 . Where did your name come from? RT- One of my friends screams it every time he smokes to the roach....always creates a funny image. LH- We also liked the fact it could mean a number of things and so open to interpretation . 2. What influences your music? RT- We all have different influences, mine would be bands like Rage, Soundgarden, Nirvana... LH- The Beatles, especially Lennon, I’d also say Queen and The Titanic soundtrack....that used to make me weep for days. MR- I like the sound of things breaking and smashing....
3. Are you all from Eastbourne? RT- Not me, North London bruv init. But I live in Herstmonceux LH- I’m from Cheshire, Runcorn....but spent the last 1 5 years in Eastbourne...where I met these two reprobates MR- I’m from Eastbourne...hold it against me at your own risk. 4. ‘All The Voices’ & ‘Say Yes’ are your first two songs released. Do you plan on recording in the future? LH- We’re recording our new single ‘Bobby’ in the next month or so... RT- Me and Lee are always trying to show Matt new songs and he gets annoyed....his memory is pretty sketchy. MR- I don’t remember that? All I know is we’ll keep recording and playing till we drop...which might not be that long. 5. Listening to your lyrics, would it be fair to say you guys seem to have strong political views? RT- We obviously have our own opinions about certain situations, just like a lot of people, but we’re not telling anybody what to do... LH- I just want to play guitar and jump around on stage...maybe if I get a bit of time I would also like to bring down the government single handed but that’s for the future... next month or something. MR- Bashing drums is the only law! 6. How did you guys form? RT – We’d all played together in other bands before... In fact we’ve all sacked each other before... But this time around me and Matt were just going to put together a recording project so we could just play and have fun. MR- ... but then Ross started inviting Lee along... and it just grew from there. LH –I didn’t have anywhere to go so Ross would invite me to rehearsals so I could get some sleep and a warm meal... He’s real good like that. We’re close friends all of us....apart from Matt...he’s a lone wolf wandering the land for his next drum to bash.
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// FEATURE //
Worthing Oxjam 201 5
WRITTEN BY Jax Mitrovic Oxjam is a festival created by local people for local people to raise money for the work that Oxfam do throughout the world. Since Oxjam began in 2006 at least 1 .3 million people have been to one of more than 5000 gigs and over ÂŁ2.5 million has been raised. With local music people are making a global impact. Oxfamâ€™s work has three main strands: Emergency Response, Development and Campaigning. In an emergency, people need help fast. Oxfam help save lives by swiftly delivering aid, support and protection; as well as helping people prepare for future crises. The development work Oxfam do helps poor people take control, solve their own problems and, with the right support, rely on themselves. To help fight poverty, Oxfam fund long-term work worldwide. Poverty isn't just about lack of resources; it's about bad decisions made by powerful people. So Oxfam campaigns hard, putting pressure on World Leaders to make real and lasting changes. Of the money raised through Oxjam Festivals 82 pence from every pound is spent directly on this work.
During October volunteers across the UK will be taking over towns and cities to create the biggest charity music festival in the country. Some events will involve a team of people working toward creating a multi-venue festival and others will be a single venue event created by an independent gig maker. For the second year running, 201 5 has two local Oxjam Festivals. Firstly the season kicks off with the Worthing Oxjam Festival, which is happening on Saturday 1 0 October. Then the Oxjam 14 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 201 5
Brighton Takeover takes place on Saturday 1 7 October. The Worthing Oxjam Festival team have confirmed that their festival will take place over seven venues; Alehouse & Kitchen, Bar 42, Oasis Lounge (Cellar Bar), The Empress Suite, The Warwick, The Worthing Lido and We Have Sound Guitars (Wristband hub). Live music will run from midday to midnight with Bar 42 and The Warwick providing DJs to take festival goers through to the early hours. Headline acts will be: Town Of Cats, who are fresh from storming festivals such as Forgotten Fields and Boomtown; Of Empires, who were one of my favourite acts at The Great Escape and are not to be missed; Junkyard Choir, one of several Worthing based headliners who regularly play around London and the South Coast; Imbium, who are one of the most prolific live bands in Worthing and apparently total darlings to boot; Big World Blue who are new to me so I will definitely try to catch their set and Georg Mcanna from the popular Worthing band Cessna Deathwish, who will be doing a solo, acoustic set. Production Coordinator, Greg Vernon, has put together a stellar line up to support the headliners, full details of which are on the back page of this magazine. twitter.com/OxjamWorthing facebook.com/OxjamSussexFundraisers
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// FEATURE //
WRITTEN BY Steve Dickson So we have completed our tour holding 30 Mammothfest “Best of British” metal shows around the country to seek out the best underground bands to play Mammothfest 201 5 and what we have witnessed has been nothing short of incredible. Anyone who says the Metal industry is dead is sorely mistaken
I can assure you all! A number of shows including Norwich sold out in advance, the welcome in almost all places was incredible and the standard of bands has been insane. As a result of this tour we have selected no less than 29 bands from around the country to play Mammothfest 201 5 and oh my god are they good! For example, one band in particular Krysthla (ex Gutworm) destroyed Corby on our last date of the tour. They are rumoured to be supporting metal royalty next year and if you are there at Sticky Mikes Frog Bar on Sat 3rd October 201 5 then you will see why we just had to slot them in even though our lineup for 201 5 was, strictly speaking, full by this point. Feedback from bands from previous years has been very positive. We open the door to them playing their first festival, they then get more festival bookings and it assists a little in the band's career progression. We run our 16
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events just like the biggest festivals do so they get to experience the process first hand and with the amazing support we get from the press around the country they get much deserved exposure that helps bands rise. This is what it’s all about for us, bringing the biggest bands in the world to Brighton while giving our underground bands a bump up. Bringing things back to Brighton, there are some exceptional local bands that have risen to numerous challenges and have proven they have more than what it takes to be the biggest, most bad ass bands in the world. King Leviathan have been together just over a year and in that time they rocketed into the UK having won the Bloodstock battle of the bands and destroyed the new blood stage at Bloodstock as well as numerous venues across the country. With exceptional reviews coming in from the press following their incredible performance, it’s only a matter a time for these guys and when watching them perform, I saw one of our headliners of the future. Talking about future headliners, Hell Puppets were runners up at the same Bloodstock battle of the bands final and were awarded a performance on the Jager stage at Bloodstock 201 5. But this was no ordinary slot; they got to headline the stage on the Sunday directly between Black Label Society and Rob Fucking Zombie no less. 20,000 people were wandering around waiting for the headliner, many of whom popped their head in to witness their ridiculously good performance. Now these guys bring a horror punk metal theatrical edge and boy did they deliver! They spent the weekend hunting down zombies in fancy dress and... they managed to find Jesus! Well someone dressed up like him, we all know Jesus died 2000 years ago for our sins and I for one am eternally grateful... Add to this an in your face approach and you get one of the performances of the weekend as seconded
by a number of press that witnessed the madness unfold:
For your chance to see some of the incredible bands on offer at Mammothfest 201 5, we have 3 day tickets available to win, so simply answer Devolution Magazine the following question: August 11 at 9:07pm • Q: “Which band recently released the album So, Devo Boy Lucas Chapel is finally back “The Paradox of Metanoia”? from his adventures at the annual Bloodstock Festival! Simply email your answers to – As amazing as 1 349 (Official) email@example.com and we will announce the winners on Fri 1 8th September. and Rob Zombie were, he You can get your tickets here totally feels that HELL PuppeTs completely stole the http://mammothfest.bigcartel.com/ show with their unique amalgamation of Horror punk and Black Metal. In Lucas's own words "Fuck me, I've never seen a crowd surfing shark before!" Meta-stasis have just released their 2nd album The Paradox of Metanoia with Kerrang giving them 4K out of 5, Metal Hammer 8/1 0 etc.
Seething Akira were recently selected by Sikth to play another festival and are headlining our Albert stage! Feed The Rhino have just played Reading and Leeds main stage so there is no better place to see them up close and personal than at the Green Door Store on Sat 3rd October. Psycroptic are touring the world with the likes of The Black Dahlia Murder and more, and grace Brighton with their mighty performance on Sat 3rd October at Sticky Mike's frog Bar. Onslaught only has 2 UK appearances this year, one at Bloodstock where they smashed it and of course Mammothfest on Fri 2nd October at Patterns venue. In all, I feel Mammothfest is geared up to be one of the best festivals in the UK this year so be there, you wouldn’t want to miss this. Mammothfest 201 5 starts on Fri 2nd October until Sun 4th October, we have 82 bands over 3 days and 4 venues including the likes of ONSLAUGHT, FEED THE RHINO, HANG THE BASTARD, PSYCROPTIC, AMPUTATED, SYN:DROM, CYCLAMEN, SEA BASTARD, SLABDRAGGER, MALEFICE and many more.
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// EDITORIAL //
The Next Stage
WRITTEN BY Phil Nye It has been a very interesting last couple of months for us at Brighton Unsigned. Firstly we were given the opportunity to run the musical content at the Pride Village Party in partnership with our friends at Tipple Temple. The crossover of musical styles and differing generations made for a truly wonderful event for all concerned. Our next foray into the world of events will be taking place on Sat 5th September. This is a one day event in which we have 8 acts playing followed by a firework display believe it or not. Working with Telscombe Town Council and Lewes District Council we are hoping to generate some goodwill and links that will maybe allow us to carry out future, bigger and better musical events for all.
We will push on websites, social media channels, postering, magazine exposure as well as any other channel that will push the local music scene. Look out for the BRIGHTON UNSIGNED MONTHLY SESSIONS coming soon. Onwards now to the next few bonkers months. Please feel free to pass on any ideas or comments. Contribute some content to the mag if you wish or feel free to come meet me down at the studios (PA Studios) if you feel that you would like to be involved. All the best Phil(Brighton Unsigned)
The magazine is being welcomed into most of the established musical venues throughout town and my thanks goes out to the various managers and owners of some of the more forward thinking places that support the local scene. I will add that there are a few of the so called bigger names around town that are not as supportive as you might have imagined, and as we move forward I will eventually out them. Let's give them a little time to change their viewpoint, ha ha. I found it quite an eye-opener to see how music nights are generally promoted in Brighton. A lot has already been written about PAY TO PLAY or EXPOSURE gigs. My main theory is as long as venues and promoters are upfront and honest and everyone works towards the benefit of the night for all, then you have a far greater chance of a successful night in whatever form you are looking for. For example, we have been approached by people to put on various nights by artists and some venues. We are not really what you would loosely term to be promoters, but I guarantee anything we do become involved with, we will always try and find benefits for everyone involved. 18
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// INTERVIEW //
BU: So you've only been together for just under 5 months... How's your progress been? Very fast and efficient, which is surprising given how much beer we drink at practices! To be honest though, we all knew exactly what we wanted out of it pretty much from the beginning. BU: Have you noticed any differences in being in a 3 piece band than any other sized band? The communication is great - it's a lot easier to arrange practices and discuss what we want to do. Writing and finishing songs also seems to be a lot easier as there is less going on than in, say, a 5/6 piece band. *cough cough The Slytones* (Fred's other band).
BU: Are you confident that you can put up with the rigours (and more importantly, each other!) on a tour? Naturally there may be the odd bicker, but never anything serious. We're all best mates and touring is something we're working towards so I'm sure it'll all be fine. 20
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BU: Are there any artists or bands who have really inspired your ethos as well as your music writing? Black Peaks and Royal Blood - both very hard working bands who have achieved great things in a very short amount of time, purely down to their dedication as a unit. BU: As we speak, you have yet to gig... Are you confident about your first performance? We're just so excited to be gigging together, that the confidence seems to come as standard. It sounds cheesy, but we trust each other enough to know that we will all put in 1 00% for the gig. By the time this interview comes out we would have done it... So hopefully it went well! Haha! BU: Had you known each other long before starting the group? Yeah, Matt (Sparkes) and Fred met at BIMM in 2006, and have played in various bands together ever since which has really solidified their rhythm section. Matt (Metcalfe) is also an old acquaintance but hadn't gigged with the other two before, but right from our very first jam it all seemed so effortless. Going back to the working ethos, there is a lot of respect for each other having known each other for many years. BU: Is there any other city other than Brighton that you'd like to gig in? London is taken as a given! Bristol and Liverpool are cool cities that we'd like to play in actually, but I think that Europe is on our minds a lot. One of our main goals is to be touring around cities in Europe either as a support or main act. We're very keen to get our travelling boots on, and play in as many cities as possible! BU: You've mentioned Black Peaks and Royal Blood, do you think that eyes are on Brighton to produce more rock bands?
Rather like Seattle in the early 90s? Yeah the eyes are on Brighton at the moment with the aforementioned Black Peaks, Royal Blood, plus James Bay. There seems to be a boom of good new music from Brighton recently. Hopefully we can be part of that category too by doing what we love, and working hard *wink emoticon. BU: Are you a friendly band, or are autographs and such-like forbidden?! Matt (Metcalfe) wears Paul Smith all the time... his shirt is worth more than your car, so no-one's allowed to touch him! Nah, just buy us a pint each and we'll sign anyone's tits. No problem *grin emoticon. BU: What is the main process for your songwriting? Riff-Jam-Lyrics. That's effectively it! I suppose that's why the progress has been so quick. BU:Who's the best musician in the band?? We're all f**cking great! Haha! That's more for an outsider to say really, although Matt (Sparkes) potentially has a harder job as he sings and plays at the same time, but there wouldn't be the band without all three. We always respect and praise each other's playing highly. BU: Where would you like to be in 5 years? To be making a total living from this band. And to ultimately still be together (**awww sick bags**). To keep busy and carry on making and performing music! BU: What was the last song that you listened to? Matt (Metcalfe) - My Own Summer by Deftones. Matt (Sparkes) - something by Boards Of Canada. Fred - something by Tool. BU:Do you like Rage Against The Machine? A resounding YES.
facebook.com/hotmothmusic youtube.com/watch?v=Atb2KqMZadg Photograph: emmaharrelphotography.com
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// UPDATES //
Brighton Unsigned Sunday Sessions WRITTEN BY Phil Nye
We at Brighton Unsigned are not promoters as such but we have dabbled in a couple of events recently. In July we put on a gig at the Green Door Store which we titled Independents Day. This was done in full partnership with two bands with the premise being that after all costs were taken out then any profits would be evenly split with each party taking a third each. On this occasion we were approached by another band whom were eager to play a decent venue in Brighton. I said they were very welcome but the share of profits had already been agreed. We did say however that we would be more than happy to help them with their future endeavours and would maybe feature them within the magazine. They played and they were great. The one thing that surprised me was the fact that they did not get paid for this gig but they genuinely thought that we had done more to promote this particular night than they had ever seen. I was flattered and then on reflection it reinforced my belief that the majority of so called promoters do absolutely f**k all. I would recommend that bands get together and maybe start promoting their own nights. You would be surprised that a lot of the so
called bigger venues are not as expensive to hire as some people would have you believe. It also puts a little bit of the onus on you as artists to work to make your nights memorable and fun. It would appear that a small number of promoters are thinking of adopting this format that we have put forward and I think that is great. They do say that imitation is a form of flattery and long may this continue. If we manage to make some people question how they should be treating artists then we are doing what we set out to do. Our next foray is to set up a night we are calling 'Brighton Unsigned Sunday Sessions' at the Brunswick. It will work under the same financial format, with the added appeal that each act that plays on this bill will be featured by us within the magazine as well as us trying to push their material to a larger audience. Your support is as ever greatly appreciated by us, but more importantly by the people out there making new music for us all to discover. All the best, and up the revolution.
// FEATURE // Bmusic
Hello Brighton Unsigned readers.
It’s possible some of you haven’t yet discovered us and so excuse us while we do a little introduction.
You can watch 'Noise Reel' on the Latest TV channel Fridays from 11 pm, Saturdays from 9.30am & Tuesdays at 5.30pm as well as on-demand at youtube.com/thisisBmusic
B music are a Brighton based music TV production outfit who simply love our local scene and thus want to shine a dirty great big spotlight on the best breakthrough local talent and get under the surface of what is arguably Britain’s most effervescent music scene. Whatever genre you are into, B music brings you closer to our diverse local music industry with informative interviews with industry personalities and involvement with community projects. Also, as video media partners with events such as the Brighton Music Conference, Shakedown and Breakout, we provide exclusive highlights and behind the scenes goings-on.
New episodes every fortnight. youtube.com/thisisBmusic @Bmusic_TV thelatest.tv
We are proud to partner with Brighton Unsigned who represent new unsigned local bands and regularly join presenters Ellie and Dave on our local music news/entertainment TV show ' Noise Reel' to introduce a couple of underground artists to our audience. Last month the B music team took our cameras and glow-sticks to Waterhall for Shakedown where we got some amazing on-stage footage of the likes of DJ EZ, Example, MK, Oxide & Neutrino, and Subfocus. We also caught up with locally based lads Sammy G, Enzo Siffredi and Little By Little for a natter. Interviews and exclusive footage will be first broadcast on our ‘Noise Reel’ show available to watch in September on TV and on www.brightonunsigned.com SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 201 5
// FEATURE //
Paths to Glory
WRITTEN BY Roy Weard There are many things that characterise human beings. The ability to see patterns, irrational belief systems involving unseen deities, egotism and casual cruelty to organisms we regard as ‘beneath us’ in the food chain, to name a few. We also like to see a path. We like to know where we are going and how we will get there. OK, so you want to be a doctor. Off you trot to medical school then (assuming your parents are rich enough to stump up support and you can get the government to loan the money for the fees). You want to be a lawyer? – same plot, different school and less ethics in the mix. You want to be a musician? Ah, well, um, er, what can I say to that? Almost everything you want to achieve in the non artistic worlds of human endeavour can be charted and a course planned out to get you to your chosen goal, assuming you have the required abilities. Achieving anything in the artistic world is fraught with all sorts of vagaries and any progress owes more to chance, happenstance and serendipity than it does to study or even ability. This goes for all branches of the world of artistry but it is music that concerns us here. You can go to music school, learn to read the dots, that esoteric code that allows you to translate a series of lines and squiggles into sound, and you can practise on your chosen instrument until you are note perfect but that will only get you so far. As with all the above professions being competent will get you some of the way but, unless you just want to faithfully reproduce music you are reading, artistry requires that added extra. That indefinable thing that turns heads, opens ears and hearts and, even then, you need luck.
Everyone who is not a teenager will tell you that ‘the music of today is not as good as it was in my day’. That is not because it was 24 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 201 5
better then, just that they, themselves, were better then and more fired up by it. There are a bunch of people who are only ever going to listen to the music they listened to in their youth but there are some that kept that wonder in their eyes and ears, that fire in their hearts and that thirst for something new.
Brighton has a rich and varied music scene and I cannot think of anywhere else I would want to live in that regard. There are two major music schools, BIMM and Access To Music, and almost everyone you pass in the street has a guitar strapped to their backs – ‘The Brighton Backpack’ as it is known. That said there is, these days, a less defined path to a full musical career. In the heydays of the 70s and 80s bands could schlep around the many gigs in the country honing their performances and getting that blend of confidence and performance but these days that is not so easy – even here. It is not just getting all the notes in the right order (as Eric Morecombe said) that draws me to live performance – I want to see an artist rip out his or her soul and present it on stage on a bloody stick declaring ‘this is the music that drives me!’
For many people, their main experience of music is either Youtube, or (heaven forbid!) X Factor, The Voice or some other god forsaken talent show. You donâ€™t get a lot of real soul on there. Facebook is full of videos of 1 2 year old kids playing Hendrix solos, or doing other virtuoso twiddling on drums, bass or guitars. Technically good but empty. I divide my time between performing and being a sound engineer and, in the latter role I see the extremes of this. I see kids brought up watching Glee, One Direction videos and all sorts of similar stuff who think that a performance is a bit of wriggling around in a vest, whispering two yards from the microphone but I also see people belting out their feelings and that gives me a lot of heart. I spent four days at the Pride Festival running the sound for The Tipple Temple and, over that time, I saw a lot of this. Somehow, in this era of digital downloads which earn pennies, we need a way to reward those who make the inspirational stuff and give them the path to fame instead of leaving it all to second rate TV shows with as much soul as a worn out boot. woodenlion.com
// INTRODUCING //
Dirty Weekend and Dirt Royal WRITTEN BY Michael Stone
DIRTY WEEKEND in Brighton and DIRT ROYAL @ The Latest Music Bar BRIGHTON. Friday September 11 th. I’m asked to check out a couple of bands that have caught Brighton Unsigned’s attention. DIRT ROYAL are one, so along I go and bingo, I’m won over. I report back to Brighton Unsigned central HQ with raving reviews. “Good stuff“, I’m told. “You know Mick from the Monty. See if you can get them on.” They play and go down a storm! Brighton Unsigned are putting a gig on at The Latest Music Bar in Sept and are looking for supports to play with DIRTY WEEKEND. So its on, Dirty Weekend & Dirt Royal. Friday 11 th Sept. @ The Latest Music Bar.
look up on YouTube. Their latest track ‘The Sea’ is arguably the best but their signature song ‘Dirty Weekend in Brighton’ gets much recognition. You might have seen them at this year's Pride. They played on a float in the procession, banging out mainly classic hits from Bowie, Kings of Leon, Sex Pistols, Wild Cherry and throwing in the occasional original number to the delight of 1 60,000 revellers watching along the route. Not a bad way to get yourself noticed. Tickets are available online or contact Brighton Unsigned. See you there. dirtroyal.co.uk facebook.com/DirtRoyalBand
So back to my assignment, I see DIRT ROYAL have some creditable gigs in their dirtyweekend.wix.com/dirty-weekend short tenure to the local music scene. They are a raw grass roots 3 piece Mod feel band, facebook.com/dirtyw defiantly in the fashion of Paul Weller and The Jam and I see in their blog they have a liking for The Clash. Well that sounds good enough for me! Anyone who’s influenced by The Jam and Clash gets my attention straight away. They can boast supporting Sham69 at the 1 00 Club in London’s Oxford Street. Tap in – Girl in The Shop, on YouTube and you'll be hooked. Next up in this line up are DIRTY WEEKEND in Brighton. I’ve seen these guys before. They're an interesting bunch and seem in perfect harmony with a band of a different age group. Their lead guitarist (Joe Colburn) is top draw and I hear he has some impressive session work behind him. Recently supporting Lionel Ritchie with local singer Larissa Eddie. Their drummer Chris ‘CREEDA’ Kirkham has a good CV behind him too and does a top job controlling the 4 guys in front of him. They have strong ties to Brighton Unsigned hence this event at The Latest Music Bar. They like to write songs about Brighton and there’s plenty of stuff to 26 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 201 5
JULY/AUGUST 201 5
// FEATURED //
There is no precise way to describe the rich sound of The Slytones and no way to stop it crawling under the skin and enslaving the psyche. This has been proven over previous releases but is at its most seductive and darkly magnetic in new single Shake The Cage. The song and the accompanying Thomas Thumb making up the release cast a kaleidoscope of ravenous flavours, styles, and warped imagination whilst their characters are as relevant to the carnival as they are to voodoo bred escapades. They both epitomise the heart of The Slytones sound whilst simultaneously creating their own new and unique imagination romancing adventures.
The British band began as a trio, expanding its line-up over time whilst quickly alluring keen appetites with their The Psychedelic Sounds of EP in 2011 . It is fair to say that the Brighton hailing sextet of Ashley Edwards (vocals/guitar), Bradley Wescott (lead guitar), Chip Phillips (vocals/keys), Freddie Hills (drums), Chris Warren (vocals/bass), and Robin O’Keeffe (percussion) have drawn comparisons, in an attempt to describe their sound, as broad in the diversity of bands as 28 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 201 5
the mix of ingredients colluding to ignite their individual incitements. There are few bands which can conjure such variety within a single song let alone a whole release, but as Shake The Cage proves it is child’s play to The Slytones. The striking of a match sparks a fanfare of enticement, its blowing out the trigger to a feisty stomp built on ska clipped riffs and jazz seeded swing. Keys and guitars instantly have feet and hips involved whilst the dark tones of the bass along with the infectious hooks, simply work on the imagination. The track continues to stroll along with 1 2 Stone Toddler/ Mynie Moe like devilry, a flowing torrent of unpredictability lighting up and bewitching from every move taken before it all gets turned on its head for a garage rock prowl reminiscent of Th’ Legendary shack Shakers. Grisly barker like vocals leads the fresh parade of sinister carnival-esque flirtation, keys and rhythms an insatiable romp in the shadow soaked shuffle now toying with ears and brewing even thicker enjoyment. All the time the song is still weaving a virulent swing and psychotic drama, every passing minute an adventure of individual design with superbly woven styles but always leading back to the rich contagion of its original psych kissed and energetically rabid swing. As if one irresistible treat was not enough, Thomas Thumb brings its own maze of ingenuity in sound and invention. Opening with a gospel seeded dose of harmonies and ambience around the leading edge of the main vocals and narrative, the song subsequently opens into mystique lined psychedelic scenery brimming with creative theatre and picturesque tempting. Like a blend of The Doors, Arthur Brown, Rocket From The Crypt, and Tankus The Henge, the song swarms over ears with invasive magnetism, every touch a slight evolution from the last before the track bursts into a
sturdy garage rock canter which steers towards a Queens Of The Stone Age meets Faith No More/6:33 devilment. Both tracks are glorious, a must for anyone with a taste for avant-garde and psychedelically warped adventure, but songs which flow with a natural and skilfully infectious, and wonderfully unpredictable, waltz. The Slytones is a carnival of invention, mischief, and most of all unstoppable fun so do yourself a favour and check them and especially Shake The Cage out. Shake The Cage is out now.
Dates for The Slytones and Moulettes tour this September! : 1 6th September Southport, Atkinson 1 7th September St Helens, Citadel 1 8th September Halifax, Square Chapel
1 9th September Morecambe, Hothouse 20th September Ramsbotton Festival, Manchester
facebook.com/theslytones twitter.com/theslytones soundcloud.com/the-slytones
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// COLUMN //
On The Air
WRITTEN BY Pete Jones The highlight of a great month on The Pete Jones Show for me was having Jamie Freeman in to chat (first broadcasted 3rd August) and promote the amazing album Land of Hope And Fury (www.landofhopeandfury.uk).
Company and the punchy “Follow the Money” track from Oxford’s own The Dreaming Spires.
It’s a collection of 1 6 protest songs and was released back in July this year. Freeman coruns Lewes’ Union Music Store, a shop, label and venue, and has put this out as their third album release. The birth of this album is best described in Jamie’s own words: “We woke up on 8th May this year to election results that left tens of millions of people feeling disenfranchised and without a voice. Rather than wait for another five years before we got to have our say, we decided to return to the proud musical tradition of the protest song. Our votes might have counted for nothing, but we could still make our voices heard”. Jamie wrote “Homes for Heroes” that morning which then sparked the concept that if he was that moved to write and express his instant feelings and capture his immediate emotions, then so too may other artists and singer/songwriters he knew. In true Geldof & Ure style, minus the long locks & thin moustache of either respectively, he did a quick ring around and in 8 weeks the album was born. 9 of the tracks were written specifically for the project and most of the other 7 tracks were recorded again and tweaked specifically. Mark Chadwick of Levellers fame revamped “No Change”, the Moulettes give us the beautiful “Lullaby” and Phil Jones of Hatful of Rain fame wrote the punchy and gloves off “New Homes”. There are tracks from Luke Jackson (the super strong “Forgotten Voices”) and Emily Barker too with “Doing the Best I Can”. Money, or the lack of and inequality through it, seems to be at the core and essence of many of these songs – “Filthy Lucre" from the fine Mountain Firework 30 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 201 5
There’s not a weak track here but the hardest hitting and most “protesty” of the bunch has to be Will Varley’s “The Sound of the Markets Crashing”, written in the true style and sound of anything Guthrie, Dylan or Bragg could have offered up, without in any way being a pastiche or send up of any of those that have gone before. Danni Nicholls rounds up the proceedings with a track called “A Little Redemption”, kindly donated from her last album of the same name, and that, in truth is the overriding theme of this collection – it’s as much about hope for the future as it is about fury at the present. Despair is simply not an option. Being a self confessed man of a certain age, Freeman agreed with me that times have definitely changed in more ways than one. Looking back now, it seems that the protest and political scene of the 80’s appears that much simpler and clearer cut than today. There was a common enemy in Thatcher, a common result and solution in voting Labour
(unelected, note, throughout the entire decade). These days the enemy is harder to define: the Tories, naturally, but so too those inside the “Westminster Village elite”, which includes the Lib-Dems and most of LabourLite too. The careerist politician, with “get elected at any cost” mantra, with shifting and switching and wriggling policies to fit with what the electorate is supposed to want and think, instead of standing for something in the first place, whatever the weather, and sticking to principle and conviction. This album is deliberately non-political in any party sense of the word. The days of Bragg’s “iron fist” versus the “helping hand” political definitions are long gone. “Politics has let us down”, Freeman says. On that note, all profits from this collection will instead go to 38 Degrees, the online petitioning and real-world action pressure group. It seems that to be truly political today is to be outside the political party system.
himself would surely approve of “Land of Hope and Fury”. The Pete Jones Show, Radio Reverb. 97.2FM, or stream us live at www.radioreverb.com, 6pm-8pm Monday nights, repeated 1 2pm-2pm Fridays. facebook.com/thepetejonesshow twitter.com/petejonesshow
I wonder what this group makes or sees in the prospects of a Jeremy Corbyn elected Labour leader? One feels that Corbyn
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