• Ruts DC supported by Prince Fatty @ Concorde 2, Brighton on Friday 13 June 2014

    14 juin 2014, 13h21m

    Fri 13 Jun – Ruts DC, Prince Fatty

    Ruts DC supported by Prince Fatty @ Concorde 2, Brighton on Friday 13 June 2014

    Despite the rival attractions of Rod Stewart playing up the road at Brighton and Hove Albion FC's Amex Stadium; and Spain versus Netherlands in the World Cup; anyone with any taste and sense was down at the Concorde 2 for Ruts DC ably supported by Brighton's own Prince Fatty and Horseman (Prince Fatty also produced the superb 2013 Ruts DC album "Rhythm Collision Volume 2" which, if you don't own, you need to put that right ASAP).

    If you're reading you probably don't need me to tell you that Ruts DC were formed in 1980 from the ashes of The Ruts and following the untimely death of Malcolm Owen by guitarist Paul Fox, bassist John 'Segs' Jennings and drummer Dave Ruffy, before splitting up in 1983.

    In 2007, Ruts DC reformed to play a benefit gig for Paul Fox, and in 2008 Segs and Ruffy started recorded the aforementioned "Rhythm Collision Volume 2" and, so far as I know, have been active ever since.

    So, on Friday 13 June 2013, there was only one place to be in Brighton.

    Prince Fatty and Horseman were a wonderful, bass-tastic way to kick off the evening and despite the lovely weather which meant quite a few of the crowd stayed outside, they got plenty of people dancing and grins aplenty.

    Along with Segs and Ruffy, Ruts DC are now guitarist Leigh Heggarty and the splendidly charismatic Molara providing additional vocals and percussion. What a night! I see a fair amount of live music and this is right up there with the best gigs I've seen in a long time. Segs makes a great front man - passionate and humorous.

    Ruts DC played plenty of old favourites, including West One, It Was Cold, Jah War (with Horseman helping out), In A Rut, Babylon's Burning, SUS, Staring At The Rude Boys, and Something That I Said, and this was augmented by plenty of Ruts DC tunes.

    Part of what makes Ruts DC so great is that they are still producing vital new music that is every bit as good as the classic punk era songs.

    The audience seemed to be loving every minute - I know I was.

    If you get the chance to see Ruts DC grab it with both hands.

  • T.Rextasy @ The Concorde 2 - 28 Feb 2014

    2 mars 2014, 8h18m

    Fri 28 Feb – T.Rextasy

    T.Rextasy @ The Concorde 2 - 28 Feb 2014 by Nige B, on Flickr

    The fourth time I've seen T.Rextasy. As someone who bought a lot of T.Rex singles as a 10-12 year old and who still retains a huge affection for the music of Marc Bolan this band are an absolute delight. Singer Danielz goes way beyond the average tribute band - he really lives for the music of Marc and his passion shines through.

    This was a boogie tour so, with the exception of Cosmic Dancer (a request from the lighting man), this was two sets of solid Bolan Boogie that included The Groover, Metal Guru, Children Of The Revolution, Born To Boogie, Telegram Sam, Ride A White Swan, New York City, Jitterbug Boogie, I Love To Boogie, Solid Gold Easy Action, and - of course - Hot Love.

    Another great night of total T.Rextasy.
  • Best albums of 2013

    12 déc. 2013, 12h47m

    This is in rough order of preference...

    1. Phosphorescent
    2. Vampire Weekend
    3. Ruts DC
    4. James Blake
    5. Grim Tower
    6. Public Service Broadcasting
    7. David Bowie
    8. Danny and The Champions Of The World
    9. Luke Haines
    10. Haim
    11. Bill Calahan
    12. Matthew E White
    13. Giudo
    14. Jonathan Wilson
    15. The Blow Monkeys
    16. Daughter
    17. Rick Redbeard
    18. The National
    19. The Rockingbirds
    20. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

    ...I've doubtless missed a few key albums out, and I'll be the first to admit I spend as much time, if not more, looking backwards rather than forwards.

    A good year though.
  • Danny And The Champions Of The World, supported by The Dreaming Spires, live at The…

    2 déc. 2013, 10h13m

    Sat 30 Nov – Danny and the Champions of the World, The Dreaming Spires

    Danny And The Champions Of The World, supported by The Dreaming Spires, live at The Palmeira pub, 70-71 Cromwell Road, Hove, BN3 3ES on Saturday 30th November 2013.

    Danny And The Champions Of The World, The Palmeira, Hove - 30 November 2013 by Nige B, on Flickr

    I saw both these bands at Palmfest 2013 - another Brighthelmstone Promotions event. Both were wonderful that day, and, if anything, were even better on their return on Saturday 30th November 2013. Perhaps it's because, in the meantime, I've got more familiar with their music.

    The Dreaming Spires trade in melodic Big Star-esque guitar pop with a slight country tinge. They've got a bag full of great tunes and in a parallel universe are massive stars.

    I seem to remember Danny and the Champions of the World were tipped for great things when they first emerged. Whatever the expectations, they now have four great albums to their name, and I'd say this year's Stay True is the best yet. Live they are fantastic: a joyous, soulful musical stew which, again, had the Palmeira crowd, grinning throughout, and dancing along. A fantastic night.

    Danny And The Champions Of The World, The Palmeira, Hove - 30 November 2013 by Nige B, on Flickr
  • ATP: End of an Era, Weekend One

    25 nov. 2013, 11h53m

    Fri 22 Nov – ATP: End of an Era, Weekend One

    So farewell ATP. This was my seventh ATP and sadly my last. The End Of An Era indeed - for this was the penultimate ATP (one more still to go next weekend). It was fun. Of course it was fun. However it was not up to the usual standard. A charitable assessment of Sunday's Spanish-centric line up would be "adventurous" or perhaps "ground breaking", to me it smacked of saving a few quid on paying for another reasonable headliner.

    Television were enjoyable, and their trawl through Marquee Moon was a real highlight. Low were wonderful. My pals enjoyed Godspeed. Dinosaur Jr were good, and Har Mar Superstar provided a bit of welcome variety with his high energy, and entertaining set (though Stage 2 was too small for the numbers trying to watch). Beyond that it was all a bit ho hum for me.

    The Bingo, some of the DJs, and the Pop Quiz were as wonderful as ever, there were some lovely people and a friendly vibe but I wish I could report ATP had gone out on a more of a high. It was good but also too predictable, too samey, and with too few legends and/or big names to measure up to previous ATPs.

    Probably the right decision to knock it on the head if this was where the festivals were heading. Good, but not the amazing experience of previous ATPs.
  • Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, Brighton Dome - 24 October 2013

    25 oct. 2013, 10h44m

    Thu 24 Oct – Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

    Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, Brighton Dome - 24 October 2013

    This was around the fifteenth time I've seen Nick Cave in various incarnations, though most, like tonight, were with The Bad Seeds, and he becomes every more mythical with each passing year.

    This was as good as I've ever seen him. This version of the Bad Seeds is, as ever, a force of nature providing subtlety, power, melancholy, and magic, to order, whilst Mr Cave prowled, danced, pleaded, and exulted. A two and a quarter hour set never sagged and we treated to tunes from every part of his long and illustrious back catalogue.

    My personal favourites were Papa Won't Leave You Henry, The Mercy Seat, Higgs Boson Blues, Deanna, Tupelo, Red Right Hand and (of course) Stagger Lee, but really it was all wonderful.

    Here's the set list...

    Jubilee Street
    Abattoir Blues
    Sad Waters
    Stranger Than Kindness
    Hiding All Away
    Nobody's Baby Now
    Higgs Boson Blues
    (Are You) The One That I’ve Been Waiting For?
    From Her to Eternity
    Babe, You Turn Me On
    West Country Girl
    Stagger Lee
    The Mercy Seat
    Push the Sky Away
    We Real Cool
    Red Right Hand
    Papa Won't Leave You, Henry
    Slow new song

    A few more photos here.
  • Half Man Half Biscuit @ Concorde 2

    25 oct. 2013, 9h25m

    Fri 18 Oct – Half Man Half Biscuit, Roja

    A day, or rather night, I never thought I'd see. The legendary Half Man Half Biscuit (HMHB) from Birkenhead on Merseyside playing in Brighton and Hove. It happened and I was there. They don't play live very often and I don't remember them playing in Brighton before.

    Half Man Half Biscuit (HMHB) @ Concorde 2, Brighton, East Sussex, England on 18th October 2013 by Nige B, on Flickr

    Half Man Half Biscuit are national treasures. If you only know Half Man Half Biscuit for their early "hits", then do yourself a favour and get reacquainted.

    HMHB (Nigel Blackwell (lead vocals, guitar), Neil Crossley (bass, vocals), Ken Hancock (lead guitar), and Carl Henry (drums)) played a marvellous set that had the sell out crowd grinning, laughing, dancing and generally feeling good about life.

    Half Man Half Biscuit (HMHB) @ Concorde 2, Brighton, East Sussex, England on 18th October 2013 by Nige B, on Flickr

    Here is the set list:

    Fuckin' 'Ell It's Fred Titmus
    99% Of Gargoyles Look Like Bob Todd
    When The Evening Sun Goes Down
    Left Lyrics In The Practice Room
    A Lilac Harry Quinn
    Joy In Leeuwarden
    Floreat Inertia
    All I Want For Christmas Is A Dukla Prague Away Kit
    The Light At The End Of The Tunnel
    Look Dad No Tunes
    Bob Wilson Anchor Man
    Vatican Broadside
    National Shite Day
    Irk The Purists
    Fix It So She Thinks Of Me
    Running Order Squabble Fest
    Petty Sessions
    For What Is Chatteris
    Joy Division Oven Gloves
    Time Flies By When You're The Driver Of A Train


    The Bastard Son Of Dean Friedman
    A Song From Under The Floorboards
    The Trumpton Riots

    Come back soon.

    Half Man Half Biscuit (HMHB) @ Concorde 2, Brighton, East Sussex, England on 18th October 2013 by Nige B, on Flickr
  • Peter Stampfel & Jeffrey Lewis (aka The Jeffrey Lewis & Peter Stampfel Band)…

    29 mai 2013, 9h57m

    Tue 28 May – The Jeffrey Lewis & Peter Stampfel Band

    Peter Stampfel & Jeffrey Lewis (aka The Jeffrey Lewis & Peter Stampfel Band) supported by Hour Hands @ The Blind Tiger Club, Brighton - 28 May 2013

    Jeffrey Lewis, Peter Stampfel, and Franic of The Wave Pictures by Nige B, on Flickr

    Another wonderful Jeffrey Lewis show. The first time I've seen him with Peter Stampfel. Lots of great tunes including rousing covers of Hawkwind's 'Orgone Accumulator' and 'Surfin' Bird' by The Trashmen, and a moving reminder of the importance of Pussy Riot 'What Would Pussy Riot Do?'. The song-poem got the loudest applause of the night...

    "Pussy Riot went to prison, just to make some people listen...these woman are my heroes, and the world needs punk rock heroes". The message was aimed at all of us, and especially those bands that are more interested in getting their songs used in advertising, and cashing in. The final question: "So at least I can ask me and you can ask you, What would Pussy Riot do?"

    Touring to mark the release of their second release - a full-length 13-song CD - the collaborative team of Jeffrey Lewis & Peter Stampfel released "Hey Hey it's... The Jeffrey Lewis & Peter Stampfel Band" on 15th May, 2013. The band also includes bass by Isabel Martin, drums by Heather Wagner, and mandolin by Spencer Chakedis. The touring band also featured Franic of The Wave Pictures.

    Needless to say I snapped up the new album from Jeffrey straight after the show. Here's some info about Peter and Jeffrey that you probably already know, but if not, through the wonders of copy and paste....

    Peter Stampfel is now celebrating 50 years of NYC folk-madness album-releases. Peter Stampfel is an original Holy Modal Rounder as well as being an early member of the Fugs, and musical collaborator with Gary Lucas, Yo La Tengo and many others.

    Jeffrey Lewis leads a double-life, as both a comic book writer/artist and a musician (or is that a triple-life?). His band also has a multi-faceted existence, restlessly exploring a stylistic swath from contemplative folk narratives to distortion-fueled garage rock to soundscape abstractions and more. Most often a trio (though occasionally just Jeffrey solo, or as a duo, and on some tours as a four-piece), the Jeffrey Lewis group has shuffled its name a number of times over the years, from Jeffrey Lewis & The Creeping Brains to Jeffrey Lewis & The Jitters, Jeffrey Lewis & The Jackals, Jeffrey Lewis & The Junkyard, and others, in 2013 becoming Jeffrey Lewis & The Rain. These various formations (often in the past featuring Jeffrey's brother Jack on bass and Bronx-native David Beauchamp on drums) have toured the world from Los Angeles to London, Berlin to Beijing, Melbourne to Moscow, blowing minds all along the way and sometimes sharing stages or full tours with the likes of Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks, Devendra Banhart, Devo, The Mountain Goats, Thurston Moore, The Fall, The Vaselines, Roky Erickson, Pulp, Beth Orton, Frank Black, The Fiery Furnaces, Daniel Johnston, Scout Niblett, The Moldy Peaches, Cornershop, The Cribs, Dr. Dog, Kimya Dawson, Adam Green, Akron/Family, Black Dice, Au Revoir Simone, The Television Personalities, Jarvis Cocker and many other luminaries.

    Live shows often incorporate "low budget videos," Jeffrey’s large illustrations displayed to accompany certain songs, such as Jeffrey's educational multi-part "History of Communism" or flights of fancy like "The Creeping Brain." In 2001 Jeffrey Lewis signed to the venerable Rough Trade Records label (home to The Smiths, The Strokes, and many more alternative legends) and has since released six albums worldwide on Rough Trade/Beggars, the most recent of which is 2011's "A Turn in the Dream-Songs" which was recorded at an all-analogue studio in Manchester, UK and features musical cameos from Dr. Dog, Au Revoir Simone and The Vaselines among others. Jeffrey has been self-publishing a comic book series called "Fuff" since 2004, has lectured around the world on topics such as theWatchmen comic book and independently produced music, and in recent years his work has been featured by the History Channel, the New York Times, the Guardian, NPR, and elsewhere. As of 2013 his most recent projects have been creating the soundtrack for the film Radio Unnameable (distributed by Kino Lorber), illustrating Jaimee Garbacik's academic book Gender and Sexuality For Beginners and writing/drawing a 9-page comic book biography of Woody Guthrie for the Paul Buhle-edited book Bohemians.
  • Billy Bragg, The Dome, Brighton - 17 May 2013

    18 mai 2013, 20h05m

    Fri 17 May – Billy Bragg

    Billy was back in Brighton to support his album "Tooth & Nail", which was released in March 2013, and his first studio album for five years. It's a great record that draws on personal as well as political themes. The set was a great blend of old and new, and Billy's trademark humour and humanity shone through. The set included Ideology, All You Fascists, I Ain't Got No Home, You Woke Up My Neighbourhood, The Milkman Of Human Kindness, Valentines Day is Over, There Will Be A Reckoning, Tank Park Salute, Handyman Blues, Waiting For The Great Leap Forwards, New England.
  • King Charles, The Haunt, Brighton - 17th April 2013

    18 avr. 2013, 15h01m

    Wed 17 Apr – King Charles, We Were Evergreen, Giovanna

    King Charles live at The Haunt was a joyous experience. The gig was sold out, and the crowd were supportive and up for a good time. He played the majority of his splendid debut album 'LoveBlood' and a smattering of new tunes. A great show and a great night.