Live – M(h)aol at The Hope & Ruin Brighton

M(h)aol at The Hope & Ruin, Brighton, 26th May 2023

With their debut album Attachment Styles drawing together an unapologetic collection of hefty subject matters and genre-crossing musical modes, Dubliners M(h)aol have been out on a headline tour of the UK. Friday night was the turn of Brighton, and a packed crowd at The Hope & Ruin were treated to the band’s animated performance on stage and, before long, on the floor.

Kicking off with the heady trio of Kinder Bueno, Therapy, and Laundries, no time was wasted in warming things up. With lots of crowd engagement from the start, there’s clearly a lot of love for this band and it’s not hard to see why. Even if you didn’t care for the music, they seem like the loveliest bunch of people but honestly, what’s not to love about the music? Bringing back the time-honoured punk tradition of short, spiky tunes and throwing in some spoken word for good measure, the pace never lets up but keeps on surprising.

So we have big ticks for songwriting, production and performance but beyond this, what beats some of the too cool for school herd is that they look like they’re enjoying themselves, proving that you can make a statement and have fun at the same time.

Interspersed with tracks from the new album, the evening closes with Bored of Men and Jack Douglas, and it seems that M(h)aol have pulled off the magic combination of an intriguing collection of songs and a dynamic live show. Finding either one of these is a treat, both together takes things to a different level. Highly recommended.


Review and photos by Siobhan

30th May 2023



Live – A Place To Bury Strangers at Patterns Brighton

A Place To Bury Strangers at Patterns, Brighton, 20th May 2023

Rolling into Brighton on a sunny Saturday evening, you get the feeling that summer is finally upon us. The beach is packed with people enjoying the last of the day’s sunshine, drinks in hand and singing at the top of their lungs to cheesy 90’s pop music. The cheery seaside vibe is infectious, however, walking into Patterns the light quickly disappears and any sense of summer is quickly forgotten.

As we enter the venue Camilla Sparksss is nearing the end of her set, with Are You OK? welcoming us to proceedings. Camilla’s music is propulsive, catchy and abrasive in all the right ways. It’s the very antithesis of the experience we were greeted with on our way to Patterns, and it prepares us nicely for what’s up next.

Brooklyn’s A Place To Bury Strangers (APTBS) take to the stage with frontman Oliver Ackermann politely introducing the band before kicking things off with new track Disgust. Not long into the song, Oliver is already throwing his guitar around and jabbing the air like a champion fencer defending his title at the Olympics.

Alone is next, and it’s here the rhythm section of bassist John Fedowitz and drummer Sandra Fedowitz come into their own and shine through. Their energy is the backbone of the band, with Oliver wielding crazy levels of fuzz and feedback over the top. You can hear the shoegaze, post-punk and shoegaze influences, but APTBS take that formula and dial it up to 100!

Tonight’s set is only an hour long, but it makes sense when all their songs are played with so much ferocity. We’ve Come so Far is another motorik banger aided nicely by the bands DIY light and visual show. Handheld strobe lights and boxes are thrown around with no concern, and disco balls of light are placed wherever the mood takes them. It all adds to the intensity and theatre, and it’s a perfect fit to APTBS’s artistic aesthetic.

You Are The One is played with a whole new purpose this evening; louder, more aggressive and totally mind blowing as the song builds. As soon as it finishes Sandra jumps over the barrier into the crowd, and from out of nowhere, a distorted drumming can be heard. Before anyone realises, the band members are in the middle of the crowd, and we’re being treated to an impromptu noise rave! It’s like those old Lightning Bolt shows where it felt like everything could fall apart at any moment, yet the band remain in total control of the situation.

Once the electro jam is complete, the band return to the stage and you can feel there’s a different energy in the room. Everyone is totally up for it now, and End of the Night causes the crowd to lose it. Hold On Tight does nothing to calm anyone down, and it really feels like APTBS are hitting their stride.

Closing things off with fan favourite I Lived My Life To Stand In The Shadow Of Your Heart and Have You Ever Been In Love, the strobe lights and volume levels are set to stun. There’s no letting up as the band franticly move around the stage in flipbook blasts surrounded by clouds of smoke. The music seems to be getting louder as we near the end of the show, with instruments and amps being picked up and moved around to create even more chaos on stage.

It’s brilliant to witness and it’s a cathartic experience I didn’t realise I had missed after years away from watching live music. APTBS are an incredible live band so catch them on the Nothing Left To Destroy tour if you can.

Review by Ryan Howarth
Photos © Hannah Mesquitta

25th May 2023

Live – Blur at Eastbourne Winter Garden

Blur at Eastbourne Winter Garden, 21st May 2023

Mention Eastbourne to most people and they’ll instantly picture an image of a sleepy Victorian seaside town. But with the town hosting this year’s Turner Arts Prize, a yearly international tennis tournament and featuring high in many newspapers ‘most underrated town’ lists, it still was a massive shock when it was announced that Blur were playing a warm up show in Eastbourne’s newly refurbished Winter Garden.

Blur – a band who first caught people’s attention in the early nineties with hit single There’s No Other Way and went on to have a career spanning over 30 years and have become a household name worldwide were playing a warm up show here. No wonder tickets sold out within 2 minutes of going on sale.

That anticipation built and on the day they arrived, a long stretch of people outside the venue all looking overjoyed for what was soon going to be witnessed.

Just after 9pm touring musician Mike Smith and the four members of Blur: guitarist Graham Coxon, bassist Alex James, drummer Dave Rowntree and Damon Albarn amble onto stage to The Ron Grainer Orchestra’s Tales Of The Unexpected (Theme). What followed was a 2 hour set that featured their best known hit singles, fan favourites and new material from their forthcoming album The Ballad of Darren.

And it is from this album that we hear the first song of the evening, St Charles Square, which shows the band’s creative juices are still very much flowing.

From then on in it felt like a Greatest Hits set. Next up was the indie dance floor classic There’s No Other Way, whose familiar guitar riff and chorus was the first to induce mass hysteria from the audience. For some it would have brought back memories of Blur’s first appearance in this grand hall in 1995 as part of their seaside tour.

Both Popscene and Coping would have reinforced any notion of nostalgia – both had the audience pogoing and Damon encouraging the audience to let go and enjoy the moment. The latter even saw his gold tooth fall out and him comedically quipping that he should have used Fixodent pre-gig. He battled on and Chemical World saw the tempo drop and him make his first of many forays down to the crowd barrier.

It was a set list that wouldn’t and couldn’t disappoint, but given they haven’t toured since 2015 there was always going to be a little rough around the edges. Tonight was only the second date of a four gig tour where the main aim is to get them ready for a gruelling worldwide tour schedule later this year. Our first glimpse of this was in Trimm Trabb where the timing was off and forced them to have to restart – but it also served as a further reminder of how lucky we were to see them in such an intimate setting.

The late nineties classic Coffee & TV saw Graham Coxon become the main focus for the first time and for many would have been one of a number of highlights, whilst the very unexpected and much welcome appearance of  Phil Daniels for Park Life was another that will be cemented tonight long in the memory of all in attendance.

The riotously natured Song 2 served as the prelude to the slow paced set closer This Is A Low.  But with all gigs it’s only right to leave with people wanting more, and it wasn’t long before our collective wishes were granted. With the band coming back on stage to play 5 more songs – starting with the anthemic Boys & Girls where Damon encourages us all to chant along to the chorus.

The Narcissist showed us another glimpse of new material, before they closed the night with three of their most loved songs in Tender, For Tomorrow and The Universal which saw Damon on the barrier in and amongst the fans as the near 2 hour experience came to a close.

Tonight was truly special.

Review by Nathan Westley
Photos by Phoebe Fox

Blur played:

St Charles Square
There’s No Other Way
Chemical World
Young and Lovely
Trimm Trabb
Villa Rosie
Coffee & TV
Out Of Time
End of a Century
Park Life
To The End
Sunday Sunday
Song 2
This is a Low

Girls & Boys
The Narcissist
For Tomorrow
The Universal

22nd May 2023

Live – VLURE at The Great Escape

VLURE, The Great Escape 2023, Brighton (11th May at Paganini Ballroom / 12th May at Charles Street Tap)

One of the joys of a festival is discovering new artists. However, there are times when you know you’ve already discovered the best artist there so why look elsewhere. After stealing the limelight and taking the roof off at Horatio’s in 2022, VLURE were back with two shows this year, once again blowing everything else out of the sea.

First up, at the invitation of Steve Lamacq and BBC Introducing, Paganini Ballroom saw justifiable queues down the street. As always, an intense and beguiling performance – made for the radio but fit for any media channel you’d care to pick. Dating back to the 17th century, Paganini offered a classy venue for a class act.

Over to Pias hosting at Charles Street Tap for show number two, a venue not without its tech issues throughout the day. Whatever problems were flagging up during line check were happily forgotten as another faultless set kicked in. With a multitude of genre-crossing sets happening all across Brighton there was a lot of talent on display at TGE, but the crown remains firmly with VLURE. Those who were there will come back, those who weren’t should make it their mission to be there next time.


Our full Great Escape review can be found here

Words and photos by Siobhan

16th May 2023

Live – Alice Glass | CLT DRP at Concorde 2 Brighton

Alice Glass & CLT DRP at Concorde 2 Brighton, 2nd May 2023

A year on from releasing solo debut album PREY//IV, Alice Glass brings her Traumabond tour to the UK, taking the stage at Brighton’s Concorde 2 last night with support from local electro-punk trio CLT DRP. The tour moves on to London tonight and Manchester tomorrow.

Photo gallery from Mike Burnell

Hosted by Joy Concerts


Alice Glass

Photos © Mike Burnell (

3rd May 2023

Live – Midge Ure at Theatre Royal Brighton

Midge Ure at Theatre Royal Brighton, 27th April 2023

Amid the splendour of early 1800’s architecture and a haze of monochrome lighting and smoke, Midge Ure takes to the stage with excerpts from an extraordinary collection of songs spanning his solo career, time with Ultravox, and more besides.

There is a point in all artists’ careers when their live sets tend to start with an established track, cover some lesser know tunes in the middle, and aim for a strong singalong finish. In case of any doubt, it becomes apparent immediately that there is no need for any such planning here – within the first four songs he has treated the crowd to 80s’ classics Dear God and If I Was, Visage’s beautifully melancholic Fade To Grey  and his suitably emotional cover of  No Regrets.

Throughout the performance, Midge and his band veer seamlessly from moody and magnificent to no questions asked dance-alongs. His vocal is still impeccable, and the range of musical instruments appearing across the stage is impressive to say the least. The Voice and Visions tour is more than a greatest hits outing, feeling more like personal pickings from a vast, eclectic song book. And the strong finish? No concerns there as the encore takes in Astradyne, Vienna and All Stood Still.

There are some ‘one man and his guitar’ moments where it becomes obvious why, despite perhaps being best known amongst the electronic scene, it absolutely makes sense that Midge was drafted in to weave his magic with Rich Kids and Thin Lizzy on his musical journey. And when you take a moment to reflect, there’s no doubting that whichever project he was involved in at the time, the common factor is that he added something special to all of them. 

Following a distinguished performance in the most elegant of venues at Brighton’s Theatre Royal, the tour now moves on to Ipswich tonight, Aylesbury tomorrow, York on Sunday, then across the UK throughout May. If you’re still able to grab a ticket, it comes highly recommended.

Midge Ure Voice and Visions Tour

Review/photos by Callum/Siobhan

28th April 2023

Live – The Teskey Brothers | Joy Oladokun at Brighton Dome

The Teskey Brothers & Joy Oladokun at Brighton Dome, 24th April 2023

Last night saw Australia’s The Teskey Brothers stopping off at Brighton Dome on their first headline tour in over three years, with great support from genre-spanning singer-songwriter Joy Oladokun.

Mike Burnell was there to capture a special evening in pictures, gallery below.

Hosted by Joy Promotions

Joy Oladokun

The Teskey Brothers

Photos © Mike Burnell (

25th April 2023

Live – His Lordship at The Prince Albert Brighton

His Lordship at The Prince Albert, Brighton, 15th April 2023

On the last night of their current UK tour and their second Brighton show of the day, His Lordship play to one last packed room, no hint of fatigue on display despite the frenzied pace of every performance. The band are here to bring rock’n’roll back to its core, with not insignificant nods to the classic two minute punk song and the lure of primal rockabilly.

With the swagger and stance of Elvis on speed, James Walbourne slots easily into the lead vocal role and, given the range of guitar styles he plays effortlessly, it seems likely that he could pick up a Bontempi plastic six string and make it sound phenomenal. His recording partner in crime and not a drummer to be shuffled away on the backline for no-one to see, Kristoffer Sonne is as at home pitching lyrics down a megaphone as he is either behind or on top of the drum kit. It’s a formidable pairing, enhanced performing live as a three piece with Dave Page on bass and occasional drum swaps with Sonne. With the look of a next generation member of The Strokes (an Albert Hammond Junior Junior if you will) Page’s playing is absolutely on point and integral to the set.

At their fast and furious best on recent releases I Live In The City and Buzzkill, the band work their way through a 15 track setlist, barely pausing for breath and taking the crowd with them on every split second of the journey. Their merch T-shirts carry the slogan ‘Rock’n’Roll is not for everyone’ but that seems blatantly not to be the case for all of those squeezed into The Albert. A fine show indeed, let’s hope for more soon.

His Lordship

Review and photos by Siobhan

17th April 2023

Live – Dermot Kennedy at The Brighton Centre

Dermot Kennedy, The Brighton Centre, 3rd April 2023

Showcasing his new album Sonder, Dermot Kennedy played to a captivated crowd at The Brighton Centre last night. Speaking of the album, Kennedy explains that the word Sonder is summarised in The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows as “the realisation that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own… The meaning behind Sonder has resonated with me so much for years. I exist in an industry where we’re encouraged to think about ourselves only constantly, and I find that exhausting and uninspiring. I want to learn about you. Let us share all of our triumphs, all of our troubles. Let this music belong to all of us, to find our own stories and our own solace within it”.

Capturing the evening in pictures, check out our gallery from Mike Burnell below.

Dermot Kennedy

Photos © Mike Burnell (

4th April 2023



Live – The Matt Goss Experience at The Brighton Centre

The Matt Goss Experience, The Brighton Centre, 1st April 2023

Something different at The Brighton Centre tonight as, fresh from clicking his Strictly heels, Matt Goss brought the songs of Cole Porter to the stage, supported by a collective of talented big band musicians and the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra. An experience indeed, captured in some stunning shots by Mike Burnell…

Photos © Mike Burnell (

2nd April 2023

Live – Suede at Brighton Dome

Suede at Brighton Dome, 20th March 2023

Since the release of their eponymously titled debut album in the early 90s, Suede have always run outside the pack, try to lump them in with the Britpop crew if you will but they’ve always been more than that. With a string of classic albums to pick from, choosing the setlists for their current UK tour can’t have been an easy task, but the inclusion of latest album Autofiction only adds to the mix and there is truly something here for everyone. To be fair, judging by the crowd reaction and singalongs, everything was for everyone – not quite a homecoming show but as near to Haywards Heath as you’ll get with a big enough venue, the welcome at Brighton Dome was justifiably warm.

There are few bands who could hold the audience captive with 30 year old B-sides and new album tracks, but from openers Turn Off Your Brain And Yell and Personality Disorder, the whole venue was enthralled, and the inclusion of The Living Dead  received a great response.

No worries for those searching out the hits though as Animal Nitrate, Trash, We Are The Pigs and So Young amongst others all featured, Brett Anderson as at home singing his way through the crowd and strutting across the balcony as on stage. And as a whole, the band couldn’t complement each other more, a unit so established that the production and performance is seamless.

It’s obvious that Suede love playing live and Brett’s intro to an acoustic The Wild Ones reminded everyone of why we go to gigs rather than just listen to music at home – it absolutely is a shared experience that can’t be replicated, and brings memories that can’t be recreated.

Returning to the stage to close their set with The Beautiful Ones, there was a sense that the crowd would have been happy to stay and listen to Suede play all night. Still, there was some solace to be found in knowing that we’d spent the evening at a phenomenal performance by a band at their best, and clearly still with so much more to give.


Review / photos by Callum / Siobhan

22nd March 2023

Live – Tom Grennan | Gracey | Frankie Beetlestone at The Brighton Centre

Tom Grennan, Gracey & Frankie Beetlestone at The Brighton Centre, 19th March 2023

Touring ahead of the release of new album What Ifs and Maybes, Tom Grennan gave a huge performance at The Brighton Centre last night, support came from Gracey and Frankie Beetlestone.

Photo gallery by Mike Burnell…

Frankie Beetlestone


Tom Grennan

Photos © Mike Burnell (

20th March 2023

Live – Cassyette | Calva Louise | Lozeak at Chalk Brighton

Cassyette, Calva Louise & Lozeak at Chalk, Brighton, 13th March 2023

You’ll find Cassyette getting name-checked on ‘ones to watch’ lists far and wide, and an energy-fuelled party atmosphere at Brighton’s Chalk last night might explain why. Bringing along some great support in the form of Calva Louise and Lozeak, her fan base was out in force too.

Mike Burnell was there to bring you the evening in pictures, gallery here…


Calva Louise


Photos © Mike Burnell (

14th March 2023



Live – Killing Joke | Bad Fractals at The Wedgewood Rooms Portsmouth

Killing Joke & Bad Fractals at The Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth, 6th March 2023

Precursors and influencers of so much new music, Killing Joke have been leaders in their field for many years. Monday night saw the rare opportunity to catch them play an intimate warm up show at The Wedgewood Rooms with support from Bad Fractals – photo gallery by Hannah Mesquitta…

Bad Fractals

Killing Joke

Photos by Hannah Mesquitta

9th March 2023

Live – Self Esteem | Nuha Ruby Ra at Brighton Dome

Self Esteem & Nuha Ruby Ra at Brighton Dome, 7th March 2023

One of the best performers around, Self Esteem puts so much into each show and makes a huge production look easy. With a great choice in support from Nuha Ruby Ra, Brighton Dome was the venue for last night’s coastal leg of the tour – gallery from Mike Burnell here…

Nuha Ruby Ra

Self Esteem

Photos © Mike Burnell (

8th March 2023

Live – Dry Cleaning | Thus Love | Dehd at Chalk Brighton

Dry Cleaning, Thus Love & Dehd at Chalk, Brighton, 1st March 2023

The ever impressive Dry Cleaning are back out on the road, their polished performance entertaining the crowd at Brighton’s Chalk last night. Support came from two bands busy making a buzz all of their own in the shape of Thus Love and Dehd. Mike Burnell was there to capture the show in pictures…


Thus Love

Dry Cleaning

Photos © Mike Burnell (

2nd March 2023