Preview – Doc ‘n’ Roll Film Festival

Doc ‘n’ Roll Film Festival, Brighton, 1st – 7th April 2019

Setting the mood for the upcoming Brighton Festival and Fringe activities, Doc ‘n’ Roll Film Festival returns to the coast, taking over Brighton’s art spaces and select theatres between 1st – 7th April. For fans of film and music, there’s a brilliantly diverse range of documentaries, live Q&As with artists and directors, exclusive after-show parties and much more.

The festival is supported by the BFI Audience Fund, using money from the National Lottery to encourage and grow audience appetite and enjoyment for a wide range of independent British and international films. Following successful runs in London and Liverpool, the action moves to Brighton before heading north again to take part in the Edinburgh Festival from 25th-28th April.

Doc ‘n’ Roll will present 6 fascinating feature films that chart the incredible stories of ground-breaking labels Blue Note (It Must Schwing! The Blue Note Story) and Trojan (Rudeboy: The Story of Trojan Records), shine new light on the previously unexplored depths of the Detroit techno scene that would redefine electronic music (Never Stop – A Music That Resists), explore some of the best soundtracks you never knew existed (The Library Music Film), launch you full pelt into the world of punk’s fearless heroines as they break the glass ceiling and blow the genre apart (Stories from the She Punks) and take you behind the scenes with Badly Drawn Boy as he creates his Mercury Prize-winning debut (About A Badly Drawn Boy: The Story of the Hour of Bewilderbeast).

Among a number of live Q&A highlights, expect candid insights from punk pioneer and co-director  Helen Reddington (The Chefs) as she discusses She Punks, and The Mitcham Submarine’s first-hand account of working with Damon Gough, aka Badly Drawn Boy, on his cinematic portrait of a unique artist and a seminal album.

This year Doc ‘n’ Roll Brighton will also introduce an eclectic collection of stunning film shorts especially selected for the 2019 edition.

Check out the full programme below:

1st April – Launch Event, Hotel Pelirocco, 6:30pm (free event, advance booking required)

A hand-picked selection of shorts reflecting the diversity and depth of this year’s programme will be shown

3rd April – Rudeboy: The Story of Trojan Records + Q&A, Duke of York’s Picturehouse, 6:30pm

4th April – The Library Music Film + Q&A, Duke’s at Komedia Picturehouse, 6:30pm and after-party with DJs at Merkaba (My Hotel) from 8pm, entry to the after-party is free for anyone attending the screening

4th April – It Must be Schwing! The Blue Note Story, Duke of York’s Picturehouse, 9:00pm

5th April – Stories from the She Punks + Q&A with Helen Reddington (The Chefs), Duke’s at Komedia Picturehouse, 6:30pm

7th April – Never Stop: A Music that Resists, Duke’s at Komedia Picturehouse, 12:15pm

7th April – About a Badly Drawn Boy: The Story of the Hour of Bewilderbeast + Director Q&A, Hotel Pelirocco, 7:00pm

The festival is a perfect opportunity for music and screen aficionados to gain in-depth insights into the background stories behind some defining cultural moments, while supporting independent venues at the same time.

More information and remaining tickets available here.

29th March 2019

Exhibition – Joy for Ever (The Whitworth)

Exhibition – The Whitworth, Manchester, 29th March – 9th June 2019
Joy for Ever: how to use art to change the world and its price in the market

A new exhibition opening its doors on Friday takes a look at the life, work and impact of artist and social reformer John Ruskin. The parallels between his quest for equality in the 1800s and current concerns around discrimination and accessibility in today’s society can’t fail to strike a chord. The content includes a huge variety of subject matter and artistic technique, all set in The Whitworth’s beautiful building and surroundings.

John Ruskin and Manchester – a synopsis:

Born into a prosperous home in 1819, John Ruskin travelled extensively around Europe with his parents, developing a keen interest in art and architecture. Over time, he became troubled by the comparison between some of the beautiful places he visited and what he considered to be a grimy capitalist environment on his return. In adulthood he became a famed art critic then began to speak out as a lecturer, berating property developers for prioritising profit over the wellbeing of their communities, industrialists for not treating their workers properly and the Victorian bourgeoisie as a whole for neglecting the welfare of the poor. In 1857 Ruskin voiced a particularly scathing attack on the city of Manchester in response to The Great Art Treasures exhibition, a huge collection of artworks amassed from wealthy private owners, epitomising everything he found unjust and unbalanced. His views were not appreciated by the conservative magazine and publisher he wrote for and led to his essays being pulled from publication; he proceeded to publish them instead in his seminal book Unto This Last. He went on to set up The Guild of St George (originally St George’s Company and still a charity today) to pursue his vision of a better society where communities would live more happily working within a network of rural, sustainable farms and be given access to education and museums. Quite what he would make of today’s society where the vulnerable have their benefits withdrawn and food banks are a growing trend is something to ponder. There is no little irony in the fact that the exhibition opens on the day that was due to see the dawning of Brexit but instead finds us amidst a political meltdown of enormous proportions. 

Facade of The Doge’s Palace, Venice – The Vine Angle, 1907.5, John Ruskin © Manchester Art Gallery / Bridgeman Images

Exhibition details:

‘In the 200th anniversary of his birth, The Whitworth responds to the artist, art critic, teacher and social reformer John Ruskin – in a year when his words seem as relevant now as they did then, in a climate of perceived ecological, political and social catastrophe. Ruskin was complex, difficult and flawed, as well as profound. He also hated Manchester, and therefore it seems fitting that the city responds with equal complexity and irreverence.

Joy for Ever combines The Whitworth’s renowned collection of art and design with archival documents, contemporary installations, a cast of the wall of Westminster Hall, a road building, textiles, politics, pictures, a protest on the EBacc by local school children and commissions from Manchester based design studio Standard Practice and Grizedale Arts from the Lake District.

Peter Hodgson and Laure Prouvost, Tile Panel, 2016, Photo by Adam Sutherland

In the first gallery, the displays respond to Ruskin’s question: how can an art collection be used for wider social advantage? Here some of the Whitworth’s collections are curated by the gallery’s Handmade group, who meet regularly as part of a city-wide campaign to develop Manchester as an age-friendly city, alongside Year 9 pupils from Hyndburn Academy in Blackburn in protest against the introduction of the EBacc that devalues arts education in schools.

The next gallery focuses on the relationship between art, architecture and ideas of good governance, speaking of how Gothic style was appropriated in the 19th century and became the architecture of state and commercial power. Ruskin admired the city of Venice as a model society, in which its Gothic buildings were created by the mutual cooperation of architect and craftsman, forming much of his thinking on the relationship between labour and happiness. Depictions of Gothic architecture by Ruskin’s favourite artists JMW Turner and Samuel Prout from The Whitworth’s collection will be displayed.

Jorge Otero-Pailos’ Ethics of Dust, a large-scale latex cast directly from the wall surface of Westminster Hall, the oldest part of the Houses of Parliament, will be displayed alongside wallpaper designs by Augustus Pugin and Alfred Waterhouse’s designs of Manchester’s neo-Gothic Town Hall.

Both images above: Jorge Otero-Pailos – The Ethics of Dust, Westminster Hall, London, 2016. Commissioned and produced by Artangel, Photos by Marcus J Leith

A new moving image work by Greek artist, Aikaterini Gegisian is included. This draws from the archives of the US Library of Congress and explores the breakdown of the European Union manifested in both the Greek debt crisis and Brexit.

Picture above & header picture: Third Person (Plural): Episode 1: Centrifuge, 2018-19 film stills courtesy of Aikaterini Gegisian

The final gallery explores art’s role in education and social design. Ruskin believed that drawing from nature helps shape our understanding of citizenship. He had a huge teaching collection, often making and commissioning copies of paintings and drawings of natural specimens as tools for instruction. Here a selection of drawings from Manchester’s collections alongside an original lecture diagram, plaster casts of leaves and models of feathers borrowed from The Ruskin Museum are presented. Manchester design studio Standard Practice has been commissioned to make a series of drawing lecterns for visitors to make drawings inspired by the collections on display.

Grizedale Arts marks its 10 year anniversary of projects in Coniston, the town where Ruskin lived for the last 28 years of his life and where he implemented many of his social experiments on craft, farming, water supply, dairy producing etc. This exhibition will present a mini survey of around 100 projects they’ve created to date, such as the Honest Shop, mini library and exhibitions of local crafts with a series of connected making workshops and talks.’

Joy for Ever: how to use art to change the world and its price in the market runs from 29th March – 9th June 2019 – free entry

The Whitworth, The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M15 6ER
Opening times: Monday – Wednesday 9-5, Thursday 9-9, Friday – Saturday 9-5, Sunday 10-5 – please check the website for further details of this and other exhibitions before visiting

All images and exhibition details are reproduced with permission from The Whitworth and are copyrighted/owned as credited

Words for introduction and synopsis by Siobhan

27th March 2019

Instore – Crows at Resident

Crows, Resident Brighton, 24th March 2019

I first saw Crows back in 2015 opening for Slaves; one of a bunch of bands on the circuit with a buzz surrounding them, you had to wonder which ones would stick around and hold people’s interest. Since then, I’ve seen them play tiny venues and huge festivals and there’s never any let up in the intensity of their performance or their propensity to spend half the set in amongst the crowd. Playing in a record shop was never going to be any different and their instore at Brighton’s Resident was as untamed as ever. A very fine way to spend a Sunday evening.

Their newly released album Silver Tongues is a force of nature, bringing to mind strands of Killing Joke, PIL and The Birthday Party. It’s hard to choose a standout track as the quality runs right through but Empyrean and new single Wednesday’s Child would be up there for certain.

Crows will be giving another instore performance tonight at Rough Trade Nottingham before heading out on the road supporting IDLES on a string of sold out shows (Silver Tongues is released on Joe Talbot and Mark Bent’s label Balley Records), followed by headline dates of their own in April and May. If you have any chance of getting along to see them, don’t miss it.

Get the latest news on releases and tour dates from Crows here

Words and photos by Siobhan

25th March 2019

 

 

New Music – Horseflies

Horseflies – Lucidity EP

Tracklist: Phantom, Fist, Embers, Pieces, Denial

If you’ve seen Horseflies play you’ll know there’s no holds barred in their high volume, frenetic live performances. There may be some surprises though on newly released EP Lucidity as it mixes up their purer punk sound with some more subtle melodies and guitar riffs throughout the different tracks.

The EP follows last year’s well received album Sea Control and further establishes Horseflies’ reputation for grabbing an assortment of influences and creating their own blend of well executed, raw, confrontational tunes. With hints of The Damned’s New Rose on opening track Phantom, the mood mellows on recently released Fist – promoted by Tom Robinson on the BBC Music Introducing Mixtape. There’s no doubting their appreciation for artists like Fugazi and Drive Like Jehu but Horseflies have brought something new to the table, making Lucidity a well rounded body of their music.

Very much a hometown production, Lucidity was recorded at independent studio Southsea Sound and will be the first release by locally based label Brutalist Records. Giving their debut the kind of opulence it deserves, a very limited edition physical release is available in the form of a cassette housed in a gold numbered tobacco tin, complete with badges, a numbered 70’s cigarette card and a download code.

Horseflies hold their EP launch party tomorrow (23rd March), headlining at The Festing in Portsmouth, hosted by Calamity Cratediggers. Get there early because the supporting cast is a strong one featuring The Howlers, Make Them  All Smile and Dad Hair.

Other upcoming gigs will be on 5th April at The Loft in Portsmouth with Lower Slaughter, You’re Smiling Now But We’ll All Turn Into Demons and Dad Hair and then as part of the Washed Out Festival line-up at The Green Door Store in Brighton on 13th April. Catch them if you can – take your earplugs.

Follow Horseflies and listen to/purchase Lucidity 
There are a limited number of cassette/EP launch ticket combinations available here – any remaining after the show will be made available online 

Words and photos from Dials Festival by Siobhan

22nd March 2019

Ban Summers – Music, Fibromyalgia & Me

Being a recording artist and playing live can be testing at the best of times. Add to this a diagnosis of chronic illness and many people would be inclined to call a halt to the whole thing. But by approaching the process with a different perspective, musician Edward Perry is far from quitting his much loved musical career, producing tracks and performing live as Ban Summers. Recent singles No Better and It’s On You pit lyrics written about being ill in modern Britain against a relaxing, soulful, lo-fi backdrop and have caught the attention of BBC Music Introducing (Solent) amongst others.

We spoke to him about living and making music with fibromyalgia, a condition described by Fibromyalgia Action UK as ‘… a chronic condition of widespread pain and profound fatigue. The pain tends to be felt as diffuse aching or burning, often described as head to toe… The fatigue ranges from feeling tired to the exhaustion of a flu-like illness. It may come and go and people can suddenly feel drained of all energy – as if someone just pulled the plug’.

You’ve been a musician for some time, how did you get started?

I had been interested in music for a while but, when I was about 14, I heard Lightspeed Champion’s album that Dev Hynes recorded in a day, which was before his proper debut album, just something he put up to download on his blog and I loved it so much. It made me think that if he can do that in a day, maybe if I pick up a guitar, I could do something almost half as good over a year. It’s now about 12 years on and I’m still learning how to make an album. So I went with my Mum to Lidl and got a £30 nylon stringed acoustic guitar. I think Mum wanted to test out whether I was going to stick to guitar before having to shell out for a proper one. But I learnt a couple of songs and chords and moved on to my Squire Strat that I still play now. I wasn’t any good at learning other people’s songs though, so soon moved onto writing my own really bad songs. I was 15 when I played my first gig as The Boy I Used To Be (and I eventually got to support Lightspeed Champion at Wedgewood Rooms) and then that ended up after a lot of gigs and festivals becoming a full band with Max, Callum and Andy as Show Home for a short while.

When did you find out about the fibromyalgia; what was your reaction?

Well, I’ve been ill since my teens in different ways, ME and mental health the bulk of it, so I was kind of prepped for it when the diagnosis came. A family member also has fibromyalgia, so it wasn’t unknown to me, but was a new thing to be experiencing personally and that took time to understand what was happening. I still don’t totally understand it now and new symptoms pop up regularly, so understanding it is an ongoing process for me. I think it was a bit disappointing as I had previously had a few good years of health and my ME was in remission, so it flipped my life upside down still, for sure. It took a long time to start building myself back up. Then band stuff took a back seat and I really lost interest in music for a while because I was frustrated and jealous of not being able to take part.

How does it affect you day to day?

I am tired, like all of the time. I’m not sure if I can remember a time where I wasn’t tired and I wasn’t uncomfortable in some way. The joint and muscle pain is bad across my back, legs and hands, it affects my concentration and muddles my brain, plus lights and noise can be an issue which isn’t a great recipe for a budding musician. On top of that, all the medication makes me feel worse too with other side effects, but I’ll stop moaning for now!

So how have you adapted things in terms of making music?

Well, I’ve had to reshape my expectations of myself in my general life and I had to reach that acceptance in my musical life too. At the moment, my hands swell up after I’ve played guitar, so I’ve moved onto using a launchpad and using samples of my songs to play them live in a way that is hopefully more accessible to me but is still true to what a live show is. So now I just make music whenever I’m able and over time I’ve amassed a lot of songs so I can just work at my own pace and then these songs get deconstructed to play at gigs. Plus I don’t have any money at all, so it’s all recorded at home on basic and cheap equipment that I’ve collected over the years in the simplest way it could be done, finishing it on the laptop, bouncing it down to an MP3 and uploading to Soundcloud and Spotify. It’s the most DIY way you could probably be, though admittedly not unusual these days recording and releasing music from your bedroom, but that suits me because though I have no money and this makes no money, I’m not really spending out on it either. It’s the cheapest and most soul enriching thing I can do and, despite the pain and fatigue it causes, it does help me be a happier and more fulfilled person.

Tell us some more about your new tracks It’s On You and No Better…

It’s On You is about privilege and how that may shape your world view or blind you from seeing privilege in process. People can get defensive about it and think that inviting diversity is limiting their opportunities or discriminating against them, but it isn’t. There is more than enough room for everyone and we should be seeking more diversity everywhere, because we miss out on those important voices otherwise.

No Better was written not long after the Brexit referendum and was a way of me getting my frustration out at the state we were in, with people lying and profiteering, but also acknowledging the rise in my generation’s passion to be heard. It’s like venting my thoughts in the first half but also builds to a more hopeful ending.

Hopes and plans for the rest of 2019?

I am going to be releasing as much music as possible this year, with maybe an album coming later in the year (so surprise if you’ve read this far, that secret is just for you). I’ve been silent for too long and I have a lot to say and music to share. I’m also going to be playing a few gigs here and there and really just trying to get as many people listening as possible.

Follow Ban Summers and listen to No Better and It’s On You here

Next live date is at The House of Rapture, Portsmouth, on 2nd April with Penelope Isles and Barbudo 

You can access more information and support with fibromyalgia on the Fibromyalgia Action UK website

20th March 2019

Live – Calva Louise at The Prince Albert

Calva Louise / Kid Kapichi / Short People, The Prince Albert, Brighton, 13th March 2019

In Brighton for the last night of their UK tour and fresh from the shouts of acclaim for their debut album Rhinoceros, Calva Louise had a crowd full of anticipation squeezed into The Prince Albert.

Local support from Short People got the evening off to a solid start. Fronted by Rich Fownes (ex Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster / Clever Thing), their mix of rock and folk-punk eased us nicely into a memorable night in the making.

Kid Kapichi have been the main support throughout this tour which, conveniently for them, ended up pretty close to their home town of Hastings. Bringing along their own army of fans, their set was an absolute stand out ball of noise from start to finish. It’s a confident headliner that picks a band who are this good live to play before them. Firmly on the would love to see again list.

As the Countdown music hit the speakers, it was time for Calva Louise to show why they’ve gained a glowing reputation on the live circuit. With a pretty accurate prophecy, they hit straight into I’m Gonna Do Well, energy levels set to max from the outset. Sounding like Bis with Topper Headon on drums, their brand of indie-punk is refreshingly feel-good.

As the packed room got hotter and hotter, Jess stated that the temperature reminded her of home in South America; that didn’t stop her from jumping off the stage to join the party taking place in the audience. On or off stage, the trio were totally engaging and created a brilliant atmosphere with loads of reaction and reciprocation from the crowd.

Finishing up with the punchy Getting Closer, the set appeared to be over but the chants of ‘one more song’ received an unexpected rendition of Eleanor, despite being past curfew and with instruments already unplugged – clearly not a pre-planned encore but much appreciated anyway. We live in an age where social media can elevate a band’s status beyond its capabilities but, in the case of Calva Louise, you’d very much better believe the hype.

Check out more from  Calva Louise,  Kid Kapichi and Short People

Words and photos by Siobhan

18th March 2019

Interview – Tugboat Captain

Released into the world today, Tugboat Captains’s new single Be Strong, Smoke Less offers words of wisdom alongside a welcome serving of sun-drenched jangle pop. Its opening refrain is instantly relatable in a time where expectations are high and we all need to make some space for reality (Be strong, smoke less, maybe you’ll feel less depressed – I‘ve tried but I need something to relax my mind). It’s a track that will stay in your head long after listening and offers enough intrigue to make the London quartet’s upcoming tour dates look a very attractive proposition. Say hello to the band and read on for the story behind the song, service station etiquette and more…

Hey there, say hello and tell us who’s involved in Tugboat Captain…

Hello! Tugboat Captain has had a number of members over the last year or so since we formed and has always been made up of family and friends. At the moment we’re a four piece with Josh on bass, Buddy on keys and bassoon, Georgia on drums and myself (Sox) on guitar. We’ve stripped back the touring line-up a bit so we’re a bit more streamlined and also a bit more like The Beatles. We also all sing!

Your new single Be Strong, Smoke Less is out today – what’s it all about?

Be Strong, Smoke Less is a song about some advice that I frequently get given to me by my Mum. The song explores that feeling of trying to be the best person you can be but not doing it necessarily for yourself. We’ve been playing this track out on the road for nearly a year now and it really feels like I should have quit smoking by now.

Off the back of this, what’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

I would say the advice to be strong and smoke less is pretty strong advice to be given but I haven’t given it much heed so perhaps not the best? A wise man once told me not to slag off other bands on the internet in case you run into them at a service station. I think that’s something to live by.

You’re touring across the UK – how difficult is it to arrange and finance a tour independently?

The organisational side of it can be pretty tough as it just requires liaising with an enormous number of people who are scattered across the UK and like us have the same DIY ethos. This tour took us about two months to get fully booked and organised so it’s a pretty time-consuming task. This is the biggest tour we’ve ever attempted and we’re pretty scared about our health. Most of the tour is sleeping on friends’ floors (sofas if we’re really lucky) and eating meal deals so we can be financially ship shape. As it gets closer and closer I do feel like we’ve made a grave error and we may not make it back to London alive.

Which other artists will you be listening to as you make your way round the country?

We have a playlist of van classics that we always seem to have on and always seems to get us through long journeys between cities – this mainly includes children’s TV themes, Van Halen and Chris De Burgh. If we’re not listening to that I guess we usually listen to lots of our mates’ music. We’re lucky enough to know loads of people in great bands putting out great music. At the moment we’re all on a bit of a mad Enjoyable Listens’ rush – we met them doing a show in Milton Keynes and we’ve been best pals since, they’re even joining us on a couple of our tour dates so go check ‘em out. Other than that, it’s probably just going to be Wilco.

And what’s the dream (awake or asleep)?

Matching Flying-V instruments for the whole band (Flying-V acoustic, Flying-V double bass, Flying-V keytar, somebody needs to figure out how to make a drum-kit Flying-V).

Follow Tugboat Captain for updates on future releases and tour information

You can listen to/purchase Be Strong, Smoke Less here 

Tour dates below

March

28th – Leeds, Hyde Park Book Club
29th – Manchester, 78 Sackville Street
30th – Staithes, The Captain Cook Inn
31st – Sunderland, Pop Recs
31st – Newcastle, Little Buildings

April

1st – York, The Crescent
2nd – Glasgow, The Glad Cafe
3rd – Liverpool, The Jacaranda Club
6th – Bristol, Hy-Brasil Music Club
7th – Plymouth, The Junction
8th – Falmouth, Killigrew Inn
9th – Truro, Prime
10th – Brighton, The Green Door Store
11th – Bournemouth, Sixty Million Postcards
12th – Ipswich, The Smokehouse
13th – London, The Victoria
19th – Cardiff, Wales Goes Pop
20th – London, Nunfest

Photo via Tugboat Captain

15th March 2019

Live – She Drew The Gun at Patterns

She Drew The Gun / Man & The Echo, Patterns Brighton, 8th March 2019

Straight from a support slot for The Coral, She Drew The Gun have been selling out gigs across the UK on a headline tour of their own. If their final night in Brighton on Friday was anything to go by, they’ll need to be booking bigger venues for the next one.

First up, Man & The Echo warmed up an already busy crowd with a set full of soulful reflections on modern life. Sounding something like The Style Council might have if they’d been pulled into shape by Richard Hawley and generally been a bit less concerned with striped blazers, the four piece entertained with some strong tracks, things notably stepping up a gear with latest single A Capable Man, well worth a listen.

The brainchild of Louisa Roach, She Drew The Gun are currently touring as a very complimentary five piece. Kicking straight into recent singles Resister and Something For The Pain, the band began their journey through the myriad of genres and musical influences that make up their discography. With hints of Elastica and Republica pulsating through the more upbeat tracks, there is a much deeper, darker tone to Between Stars, reminiscent of Portishead mixed with spoken word, not a phrase you get to use often. 

Louisa’s vocals are compelling, the lyrics full of powerful social comment and the tunes infectious, a stroll through indie, melodic psych pop and poetry with just a hint of country thrown in for good measure. She Drew The Gun thoroughly deserved the capacity crowd, catch them if you can before they head off into the stratosphere, rising stars for sure.

She Drew The Gun website
Man & The Echo website

Words and photos by Siobhan

11th March 2019

Preview – The Great Escape

The Great Escape, Brighton, 9th – 11th May 2019

Widely acknowledged as the biggest UK festival platform for breakthrough musicians, The Great Escape returns in May for its annual party in Brighton. Scheduling over 400 artists playing across town in more than 30 venues is no mean feat and TGE includes a multitude of great music across different genres, bringing bands and singers from far and wide to perform. With the first 200+ acts now announced, we picked 5 of the best who we think you should look out for. Get to know Cocaine Piss, Nice Biscuit, Pip Blom, Sick Joy and Weird Milk below, then go and add them all to your must see list…

Cocaine Piss (Belgium)

For anyone who doesn’t know the band, give us a quick intro…

We are Cocaine Piss, we’re cute, we might be weird and we play loud. 

Over the last few years you’ve played hundreds of gigs and festivals across Europe – any notable memories from the UK?

A lot! One of the best festivals we played was Raw Power Festival in London last year. We had a lot of fun playing, and we discovered a lot of great acts there. I think we also found out about Buckfast on that tour, which was a great adventure. Also found a set of false teeth in front of a venue in Liverpool, it made our day.

You’re part of the Toutpartout Showcase at this year’s Great Escape – how did that come about?

We’ve been collaborating with Toutpartout for about 2 years now, and we are very fucking happy to be invited to play at the showcase. The lineup is beautiful, it’s going to be a perfect day.

What can people expect if they come to your set?

They can expect dancing, laughing, feeling like we’re all sharing a beautiful and intense moment together. Also a lot of swearing, and sadly, very little elegance.

And what else are Cocaine Piss up to this year?

We are releasing our new album Passionate and Tragic on April 5th. From then, we’ll be intensively touring for a few months. Come and see us – we have more shows in the UK in early May!

Facebook  Bandcamp

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Nice Biscuit (Australia)

For anyone who hasn’t heard or seen you can you introduce the band…

Hello. We’re Nice Biscuit. We’re a six piece from Brisbane and we play garage psych with a little bit of pop thrown in the mix.

What’s your local music scene like?

The Brisbane music scene is really good and quite tight knit. Because we’re one of the smaller cities everyone’s really supportive of each other’s bands. There’s some really good bands doing some interesting stuff here at the moment and a lot of good quality mid-sized venues to support all the bands. Any given weekend you’d be able to head out and see a good show.

Your album Digital Mountain came out last year. Tell us a bit about it and what’s the reaction to it been like?

Digital Mountain was a bit of a while in the making. It was a long process of writing and recording and then often scrapping those songs in favour of new ones, so it was nice to finally get a bunch of songs that made something cohesive and be able to put that out. It’s just a collection of the best songs we’d written from the 12 months before its release. The reaction to it was good. People seemed to like it and come to the shows and respond positively which is always encouraging.

You’re over in the UK for The Great Escape in May, how did that come about – have you been to Brighton before?

We had some bookers in the UK reach out to us about coming over and playing at The Great Escape and we’d never played overseas before so we thought we’d jump on it. Some of us have been to the UK before, I’m not too sure about Brighton. We’ve never in any musical capacity so it’s pretty exciting to get to travel far away from Australia and get to play music as well.

Plans and hopes for the rest of the year?

I think we’d just like to write and play as much as possible. We’ve started working on new music so ideally we’d like to get another album finished as soon as possible and then move on to some new stuff again. We get quite restless playing the same songs for too long and like to change it up as much as we can. We all like playing live so we’d like to try and play to as many new people in as many new cities as we can. I suppose just play as much music as possible.

Facebook  Soundcloud

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Pip Blom (The Netherlands)

For anyone just discovering you can you give us a quick insight into who you are and where you’re from?

We are Pip Blom, that is my name and the name of the band. My brother, Tender Blom, also plays in the band. He plays guitar and sings, just like me. Then there is Gini Camron who plays the drums and Darek Mercks who plays bass. We all live in Amsterdam.

You seem to be constantly touring – is this hard to maintain and are there any stand out tour memories?

Touring is fun but hard at the same time. When we are at home, doing the jobs that make us a living, we can’t wait to be on the road again. But if we are away too long we miss our loved ones and the peace and quiet of our private bedrooms. Playing in front of enthusiastic audiences makes up for a lot of things though. And we have an app in which we mark all the special places on the road – great shops or petrol stations!

What’s the best thing about playing at festivals?

Playing at festivals can be hard, ‘cause half of the audience doesn’t necessarily come to see you, but trying to conquer those crowds is fun when it all works out. Also, at festivals, you get to meet other bands. Sometimes the bands you know and love, like Sports Team, Personal Trainer or Canshaker Pi.

What should we expect from your set?

An uptempo set full of energy and fun. And maybe some new songs from our upcoming debut Boat which will be released on May 31st.

And what’s on the horizon for the rest of the year?

SXSW, lots of playing in the UK and the rest of Europe, some Dutch festivals and some more club shows in the fall. And maybe going back to the USA…

Facebook  Bandcamp

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Sick Joy (UK)

Can you give us a quick band intro…

Hello, welcome. Sit down, grab a sherry. Indulge. Everything is fleeting. We do songs. If you like lazy musical stereotypes, chances are you’ll liken us to Nirvana.

You played your first Brighton gig back in 2016 with other local favourites Demob Happy and Tigercub – how was that as a debut show and what’s changed for you since then?

As far as I can remember it was good. Since then Brexit was born and Trump became president. But I swear it’s got nothing to do with us. We’re actually on tour with Demob Happy right now so there’s a little serendipity.

Who else on the local scene would you recommend?

Projector, Murmur, Tigercub, Demob Happy. Many.

How does it feel to be on the Great Escape line-up for 2019?

The last two I’ve worked behind a bar for it and that’s fucking awful, so it’s gonna be fun to be drinking the beers instead of pouring them and cleaning up the sick.

And what’s in the pipeline for Sick Joy?

New record, more touring. Survival, both literally and financially. The plight of all bands trying to live.

Facebook  Soundcloud

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Weird Milk (UK)

Introduce us to Weird Milk…

Weird Milk is a band created by Zach, Charlie and Alex a few years ago… man, it feels like an age away. We all come from the countryside outside the wannabe city of Milton Keynes and left the farmyards to write music together in London.

You’ve played with some great bands over the past year (Pip Blom, Thyla, Sports Team to name a few) – any live shows that have stood out?

The most recent shows have stood out a lot because we’ve acquired the irreplaceable talent of Blue (Joe) on the keys, and the sound has got much more oomph/pizzazz.

You were part of the Alternative Escape line-up in 2018 – how was that and did you see much of the rest of the festival?

That was a great show! I can’t remember the name of the pub but it was nice and cosy. We stayed there all day and all night! Really excited to come back.

Why should people come and catch your set this year?

For the chance to leave any anxieties and sorrows at the doors and have fun. There are some nice loving words as well as more serious (attempts of) thought provoking messages. But it’s got good balance to it. We think. Be the judge and come!

And what else should we be looking out for from Weird Milk in 2019?

We will be releasing at least two singles! So if you get curious, do listen, we feel that they’re worth your time. Whoever YOU are. Hey YOU.

Facebook  Soundcloud

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The Great Escape runs from 9th – 11th May in multiple venues across Brighton. You can see the full list of acts confirmed so far here.

Photos reproduced with artists’ permission
(Cocaine Piss © Thierry Tönnes, Nice Biscuit © Jeff Andersen Jnr, Weird Milk © Timothy Casten)

4th March 2019

Instore – Drenge at Resident

Drenge, Resident Brighton, 28th February 2019

With the release of their third album, Drenge are well and truly back in business. The Loveless brothers have just completed a string of instore appearances at record shops across the UK, playing electro-pop versions of tracks from Strange Creatures under the banner of Drenge Philharmonic. It’s been an interesting diversion from the usual acoustic instore performances that tend to abound and a chance to see Drenge in a different light. A far cry from the mayhem of their regular shows but it would be great to see Drenge take this version of the band on the road in the future. For now, mayhem is reinstated with live dates booked in March and April which will doubtless be well worth an evening of your time. Strange Creatures is dark, fierce and addictive; it’s been a long wait but some things are worth waiting for.

Gallery below from their final instore stop-off at Brighton’s Resident:

Strange Creatures is available now and you can get the latest news from Drenge here. Upcoming tour dates as follows (with support from The Wytches):

March

27th – Glasgow, King Tut’s
28th – Northumbria, Institute
29th – Manchester, o2 Ritz

April

1st – Cambridge, Junction
2nd – London, Electric Brixton
3rd – Portsmouth, Wedgewood Rooms
5th – Bristol – SWX
6th – Birmingham – o2 Institute

Words and photos by Siobhan

1st March 2019