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Physical Format-20190320

  • Published in Columns


Flying Vinyl's October 2017 selection gets our attention this week. So far none of the discs I've decided to let go have had any attention on Discogs but lets see if they'll be gaining company in the inventory from this iteration of the column's inclusions. Or indeed whether I'm well behind the curve in not having played the best thing since sliced bread until now.

Black Honey receive the transparent pink (slightly bloodshot) treatment for their 7" of 'Bloodlust' and 'Ghost'. The A side's got a good bit of pace to it and so progresses at a good indie rock clip. The B side's an acoustic version of what is presumably an album track. As mentioned in a previous column the point of such versions escapes me and this is a bit dull on the whole. £18.70 seems to be the going rate on Discogs so will take a punt. The band's website show's they're set to tour the UK & Europe during spring 2019.

Horsey fetch up in transparent bottle-green vinyl. 'Park Outside Your Mother's House' starts off unpromisingly but after it initially blows up there's a bit more oomph to it. Gallon Drunk come to mind as it rolls to a close. 'Weeping' begins with a similar late-night, intimate jazz club vibe as the A side but again comes to life as it progresses before dribbling away at the end. Doubtful I'll be playing either side often in the future or getting owt else by the band but for now it's being listed for sale & kept. The group's Facebook page shows them to be active at the present time.
Brighton's brotherly duo Underwater Boys take up the third slot this time around. 'Everyone You Know' is earnest, yearning, synth-driven pop. Pleasant if a bit drippy. 'Bye & Bye' wasn't likely to be anything other than similar to the A side. No one seems to want it on Discogs though (last sale at time of writing was 50p in January) so it's into the flea market box with it. The pair's Facebook page shows they were active up until at least November last year.
No such fate for disc number four however. Given that she and her band are going from strength to strength it's almost redundant to write up Pip Blom's 'Babies Are A Lie'/'School' double A sider this far down the line. But here goes. Catchy, honest and jangly the first track has that quality of sounding effortless in it's composition & performance whilst 'School' deserves multiple repeat plays and is surely one of the best tracks of its kind produced in 2017. Debut album Boat is coming out in May and all the details of live shows etc. can be found here.
Last out of the box this time is Maddee from Toronto. Mention of R 'n' B in artist blurbs always makes me wary, given that my concept of it doesn't seem to tally with what's meant (i.e. I'm stuck in the sound of the '60s). 'Lost' though conforms to what I understand to be the current usage. It's a bit Lana Del Ray meets Sade. Wine bar background music - enough of a beat to provide pleasant noise but turn it one notch louder and the atmosphere's ruined. 'Weight' leans a bit more towards Sylvan Esso territory but on the whole there's no compelling reason for this to stay in my collection. Facebook shows Maddee is still active.

The Great Escape - Day 2

  • Published in Live


After a packed first day we are ravenous for more new music. Today seems to us to be the best day. We stock up on plenty of free coffee and pastries as we know it’s going to be a huge day of discovery.

However in order to ease us in gently and to soothe a few sour heads we head to the iconic Brighton pub, the Prince Albert for some soothing Irish folk. Saint Sister are a duo using traditional Irish harp and folk to create what they describe as ‘atmosfolk’. We decide that there is no better nation to soothe us. The sisters do not disappoint with the synchronicity of their vocals gently brush away the aching heads and leave us refreshed and ready for another day.

We pop across the road for something a bit more lively. We find Ben Caplan And The Casual Smokers. His beard alone is impressive then his voice hits you. A huge bear of a man he is captivating and his humour and stage craft blow us away. His foot stomping, sea shanties tear the roof off and we know it’s going to be another wonderful day.

Now we really have the bit between our teeth, we rush to catch a bit of Dan Owen's acoustic set then pop round the corner for the livelier sounds of Ten Fe. It’s in a venue with a very low ceiling and these lo-fi rockers put on an amazing display. The four piece deliver a cleverly crafted swirling psychedelic pop sound to a packed audience. The combination of driving thumping basslines with intricate guitars is awesome. This is a band that we feel has a huge future and we would strongly recommend a listen.

Whilst we were attending this we hear amazing things about Cosovel. Her talents flow effortlessly over a simply electronic folk sound. We also catch a bit of Lebanese electronica from Wake Island as well as a quick glimpse of REWS, a London female two piece with electronic pop and a bright future.

We return to the Prince Albert for the Rusangano Family. A three piece Irish Hip Hop act that simply contain some of the most energetic dance moves we have seen on stage. Flinging themselves around whilst delivering full on hard-core Hip Hop is an unreal sight to behold. It sums up what this wonderful festival is. The ability to move from venue to venue and to discover not just new acts but also immerse you in music we may not have chosen. It challenges our preconceptions and open the door for more wonderment. After all that we decide that we need some fresh air. However there is no escape from the music and why would there be?

We remember back to the first day when we were entertained by the wonderful New York Brass Band followed by the Voodoo Love Orchestra. Today we have the highly crowd pleasing indie rockers The Dunwells. This is followed by the simply divine indie choir that is the Jam Tarts Choir. This collection of older member’s blast out indie hits. We get a wonderful rendition of Bowie’s 'Heroes' as well as a Kaiser Chiefs track and even Ronson’s 'Uptown Funk'. As you’d imagine it went down a treat.

Right into the evening sessions and we are off to see some angry South London indie rockers. The Bulletproof Bomb are five 20 year olds who are full of attitude and who put on a wonderful display of raw indie power.

We are now on Brighton seafront and will be dashing in and out of various clubs. This allows bigger audiences and therefore bigger acts. We pop in to the very busy venue to see the wonderful three piece Blackpool rockers Strange Bones. They are very loud and extremely good and we expect huge strides forward from this band. We then are treated to three quite superb soul acts in Tiggs Da Author - a combination of grime artist, poet and soul singer via East Africa who does it all so effortlessly. More than that it works and it’s a wonderful combination of styles. Up next we are in for a real treat with the polished soul sounds of a young lady who is quite simply going to be huge. Izzy Bizu has already received huge critical acclaim and this performance will propel her into stardom. Her clean arrangements are a refreshing change. A simple, stripped back sound and stunning vocals is all she needs.

Then comes the real treat of the night. The local boy made good, the soul singer with the power of a juggernaut. Its time for Rag 'N' Bone Man. Not only do we force our way to the front of the stage we suddenly realise that we are standing with his mum.

She is obviously an extremely proud lady and is apparently loving referred to as Mama Rag. Her son simply delivers one of the best vocal performances we have ever witnessed. He carries such power and authority in his voice. Yet he is shy and vulnerable onstage. The sheer range of his voice allows him to move from modern soul songs mixed with hip hop and straight up funk. He then pauses and ask if he could perform acapella, what follows is an incredible vocal performance which leaves not a dry eye in the house, simply stunning stuff.

We don’t feel that anything can top that but,being dedicated to music journalism, we pop in to see the 1960s inspired psychedelic rockers Black Honey who deliver a sound not dissimilar from Pixies.

We also hear wonderful things regarding soul sensation Samm Henshaw and also the hugely talented rising stars of Tibet. But for us that’s the end of a magical day of new music.

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