AboutHayley Kilhams, Author at
Wandering through the emblazoned walls of graffiti dominating the North Lanes (my personal favourite is John Peel on The Prince Albert), it would be fair to say that it’s hard to imagine a more Bohemian or fitting platform for a music festival introducing new and raw music to the British public and media. It surely is the only festival where quiff combing hipsters, impressive taches, mutton chops, Mohawks, skin designs of various size and colour, ball gowns, tiaras and Edwardian three piece suits rub along nicely. It’s hard not to hit the instagram trigger every minute that you are soaking in this mercurial atmosphere and harder still not to be seduced into a café-dwelling, people-watching haze and forget you are there to review music…ur hem…Even those without a formal stage, busking in whatever vacant space the heaving pavement will allow them are of an impressive standard. Although not always appreciated by the office workers above, this amplified madness sets the scene nicely for The Great Escape. Brighton itself and the many varied venues such as the dark basements of The Haunt, the outdoor picnic feel of the bullet stage in Jubilee Sq to the chandeliered decadence of The Old Ship’s Pagannini Ballroom give you an idea of the breadth and depth of the musical tastes on offer from the whimsical Estonian folk gems of Ewert and The Two Dragons to the raw punk ranting of Parquet Courts. Over the next few articles I will be bringing the reviews and the recommendations to your attentions and attempting to catch up with a few of the amazing artists on offer at the moment. On with the show…………..
Some of the first people I ran into on the streets of Brighton capturing the attention of a small crowd near The Royal Pavillion were Bradley Hicks and Simon Stewart. Bradley’s album Candidates is due for release on Saturday 25th May before the start of a number of UK gigs. The album is not on national release but if you can make it to one of the live dates, you may be lucky enough to get your hands on a copy after the show and it’s worth it. Eleven tracks of acoustic beauty, it’s a heartfelt offering of soulful tunes with my favourites Baited Breath and 36/1 – a cautionary tale of gambling addiction and human mistakes. Although it is not just the lyrics that cut to the heart, Bradley’s signature fragile, raw tones mixed with quiet instrumental accompaniment make the lead vocal the star of the album as it should be. If ever there was a voice that deserved to be heard….it features heavily on this album. If you are a fan of unplugged simplicity without the accoutrements and set dressings to distract, give this a whirl.
Keep up to date with Bradley on Facebook here: www.facebook.com/bradleyhicksmusic
The unexpected pressure of a meteoric rise or a highly successful debut album might be enough to make some bands quiver in their live boots but not Bastille who hit the Concorde 2 in Brighton with the kind of multi-layered skill of a band secure in their talents.
To those of us that never saw the heady, creative Utopia of the sixties, it is difficult to imagine such an evolution of thought and ideas being packed into a decade. With the birth of relevant music and experimental sounds, it appears a musical camaraderie existed that is still reminisced, appreciated and held with reverence today. New conceptions of fashion, music, art were burning bridges with the more conservative decades that had come before. A rebellion of rock n roll and sexual freedom were sweeping the new generations. Civil rights actions, protest and American influence were crossing the Atlantic and being embraced by the younger population hungry for change. Political scandals were rocking London and more liberal values were creating an open society. In the heart of it, Soho represented an undiluted music scene. One of Brian Epstein’s last signed acts “The Others” were making their way through this musical shift and I sat down with their lead guitarist Pete Hammerton for part one of an interview to talk galloping guitarists, cheap venues, life in Soho and the force of nature that was Jimi Hendrix……………..
Six piece band Mok are set for the release of their second single ‘Rufio’ and if you haven’t been lucky enough to catch one of their high energy live performances then….well why not? Fronted by a female vocalist and male rapper, their unique blend of Pop, Rap and Dance music established them on the festival circuit last year with their first single ‘Hey’. After solid support slots with Dizzee Rascal, Professor Green, Reverend and the Makers and Stooshe, it’s time to take over the stage and make their mark. I caught up with Mok before their single release this Saturday 30th March at The Haunt, Brighton to ask them a few quick fire questions………….
To Kill A King’s debut album makes its way onto the musical meal table on February 24th, 2013 and they are still astounding with their five part harmonies, orchestral strings and rousing brass highlights.
London based trio ‘The Midnight Beast’ have been delighting YouTube audiences with their own brand of comedy music, high jinx videos and well played parodies. With enough hits to populate a small country, a successful E4 series and a current tour underway. I sat down with the guys to talk triple bunk beds, dirty pigeons and why they should be scared of Hollywood legend Will Smith.