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Newsletter 13
Newsletter 13

 
It has been a busy time at Brightonsfinest HQ, so much so we’ve neglected to put out a newsletter for the last quarter! With the Mercury Music Prize fast approaching, we thought now was a good time to have a look back over the last few months and pick out some highlights from all of the exciting new music we’ve covered on the site. We’ve covered nine of the twelve nominated Mercury Prize albums on Brightonsfinest.com, including most recently alt-J’s Relaxer, a band we also interviewed, and The Big Moon’s Love In The Fourth Dimension, who we also interviewed and saw live in the last few months. It’s shaping up to be a great year for album releases, with just the last few months yielding some real gems, including albums from Future Islands, Father John Misty, Mr Jukes, Fleet Foxes and Algiers to mention but a handful. Check out our album reviews section on the site for more.

We’ve just upgraded the radio show page on the website, so you can get a better idea of what we’re featuring each week. Now the show on Juice 107.2 is in full swing we’ve been getting the chance to chat to more and more fantastic acts as they pass through town and promote their latest releases. Some of those we’ve stretched out to full Spotlight pieces, such as Declan McKenna, Royal Blood, alt-J and Goldie. We’ve just begun uploading highlights from these interviews to our YouTube channel, so we recommend subscribing to keep up with the latest. We’ve also been reaching out to more up-and-coming acts, both on the radio show and our new music Q&A interviews on the website; highlights here include Fake Laugh, Frankie Cosmos, Girl Ray and The Comet Is Coming.

Brighton refuses to quieten down for the summer on the live front either, there have been some amazing gigs, shows and festivals to take in locally lately. For starters Kate Tempest curated May’s Brighton Festival, our reviewers caught her bookend performances on the 6th and the 26th of May, and both were blown away by quite different shows. Of course for us music obsessives The Great Escape Festival is always a major highlight of the year in May, we put on our own showcase event at St Mary’s Church, which was a roaring success, and had a whole team of reviewers attending the the official Great Escape and the Alternative Escape. Love Supreme turned in arguably their best festival line-up so far, it was certainly appreciated by our reviewer and helped them sell-out for the first time. Early Bird tickets for next year have already been snapped up, so we expect this event to continue its upwards trajectory. There have been too many great shows to mention them all (check out the live reviews section for a full list), but it would be remiss of us not to remind you all of the phenomenal show The Flaming Lips brought to the Dome in June, or Kraftwerk’s amazing 3D show which wowed the Brighton Centre, a performance which encouraged Jeff to write a bit of a Kraftwerk retrospective for our Spotlight section.

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Newsletter 12

It’s been an exciting couple of months for us, of course the biggest news at Brightonsfinest was the launch of our brand new radio show over on Juice 107.2, Monday to Thursday from 9 till 11pm, hosted by Tony Marks and our features writer Jeff Hemmings. It’s gotten off to a flying start, cramming in interviews with British Sea Power, The Magic Gang, Bobbie Johnson and many more amongst all the fantastic new music we’ve been playing. Make sure to tune into 107.2 FM or the Juice website to listen live or catch up on previous shows with the On Demand feature. Another band we chatted to were Brighton based outfit Tall Ships, who we also have a written interview with on the site. We talked about their new album Impressions, which sees the local act at the top of their game.

While we’re having a ton of fun with the radio show, exciting things have been happening over on the website side of things as well. Most notably we ran a feature interview with winner of the Critics’ Choice award at this year’s Brits, Sussex born soul crooner Rag’n’Bone Man, who talked to us about his role in the Brighton music scene and his sudden and dramatic rise to fame. British Sea Power also talked their new album Let the Dancers Inherit the Party. An album that cements their position as one of the UK’s most beloved indie bands, and deservedly so. Elsewhere other new albums that we’ve been enjoying thoroughly include the neo-psychedelic rockers TemplesVolcano and Laura Marling’s Semper Femina, a complex and subtle work exploring the forms and nature of femininity.

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Newsletter 11

A belated Happy New Year from the team at Brightonsfinest! It’s been a whirlwind month of new content on the site. We brought in 2017 with all of our regular contributors offering personal reflections on the year in music in our 2016 ‘Review of the Year’ feature. Covering much of the best content we brought you over the previous twelve months, there was plenty to be melancholy about but even more to celebrate in terms of what the year gifted us in new music.

A new year also means new beginnings and a new look. So we’ve given the site a revamp with a stronger emphasis on Brighton’s bustling live scene, including our picks for must see shows coming up in the Previews section and we're planning to deliver more comprehensive coverage of live reviews than ever before, while also planning to continue to bring our regular interviews and album reviews.


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Newsletter 10
2016 is drawing to its end. There have been lots of laughs and lots of tears. While there have been plenty of reasons for tears if you were a music fan in 2016 (and just a human being more generally), there were also plenty of new and exciting music releases to celebrate. Over on Brightonsfinest.com, November was a perfect case in point. It was a bumper month of blockbuster feature interviews, too many to mention them all here, with most followed by amazing live shows in town from the acts involved.

This included Brighton-based breakout singer-songwriter Passenger who talked about living life on the road and busking in our interview, before his two sold-out nights at Brighton Dome. We also caught up with hotly tipped songsmith Jack Garratt for a Spotlight interview and talked to punk pioneers The Damned, ahead of their triumphant 40th anniversary celebration, including a sell-out show, again at Brighton Dome. Crystal Fighters bowled us over with their recent effort Everything is My Family and discussed their affirming, global aesthetic in our recent feature. Naturally, we were also down the front to catch them live when they rolled into town.

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Newsletter 9
October was chock full of great content on Brightonsfinest.com. Here’s just some of the music we’ve been getting excited about over on the website during the last month. Get stuck in!
 
For our most recent spotlight feature we spoke to the chameleonic singer-songwriter Joan As Police Woman about her numerous incarnations and collaborations, the most recent being her new album Let it Be You which she wrote with Benjamin Lazar Davis and shows her to still be capable of reinvention.
 
Few artists are able to portray the state of the nation with as much vitriolic bite and humour as Sleaford Mods. For our spotlight interview, we chatted to Jason Williams from the firebrand duo ahead of playing one of their biggest shows yet at the Brighton Dome and talked post-referendum Britain and touring with young kids.

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Newsletter 8
Newsletter 7
Another month has gone by and there’s been more content on Brightonsfinest.com to sink your teeth into than ever before. Covering both established and respected artists alongside the most exciting new music we’ve discovered recently.
Speaking of respected artists, Nick Cave - one of Brighton’s most esteemed residents - released his new album Skeleton Tree this month. As well as a one-off screening of the accompanying documentary One More Time with Feeling about the making of the album. Both offer a heartbreaking exploration of Cave trying to comprehend the tragic death of his adolescent son. For our spotlight piece we looked at the relationship between the two artworks to try and find out what they revealed about the process of grief and trauma.

Not much is known about mysterious outfit Goat and what is known might be nothing more than smoke and mirrors. But one thing we do know for certain is that the band is playing in Brighton in October. So we attempted to find out what makes up their unique take on world music, which incorporates voodoo traditions and intoxicating psych-rock.

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Newsletter 7
Newsletter 7
August may nearly be behind us, but in our eyes the summer is still far from over. Especially because the second ever Together The People Festival - taking place in Preston Park - is only moments away. To say we’re brimming over with excitement would be a severe understatement. Especially since we snagged an interview with the Saturday headliner and perhaps the greatest living mind in pop music, the one and only Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys. Incoming, we also have an interview with another act we’re desperate to catch on the weekend, goth-garage rockers turned shoegazers The Horrors. A whole heap of artists we love and have featured on the site over the years are also making an appearance. Including music legends such as Gaz Coombes and Suede. As well as some of our favourite local acts like Penelope Isles and The Island Club. Bands you should expect to be watching on much bigger stages in the next few years.

Back at the beginning of the month Wild Beasts released Boy King, perhaps their most ambitious album to date, and we went crazy for all things related to the Cumbrian quartet. Talking to them about the new album and catching them perform it during their two-night residence at The Old Market.

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Newsletter 6
No 6
Yes, yes we know. We’ve been banging on about it for weeks, but The Great Escape is really close now. In fact it’s just over a week until we’ll be catching some of the best up and coming music, all the while getting our cardio in by trying to make it from the Green Door Store to The Haunt in ten minutes flat.
 
But more than any of that, what we’re most pumped for is the Brightonsfinest Alternative Escape Showcase happening on Friday 20th at the beautiful One Church on Gloucester Place, where we’ll be putting on some of our favourite acts who we’ve been nattering about over on our website.
 
One of our co-headliners, indie-poppers The Magic Gang, surely need no introduction at this point. But we went down to catch them kicking off their headline tour down at Patterns anyway, just to make sure they were still up to scratch and they more than surpassed expectations.

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Newsletter 5No 4 March was as busy as ever in the office, but if feels like the calm before the storm compared to what we have coming up. The 16th April marks one of the biggest days of the year for music enthusiasts around the world, Record Store Day. This year we’re gifting you our own release, the very first volume in our compilation series: Brightonsfinest Volume 1. As an introduction to the series, we’ve put together a collection of songs and artists that have a close relationship with Brighton. Acts both old and new, whether they hail or reside here or had their big break in this city.

Alongside Record Store Day, the other date we’ve got circled with a big red marker on our calendar is The Great Escape festival in May. We’re determined to cover as much of the music as possible this year, so to start off we put together a list of some of the artists we’ll be down the front to catch this year.

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Newsletter 4No 4 The Brightonsfinest family got that little bit bigger over the last month or so. We welcomed new sub-editor Daniel White who we intend to keep fully occupied with all of our typos and two new foot soldier reviewers, Ben and Tom, to help us catch everything happening on the front line of the local scene. More extra hands means we’re now covering more than ever and we hope to bring you more and more quality content in the future.

As for February we went crazy for all things related to The Coral. Their new album Distance Between proved the band are still capable of evolution even after a decade of playing together. It inspired Tom to also write a talking points article on the band’s enduring cult status and why they deserve to be in the spotlight again after so many years. Unsurprisingly, we can’t wait for when they come to the Concorde 2 at the beginning of April.

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Well folks, that was 2015. How has it been for you? Over at Brightons Finest it’s been an eventful one, and November was no exception. We caught up with Benjamin Clementine merely a week before he went on to win the Mercury Prize and launching him up to being one of the most talked about artists of the year. We also had an interview with This Is the Kit and tried to get to the bottom of their mysterious folk-tronica.

But of course Christmas is just round the corner, so we thought we would help you out and come up with some music themed gifts for each of the 12 days of Christmas, either for your loved ones or just yourself!
 

We’ve been hard at it since February 2014 but recently we finally passed the mark on over 1,100 pages of original content. We will all be out tonight in-force to celebrate, here’s to the next thousand!
 
In the mean time what a month for music October has been! Returns to form and new discoveries were made, as we sieved through everything exciting happening in and around the Brighton area. Gothic Post-punkers Killing Joke's most recent effort Pylon marked their 14th album in a 37 year long career. But time hasn’t caused controversial frontman Jaz Coleman to mellow out in the slightest, which Jeff found out when he sat down with him for a particularly memorable interview, offering up some pretty unconventional, but always entertaining, opinions.
 

September may signal the end of summer but there’s still a reason to celebrate. With the festival season coming to a close the gig circuit kicks back into life and we’re flooded with shows you will be desperate to catch. There was even a chance for a last hurrah before arrival of autumn with Together The People festival’s first ever year at Preston Park, which proved to be a total smash.
 
It’s been a great month for albums from acts of all shapes and sizes. Office favourite’s Demob Happy released their debut which had Adam K totally smitten with its tight song-writing and massive grubby riffs. Having followed their progress for so long, we couldn’t help but feel a twinge of pride seeing them fulfil the potential we spotted from the very beginning and we’re all confident they’re a band destined for even bigger and better things. New Order blew Jeff away with Music Complete, probably their best album in over a decade. Chart dominators Disclosure eventually won Adam A over with their Midas touch, effortlessly producing perfect pop and big-room house bangers. We also sat down with Preston from the Ordinary Boys for a natter ahead of their gig on the 27th October at The Haunt.
 




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