Best Live Music in Brighton: May 2015
Brighton is so great for live music it’s sometimes near impossible to pick what to see! Gig experts Brighton Noise have made it a bit easier for our readers by picking their top live music in Brighton this May with everything from Punk to African music.
Mammothfest 2015 Warm-Up Show – Green Door Store
What could you possibly want more than this? As a warm-up to October’s multi-venue Brighton rock-out Mammothfest, eight metal/hardcore/doom and all that’s in-between bands at Green Door Store… for free! Core of Io/Sumer/Hell Puppets/My Legacy/Bleed Again/Fissure of Riddles/Fall Of The Archetype/The Dead Life. The Mammothfest organisers know their metal onions so there’s enough diversity to keep it fresh for each band. It kicks off at the slightly early time of four o’clock but that gives you more time to brush up on your much needed rock education. And it’s practically summer, which is what GDS is all about.
Date: Sat 2nd May
Time/Price: 5pm | Free
The Pop Group – The Haunt
It’s tempting to be uniformly cynical about the reformation circuit, however, The Pop Group are an exception; their first incarnation only lasted four years and only recently has the rest of the world caught up with them. They were post-punk before most had latched onto punk. Sharp guitar lines, funk bass and the intelligent yet anguished lyrics of Mark Stewart combined to leave a legacy picked up on by the likes of Public Image Limited and Sonic Youth. Hell, St. Vincent does a cover of ‘She Is Beyond Good and Evil.’ Comeback LP, ‘Citizen Zombie’ has been well received and the live shows since their reformation have retain the fire and fury of old.
Date: Tues 5th May
Time/Price: 7pm | £17.50
Mobb Deep – Concorde 2
It wouldn’t be unfair to call Mobb Deep’s Prodigy and Havoc pretty aggro guys. Coming out of the maelstrom of early nineties hardcore East Coast hip-hop. Good friends/mortal enemies of Nas, Biggie Smalls, The Wu-Tang (delete as appropriate) they certainly don’t do anything on a small scale. In recent years the duo have problems of internal squabbling and legal matters but they came back last year with a none-more-ambitious double album ‘The Infamous Mobb Deep’ and have another as yet unnamed release this year, and they are touring. Probably best catch them now before more calamity gets in the way.
Date: Wed 6th May
Time/Price: 19:30pm | £22.50
Squarepusher / Sherwood & Pinch – Brighton Dome
What is it that makes Squarepusher so fascinating? It could be his almost ADHD hunger for reinvention, his prodigal skills as a musician, the fact that he actually is a bit mental, or most likely, that he has sixteen albums that are largely brilliant. Now that all the fair-weather fans are bored of it we can get back on again with dubstep, particularly the arty bleak undanceable ‘post-dubstep’. If you were crazy enough to combine that will bona fide road-hardened dub skills you have something quite special surely? Well, that’s exactly what you get with Sherwood & Pinch.
Date: Fri 8th May
Time/Price: 8pm | £20.00
Skepta & Jme – Brighton Dome
Now this is an outlandish venture for The Dome. Far from the typical ballet, theatre, BBC comedians or your parents’ bands, it’s grime stalwarts Skepta & JME. Grime is at the strongest it’s ever been at the moment, both artistically and in popularity, developing an international acclaim. Does grime need to crack America? Maybe it would be better if it didn’t, grime was never too convincingly bling, no one has any money! What it does do perfectly is reflect UK urban culture and get a massive response at raves. Can the wholly sensible Dome carry that atmosphere? Of course!
Date: Sat 16th May
Time/Price: 7:30pm | £16.50 or £8 with Great Escape ticket.
Cheatahs / No Joy – Prince Albert
Two of the best underground shoegazers lock horns at the Albert. In one corner London’s Cheatahs – rough around the edges, slightly burly at times, but not lacking in all the wooze and haziness you want from a ‘gaze outfit. In the other corner No Joy – the more delicate end of the spectrum but no-less expansive. Veering into that most North American of places, ‘dream pop’, but then, they are from Montreal. It’s an intercontinental stand-off of polite noise-making and mountains of foot-pedals. In all fairness, there’s enough character from each band to make this night very special indeed.
Date: Wed 20th May
Time/Price: 7:00pm | £8.00
Fumaca Preta and Joey Fourrr – Hope and Ruin
Either acid has got significantly weaker or the definition of psychedelic music has been widened to the point of meaninglessness. A term alluding to hallucinatory experiences is used to tag straight-up 60′s and 70′s revivals. The most ‘far out’ thing about modern psych psych bands are their bills at Toni and Guy. Enter Fumaca Preta and their self-titled album, released last year. Its array of sounds covers garage-rock, tropicalia, Latin, psych, Afro-Caribbean and metal. It recalls the work of Tom Ze, a Brazilian multi-instrumentalist hooked into the same dadaist instincts of Captain Beefheart or Frank Zappa. They were outstanding at The Green Door Store last year.
Date: Thurs 21st May
Time/Price: 8pm | £8.00
We were gutted that post-punk, post-rock originalists Esben and The Witch, upped sticks from Brighton for Berlin at the start of 2015 so in order to compensate for some of the pain, we’ve booked them to play for us! Most recent album ‘A New Nature’ was one of the strongest of last year, winning our staff release of 2014 by a massive distance. They are also an amazing live act; expect tinges of Godspeed You Black Emperor, Swans, The Jesus Lizard and PJ Harvey. Support is in the form of Abi Wade’s off kilter dark-pop brilliance and krautrock psychonauts Merlin Tonto.
Date: Fri 22nd May
Time/Price: 8:00pm | £8.00
The Julie Ruin & Slum of Legs – Concorde 2
The Julie Ruin is the new(ish) project of feminist icon Kathleen Hanna. Hanna’s first band Bikini Kill were instrumental in the creation of riot-grrrl, which inspired a whole generation of female and queer alternative musicians in a previously masculine scene. She then formed the more accessible but no less seminal dance-punk outfit Le Tigre. Hanna disbanded Le Tigre prematurely, due to ill health, her battle with which is documented in the inspirational documentary ‘The Punk Singer.’ The Julie Ruin’s first album ‘Run Fast’ was highly enjoyable punky- new wave affair and the opportunity to see Hanna onstage is not one to pass up. A more appropriate support band than Slum of Legs is practically impossible.
Date: Sunday 24th May
Time/Price: 7:00pm | £12.00
Tinariwen – Concorde 2
Tinariwen are a Malian band that put to shame any claim of hardship on the part of Western musicians. A few years playing toilet venues in the back of a transit isn’t any comparison to a shared history that includes civil war, famine, continual displacement and government oppression. The band are Tuareg people, a nomadic tribe who reside mainly in Saharan North Central Africa, found in their greatest numbers in Niger, Mali and Algeria. Musically, they tread an accessible line between sounds similar to the Western blues-rock template as well as more authentic Northern African elements. Genuine legends of African music and not to be missed.
Date: Wensday 27th May
Time/Price: 7:30pm | £22.50
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*Header image by Jonathan Hyde and Adam Kola. Image has been cropped to fit.