My last day started off with watching the football at a pub in Brighton. There was not alot that took my fancy in the afternoon. The one thing I did want to see was at 4pm and that was part of the Alternative Escape. So the reason I decided to watch the football in Brighton was based solely on the fact I would be nearer to the actual venue I wanted to go to. Once the football had finished it was then off to see my firsr band of the day. I planned to catch the set by EMA at Shipwright’s Yard and I was pleased to see the band before EMA hadn’t started their set yet. This band was ANR from Miami, Florida. This band consited of Michael-John Hancock and Brian Robertson. I actually really enjoyed the set. The style of music they played was Pop meets Rock. Now I really enjoyed EMA and Erika was my second and final discovery over these three days. I can definately see her going far in the music industry.
So after witnessing ANR for the first time it was then onto EMA. Now I was seeing this band in the evening so this was the perfect little taster to see if I liked the material. EMA is actually lead singer Erika Anderson’s initials. Erika is a South Dakota native and used to be 1 half of Gowns. Anderson is currently signed to Souterrain Transmissions which has also brought you the likes of Zola Jesus and CocoRosie. Now EMA is not just one person it is a band consisting of Erika and three other people. The style of music was Pop/ Grunge and I really loved the songs sung. The set started off with Marked. This song was both mellow and soft. Anderson’s vocals are unbearably hoarse and strained, you can feel her fragility and desperation, as she sings, “I wish that every time he touched me left a mark”. After the applause after the first song had finished there were problems with the amp as it was causing distortion. “My amp is hungover from partying for 3 days” Erika joked. Following on was the epic 7 minute song The Grey Ship. This was the debut single, described as “a nod to the Viking funeral ships of her ancestors”. This song began very mellow and soft, then gradually built up to something more intense during the second part of the song. This song showcased Erika’s stunning vocals perfectly. “Do you have any love for dancing here at all” Anderson said to the packed audience. It was then onto a take on the Danzig song Soul On Fire. Even though EMA are signed to Souterrain Records this song has just had a limited release on Hell Yes Records. The song itself is rather intense and the vocals were spot on. Next it was onto “Another brand of evil” and this song being Butterfly Knife. Actually this song is very dark and you can tell it from the first couple of lines in the song. The set closed with a energetic song. This is where the grunge part comes into it. Erika basically came into the crowd to sing some of this song. Still California oozed energy and this song was belted out.
The Grey Ship
Soul On Fire
This was the first time I had seen Sunderland band Frankie & The Heartstrings live and I was pleasently surprised as I really enjoyed it. The set played was a showcase of material from the debut album Hunger as well as a brand new song. It was really nice seeing them in such an intimate envioroment. Basically Shipwright’s Yard was a yard which was completely rammed to capacity. Now the stage was extremely tiny and very low off the ground. After the first song Photograph Frankie Francis then climbed the speakers. The set oozed energy and I really liked the pop vibe to the songs they sung. New song Berlin Calls ended a wonderful 6 song set. They basically wanted to see how the audience reacted to the song and if they liked it the song would feature on the 2nd album. The set went down a storm and I would most definitely see Frankie & The Heartstrings live again. Berlin Calls sounded amazing but it was the sombre Tender which was my favourite song of the afternoon.
My evening consisted of staying at Horatio’s which is located right at the end of the pier. I chose to queue around 6pm and this decision proved to be the right one. The first band of the night were Canadian band Braids. There has been a buzz about them and it was no surprise that the queue was huge by the time the doors opened. The set played was only 4 songs long it may sound short but it wasn’t. The songs were like Warpaint in the sense they are around 8 minutes each. The band have an EP out called Native Speaker and the majority of the set were songs taken from the EP. They started off with Lemonade which sounded perfect and gentle on the ear. The harmonies and instrumentation were wonderful. This then led into the eerie sounding Candy Spills. The last two songs were Glass Deers and the other I cannot recall its name. This upcoming Experimental Indie band consist of Raphaelle Standell-Preston, Katie Lee, Austin Tufts and Taylor Smith. Are they worth the hype?? I really think they are.
Second on the night was EMA. I had seen this band earlier on in the day so I was anticipating hearing them live again. The set they played was exactly the same as the afternoon performance. The set kicked off with Marked. This was a mellowing song which was soft at the same time. “Thanks for coming” Erika said to the audience before launching into the haunting and epic The Grey Ship. This was the debut single, described as “a nod to the Viking funeral ships of her ancestors”. You could feel the intensity of this song when the second half kicked in. The song itself showcased Erika’s stunning vocals perfectly. Following on was the bands on the Danzig song Soul On Fire. This release has just had a limited 400 copy release on Hell Yes Records. The song starts off slow but it got more intense when the song progressed. “Do you want to hear something quiet or something loud?” Anderson said before launching into Butterfly Knife. Earlier on in the day Erika implied this as being “Another brand of evil”. This song is brimming with darkness and the very first lines of the song are implying suicide (well slashing wrists). Once the song was over Erika tells the audience “I eat your Fish & Chips earlier and I can tell you not the best Fish & Chips on the coast“. The set closed with the energetic California. Again this is a dark song and it felt as if Anderson was restrained with a barrier dividing her and the audiece. So she then comes off stage and climbs on the barrier. For a moment I thought she was going to dive into the crowd.
The Grey Ship
Soul On Fire
The penultimate band on the night were 2:54. Hannah and Colette Thurlow are 2:54. This unsigned group have something extremely special and can go far. I first saw them support Warpaint at the Scala and was really impressed by the music they sung. Since then they have put out a vinyl which was On A Wire. The 7 song set consisted of the debut single and it showcased songs which should appear on the debut album. Seriously they are a band you need to check out because it is not that often when a band impresses me after only seeing them live once. I definately look forward to hearing the full album when it is released.
On A Wire
Indie Rock band Yuck originate from London. The band consists of Mariko Doi, Jonny Rogoff, Daniel Blumberg and Max Bloom. Now Daniel and Max formerly played in the band Cajun Dance Party. The band’s self-titled debut album was released through Mercury Records on 21 February 2011. The band had been nominated in the BBC Sound of 2011 longlist. Unfortunately they did not make the top 5 but still I was expecting something amazing from Yuck. Only 8 songs were played and these where all taken from the self titled album Yuck. The only song not taken from the debut album was Milkshake. Now I really enjoyed the set and everyone else shared my same opinion. The energy was full flowing and the vibe was electric.
OVERALL: My three day jaunt in Brighton was a real experience. Now the crowds in Brighton are alot different compared to your London crowds. In fact they are more relaxed. The fact there was no barriers for evening shows by The Joy Formidable and Anna Calvi is something you won’t see in the Capital. During the 3 days I saw 22 bands (that is including the couple of songs I heard Lucy Rose playing) and that is remakable considering I did not have to queue for any bands I wanted to see. Yes it would of been nice to go from venue to venue in the evening but that wasn’t something I wanted to do as I may of missed out on some bands I wanted to see. Over the 3 days I discovered 3 bands whom are amazing in their own right and these being Fredrika Stahl, EMA and Braids. All of those 3 bands will go far (infact Fredrika is already on her 3rd album). I must admit it did get a bit tiring commuting from London to Brighton but it was all worth it in the end.
Would I go again next year?? Yes I would.