Sunday, October 28, 2007

Asobi Seksu at The Barfly

Asobi Seksu - The Barfly, Brighton

It's been quite a while since I was last spotted inside The Gloucester nightclub (apart from the Brakes aftershow late last year) but the building has recently been given a makeover by the Barfly chain and is now building a solid reputation as a compact music venue. Friday night was my first taste of it as Dave, Andy, Bennett and myself rolled up to see Asobi Seksu, some good New York shoe-gazing music via the Japanese vocal talents of dinky singer Yuki. Before the headliners however we had two decent support bands (and it's not often I can say that) in the shape of Kowalski (very Bloc Party sounding) and Scanners (two girl, two boy combo with noisy guitars and keyboards) and I was also amused/nervous to spot my regular stalker in the crowd - quelle surprise. Asobi Seksu sounded good too, playing a selection of tracks from their current album Citrus and their first self-titled album. Singles Thursday and the forthcoming Strawberries in particular sounded excellent alive and amplified. As a venue The Barfly worked fine, although it's not a high stage so you really need to be stood at the front to get the best view. After the bands the place switched back into club mode, leading into a classic student night full of the best indie-dance tunes around... some of us stayed drinking and dancing there until 3am. A successful night then - a toast to The Barfly!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Kate Nash at the Concorde

Kate Nash - Brighton Concorde 2

Last night I was out seeing Kate Nash at the Concorde with Kelly, the third time I've seen her live this year, but the first since she really captured the public's imagination with her Foundations single and subsequent debut album, Made Of Bricks. Appearing in front of a decorative backdrop reflecting the homely artwork of her album, Kate seemed relaxed and at ease in front of her largest Brighton audience to date, but I guess she's used to large crowds now after a long Summer of festival appearances. It was good to see her in a venue with a decent PA system, her songs sounding better than ever properly amplified. The only downside about a bigger venue was the bigger proportion of idiots in the audience - sadly we were stood right in front of a gaggle of young girls who kept phoning their friends to tell them how good it was, rather than actually watching the show, grrrrrr! Anyway, Kate gave a perfunctory performance showcasing most of her album and a scattering of b sides, best of which were Foundations (predictably) and Birds in which she played along on guitar. The final encore of Pumpkin Soup provided a suitably rousing end to the set with Kate giving her keyboard a real workout. Undoubtedly this year's break out pop star, but quite how she adapts her act to further that popularity in the coming months will be interesting to watch.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Movie Haiku - Stardust

Dir: Matthew Vaughn

Cast: Charlie Cox, Claire Danes, Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert De Niro

Find the fallen star
witches and prince want her heart
love will conquer all

soulmining rating: ***

Monday, October 22, 2007

Movie Haiku - Elizabeth: The Golden Age

Dir: Shekhar Kapur

Cast: Cate Blanchett, Geoffrey Rush, Clive Owen, Samantha Morton

Still the virgin queen
Walter brings her potatoes
fight the Spanish fleet

soulmining rating: ***

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Adele at The Hope

Adele - The Hope, Brighton

One of the promos I picked up at the Record Fair last weekend was Hometown Glory, the debut single from 19 year old Adele. I love it - I've been playing it all week and think it's one of the strongest songs of the year. So, when I realised that she was playing in Brighton on Friday I decided that I had to try and get a ticket... A crafty bit of blagging later and I was on the guest list. There was a real air of expectation inside The Hope, with no more than about 100 people crammed into the tiny venue - the last time I was there for a gig was probably British Sea Power about five years ago! For her first headline tour she'd decided to play an acoustic set, so we were treated to nine songs, the latter few joined by her friend Ben on guitar. All the plaudits are well deserved, Adele possesses the most amazing soulful voice... all the more surprising when she talks between songs and comes across just like any other excitable teenager. She's both bubbly and down to earth with bags of confidence in her performance, and was really friendly when I caught up with her after the show. I'm sure she'll be a big star by this time next year, and her next tour in February - with a full band - will be one not to miss.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Movie Haiku - Resident Evil: Extinction

Dir: Russell Mulcahy

Cast: Milla Jovovich, Oded Fehr, Ali Larter, Iain Glen

Out in the desert
zombie crows attack the bus
team up with your clones

soulmining rating: **

Movie Haiku - The Invasion

Dir: Oliver Hirschbiegel

Cast: Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig, Jeremy Northam, Jeffrey Wright

If you fall asleep
aliens take your body
oh dear I dozed off

soulmining rating: *

Monday, October 15, 2007

Movie Haiku - Mr Brooks

Dir: Bruce A. Evans

Cast: Kevin Costner, Demi Moore, Dane Cook, William Hurt

Voice in head made flesh
he's addicted to killing
a family trait

soulmining rating: ***

Play It Cool in October

Another month when I haven't bought a lot of new music, so not so much to choose from, but next month ought to have a whole host of brand spanking new tunes as I've just bought a pile of stuff at the Record Fair yesterday... Anyway, here's the pick of my CDs for October:
  • The Mummers - Wonderland EP (Izumi)
  • Princess Superstar - Princess Superstar Is (Rapster)
  • Tegan And Sara - The Con (MapleMusic)
  • The Duke Spirit - Souvenirs (Loog)
  • Caribou - Melody Day (City Slang) single

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Movie Haiku - Michael Clayton

Dir: Tony Gilroy

Cast: George Clooney, Tom Wilkinson, Sydney Pollack, Tilda Swinton

Bad corporation
attorney reveals the truth
bomb inside his car

soulmining rating: ***

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Movie Haiku - Hot Rod

Dir: Akiva Schaffer

Cast: Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone, Isla Fisher, Ian McShane

He's rubbish at stunts
jumps buses to raise money
broadcast on AM

soulmining rating: ****

Movie Haiku - War

Dir: Philip G. Atwell

Cast: Jet Li, Jason Statham, John Lone, Devon Aoki

Rogue kills his partner
yakuzas versus triads
all speaking English

soulmining rating: ***

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

The Dandy Warhols at Camden Electric Ballroom

The Dandy Warhols - Camden Electric Ballroom

I always try and see The Dandy Warhols when they're playing in the UK so this was probably the eighth or ninth time that I've seen them. Sadly it wasn't their best, unlike last year's fantastic performance at the Islington Academy. I'm not quite sure why... maybe it was the venue (the Electric Ballroom is not the most atmospheric venue in London), maybe it was the crowd (too many w*nkers pushing past where I was stood) or maybe it was just over-familiarity. The gig started well enough, with Be In, We Used To Be Friends and Not If You Were The Last Junkie On Earth making a great triple-whammy to kick things off, but after that it all felt a bit lacklustre - excluding a rip-roaring Bohemian Like You, sounding better than ever - and the band never really got the audience revved up. We did get a handful of new songs which were a mixture of the Dandys two typical styles, ie. singalong choruses or long guitar-heavy wig-outs. Even so, after seventy-five minutes I'd moved to the back of the crowd, and after the finale of Boys Better I didn't even hang around to see if they'd do an encore. For once, underwhelming.

Monday, October 01, 2007

October Live

It's a busy time here in Brighton. The students are back in town and of course October sees the return of the annual Paramount Comedy Festival to our city. So let's get on with it...

02/10 - Not actually in Brighton this one, but it gets a mention anyway since I'm going - The Dandy Warhols are in London for a gig at Camden Electric Ballroom.

04/10 - Our first bit of comedy although not technically part of the Comedy festival - it's Billy Connolly at Brighton Centre for the first of two sold out shows.

05/10 - Always a safe bet for a good comedy show, Aussie Adam Hills is at the Corn Exchange.

06/10 - Another good bet for the Comedy Festival if you're not sure who to see are the Best Of The Fest nights which showcase five different comedians on the same bill. Tonight's show in the Dome is hosted by Russell Howard with Lucy Porter, Adam Hills, Jason Manford and Michael McIntyre making up the rest of the line up. The other two dates are the 12th (hosted by Frankie Boyle) and the 19th (hosted by Ed Byrne).

08/10 - The first of two FREE shows, we have Comedy Blue taking place in the Corn Exchange hosted by Jason Byrne which will be recorded for broadcast on the Paramount Channel.

10/10 - A quick return to Sussex for Richard Herring and his Oh F*** I'm 40! show coming to the Pavilion Theatre.

12/10 - Not long since she played at The Hope, Amy MacDonald is back in Brighton performing at the Pressure Point this time around.

13/10 - Lots of good comedy on tonight - my pick of the day would be Sean Lock at the Corn Exchange (he's also there on the 15th) but you've also got Frankie Boyle (doing the earlier show in the venue) and Ross Noble at the Dome for the first of two nights. If you'd prefer some music then Mercury-nominated Maps are playing at The Barfly.

14/10 - Bit of music tonight perhaps, with We Start Fires playing at Audio or The Mooney Suzuki playing at The Barfly.

15/10 - Fresh from her recent support slot with Aimee Mann, Jenny Owens Young comes to Brighton supporting Jim White at The Barfly. Meanwhile in the Comedy Festival there's Marcus Brigstocke performing in the Corn Exchange.

17/10 - More Comedy Festival stuff with the excellent Stewart Lee playing at the Corn Exchange.

20/10 - Jimmy Carr returns to the Dome for his annual visit, rounding off the Comedy Festival with two more shows.

22/10 - Yet another band joining the myriad of reformed groups this year, it's welcome back to Flowered Up who play at the Concorde. Not quite sure what to expect from them in 2007, but they've got to be worth a look just to hear them play Weekender. Alternatively there's Stephanie Dosen on at The Albert.

24/10 - Gig of the month (for me at least!) should be Kate Nash at the Concorde, hitting the big league since the success of Foundations and her debut album Made Of Bricks.

25/10 - A new one day festival comes to town - this one is called Brighton City Festival and showcases the best in dance music across 10 local venues. 2 Many DJs / Soulwax headline.

26/10 - Another one I'm looking forward to, Asobi Seksu play at The Barfly supporting the release of their excellent current album Citrus.

30/10 - Finally, this month's big gig at the Dome is latest indie-faves The Twang.