Penelope Isles is the brainchild of sister and brother Lily and Jack Wolter, who originally come from the Isle of Man, but they love the Brighton vibe so much that they are now based here.
They are building up quite a following in these here parts and are next set to support two sets of siblings, Romeo and Michele Stodart and Angela and Sean Gannon – Nothing like a bit of sibling rivalry. The Stodart’s and Gannon’s are of course better known as The Magic Numbers, who have sold over a million albums worldwide across their career and scored hit singles with ‘Forever Lost’, ‘Love Me Like You’, ‘Love’s A Game’ and ‘Take A Chance’.
They will all be appearing locally at The Old Market (based at 11a Upper Market Street
Hove, BN3 1AS) on Wednesday 16th May and you can find tickets here: http://theoldmarket.com/shows/the-magic-numbers/
The Penelope Isles sound mixes waves of ambient delays and fuzz guitar noise, sonic dynamics and melodic pop hooks entwined with girl-boy harmonies. Their self-produced home recordings portray an honest lo-fi approach in capturing their own music. I can vouch for this as I purchased their homemade ten track CD-R 10 track album at their recent Green Door Store concert.
I have to honestly state that their live set is captivating and at times hypnotic and currently I prefer them as a live outfit rather than their recorded output. On disc they are pleasant enough and can be compared to the likes of the sadly missed Broadcast. However, when they perform live as a 4-piece outfit, they truly come into their own. There’s more oomph! What do I mean by that I hear you ask? Well compare these videos of the same terrific song ‘Gnarebone’ and you will understand – Studio recording (4 mins 16 seconds) vs Live recording (8 mins 48 seconds).
I am rather hoping that my mind will be changed somewhat as the Penelope Isles are currently recording their debut LP at the Bella Union Studios here in Brighton. Where ex-Cocteau Twins label owner Simon Raymonde is very excited about the band as he believes that they are ‘Truly one of the most exciting young bands in the UK in the last 5 years.’
If you enjoy listening to the likes of the aforementioned The Magic Numbers, plus Deerhunter, Neil Young and Radiohead, then Penelope Isles should be a very viable addition to your music collection.
We at Brighton & Hove News posted on 28th January 2018 that the Penelope Isles were ‘Another band that we would like to revisit live’ and indeed we have as we really enjoyed their Green Door Store set. They were like a summer breeze of melodic shoegaze, with elements of The Cardigans throughout their decent ten song set. The highlights of which was the stunning ‘Cut Your Hair’ indeed ‘Gnarbone’, in fact they should have finished on it as a crescendo as opposed to placing it as the penultimate track. The setlist is below along with my purchased uniquely made album.
Visit the Penelope Isles website here: https://www.penelopeisles.com/
The Green Door Store gig had two support bands Night Vision and Lingua Nada.
Formed last year, the rad Night Vision were up first and they are a local indie two-piece guitar and drum outfit. The guys were hot off the back of their first premier headlining gig earlier in the week.
Their sound was loud and Dinosaur Jr-esque, verging on the grunge side of things and often felt like a jam session with limited vocals and several instrumentals. I personally felt that ‘The Forest Man’ was the highlight of their set. They are on Facebook, so you can check them out here: https://www.facebook.com/OfficialNightVision/
Next up were four German guys called Lingua Nada. If Brighton band SONS are your bag, then Lingua Nada should whet your appetite. They are very similar in sound but more quirkier. Visually they didn’t appear as doom merchants, but they sure sounded like it. Don’t get me wrong, these guys are proficient musicians, but their often wall of brash noise sent my colleague off elsewhere in search of a sandwich. Meanwhile, whilst I was holding the fort, I witnessed their combination of fast and slow within the same tracks, with tiny elements of Killing Joke. They were very fond of their foot pedals and even a funky number that they played, turned into a rock number – God my ears!
Listen (if you dare) to Lingua Nada here: https://linguanada.bandcamp.com/