Yesterday, (Saturday 21st April) Brighton celebrated a day-long SPECTRUM Festival held at the Dome Concert Hall to celebrate independent local music on Record Store Day.
It was held in collaboration with the Green Door Store, QM Records and concert promoters Love Thy Neighbour. The aim was to celebrate the cream of Brighton’s music scene and allow the acts to get a wide coverage, with a majority being able to perform on the main stage of the legendary concert venue. A stage in its time that has been graced by legendary acts including ABBA, David Bowie, Pink Floyd, Genesis, Jimi Hendrix Experience, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Gary Numan, Status Quo, Electric Light Orchestra, Kraftwerk, Tyrannosaurus Rex and more recently Dua Lipa.
It was no coincidence that the SPECTRUM event was held on the same day as Record Store Day as that too is a celebration of vinyl releases from the widest ‘spectrum’ imaginable available to purchase from independent record shops.
The event at The Dome was hosting sixteen acts in total with a dozen of those gracing the main concert hall with the remaining four acoustic sets taking place in the Founders Room located opposite the bar. The full list of acts were:
Dark Horses | Normanton Street | Porridge Radio | Bobbie Johnson | Breathe Panel | Murmur | DITZ | Atlas Wynd | Strange Cages | Prince Vaseline | Abi Wade | One Eyed Jacks | Arif | Chloé Bodur | Garden Centre | BABII.
We at the Brighton & Hove News Music Team had a very busy day trying to take in as many events in Brighton as possible during the day, but we still managed to catch seven of the acts appearing at SPECTRUM.
The seven acts we witnessed were right across the ‘spectrum’ of music, with some to our taste and others errr well shall we just say that we will leave those to others to ‘enjoy’.
So in reverse order from last on stage to first on stage, we ‘enjoyed’:
Dark Horses: Taking their cues from an expansive array of sources, Dark Horses blend psychedelia, rock and electronica with moving image, monochrome lighting and photography. ‘A series of lullabies underpinned by synths and slow, droning bass lines befits the mythological symbolism and imagery that accompanies it.’ Dazed & Confused.
Their performance at The Dome was video recorded, so no doubt expect it to turn up in due course for us all to enjoy. Really enjoyed their set, like an expanded version of Moon Duo. Would like to see live again! Find out more here: https://www.darkhorsesmusic.com/
Breathe Panel: Between writing in a shared house basement and taking long walks on the South Downs, Breathe Panel have crafted their own sound based around the intuitive songwriting partnership of Josh Tyler and Nick Green. Recalling thoughtful days spent outdoors, Nick’s vocals wash across bright, shimmering guitars and intricate drum patterns to create something beautifully expansive yet highly introspective.
They combine writing about topics including anxiety, colours, people, memories and the cure of nature with capturing a sound that makes them feel good. Saw them at last years Great Escape and are even better now. More info here: http://breathepanel.com/
Chloé Bodur: Raised in a mixed heritage family, whilst immersed in vibrant London, Bodur credits her multi-cultural upbringing for her array of musical influences. Idolising the likes of Billie Holiday and Frank Sinatra, as well as gaining inspiration from artists such as Quincey Jones, D’Angelo and Frank Ocean, it is to no wonder that Bodur’s music effortlessly draws listeners into her own unique world and modern fusion. Intimate two person performance instead of all the band. Read the interview HERE and more info here https://www.facebook.com/chloebodurmusic/
Murmur: Murmur are a 4-piece grunge band born in East Staffordshire, currently based in Brighton. Reminiscent of 90’s grunge with dirty guitar and soaring vocals.
Garden Centre: All aboard for the ride along Brighton seafront to witness Garden Centre which is the project of Brighton based Max Levy. Definitely an eccentric and geeky character. He normally plays keyboard and electric guitar, but only guitar tonight. Max sings in an almost female-like shrill falsetto with the likes of which possibly can’t be matched on the planet without the use of helium. Having said that, he is strangely engaging with an anti-hero charisma. Clearly his songs are were well written and contain thought-provoking lyrics. Ivor Cutler for a new generation. Our second trip to see Garden Centre. Find out more here https://gardencentre.bandcamp.com/
Abi Wade: Abi Wade has literally just unleashed her debut album entitled ‘Beautifully Astray’. It cleverly explores the different elements of human nature through real and abstracted personas using cello, extraordinary samples, synths, orchestral arrangements and piano all brought together by Abi’s soft and distinct singing style.
Her setlist for SPECTRUM was ‘Hope’, ‘Gold Abyss’, ‘A Bit Like Love’, ‘Laws And Mankind’ and ‘Wanted’. Our third Abi Wade experience. Find out more here https://www.abiwade.com/
One Eyed Jacks: Seven musicians mixing soulful melodies, punchy rhythms and sexy harmonies to create music which is as distinctive as it is powerful. Their energetic live performances are guaranteed to have audiences grooving from the first track! With a presence bold enough to captivate crowds from a sweaty basement gig to a festival main stage, One Eyed Jacks are one of the hottest live bands in Brighton right now.
More info here https://www.facebook.com/OEJmusic/
The acts we missed this time around are shown below. But as we really like to promote local musical talent we will include them anyway so that you can check out all sixteen bands at your leisure:
Normanton Street: Based in Brighton, Normanton Street have quickly amassed a loyal following of fans around the world from musical prowess and a lot of hard work. In the last 18 months, they’ve played gigs and festivals across the UK, Europe and US as well as opening for high-profile artists like Mercury-nominated poet and former Brighton Festival guest director Kate Tempest. Read their interview HERE.
Bobbie Johnson: Brighton based MC, singer and producer extraordinaire, Conscious thought and social commentary showcased on her latest EP ‘You & I’. Over the past year, she has been supporting the likes of Rag N Bone Man, Roots Manuva, The Pharcyde and festival stages around the UK and Europe, she has gained the nickname of the ‘Rapping Adele’ increasing her fan base with every show she commands, promoting the new age voice of hip hop.
Porridge Radio: Selected by The Guardian as favourites to watch in 2018 and named ‘the greatest band in the world’ by Everett True on the strength of half a song, Porridge Radio began as Dana Margolin’s bedroom project. Now a Brighton-based 5-piece, they inelegantly knot together vicious, furious emotional outpour with beautifully melodic pop songs.
Atlas Wynd: A three piece garage rock band originally from the North East but now based in Brighton.
DITZ: ‘DITZ combine feedback noodling oddness, enormous hardcore inspired riffs and a rather sardonic vocal delivery that creates a sound that is so ferocious and tongue in cheek, that it is the perfect salve for those bored with po faced humourless groups.’ Overblown.
Strange Cages: ‘Brighton’s Strange Cages are one of the country’s most vivid live acts, a group whose psychotic take on rock ‘n’ roll turns the narrow streets of Brighton into desert hallucinogenics.’ CLASH.
Prince Vaseline: Lo-fi psychedelic sounds with infectious melodies and pop structures.
BABII: Babii (ex Us Baby Bear Bones) is one girl, using every limb available to make ethereal yet tough electronic music. Hidden behind many metaphors, numbers and secrets, are themes of temptation, venomous relationships and other cruelties of this world. Despite the serious tone of the lyrics, Babii still has an essence of playfulness when it comes the sounds and textures that decorate her songs. Read the interview HERE.
Arif: Not totally sure about this, but he might actually work at The Dome.
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