The oldest surviving building in Brighton, the centrally located St Nicholas Church, provided the stunning backdrop to a wonderfully atmospheric evening of music last Friday night. Despite having lived locally all my life, it was the first time I had ever been in and it was certainly an evening to remember.
First up was Ellie Ford, a talented multi-instrumentalist and vocalist supported this evening by her able and interchangeable band. I have to confess to missing a couple of songs due to arriving slightly later than anticipated. Her unique brand of alternative folk encompassing classical and modern styles, soft sultry vocals and use of a range of instruments including a beautiful harp made for a most pleasant start to proceedings. After her set, it was revealed she had bravely played on with a nasty blister that had bled, a true professional. If you get a chance, check out her album ‘The Other Sun’.
For more information: https://www.elliefordmusic.co.uk/
Next up were Brighton-based Night House who are fronted by the charismatic promoter of this fabulous night Nick Williams (Back in the Woods Promotions). This was a very eclectic set which mixed orchestral arrangements using a range of instruments, electronic beats and distinctive, powerful and sometimes falsetto vocals. Their style is an unusual fusion of electronica, indie and folk – but it works! Think Radiohead but more expansive and with much more going on.
My favourite track from their set was the beautiful ‘The Roots in the Wires’ featuring Ellie Ford’s perfectly complementary vocals. This song carries a poignant and clear message about the refugee crisis. It is surreal, dreamy and melodic but it’s powerful lyrics evoke strong images in one’s mind of a crisis that just cannot be ignored no matter how far away it may seem.
To hear the unique sound of Night House, listen here: https://soundcloud.com/night_house
Headlining the night was the awesome AK Patterson, who first appeared on my radar when seeing her perform at the launch of Abi Wade’s brilliant new album ‘Beautifully Astray’ a few weeks back at The Nightingale Room located near Brighton Railway Station. When I heard she was playing again, I knew I had to get tonight in my diary.
The lights were dimmed right down for this one to create a lovely ambience. AK and her bandmates multi-instrumentalists Nat Reading on cello and Alfie Weedon were all bathed in a low blue hue until the last couple of songs.
If you took a mixture of Enya, the late Dolores O’Riordan and Bjork and fused them together, you might have something akin to the incredible vocals of AK. Their music, driven by dynamic passionate vocals is melancholic, haunting and emotional with strong gaelic overtones and it takes you on a veritable journey to another world.
It was hard to pick a stand-out track as I enjoyed every single one, but my recommendations would be to check out the current single, the almost hypnotic ‘Shadows’ and the stunning ‘Lady Grayling’.
This is a seriously talented and unique alt-folk trio and as a live act, they are also extremely polished. I would sum up their set in one word – immersive.
AK Patterson is next playing the Great Escape Festival at the Latest MusicBar on Saturday 19th May. If you are going, put this one on your list, it will be a ‘must-see’.
More information: https://akpatterson.com/
All three artists also have tracks on Spotify.
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