Archive for March, 2009



Got one for the Brighton students here. It’s only fair, as a growing section of The Recommenders fans are based at the Sussex University. And so as the clocks finally turned forwards and we welcomed in our long-awaited Spring season, the months in which it sits continue to bring us a fantastic selection of great gigs, many of which will be found at the multitude of Brighton’s upcoming festivals. We have one of those festivals highlighted below, alongside an awesome gig sitting proudly all on its own…

This is a festival that’s been rolling on for many years now. It’s placed amongst a handful of other live performances and mini-festivals that crop up through the year on the Sussex University site, in what is a busy and brilliantly entertaining campus. This event showcases a very wide selection of genres, from Dance to Indie, even including it’s own arena solely for Dub music! It’s definitely a ‘something-for-everyone’ afternoon that reflects the complex diversity of the Brighton universities student population. Placing the acts across five stages in the heart of the campus itself seems a suitable location too, as it’s known to the students, is well connected and has plenty of space amongst the backdrop of the South Downs.  We list a handful of the acts below from our favourites on the listings to help guide you, but be aware that there a too many to fully list here, so get hunting out and your efforts will no doubt be rewarded.

COST:                    £ 16.50
DATE:                    Saturday 25th April 2009
WEBSITE:              Not available (see University publications)

Initially posted up on The Recommender 19, where we first embraced this wonderful band, you will be able to grab an mp3 of their tune, ‘Hear It In The Cans’. A superb track that showcases just why we love them here at The Recommender. Namely a cooler-than-cool Lo-Fi beat, covered over with a sharp chord of electronic sounds and a building vocal that overlaps, almost as if you’re listening to two tunes at once. It works so well and it is with this exciting, experimental gift that they are still our favourite band to emerge thus far in 2009. Backed with the trend-setting Parisian fashion/music label Kitsune, this London trio are sure to continue their success amongst the ‘scenester’ fraternity. They’ll be welcomed with open arms in Brighton. Miss them here and you will have another couple of chances as they re-visit Brighton for both The Great Escape and The Loop festivals. However, it’s at this more personal venue that we think their real treasure will be discovered.

ACT:                    WE HAVE BAND
VENUE:                THE FREEBUTT
COST:                  £ 6.00 advance  (£7 on door)
DATE:                   Friday 17th April 2009
WEBSITE:            Myspace

As a footnote, The Freebutt is a venue that seems to be cropping up more and more on our radars too, as it continues to book the brightest in cutting edge bands. It’s fast becoming the place where taking a punt on an unknown listing can really reward the inquisitive punter…



With the SXSW having showcased a billion bands, with just about every new band from both sides of the Atlantic, plus a few from further afield, the blogs are queueing up to jump on the following wave of hype. A decent showcase at the Austin party can bring a tsunami of interest, so we at The Recommender are poised to find plenty of great new acts in the coming weeks and months. In the mean time we’ve a trio of new bands listed below to slide under your radar… 

Since the prolific and massive impact of the band MGMT there was bound to be plenty of pretenders to the sound. It would be too easy to shelve Bear Hands under that same shelf and swiftly dismiss them, but with a little patience you will find that their inventive and creative music has plenty tucked away inside it that you will enjoy. The Brooklyn 4-piece chime out positively charged and tuneful Indie Pop. Delicately lo-fi and melodic, it’s  full of funky breaks and bass. We have totally fallen for them here at The Recommender. It’s catchy, yet rammed with quality and light lyrics. Songs build and burst into great choruses. Their live set is supposed to be great too, so no doubt they’ll return from the American SXSW Festival with plenty of chatter behind them. If MGMT are indeed their marker, then the blogs are sure to get whipped up. Thanks for the heads up has to go to Storme WG  for this…

Find them here:       Myspace

Hear them here:      BEAR HANDS – BAD BLOOD         (ysi)

This is the finest act to appear from ‘across the bridge’ in bloody ages! The Welsh 5-piece have been together since 2007 and are now starting to rightfully get some national notice. In no small part thanks to fellow Welshman Huw Stephens Radio One showgiving them a thumbs up. Still unsigned, although that’s bound to soon change, they are planning to commit to a debut release later on in 2009. Their sound is all lively guitar riffs and a whirlwind of drums. Packed full of bright energy with verses that often come with just the bass and beat, before crashing into a packed-out sound. They’re not re-inventing the rock wheel here, sounding perhaps uncomfortably close to The Automatic, (yuck!), but also bringing us that American influence to the UK sound in the same way Maximo Park or The Futureheads have done in recent years. There’s still lots to enjoy here, with a flick of some keys and an echoing vocal layer that brings plenty to the table. Sit up and take note.

Find them here:      Myspace

Hear them here:      CUBA CUBA – FOUNTAINS         (ysi)

With one EP, Jungle, already released they are due to complete their debut album in 2009. Any triumphant return from a showcase at the SXSW Festival, to add to their Ear Farm Blog tip for a ‘break through 2009’, and this 4-piece could be set for good things this year. With Austin being such a famous host to the biggest new music festival the world has to offer it should come as no surprise that a batch of bands should emerge from the Texan city. The Laughing are proudly one that cities exports. They bring us a magical jangle of sounds, with rattling tom toms and pitched guitars, amongst echoing vocals and strange tempo’s. They are original and experimental, or should that just be -mental. Either way there’s plenty of melody and choruses amongst the madness for you to fall for and that makes them worthy of a Recommender posting. See what you think…

Find them here:        Myspace

Hear them here:       THE LAUGHING – PARADISE         (ysi)

As the SXSW fallout continues to reach our nets at The Recommender we will be sure to lovingly point you in the right direction. Check back here real soon for loads more magical new sounds…



The South x Southwest Festival’s musical party burst into existence in Austin, Texas last week and the annual buzz machine has been super busy amongst our fellow bloggers. It’s a bright and enthusiastic time of year for those into new music, as the stories and tales from the multitude of performances seep through to us. If you’re there you can’t possibly get around to seeing everyone and if you’re not there you will inevitably be left to follow any blogged scraps as they appear.

REDLINE.jpg Red line picture by odelaybradford

This Canadian 4-piece from the Paper Bag record label are one album in already, but they’ve been recently wafted in front of our ears once again as we check through the bands being showcased at the 2009 SXSW Festival. First entering our consciousness in 2008, they are a fantastic Lo-Fi Indie outfit not to be dismissed. You get catchy, sharp riffing guitars placed alongside high-pitched, layered vocals, that dance over the delightful melodies. Perhaps the band and fellow Montreal residents, Wolf Parade, are a simplistic comparison with their obvious love of the alternative sound, as there’s also a little bit of Foals in their pacey guitaring. They are yet another sublime example of the quality of the Indie bands that are coming out of Montreal currently. Take a peek for yourselves and see if you’re as taken as we are.

Find them here:       Myspace

Hear them here:      WINTER GLOVES – FACTORIES       (ysi)

REDLINE.jpg Red line picture by odelaybradford

Appearing at the SXSW at a variety of parties/showcases this busy 5-piece are all set for a big 2009. As the songs leak and the buzz builds up they bring us a reputation that’s swelling with every track we hear. Their debut, Gorilla Manor, due for release very soon, looks set to be packed out with their brilliant, melodic, folk-pop brilliance. There is a melancholy feel to their sound, but that ignores the fact that their songs are full of hope and bright, uplifting emotions. Lyrics of a forlorn love that’s been lost are sung with a style that’s reminiscent of the Fleet Foxes choral harmonies. This will surely be noted at the SXSW festival, (following Fleet Foxes triumphant performance in 2008) and if the multitude of ‘best of 2008’ music magazine lists that had Fleet Foxes at their summit take note, then commercial success promises to be there too. This group from Silverlake, California, are totally capturing the zeitgeist that comes with having a West Coast, harmonic, percussion-led sound. If that’s your thing then Local Natives will soon be taking over your ipod…

Find them here:       Myspace

Hear them here:      LOCAL NATIVES – AIRPLANES       (ysi)

REDLINE.jpg Red line picture by odelaybradford

Whilst we really do love the Fleet Foxes and the above listed Local Natives and their quaint Californian sunny sounds, but we have to say that there’s something to be said for those bands that really plug themselves in and rock your goddamn socks right off. Bugger the bright and breezy LA coast, try Glasgow on for size and see how your sounds come out. That’s where the fantastically named We Were Promised Jetpacks come in. Also fresh from a SXSW set we hope and pray that the Americans see the sense and get behind these superb post-Punk Indie masters. Definitely our favourite band for a long time, with their high-reaching, climactic, punchy and melodic, racing tunes. Adam Thompson proudly sings with his Scottish accent prominent and it adds a brilliant edge in a way, well, that Fleet Foxes could never manage. They’re so good that we’ve taken the unusual step of listing not one, but two of their songs, so keen are we to encourage you to love them too. 

Find them here:      Myspace

                                     WE WERE PROMISED JETPACKS – QUIET LITTLE VOICES (Live @ SXSW) (ysi)

REDLINE.jpg Red line picture by odelaybradford

Expect plenty of ramblings about he SXSW Festival from The Recommender in the next few posts. We are unapologetic as we accept that it’s a major talking point in the calendar for any blog about new music and so feed on it like a starved animal.

Looking ahead beyond that though, we get Brighton’s own equivelant new music festival, The Great Escape, so expect many lovingly plucked findings to be dragged under your respected ears through April, May and beyond. See you back here real soon…



Photo by Rony Alwin

These guys would normally have got themselves a proper Recommender posting, but we reserve that main section for new bands with debut material on the whole. This “‘How Good Is This…” section is a smaller post generally kept for those things we find that we love so much we simply cannot resist informing you.

PHOENIX are a Parisian 4-piece who are definitely no set of debutantes, having produced 3 studio albums and one live album to date, but their latest work is so sublime and right on the button when it comes to our tastes that they fully deserve shouting about. Good friends with the late-90’s French megastars, Air and Daft Punk, as well as fashion/record label Kitsune, these guys come with a plumped-up pedigree like no other.

New album, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, has a rather terrible title, yet it conceals some real musical diamonds. Below I’ve listed lead single, ‘1901′, for you as a taster. Enjoy…

WEBSITES –,     Myspace,

PHOENIX –        1901      (ysi)

Some cities just keep churning out cool stuff and Paris has churned out plenty in it’s time. See you back here for a proper round up of what we’ve found more recently in The Recommender – Number 27…



Welcome back ya’ll. I’ve plucked out a handful of vibrant artists for your pallet’s pleasure. Don’t forget there’s always the comments section to leave your opinions. We’ll always check them out and try and respond accordingly. Don’t be shy now…

If Hip Hop twists with rapid-fire lyrical shots are your thing then this fella’s gonna be all you could need for 2009. Here at  The Recommender we will freely admit that we’re no experts on the Hip Hop scenes, generally focusing on the Indie and Dance genres, but on occasion Hip Hop throws up something that’s impossible to ignore. This is one of those moments. Packed with classic beats and breaks, the talented wordy assault plays over shiny synths. With lyrics being so key to any rap track it’s vital to have something interesting and fresh. Master Shortie, at just 19 years old, shows an outstanding ability to do just that. He reminds me of the brilliant Kano, with that same London accent and accelerated fast pace. On the odd occasion you can recognize a handful of words that will guarantee to make you smile, just a couple of seconds before your bootie starts to involuntarily move. These great lyrics, his smooth beats, not to mention his dazzlingly bright style and trimmed hairdo, make him a refreshing sound from the Grime scene which has dominated for some time in the UK Hip Hop circles.

Find him here:      Myspace

Hear him here:     MASTER SHORTIE – DEAD END      (ysi)

As is to be expected after being thrown around a tour with Bloc Party this fella’s been rightfully getting noticed all over the place. He blasts out tasty, wonky pop music. It’s superb electro riffing melted over some smart lyrics. His album isn’t out until April, but we’re sure to come across more and more in the run up. The tune we’ve listed below for him was pointed out to me by Bisouk on the excellent Trash Menagerie blog many moons ago. The track listed below is a remix completed by the excellent French DJ, Yuksek (see The Recommender 24), and it adds a wicked pitch shift over the vocals. It’s definitely the sort of pounding club floor-filler that if dropped at the right moment in the evening will surely be the lasting memory you recall in the hangover’s haze the following morning. A peak to any good night for sure. The original is also totally awesome though, so Tommy definitely deserves his own Recommender posting.

Find him here: Myspace

Hear him here:     TOMMY SPARKS – I’M A ROPE  (Yuksek Remix)    (ysi)

Thanks for the heads up on this artist must go to the music impresario Spider, from Colossus, (blogged about in The Recommender 13). He turned us in her direction and although we weren’t sure straight away we’ve now grown to love her. If The Recommender is a proverbial weatherman for all your new music needs then you will appreciate we occasionally get it wrong and this is one of those artists that hovers over the delete button, but thankfully she hangs in the mind long enough for us to slide into appreciation. Will she make it to a wider round of applause? That’s a big question here, but let me know in your usual obliging manor. She’s got a sweet soulful voice that’s part Roisin Murphy, part Charlene Spiterri, but instead of a crappy backing band in the name of Texas behind her, she sings over an echo of swirling broken beats and broody robotic delay. It’s mesmerising stuff and it’s definitely got enough melody to hold it’s own in a punch out.

Find her here:      Myspace

Hear her here       ANNIE GOLIATH –  DAMAGED VALENTINE      (ysi)

You couldn’t get a wider selection of sounds on one blog post now could you? It just goes to show that so long as the music is good it will warrant it’s posting on The Recommender. Blogs without a strict quality control button are plentiful around the blogosphere, and although we know that you can’t please all of the people all of the time, we positively try to make sure that you punters get something from every visit.

As a footnote, The Recommnder has been nominated for a UK Bloggie award, so go and vote for us here –

Hope to see you back here real soon for lots more lovely punts on the music scene.




We love our home city of Brighton, really we do. Here on The Recommender, we mostly cover music from any of the global scene’s around, but on occasion we have the chance to look no further than our pebble-covered shoreline to locate the buzz of exciting new music. And so it’s with a slightly different edition of The Gig List today that we proudly bring you…


That buzz is currently at ear-splitting levels with the recent announcement of the line ups and dates of our annual new music festival. Rightly touted as the UK’s version of the famous American SXSWFestival, with over 300 (mainly) new bands and acts. It runs over 3 days and at 34 venues across Brighton.  

We’ve perused the lengthy listings and taken it upon ourselves to point out what we think are the worthwhile highlights and we’ve been kind enough to include a little mp3 so you can hear them for yourselves. Aren’t we the helpful ones…


Kasabian.jpg kasabian picture by Mark18_2008   

An Experiment On A Bird In An Air Pump – Lights Out        (ysi)

The Big Pink – Too Young To Love       (ysi)

Fan Death – Veronica’s Veil       (ysi)

Casiokids – Fot I Hose       (ysi)

Dan Black – HYPNTZ       (ysi)

The Joy FormidableWhirring       (ysi)

KasabianClub Foot       (ysi)

Kissy Sell OutNightswimming(Kissy Remix)       (ysi)

Little BootsStuck On Repeat       (ysi)

MetronomyHeartbreaker (Kris Menace Remix)       (ysi)

Micachu & The ShapesThe Golden Phone        (ysi)

The MaccabeesNo Kind Words        (ysi)

Passion PitSleepyhead       (ysi)

The Temper TrapSweet Disposition       (ysi)

V V BrownCrying Blood       (ysi)

We Were Promised JetpacksShips With Holes Will Sink       (ysi)

:                  £ 39.50  (allows access to all venues, subject to capacity)
DATES:                 14th, 15th and 16th May 2009

This annual city-wide party is just what the doctor ordered after a long winter. A festival that is growing in stature year on year, it is now rightly claimed as Europe’s leading festival for new music. Could it be any better for a Brighton-based new music blog like ours. We love our city of Brighton, really we do…


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March 2009



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CLUB SMITH (Previously known as THE HAIR)


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