Posts Tagged ‘Audio



We are pleased to inform you that we’ve relocated our monthly parties to a new home in Brighton; the larger capacity and better established venue, Audio, with its fantastic view of Brighton’s pier and beach.  We launch here on Saturday 31st July and we’ve pulled out all the stops to book a selection of truly awesome bands and DJs to kick things off in style.

In a change to the original format we’ve now split the evening in two.  Firstly, we have our Recommender Live section, which showcases two or three cutting edge bands from around the world.  From 11pm we step in to the Recommender Late, which is more of club night, bringing an awesome headline DJ to town, alongside our resident Recommender DJs – consisting of Matt Allfrey, from Battery Powered DJs and Jonny Cassell, from the established Blah Blah Blah DJ crew.

Of course our familiar and totally brilliant photobooth will return, (see previous results of that here), and we will be giving away a free mixtape CD to the first 50 people through the door. The mixtape from our last show can be heard and downloaded below. It’s a little bit good…


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YOUNG EMPIRES – First featured on The Recommender here, we are pleased to be bringing this Canadian three piece to Brighton for the first time ever.  They arrive with a tidal wave of hype and hungry A&R men, alongside their original, percussive, indie pop magic.  The new Friendly Fires anyone?


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DAVID E. SUGAR – This will be a live set with a band behind this pioneering DJ.  Famous for doing extraordinary things with a Speak & Spell, you may well have come across this underground sensation on Kitsune compilations.  Most recently he’s signed to Rob Da Bank’s Sunday Best label, which will surely push this artist well and truly overground.


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THE PHENOMENAL HANDCLAP BAND – There’s honestly no superlatives or twisted adjectives that could describe just how good this eight piece New York band are.  They have absolutely every ingredient to make our party go off.  Impossibly entertaining disco, funk, pop and groove are all thumped out by the sexiest band alive today.  Prepare to be hypnotized!


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RECOMMENDER DJs – We bring to Audio our regular partner in beats, the Brighton hipster Matt Allfrey, from Battery Powered DJs, but standing alongside will now be the head of the Blah Blah Blah DJ crew, Jonny Cassell.  If you’ve been to any killer parties in the city of Brighton in recent years the chances are one of these two were involved.

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RORY PHILLIPS – Topping our club night is this extraordinary DJ.  He’s the protegé to none other than the DJ overlord, Erol Alkan, having had a residency at London’s Trash night and its modern version, Durr.   With a truckload of seemingly perfect remixes under his belt, expect a set of the unexpected – of course played using his signature phone set instead of a pair of headphones.  As Brighton’s going out bible, The Source Magazine, put it: “Rory Phillips should be fanfared into town like a god“.  Well, we are that very fanfare.


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Tickets are available online here, as well as in the Ape, Resident and Rounder Records stores. It’s only £8 advance, so grab yourself a ticket and get your best photobooth face ready…




Clock Opera recently supported Marina & The Diamonds on her nationwide tour, so when they rolled into Brighton The Recommender caught up with frontman, Guy Connelly, just before he went on stage at Audio.  We found him in an open mood, happy to discuss Clock Opera’s evolution into a full band, the benefits of blog coverage, their recording plans and the dangers of playing Black & Deckers live on stage!

Clock Opera (Photo: PR)

THE RECOMMENDER: Hello Guy, so let’s start at the beginning, where are you from?
GUY CONELLY: Near Bristol, a little dead end town called Nailsea.  It hasn’t got a lot to speak for itself really.  It’s next to Portishead but I’ve never thought of naming a band after Nailsea (like Portishead did).  That wouldn’t really work.  I live in London now.

TR: Like pretty much anybody who’s anything to do with this cool, new, rising electronic pop music.
GUY: I don’t know.  I don’t think that’s true.  That’s just people’s perception, there’s more people in London.  I’ve never really paid much attention to where you come from.  Someone might say Bristol has got a really good music scene and I haven’t got a clue.

TR: There’s different parts of the country that are respected for different things.  Bristol’s supposed to be good for Dubstep.
GUY: It only takes a few people to say that there’s a ‘scene’ somewhere, doesn’t it?

TR: That’s a good point, NME are always trying to find a new ‘scene’ to grab onto.
GUY: Everybody loves a scene… except bands.

TR: When did you start Clock Opera?
GUY: We played our first gig less than a year ago.  March, I think, and it’s come on really quickly.  We had a single out in November and people started picking us up unexpectedly quickly.  We’ve only played about fifteen gigs.  We’re really lucky to get on this Marina tour.  It’s our first tour so it’s pretty amazing that it’s sold out.  I mean, obviously they’re not here to see us.

TR: We’re here to see Clock Opera tonight as much as we’re here to see Marina.
GUY: Thanks, but we’re not kidding ourselves.  What I mean is, it’s wicked to come to somewhere you’ve never played together as a band and play to a room full of people.  That’s what you want, it’s amazing and it’s our first tour.

TR: What made Marina the right person to go on tour with, for you?
GUY: She just asked us really.  It’s not like we’re flooded with offers and it’s a great tour to go on.  I did a remix for her which she liked.

TR: Is that out yet?
GUY: No, people have been asking but we’re just waiting to see what’s going to happen with it.  Originally I did it as just a bit of fun that was going to go up on a blog and then her record label heard it and she heard it and thought ‘why not use it’ so I think it’s going to come out with her next single.  I guess it had something to do with us getting this tour.

TR: There’s a connection between the two acts through Neon Gold (the blog and record label).  That’s where we first heard about you.
GUY: Yeah, that’s how I got the remix, through Derek (one half of Neon Gold) and that’s kind of how it kicked off a bit.  We had a Guardian New band of the day (article) and Illegal Tender wrote about us on the same day and all of a sudden people started swarming a bit.

TR: So, was that all from Neon Gold?
GUY: No, Derek picked us up from that blog (Illegal Tender) – I think they’re mates – and then he wrote about us which I think helped us a lot.

TR: He seems to be massively on-the-money with everything he’s picking up at the moment.
GUY: Yeah, he’s a bit of a golden boy.  There’s two of them, Lizzy runs it with him.  It seems to be a surefire route to success or at least a lot of hype anyway which is pretty helpful.

TR: Have you got plans to release any singles/EPs/Albums in the near future?
GUY: We’re recording at the moment, we’ve been doing some mixing.  We mixed a couple of tracks at the end of last week.  We’ve got loads and loads of stuff, it’s just a matter of getting around to recording it properly.  We’ve got at least an album’s worth of stuff.  We’re recording four (songs) at the moment, we’re just kind of deciding really, doing a tour and seeing what offers come in.

TR: Are you a full band now?
GUY: Yeah, since we started playing.  I wrote a load of stuff before we got together but ever since then we’ve been a band.  I still write it to a certain stage and then we all develop it and play it so we’re definitely a band.  Just because I’m up here and they’re having a beer downstairs.  They’re happy for me to spout a load of bollocks in their absence.  People haven’t been writing enough about them.

TR: Everywhere else we’ve read about Clock Opera it ‘s been ‘Guy this’ and ‘Guy that’.
GUY: It’s a bit annoying because they (the band) put a lot in and they bring a huge amount and I want that to be represented.  I think it also says a lot about lazy journalism, somebody writes something about just me and it multiplies but the truth is, we’re a band.

TR: The first couple of tracks we heard, White Noise and Alouette, don’t sound like they’re being performed by a band.  They sound like there’s a lot of laptop jigging, looping and sampling. Did you write and record that before the band?
GUY: I write as I record so a lot of the samples are ones that I’ve made at the start and they never change.  Then we add live instruments as we go along and arrange it.  We add different bits and bobs but the samples are what I start with so they always stay the same really.  We recorded those a while back but this new lot (of songs) have got more of a live sound because we’ve played about with that a lot more.  For one song, the original demo is completely different because there’s a whole new percussion section, loads of live drums where previously it was all based on computer stuff.  I really like that combination, I think that’s really important.  I love electronic music and that’s partly what we do but it also needs a grounding in reality somehow.  Likewise with the samples, they’re all digitally manipulated but I want them to have some kind of human feel to them.  You can tell they were once a real instrument, they’re not just wires generating sound out of nothing, there was something playing at the beginning.  I think that’s what I like about being a band, it brings that out more.

TR: How does it work?  You’re in your house and you hit something and you think “I like that noise”.  Do you record it in your house or do you take it to your studio?
GUY: Well, my house is my studio.  I’ve used washing machines and drills.  I really want to get a power drill solo in one song.  It sounds amazing it’s just about matching the speed with the note you want to play.

TR: You’re actually going to do that live?
GUY: I want to, it’s the threat of danger that I quite like.  It takes you away from just playing instruments on stage and maybe makes the front row step back 6 inches.

TR: You could have a whole tool orchestra, like playing a saw with a violin bow.
GUY: Yeah, I like that, I really like that.  We’re pushed for time with setting up at the moment but when we get our own tour I think you’ll see some Black and Decker on show.

TR: You seem to have mastered that tricky blend of being experimental, whilst still having killer melodies and big choruses.  Do you think it’s still possible to be original and achieve commercial success without having to compromise either?  Is commercial success the main aim?
GUY: No, it’s not the main aim but yeah, you can definitely do it.  It depends what you define success as.  I define success as having enough people loving what you do that you can play a show and get to meet people who are into the same stuff.  The measure of success is what is necessary to propagate whatever else you want to do.  So of course you can do it, there’s loads of bands that have done it.  The majority don’t but if I didn’t believe it could be done then I wouldn’t be trying.

TR: What’s next for Clock Opera after the Marina tour?
GUY: We’ve got a few remixes coming out.  There’s the Marina one, I’ve done one for The Phenomenal Handclap Band which is coming out in March and I’m doing one for The Golden Filter at the moment which might be used.  I don’t know, I’m never sure.  I’m mainly doing that then we’re going to get back in the studio and get more songs done.  Hopefully we’ll have three or four more done by the end of next month and then fill up the album.  We’ve got a few more gigs booked but we’re not planning on playing too many gigs at the moment just so we have time to figure out more songs.

TR: We’d like you to come and play at one of our monthly parties.
GUY: We will play one of your nights, I promise.

TR: We’ll hold you to that. Finally, we always ask the bands we interview to become an honorary Recommender and suggest a band that we might not have heard of.
GUY: Well, there’s a band I really like in London called Magic & Fur. They’re really cool.

TR: Thanks, we’ll check them out, good luck with the show.

And what a show it was!  A remarkable performance, packed with many very strong tracks.  This is one talent that is bursting with creativity, ideas and ability.  We cannot wait for the promise of an album in due course, but one promise we will be pursuing is the offer he made to play The Recommender’s gigs.  Watch this space, but rest assured we will be proudly shouting it from the rooftops when we confirm the booking…
(MA & MB)



DelphicMirrors.jpg Delphic And Mirrors picture by odelaybradford


It feels like it’s been a little while since we did one of these ‘Gig Lists’, but quite frankly it’s expected, as December is often full with festive DJ nights, rather than quality bands.  So here we are with a new year, a new decade indeed, and the event horizon looks very bright.  There’s a massive amount of quality line ups through January and February in Brighton.  We begin with this special showcase, involving not only :Kinema: and Grovesnor, but also a DJ set from Alexis out of Hot Chip.  Although they don’t seem to be headlining, it should feel like local band :Kinema:’s night, as it’s set up to celebrate the launch of their fantastic Circles EP.  :Kinema: get our focus today as they are very much a band flying highest over Brighton, with a lot of blog buzz and online chatter suggesting they are leading the current pack of impossibly catchy, fearless, intelligent pop bands.  Singer Dom Ashton’s irresistable, George Michael-esque vocals float over the synth-led, clapped-beat bounce that feels like the soundtrack to your best ever fuck.  Following them will be Grovesnor, who take the shameless pop to Elton John levels, but don’t be fooled into thinking this is music for your mother, as Rob Smoughton creates smart, shiny music for the midnight hour.  Being backed by Paris’ refined Kitsune label adds even more kudos to an already bright star.  To top the night off he brings along a member from Rob’s former band, Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor, who’s helped to produce and remix his work, and seeing as 2010 could well belong to everybody’s favourite warm potato snacks this really couldn’t get any more t(r)opical.  This is going to feel like a thousand Saturday nights rolled into one.  Bring your best shoes, your best shirts and your best moves.  (MB)

ACTS:                     GROVESNOR, HOT CHIP (DJ SET), :KINEMA:
VENUE:                   Jam, Middle Street, Brighton.
COST:                     £8.50
DATE:                     Saturday 23rd January 2010
WEBSITES:            Grovesnor MyspaceHot Chip Myspace, :Kinema: Myspace

TRACK 2:               :KINEMA: – LETS GET TO IT

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Tickets for this gig are selling fast so act quick, or prepare to suck somebody’s cock, because this night is about as good as it gets!  The support slot tonight is filled perfectly by Brighton band Mirrors, who’s buzz during 2009 got as loud in teenagers ears as one of those Mosquito alarms that they hang in shopping malls to deter ‘Hoodies’.  2010 will be the year they fully take off, as they’ve secured their deserved major label signatures and prepare a mighty launch pad.  If the likes of genre-mates, Hurts, can make the top 5 shortlist on the BBC Sound of 2010 Poll, then Mirrors surely should have been on the longlist, but alas not.  The ingredients were all there, with their massive, melodic, atmospheric pop noir (or fantastically named ‘noir n b’), their major label backing, their online buzz and their tight, grey suits and ties.  Topping the bill are a band that seem to be relaunching Manchester, claiming to have finally found the electronic antidote to the Gallagher brothers, sharing more in common with Bloc Party or Klaxons than they do the ugly brashness of 90s ‘Madchester’.  Coming a deserved 3rd on the aforementioned BBC Poll brings with it the sort of hype that could even scare Anthony Volodkin.  They’re almost guaranteed to have a massive 2010, with their debut getting a release this same month and already attaining critical acclaim, being touted as the first great album of the ‘Tenties’.  The proposal is simple: if you want to see what the future might sound like, get to Audio.   (MB)

ACTS:                     DELPHIC,  MIRRORS
VENUE:                   Audio, Marine Parade, Brighton.
COST:                     £7.50
DATE:                     Tuesday 19th January 2010
WEBSITES:            Delphic MyspaceMirrors Myspace





February has been one set after another of interesting bands and DJ’sand this seems to continue to the month’s end and into March with these two fantastic, fresh artists. Both are from wildly different genres, showing what eclectic taste Brighton can happily cater for. Both are innovators breaking through so catch them now to see where their respective genres are being taken…

Never before have a band popped so neatlyinto my Indie comfort zone. If you like your Indie music with plenty of bounce, catchy hooks and Casio keys, then Sam and the boys will deliver a similar fate upon your comfort zones too. This Leeds and York 4-piece have been written about way back on The Recommender number 2and Sam was also interviewed for this blog back in this Q & A, so those hardened Recommenderfans will surely be familiar with this outfit by now. For those new to them you could do no better than catching their live set. Frontman Sam will sweat out as lively set of the finest, spikey, Indie riffs. Their sound is a mix up of  The Sunshine Underground and The Rapture, so full of the best pumping ceremony you could wish for in any energetic Indie band. Their debut album, Indecisions, was kindly sent to me prior to it’s final induction and release and even unpolished these guys sound great. The debut album will hope to come up for air in 2009, but no release date has been confirmed quite yet. I’ve been waiting for some time to see these guys in Brighton, so you will definitely catch me there. See you at the front…

ACT:                     THE HAIR
VENUE:                AUDIO, Marine Parade, Brighton
COST:                  £ tbc
DATE:                  5th March 2009
WEBSITE:            Myspace    

Self-declaring himself as the ‘Heavy Bass Champion’, this New York fella brings walls crashing down with his live set. Describing Luca Venzia’ssound as House music doesn’t quite do him justice. It definitely has it’s roots in House music, with the choice of vocal samples and the beats typically whipped up and up. It has this new twist on it that’s a sound all it’s own. A kind of warped, wobbling bassline and a scratchy snare beat. This new evolution is called Fidget House and it has many pretenders involved such as Herve and Fake Blood, but it seems the crown belongs to Drop The Lime. It’s an incessant beat that verges on the chaotic, with it’s constant booming and disturbed break downs, but for those people that like their dance full on and brimming with energy, then this night will be for you. This tiny, very personal venue will be rammed and the atmosphere in your face. I can’t imagine a venue that suits the music any better. In a month where Charles Darwin celebrated his 200th birthday, check out the evolution in House music right here…

ACT:                     DROP THE LIME
VENUE:                MICRO, next to the Digital club, beach front, Brighton
COST:                  £ 6.00
DATE:                   20th February 2009
WEBSITE:            Myspace

Things are building up and rumours are buzzing around town at the moment as we look ahead to all the Festivals this summer. The Gig List here on The Recommender will be putting together previews and highlights of all the best from this summers circuits, so head back here soon for plenty more great nights out…




We have a  real clash of cultures on here today as we confidently straddle two totally opposing genres. One is a mystical fantasy and the other is all about colourful bling. I guess you should expect this on a post about gigs in Brighton’s wide spread of tastes and shades. Both are awesome and refreshingly vibrant artists worthy of your well-crunched wages…

A magical, dreamlike beauty to behold, this Brighton-based songstress, (also known as Natasha Kahn), just has to be on anybody’s list of necessary experiences. It seems she dips into some sort of hidden fantasy world to pen her songs, returning to us clutching real creative, intricate gems. A clash of sounds and styles, she’s very striking and packed with stylish individuality, so although not quite like anyone else, she would sit comfortably along other strong female soloists from the creations of Tori Amos or the madness of Bjork. Although her heritage is Middle Eastern, this is effectively an adopted homecoming gig, so expect that ‘extra 10%’ to be revealed. Add to all this the fact that her much anticipated second album, Two Suns, is due out in April and follows in the footsteps of her excellent Mercury-nominated debut, Gold & Fur. Get your tickets and get on board for a sneaky peek into the secret world in which only she inhabits.

ACT:                  BAT FOR LASHES
VENUE:             THE CORN EXCHANGE, Brighton
COST:               £13.50
DATE:               Thursday 16th April 2009
WEBSITE:      Myspace

In total contrast to the above artist, Master Shortie brings a totally different flavour to our City. So long as the artist is good, no matter what the genre, they will deserve a posting on this blog. Get ready to duck (and weave) as this fella’s rat-a-tat vocals will fire across the floor at Audio. Always such an intimate venue, but not short on quality artists. They usually turn up at this venue just prior to their mushroom-cloud-laying subsequent blow up in the wider music scenes, which this next-gen Hip Hop lyricist  is sure to do through 2009. He’s multi-coloured and as loud in his musical assault as he is in his shirts. A real promising talent from the vibrant music scene south of London taaaan. We’ve already written up his Recommender post which we’ll be listing real soon, so for yet more love and an mp3 of his awesome tunes, be sure to head back here for more of Master Shortie when you’re ready… 

ACT:                 MASTER SHORTIE
VENUE:             AUDIO, Marine Parade, Brighton
COST:               £ tbc
DATE:               Friday 13th March 2009 (part of the Wonky Pop Tour)
WEBSITE:         Myspace

Rumours are bouncing around like Zebedee on a trampoline at the moment regarding the booked up bands due to appear on the outstanding Brighton festival circuit this summer. Be sure that The Recommender will be right on top of it once things firm up, so we’ll let you know for sure.





I’ve had a couple of tantalising gigs waft past my ears recently, so time to share in a generous-kind-of-Xmassy-sort-of-way. Tis the season to be jolly and all. Get involved and you won’t be disappointed. Do I ever let you down? OK, forget that shite performance by…um…no, thinking about it, I never let you down…



A new year begins and so another NME Tour rolls into town for it’s annual jaunt around the UK. This time hitting the Dome theatre with a larger capacity. Cue hordes of Brighton’s trendy teens en masse. They’re sticking to their trusted formula of four bands as the showcase. First on the bill will be the UK’s gorgeous answer to Ida Maria, Florence And The Machine with her troop of eclectic catchy Indie pop tuneage. Next up you should catch a band just about getting their fingertips over the edges of Radio One airplay, White Lies. With their New Romantic Rock, they’re placed too close on the shelf to The Bravery for me, but there you go . Third on the bill are the highlight of the night, Friendly Fires. Their self-titled album, released back in September, was a true highlight of 2008. When they hit their peaks they’re unreachable and live they give it an additional notch all together, especially watching both of the Ed’s (the frontman and the lead guitarist) hit it out. Lastly that night, a band that are NME darlings, (but then so was Pete Doherty and he’s a lost twat), the Scottish 4-piece Glasvegas. They ain’t bad and to be fair I’ve never seen them live, but for some reason their wave just didn’t wash upon my shore. The best thing to do in these circumstances is at the very least give them go. When have you ever taken my word as bible eh?

VENUE:                  BRIGHTON DOME, Brighton
COST:                    £ 16.00
DATE:                    Monday 16th February 2009 



Just as you thought you were over the painful fact that Christmas and New Year had buggered up your wallets and you were climbing slowly closer to you bank account resembling something of normality – think again. Money will surely be flying back out of your account once more because February holds as much good live talent on our South shores as any previous year. Of the wide selection of acts performing for our pleasure this month I emplore you to check out this excellent group. I first fell in love with them after hearing one of my favourite songs of the year, Devils Crayon. Two singers, Tom and Hayden, the former providing the Edwyn Collins styled vocals and the latter giving us the tender Falsetto, almost reminiscent of Alison Moyet in part! The 4-piece’s sound is a guitar-based clambering brilliant piece of pop, that nestles somewhere inbetween nobody else. You won’t quite be able to shelve them and that’s definitely part of their charm. Set up in the tiny venue, Audio, this will be a truly up close and personal encounter not to be missed.

ACT:                      WILD BEASTS
VENUE:                  AUDIO, Brighton
COST:                    £ 8.00
DATE:                    Friday 20th February 2009
WEBSITES:            Myspace


So that’s yet another reliably fantastic recommendation for a couple of nights out in the new year. Get over Xmas save up your pennies as best you can once more and get busy foot tapping…

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CLUB SMITH (Previously known as THE HAIR)


Mike Bradford (MB) - Creator and Contributor (UK)

Olivia Gable (OG) - Contributor (Austin, USA)

Matt Allfrey (MA) - Contributor (UK)

Natasha Ryan - Photographer (New York, USA)