Posts Tagged ‘Keep The Lights On



As the summertime folds in we get a couple of sublime indie acts visiting Brighton through September. Both are guaranteed to shine, with their excellent live shows and dedicated teen followers. As a footnote to our attendance to said gigs, can you please read our question at the bottom of this post…


This Massachusetts five piece are well known to The Recommender having played our town before. Widely recognised as a pioneering band of the College indie sound that’s flowed out of America in recent years, the (now) New York residents mix up wonderfully original electronic indie with charm and energy in equal parts. The Neon Gold record label, who are keenly followed by The Recommender, throw their umbrella over some truly special artists and we list below a cover of the excellent Passion Pit track, Sleepyhead, done by the Neon Gold-backed Ellie Goulding and Starsmith. Because we are so very lovely we’ve added a couple of other versions of the same tune done by Run Toto Run and Brighton’s very own The Mummers. We think you’ll agree that all versions sound different, bringing something new to the song with every attempt. Get down to  to catch Passion Pit blast out the original amongst many of the hits from their debut album, Manners, released back in May 2009.

ACT:                   PASSION PIT
VENUE:              Concorde 2, Marine Parade, Brighton
COST:                 £ 9.50
DATE:                 Monday 7th September 2009
WEBSITE:          Myspace
SLEEPYHEAD (Starsmith remix featuring Ellie Goulding) (ysi)
SLEEPYHEAD (cover by Run Toto Run) (ysi)
SLEEPYHEAD (cover by Mummers) (ysi)


The first time we saw this totally ace group of dark indie pop creatives was when they were supporting We Have Band. We hadn’t heard them before so it turned into one of those tidy surprises that reinforced the idea that it’s always worth getting to gigs early to catch the support acts. Wearing their famous half-masks, which are print-outs of their own faces, gives you the first clue that this Liverpool four-piece very much enjoy putting on a show. It’s their gorgeous music though, with it’s mixture of messages covering hope to despair and their smooth sounding drifts of basslines and keys that leave you rather breathless. Falsetto vocals that meet moody verses seem effortless and somewhat perfect, like you always knew them. They seem to be 2009’s best kept secret, although following  the release of their debut album, Wave If You’re Really There, the buzz is now accelerating around the UK at a gathering pace. This is one wave you won’t regret catching. We list below an mp3 and a couple of their videos to help you enjoy the ride.

ACT:                    WAVE MACHINES
VENUE:               Freebutt, 1 Phoenix Place, Brighton
COST:                  £ 6.50
DATE:                  Wednesday 30th September
WEBSITE:           Myspace
TRACK:                KEEP THE LIGHTS ON (ysi)

Once we have enough of a portfolio to show off, The Recommender is going to link it’s gig photographs to a Flickr site. We wanted to ask you lovely readers if you have any favourite sites, on Flickr or otherwise, of good and great band photographers you think would prove inspiring? Answer in the comments. Thanks.



Thanks to all those readers/subscribers from the USA for responding to our requests for a new contributor to this blog. The gates are still open as we review the efforts. No decisions will be made for a few weeks yet, so if you haven’t yet let us know your interest then email us at – Good luck…

REDLINE.jpg Red line picture by odelaybradford


Making waves are precisely what this Liverpool 4-piece are currently doing. The vertiable tsunami they travel with swiftly crashed into Brighton’s shoreline recently as they were playing a support slot for the excellent We Have Band. We went along to catch the show and what a shockingly fantastic set it turned out to be! So often the support acts are found playing to an empty room with little atmosphere and are uncomfortably positioned as fluffers to the main act. Well not in this case. They stood tall and had us mesmerised from the very start. Having met up with them afterwards, mainly to thank them and to extol just what an impression they had made on us, we can confirm they are friendly, enjoyable fellas in person too. Their sound is totally addictive. On track ‘Keep The Lights On‘ you will find them switching from verses sung with the hope removed “Leave and lead yourself astray, tell yourself that everythings OK“, to choruses that are sung with a beautiful higher pitch and a shift in optimism “If I get up I’ll hold your hand“. It has the chopping changes that you would locate in a Beck tune, the breezy, under-your-skin cinematic quality of Roxy Music, and a little Lo-Fi Funk that Prince would embrace! This is one wave you definitely have to catch…

Find them here:         Myspace

Hear them here :       WAVE MACHINES – KEEP THE LIGHTS ON (ysi)

REDLINE.jpg Red line picture by odelaybradford


This London 4-piece come packaged with an awesome energy, but be warned it’s like being lured into a dark alley by Fagan, but should you fall for the spell you will find that you are well rewarded. Described as Alternative-Garage-Folk goes part of the way when explaining their sound, but they really aren’t quite like anything you already know. If you ever wondered what Jack White from The White Stripes would be like if he joined The Pogues then check them out. The real star of the show here is frontman James, who bounces about their live shows like a coiled spring that’s waited one hundred years to be released. He is a talented guitarist and stylish wordsmith, story telling each song in a gypsy dance. It’s a little Gogol Bordello to watch, without the unnecessary madness and terrible clothing. There’s harmonicas, rumbling drums, a chanting rhythmic bass and even a Kazzoo on tracks like ‘The Ransom’. Now that’s brave. It all works though and is a loose and refreshingly wild construction, which perhaps becomes more loveable when seen live. We also list a video of frontman James playing a fun, impromptu song of theirs in a room in their rehearsal flat, with additional vocals from the excellent frontwoman, Tigs, from the band Chew Lips (who we blogged about previously here). Enjoy.

Find them here:       Myspace

Here them here:      THE BRUTE CHORUS – THE CUCKOO AND THE STOLEN HEART (ft TIGS)       (ysi)

REDLINE.jpg Red line picture by odelaybradford


If you find this Brooklyn pair not to your liking then you simply aren’t in touch with your inner-child anymore. They’re now two albums in, following their second release, ‘Grand‘, back in January 2009. They manage to produce a simple, foot-tapping sound that teens across the globe have subsequently embraced en masse. It’s lively and packed full of fun. Kim Schifino rattles the drums, whilst Matt Johnson leads the vocals and bouncing keyboards. It’s a little wild and untamed, but all the more amicable for it’s loose, catchy goodness that never takes itself too seriously.  Originally releasing their debut material through the super-cool Iheartcomix label, owned by none other than Franki Chan, they are now located on the Fader label. Their DIY approach to their music and the wide use of social networking sites, makes them a true band for the Noughties and all the more approachable for it. We are also linking their amazing, but totally shocking video (in more ways than one – you have to watch it right to the very end!) to the tune ‘Lessons Learned‘.

Find them here:        Myspace

Hear them here:       MATT & KIM – LESSONS LEARNED (ysi)

REDLINE.jpg Red line picture by odelaybradford

So that’s it for another edition. A right mix of sounds and tastes as always. Let us know any thoughts, reactions, messages or useful links in the comments section.

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