Think of Brighton, and it’s unlikely that the seaside town’s multitude of live venues leap to mind over its pebbly beach, Victorian pier and assortment of fairground rides – which, though pleasant, are hardly world-beating.
But the city has a thriving live scene, and helping to ensure that the beach seems dull by comparison are promoters One Inch Badge: based in Brighton, but booking shows nationwide. They’ve spent the past six years putting on gigs featuring the likes of DOOM, Wu-Tang Clan and Kodaline.
Part of the challenge of making their gigs successful is trawling through hundreds of submissions from local bands, eager to support the (inter)national touring outfits coming to town. Subsequently, there are few people more qualified to put a ‘best of Brighton’ compilation out.
This two-CD third entry in the OIB ‘Sea Monsters’ series is a comprehensive collection of underground music, inclusive of all genres that may be termed alternative. From hip-hop to hardcore and instrumental rock to folk, there’s a lot covered here. The diversity makes this more useful as a directory of new bands ripe for discovery, rather than something to regularly listen to in its entirety.
It's slightly heavy on the instrumental rock, with six tracks on disc one lacking a singer, and the intense metal-cum-hardcore of Gnarwolves and Broker at the end of the first CD won't be everyone's cup of tea. But there are certainly groups here that are on the cusp of breaking into the mainstream.
Grunge-poppers Tigercub recently went on tour with Dinosaur Pile-Up, noise rockers TRAAMS have signed to the ever-reliable FatCat label, and the Radiohead (circa ‘Hail To the Thief’)-influenced Kins have been played by Zane Lowe on Radio 1.
Moreover, the cross-genre eight-piece Almighty Planets’ ‘Oh The Days’ (video below) is instantly grabbing as a fine amalgamation of blues, hip-hop and soul, and is a highlight of this compilation. The track epitomises Brighton's music scene: highly varied, full of talent, and rich in bands hungry for success.
Words: Cai Trefor
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