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Esben & The Witch
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Esben & The Witch
Sun 13th Oct 2013 @ Sticky Mike's Frog Bar

Headliner: Esben & The Witch
Event: Put It On presents
In support: Teeth Of The Sea
When: Sun 13th Oct 2013
Time: 7:30pm
Age restriction: 18+
Other info: Event page

Tickets £8.50adv / £10 door
Available from RESIDENT 01273 606312
WeGotTickets :

ESBEN AND THE WITCH released their second album for Matador (“Wash The Sins Not Only The Face”) earlier in the year to an increasingly receptive critical response, losing some of the denser and more impenetrable moments though still hardly falling into the category of “easy listening”, and while it’s all appeared quiet on the hometown front, the summer has been spent touring festivals across Europe with July seeing them perform a live film score to “La Atena” at the East End Film Festival.

TEETH OF THE SEA aren’t taking things lightly, and have a plan grander than most bands would dare to dream of, let alone put into action. Third album (“Master” on Rocket Records) was memorably described as “…a shattered mirrorball of a record fit to transform and transfix all that surrounds it in 2013 and beyond”. Great words, but to back it up with an album of deeply visceral multi-layered sonic bombardment was the real triumph.

THOUGHT FORMS are part of the ever intruiging coterie of Bristolian acts who find their way to Geoff Barrow’s Invada imprint (see also the likes of Beak>, Team Brick, Crippled Black Phoenix…), though despite also recently being invited to be part of Adrian Utley’s Guitar Orchestra, there’s a lot more muscle, more psych, more garage to their sound than you’d find with a simple Portishead patronage. New album “Ghost Mountain” out a mere few months back.

Sticky Mike's Frog Bar


9-12 Middle Street


T: 01273 749465



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Esben And The Witch

06/04/2013 By James McLarnon

Esben And The Witch have been a welcome and regular addition to the Brighton live scene since their formation in 2008, though it wasn’t until a year later that I’d catch them supporting Deerhunter at the Concorde, around the time of their excellent first EP 33. It was clear even at this early stage that there was something intriguing about their nightmarish, Portishead-indebted electronic chamber pop and I very much marked them down as one to watch. Fast forward to the present day and signed by the incredibly influential Matador Records, Esben have quietly gone about releasing two albums of intelligent, conceptual and downright experimental post-rock influenced electro-pop. To these ears, first record Violet Cries had the sound of a group desperate to showcase a wilfully experimental sound, meaning it missed as often as it hit. However, second album Wash the Sins Not Only the Face, released at the start of this year to less fanfare, contained a far more streamlined, song-based approach that made for an immediately rewarding listen without completely losing the sonic experimentation that made parts of the first record such a treat. It is in danger of being completely overlooked which would be a shame for those that have yet to be exposed to it’s glacial gorgeousness. In short, they’ve delivered on their immense promise.

Live they always make for an interesting spectacle, with Thomas Fisher’s guitar and Daniel Copeland’s sparse beats providing an XX like framework for livewire singer Rachel Davies to take centre stage with her soaring vocals and Florence like tendency to give a floor tom a good old whack. Not a band to stand still for long, I suspect that nearly a year on from the release of their second album we will be treated to some new compositions set for a future LP.

Teeth of The Sea are one of this country’s best kept secrets. London based, they have released two albums – 2009’s Orphaned By The Ocean and 2010’s magnificent Your Mercury – to near universal critical praise. On listening to both it’s not hard to work out what the critics see in them. They are a modern psychedelic rock band, mixing krautrock structures with prog guitars but, unlike many of their contemporaries, they aren’t afraid of a hook. Check out the future-kraut of ‘A.C.R.O.N.Y.M’ or the digestible Godspeed-esque ‘Red Soil’ for evidence.
Fresh from playing UK indie web bible The Quietus’s 5th birthday party with fellow hot tickets Factory Floor & East India Youth, the band will surely be treating us to a number of selections from their highly anticipated new record, due to be released in the same week as this show.

A really strong bill is rounded off by Thought Forms, who are a proper, old-fashioned, noisy guitar rock trio signed to Geoff Barrow of Portishead’s Invada label. Fans of Sonic Youth and My Bloody Valentine will find plenty to like about them.

So, there we have it, three signed, critically acclaimed, vastly different sounding bands for less than a tenner. What’s not to like?

Esben and the Witch + Guests

16/04/2013 By James McLarnon

Esben And The WitchThought Forms started the evening superbly. On record they came across as in thrall to the alt rock of Sonic Youth and My Bloody Valentine with the occasional foray into something doomier. This meant their decision to open with the drone rock epic ‘Burn Me Clean‘ was a pleasant surprise, starting as it does from a pool of primordial ooze to a twin guitar scree and powerful drum conclusion. The middle section of the set was where the earlier named influences were on show, equally as adept at fast or low tempo or with male or female vocal. It appears the only rule with a Thought Forms track is it has to be noisy. The final piece was a second droney, downtuned workout that brought about rapturous applause from an already well-populated Sticky Mike’s.

Teeth Of The SeaTeeth of the Sea should already be better known. They’ve released three great records, including recently released and best of the bunch Master and are one of the most confident, visually arresting and sonically adventurous live bands around. Their set started with new album opener ‘Reaper’, a two parter starting in minimal techno territory before latching onto a mountainous groove in a mid- song about-turn. ‘You’re Mercury‘ was all skulking and moody before the familiar trumpet motif takes us through to a frenzied post rock conclusion, that featured outstanding work from guitarist Jimmy Martin. When future-kraut classic ‘A.C.R.O.N.Y.M’ arrived there was a worrying amount of dancing going on for a Sunday night. Closer “Responder” which is an absolute monster on record somehow managed to get larger live. It was a jaw-dropping conclusion somehow managing to simultaneously channel Neu! and Throbbing Gristle. The dancing reached epidemic levels.

Truthfully, before the show I was probably the least enthused about seeing Esben & The Witch. Live, they’ve always come across as something of a dichotomy; their records demonstrate great technical skill and songwriting, offset by hesitant live performances. They’ve really upped their game. Rachel Davies, who has always possessed a voice many an established star would be extremely jealous of, drove the songs along on both guitar and bass. Her urgent manner, short dark hair and all black outfit all seemed tomatch the group’s focused attitude. Thought FormsThis new streamlining was also evident with the guys, Daniel Copeland gives the drums a ferocious beating whilst Thomas Fischer’s noisy, yet intricate and atmospheric guitar work was the star of the new set up. The songs, always a strong point, improved as a result of the new direct approach. The opening ‘Marching Song‘ flew by, losing none of its essential drama.

Recent album cut ‘Deathwaltz sounds like nobody else out there at the moment all loud soaring guitars, with intricate vocal melody, whilst closer “Smashed To Pieces In The Still of The Night is aptly both song of the evening and a drumming masterclass. They were a taught, post punk power trio, I kid you not.

Put It On

Put It On has existed since 2006, and books a wide range of underground independent sounds, ranging from the Balkanese folk of A Hawk And A Hacksaw to the Japanese psych of Acid Mothers Temple to the Brightonese talents of Blood Red Shoes and Esben And The Witch.

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category gallery Teeth Of The Sea @ Sticky Mike's 13/10/13

19/04/2013 By Andy Wright

category gallery Esben And The Witch @ Sticky Mike's 13/10/13

19/04/2013 By Andy Wright