After weeks of waiting Drill Festival is upon us, four days of great music in some of Brighton’s best loved venues co-curated by Wire and local promoters One Inch Badge. Let the Brighton Noise writers recommend some local, national and international acts as well as have an educated guess at how busy the shows might be, though if you desperately want to see a band don’t rely on us, get there super early.
This installment looks at the Wednesday and the Thursday.
Wednesday 3rd December
Big Business @ Sticky Mike’s 22:00
Seattle 3-piece heavy rock band Big Business playing at Sticky Mike’s is probably the best idea we’ve ever come across. A rhythm section so monumentally heavy that it was poached by the Melvins is going to tear apart the low ceilinged boom-box of Sticky Mike’s. It’s going to be an unholy racket, about as fitting an opening night to any festival we can think of.
Will I get in?: Tough to call, by rights this should be rammed but will people be out before the Festival official has started? God Damn and The Hundredth Anniversary support, so why take the risk?
Thursday 4th December
Great Pagans @ Green Door Store 18:30
Local label Anti-Ghost Moon Ray has released some awesome music this year, culminating in the Gazelle Twin’s album Untold receiving Quietus’s album of the year recognition. Following hotly in that project’s footsteps are label-mates Great Pagans. They should appeal to fans of thinking man’s indie like Wild Beasts and have a Interpol-y post-punk tinge about them, though clearly the ghosts of Morrissey and Marr loom large over the project. All of this would be a bit underwhelming’ if it wasn’t so damn good; cracking melodies, interesting rhythms and a fantastic blurred edges to the overall sound. Another triumph for a brilliant label.
Will I Get in?: We suspect there should be room, people will still be eating their dinner at 6.30.
Sons of Noel and Adrian @ Audio 19:00
Local folk-rockers Sons of Noel and Adrian had nine members the last time they wowed us live, which could be a tight squeeze on Audio’s stage. Described as folk, we feel there is far more to them, recalling the experimental pop of These New Puritan’s Field of Reeds album, with a dose of Beefheartian chaos chucked in. The gorgeous harmonies and exotic instrumentation make them difficult to resist.
Will I Get In: Shouldn’t be a problem, though the venue will get busy later for These New Puritans.
Stuart Warwick @ Audio 20:00
Stuart Warwick’s been bloody brilliant and completely underrated in this city for years, be it in his current guise or his previous life as Jacob’s Stories. Similar to Antony Hegarty, he has a voice that takes your breath away as soon as you hear it, it has this beautiful, rich, unaffected charm to it. He’s developed as a songwriter from what were slightly dirgey beginnings to the rich tapestry of intelligent, deep pop songs contained on his Faux Discx released The Butcher’s Voice album.
Will I Get In: We’d imagine it will be getting busy, especially with These New Puritans on directly afterwards. Better safe than sorry.
Dog In The Snow @ The Prince Albert 20:30
Long time favourites of ours at Brighton Noise, Dog In The Snow bring their tentative experiments in pop music to the Albert. As pure and as odd as your dreams, Dog in the Snow also write great, catchy tunes. This year saw them release ‘Factory‘, a song of love’s pull and pain, which contained perhaps the most stirring chord change this side of Wagner’s Tristan motif. More recently, double A-side ‘Africa‘/’Concrete Wall‘ further explored their range, with an eerie lament backed by a song that is both open and oppressive. Highly recommended
Will I Get In?: The Albert is small but with the set clashing with Wire and being incompatible with people wanting to see The Wytches or These New Puritans, you should be alright.
Wire and Pink Flag Orchestra @ Sallis Benney Theatre 20:30
Responsible for three of the highest quality and progressive albums released by any band during the punk era, minimal but fiery debut Pink Flag as well as the incalculably influential Chairs Missing and 154, Wire fitted more in their their first period of activity – 1976 to 1980 – than most bands do in decades. Never ones to release music for the sake of it, the band have split twice from 81-85 and again 92-99, only to return reinvigorated and utterly essential. Most recent album Change Becomes Us is clearly one of the strongest of their career and this writer can attest that recent live performances have been a perfect combination of fire and beauty. One of the great British bands.
The band’s set will be followed by the Pink Flag Orchestra which will be a bewildering array of guitarists running through, Wire’s classic Pink Flag debut album at ear breaking volume.
Fast forward video to 2:20
Will I Get In?: This will definitely be a popular show, Wire sell out this size of venue ordinarily in Brighton, without the addition of the Pink Flag Orchestra. Get there well in advance or risk disappointment.
These New Puritans @ Audio 21:00
Combining an ascetic sophistication with a general grumpiness to somehow reach an epiphany has a long tradition in music, from Hildegard von Bingen through the Velvet Underground to Philip Glass. These New Puritans are among the latest in that line. Reproducing the huge orchestral scale of their recorded output might be a problem at this 260 capacity venue; this isn’t the Barbican so don’t expect Expanded. Maybe a nimbler version of TNP will bring the intimacies of their music to the fore and tone down the bombast.
Will I get In?: They are up against festival curators Wire but we’d imagine Audio will be full in advance of their stage time.