As Brighton’s Together The People festival gets nearer, I’ve been sifting through the many artists on the bill to pick out my personal must-sees. It’ll be a packed weekend with lots to do for kids, parents and everyone else – but here’s what THIS dad will be going out of his way to catch…
Brian Wilson performing Pet Sounds
No less than one of the foremost geniuses of rock and pop music –backed by an extraordinary band – performing what is often cited by critics as the greatest album ever. I caught this show at the London Palladium earlier this year, and having done so only makes me even more excited about seeing it again. All the classic Beach Boys hits will be present and correct, but Pet Sounds itself is performed with note perfect precision, with all the joy and emotion of the record brought to life and amplified. With original Beach Boy Al Jardine, and Blondie Chapman also present, this is the actual, bona fide stuff of legend and a show you’ll never forget. It really doesn’t get better than this.
I first saw Suede play a support slot in 1992 – they were utterly beguiling with songs to die for, a confrontational attitude and an androgynous swagger that channelled the best of Bowie and The Smiths. I was instantly as hooked as the music press of the time. Nowadays revered as indie statesmen, their journey has been a long and compelling one, with this year’s brilliant ‘Night Thoughts’ album and accompanying live shows garnering some of the best reviews of their career. Get as near the front as you can and expect an exhilarating set of classics old and new to bring the weekend to a perfect close.
Peter Hook & The Light
Founder member of Joy Division and New Order, as well as an authentic post-punk / indie icon (with one of the most original and recognisable bass playing styles in rock) – Peter Hook has assembled a group of musicians to assist him in performing the seminal classics of his former bands with all the rousing energy you could possibly need. Unmissable stuff.
As we head towards the end of summer it’s important to hang on to those relaxed sunny afternoons and enjoy them as much as we can. So it makes sense to do so in the company of this genre hopping Melbourne band whose bewitching jazzy, neo soul will sooth your mind while engaging your brain.
Keeping the desert blues of Northern Mali alive after being forced into exile, this is a band with a compelling back story. They also have a compelling sound – where American blues meets more traditional West African music – charged through with the power of electric guitars. A chance to catch something truly unique, they have an energy and vibrancy that will win over the uninitiated and delight their existing fans.
Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
A truly inspired bit of billing here – bridging the transition from Saturday afternoon’s relatively laid-back feel to the classic pop of headliner Brian Wilson, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats are placed perfectly to fire up the spirit, get you up on your feet and bring a whole lotta energy and positivity to proceedings for the evening ahead. Blending soul, rock and folk with amps cranked up, spirits high and emotive vocals raw, this will lift you up wherever you’re at.
Two albums into his solo career, Gaz Coombes has not so much successfully carried on after the split of the legendary Supergrass, as forged way ahead – with 2015’s ‘Matador’ arguably his finest work to date. Maintaining an ear for tune but embracing a wider scope and darker feel, his solo output packs a heavier punch than many would expect, and is all the more satisfying for it.
A band whose dark, at times psychedelic sound has developed, morphed and changed over their four albums, but who have throughout retained a unique identity and a reputation as a thrilling live act. Their performance at Together The People is a rare one in recent times, and with two years passing since the release of their most recent album ‘Luminous’ it may well provide clues for their fanbase as to where their music is heading next.