Category: News

Pete Fij/Terry Bickers – 22.07.17 – In review

Not even the threat of heavy rain could dampen the spirits of Worthing’s music lovers who ventured out to St Paul’s for yet another wonderful evening of beautiful, melancholic songs delivered with passion and skill by a duo who have realised that sometimes it is the spaces in a song that really count.

In an era of talent show tat and quick buck mania, there are still artists who have the chops and the ability to engage with your emotions and lift your spirits.

Tell your friends, St Paul’s is fast becoming a leading venue for such talented songwriters and performers who appreciate the intimate nature of the room and feed on the interaction with the audience.

There was a fantastic turn out to see, former House of Love guitarist Terry Bickers and Adorable vocalist/guitarist Pete Fij debut songs from their new album “We are Millionaires“, in fact within 15 minutes of the doors opening the room was almost full

On the dot of 8pm, Bradley the Busker took the stage, dressed as if he had just strolled off the beach, he opened with the melodic “Headstrong” which reminded me of early Stephen Stills, with a west coast swagger and a killer hook. Bradley is an amazing guitarist and it is hard to believe that is just over a year since he won the Sussex open Mic competition, he writes thoughtful, intelligent songs with a hint of James Taylor and the chordal structure of Susan Vega. Engaging the audience across a half hour set with songs such as “Sisters and Brothers” and an incredible closing instrumental with slaps, harmonics, hammer-on neck runs and doubling melodies, are you listening Ed Sheeran, you don’t need a loop pedal when you have this ability.

After a quick break the lights dimmed and the expectant murmur from the now full room abated, Terry and Pete took the stage, Terry in a Roy Rogers Shirt and Pete in “sopranos chic” with black shirt and cream leather jacket.

Given the acoustic nature of the set the duo chose to perform sitting down, which had the effect of drawing the audience in even closer. Opening with the first track from the new album ” Let’s get lost together” followed by ” Loves going to get you”, the mellow baritone of Pete’s voice, chimed with the sparse and considered runs of Terry’s sublime guitar playing, both haunting and thrilling at the same time.

Engaging with the audience throughout the gig, Pete let slip that in the list of musicians bucket list achievements, he had accepted that he will probably never appear on Top of the Pops (for two good reasons) but that he would love to write a Bond theme, introducing the Barryesque “If the World is all we have”, Pete confessed, that he had once submitted this song as a potential Eurovision entry losing out to Andrew LLoyd Webber. This aching song of love and loss is at once fresh and yet deeply rooted in the 1960’s and conjures up images of the original “Randall and Hopkirk” or “Tales of the unexpected”.

A quick dip into the duos previous album Broken Heart Surgery with the Richard Hawley like “Sound of Love” and the ironic list song “Queen of Stuff” with the great line ” It’s surprising to see how much of a life you can fit, into the back of a van.. with man…” Then back to the new album for the bewitching “Waking up” with a hypnotic guitar line that George Harrison would have been proud to claim and the end of love self-delusion of “Over you”

All through the set, Pete’s haunting vocals are beautifully underscored by the restrain and control of Terry’s guitar, always just on the edge of kicking loose, building the tension, so that when he does let fly it soars across the audience in a spiraling release.

Introducing ” You are the one”, Pete tells us how he met Terry standing in Greggs ” one day there will be a blue plaque there”, and the rest is history as they say.

Just before the closer, “We are Millionaires” the duo tell us that ” Brighton will have to go some to match this Gig” One last thank you and they leave the stage to resounding applause.

After a very short absence from the stage ” they return Pete laughing “It’s odd, encores, you don’t know how long to leave it” and the pair bring the night to an end with a great version of “I fought the Law”

St Paul’s is such a great venue, intimate, welcoming with fantastic sound and a really good bar, if you haven’t been there yet, then why not.

Catch Pete and Terry on their tour and why not have a listen to the new album ” We are Millionaires”, it’s well worth the listen: youtube.com/watch?v=uUNRVXezyOI

 

 

 

 

Folk in Adur & Folk at St. Paul’s

We at Folk in Adur band are not what you’d call a traditional folkie mob.  However, there’s absolutely no denying the huge influence Sussex has had on the folk tradition.
The obvious reference is to the Copper family, those stalwarts of the East Sussex scene who have been so influential to so many with their close harmony, trad style and their complete devotion to cataloguing and performing a wealth of folk music.
But did you know that we are rich in the heritage of Mummery, folk dance and Morris as well as having claim to such artists as Dolly and Shirley Collins?
Famous song collectors such as WP Merrick and Lucy Broadwood as well as Percy Grainger have sourced material here too.
That’s not to mention the less traditional wing of folkies such as The Levellers and John Martyn, who lived in Sussex during his very formative years and whilst recording his most famous albums.  His track Small Hours begins with sounds from his garden in his Sussex home at daybreak.
LL Lloyd, one of the major players in the second folk revival also heard this music for the first time in Sussex at the age of five and went on to be figurative in its development.
George Butterworth produced ‘Folk Songs of Sussex’ too.
And to be fair this is just the tip of a very large iceberg.  There’s currently a thriving scene in the local area, some modern, some traditional.
We at FIA mix up the trad with the modern; the Americana with the British; the Blues with our own compositions.

If you’d like to know more come and see us at St Pauls supporting the wonderful Tinderbox on July 7th and also on 29th July from 12-2pm at a lunchtime concert

5 questions with Dinara Klinton – Interview Concert this Sunday 4th June

This is what we call an Interview Concert. Have you ever done anything like this anywhere before?

“Not exactly. I did an interview and played some music for half an hour on BBC Radio and I was asked some questions I wasn’t prepared for! That was a bit tough. But it will be fine this time!”

You played here in the 2015 Sussex International Piano Competition, two rounds then the Concertos Final when you played the big Tchaikovsky No 1. Then last autumn again with the Worthing Symphony Orchestra in a concert with Liszt’s Totentanz and Rachmaninov’s Paganini Rhapsody. You sound well prepared to come to Worthing again!

“Yes, I love it there. In Sussex I’ve also played at the Hastings competition and been down to Chichester University several years ago. With Worthing I very much like the sea – no matter how cold it is!”

You chose the Beethoven ‘Moonlight’ Sonata for this concert. Why?

“Having played it in February at St Martin’s-In-The-Fields on St Valentine’s Day, I thought it would be a very good choice. It balances the Medtner piece I’m playing, Sonata Romantica. I’ve played this Medtner many times and nobody has ever told me they regretted I included it. Audiences here don’t usually know Medtner or the Sonata Romantica, but they find it unexpectedly nice music.”

Now, you’re opening with JS Bach. For a pianist, it can’t be easy to do that . . .

“No, it’s very difficult to play Bach first. You have to be in tremendous control. But sometimes Bach is chosen to start off an historical journey of music through the concert. This isn’t a usual Bach Prelude and Fugue that I’m playing because it’s an organ piece by him transferred to the piano by Busoni about 180 years later. So you hear Bach’s language but with some of Busoni’s notes from a later age, which suggests to you something else.”

Your Liszt CD received exciting reviews last year. How are things developing on your recording front?

The CD recording is appearing on the radio and also in France, which means it’s becoming increasingly famous abroad now. I have recorded for release later this month Chopin’s second Sonata and some other small pieces of his.

That sounds like something we might persuade you to play as an encore on Sunday. See you then – Tickets are still available

Pete Fij / Terry Bickers

Tickets on sale now

For those of us who still use a calendar, its time to take a big red pen and mark Saturday 22nd July as an event not to be missed.

St Paul’s Worthing is proud to host singer songwriters Pete Fij and Terry Bickers for an evening of stunningly beautiful Acoustic/Alt rock.

Worthing based auteur Pete Fij and Rye based Terry Bickers, the man the NME once called “a guitar god”, have had individually illustrious careers. Once feted and courted by the coolest record labels including Creation, One little Indian, Rough trade, and Cherry Red.

Informed by their life experiences and their well documented travails in the music business, their bittersweet songs have melodies to die for and an almost cinematic emotional resonance, well suited to St Paul’s intimate setting where the band and the audience can see the whites of each others eyes.

Pete Fij who hails from Coventry was a founder member of Adorable, who along with The Verve and Suede became the darlings of what the music press dubbed “New Glam”. Their debut single “Sunshine Smile” was an NME single of the week and successful tours of the USA, Japan and Australia followed.

After the break up of Adorable, Pete formed Polak with his brother Krzys and their album “Swansongs” led the independent on Sunday to call Pete “the most under-rated lyricist since Jarvis Cocker put pen to paper.”

A film studies graduate Fij is also the director of the ‘On Location Film Festival’ in Worthing, which shows films in site-specific locations relevant to the film. He directed the Pete Fij / Terry Bickers’ videos for “Out of Time”, “Downsizing” and “Betty Ford” which was filmed right here on Worthing beach.

What can I say about Terry Bickers that hasn’t already been said, as a member of The House of Love, his psychedelic guitar style inspired a generation, and his volatile relationship with Guy Chadwick led them to be compared to Morrissey/Marr. House of Love set out to fuse the intensity of the Jesus and Mary Chain with the sonics of The Velvet Underground, all wrapped in serious pop sensibilities. The weekly music press adored them with front cover features in both New Musical Express and Melody Maker in the same week and an appearance on the South Bank Show.

Sadly as is often the way, internal tensions and frustrations boiled over and Bickers became frustrated by the apparent commercialisation of the band, and he left to form Levitation a psychedelic rock band whose EP ”Coppelia” was trumpeted by the Melody Maker as “this generation’s Marquee Moon

Since 2004 Bickers and Chadwick have resolved many of their differences and the reformed The House of Love have released two albums on Cherry Red, 2005’s “Days Run Away” and after an 8 year hiatus 2013’s “She Paints Words In Red.”

In 2009 old Creation label mates Pete and Terry came together to explore the dynamics of a new stripped down song writing project. Bringing a “less is more” attitude the pair are guided by the song, letting the mood dictate the structure, to create a palette of bruised, melancholic heartfelt songs that connect with the listener in an almost visceral way. Although the sound is their own, there are points of reference with Bill Callahan, Richard Hawley, Johnny Cash and the confessional tone of Nick Cave’s solo work.

Given the intimate atmosphere of St Pauls, you can expect an evening of passion, drama and sparse melancholic music that is thought provoking and strangely uplifting. Pete’s beautiful tenor voice, underscored by Terry’s aching guitar playing bring all of their past experiences to the table and leave them bare for you to see.

In 2014 and after a successful Kickstarter campaign the duo released their album “Broken Heart Surgery” to critical acclaim, creating a set of “beautifully bruised songs of heartbreak and loss”. The long awaited follow up, ‘We Are Millionaires’, is set to be released July 10th on Broadcast Recording,

The doors open at 7.30 and tickets are going fast, it’s not often you get the chance to experience such beautiful music in a venue that could have been designed to play them in.

Tickets on sale now

 

Synthesize Me – Bleep, Boings and Beautiful Noises: The Entire History of Electronic Music

Ok, cards on the table, a confession, as Todd Rundgren once put it, “I was born to synthesize “, from Hot Chip to chip tune, from OMD to IDM to EDM, from Eno to the Orb, the sheer variety of beats, rhythms and pulses has kept me hooked for years.

So with great anticipation I headed to St Pauls in Worthing on Friday for the return of iconic Club night “Synthesize me” promising an evening of “Bleep, Boings and Beautiful Noises: The Entire History of Electronic Music” and I’m pleased to say I was not disappointed. Brighton’s own Synthesize me has been bringing the noise since 2010 and it only gets better.

Decked out in full party mode with lights, giant mirror ball, balloons and cabaret style tables covered in sweets, St Pauls was ready for DJ Casper Gomez to get things started with a carefully considered vinyl mash-up; resplendent in western villain black cowboy hat his enthusiasm and love of the music soon filled the dance floor

Then we had a short set by Jack Elgar, local polymath, musician, producer, and alumni of Northbrook College, Jack gave us a mix of Electro-Industrial/Agrro-techno fused with ambient textures, think Skinny Puppy crossed with Neu! Unlike his other projects, Ard and Font 21, Jack’s, solo set is just him, in a day glow orange T, hunched over his mixer.

After the Kling/Klang of Jack’s set, Carlo De Ganja’s dub filled mix of lovers rock, reggae and synth-reggae got everyone on their feet, his sound system bouncing beats around the superb acoustics at St Pauls.

Next up was Monzen Nakacho, master of Giallo-Synthwave; imagine Tangerine Dream mixed with Solar Fields and the spirit of Blade Runner.

Monzen debuted three tracks from his eponymous album, opening with “Gulag on Pluto”, its symphonic rich soundscapes swelling and ebbing in hypnotic waves, then “El Carpentiere” no doubt a homage to auteur John Carpenter with echoes of “Dark Star” and the superb stalking rhythms of “Giallo”, for those who don’t know and I didn’t, Giallo is a 20th-century Italian thriller/ horror genre often combined with slasher,/crime fiction and supernatural horror elements, that inspiration is clear in the music. This track manages to evoke a nostalgia for those early schlock movies with a retro futuristic pulsing, sinewy grandeur that is worthy of Orbital.

Casper Gomez returned with a set of 1979 to 1982 electro classics, it was great to hear, Soft cell, Blancmange, Human League and Visage, cue much shuffling and early 80’s dancing.

At last it was time for the headliners; Brighton based Transformer, disco-tronic party starters, think Hot Chip/Scissor Sisters meets Bonzo dog doodah band

This trio, Johny Giles – vox/keys/programming, Craig Doughty – bass/bvs and Stephane Houdrille – drums have been around since 2005 and as a live act know exactly which buttons to push.

They hit the stage in their “frock coats and bibbety bobbity hat”, all feathers and flash, opening with “Down” quickly followed by the electro- funk of “Dragonfly” and “See the level”, prime showmen, we get the works, bass runs, trumpet solos and squiggly keyboards, all with a knowing wink and tongue firmly shoved in cheek.

Frontman Johny Giles introduced new single “Do 4 You” a fusion of their trade mark disco grooves with a driving bass and pulsing synth and chant and an impromptu verse of Happy Birthday.

The band roared through “Invisible” and “Popper”, inviting members of the audience on stage to play percussion for” GVNMNT” and a never to be forgotten forehead keyboard solo, that needs to be seen to be believed. Finally finishing with the Devo-esque throb of “Cinema Car”, most famously performed by the band on the Xmas prom episode of Inbetweeners.

With Johny asking the sound man to turn it UP! and a finger burning bass solo by Craig, they soon had the crowd singing along with the insidiously hooky chorus. The audience needed more and they returned for a high hat and snare driven “Deepak” and then they were gone.

To close the evening DJ Reverend brought back the muscle memory of early 90’s rave culture with a banging mix of classic tracks from 1991/92 –  great music, fantastic atmosphere as it always is at St. Paul’s