Thursday, 28 March 2013

★ THIS WEEKEND AT Concorde 2 ★

It's finally here - the loooooong awaited Easter weekend, with a whole 4 days off! Yippeeee! And here's a quick look at what we have in store this weekend....

Thursday 28th...
LIVE ★ La Roux | Extra special Coachella warm-up show, La Roux will be on stage 8.15-9.30pm on the dot | Doors: 7-10pm | SOLD OUT

CLUB ★ Gilles Peterson (Brownswood) + Russ Dewbury - Jazz Rooms + Hint (Tru Thoughts) + Anushka (Live PA) | Radio 6 legend and musical tastemaker returns to C2 with bags full of wonderful records - NO WORK ON FRIDAY! | Doors: 11pm-4am | Tickets: £10+bf adv from / tickets also available on the door


Friday 29th...
CLUB ★ Dub Pistols (DJ Set) + Rodney P | This event is always roadblock so get here early! | Doors: 11pm-4am | Tickets: FREE before midnight, £3 after - tickets on the door only


Saturday 30th...
CLUB ★ Brighton Rumble Rockabilly Show | Easter special with Charlie Thompson + Pine Top Boys and host DJ Dave Mumbles | Doors: 8pm-2am | Tickets: £8+bf from / tickets also available on the door


Sunday 31st...
LIVE ★ Running Dogs + Two Jackals + The Basis | Brighton quartet Running Dogs will catch your ears and melt your minds in the vein of Blur and The Libertines | Doors: 7-11pm (not 6pm-10pm as originally advertised) | Tickets: £5+bf adv from / tickets also available on the door

Have a splendid long weekend and most importantly have fun! C2 x

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Cody ChesnuTT Review by Dara Yazdani

19th March 2013 || Concorde2 || Review by Dara Yazdani || Photos by Mike Burnell 
Cody ChesnuTT could be described as the Jason Bourne of soul music. Having been "off grid" for the best part of a decade his initial promise was sidetracked by the typical rock star excesses that consumed his being and left him "exhausted". The need to patch things up with his long suffering wife and the desire to bring up his young children ensured his music career took a back seat and led to an extended spell in the musical wilderness.
A decades worth of water as gone under the bridge since the release of his lo-fi debut, The Headphone Masterpiece, and his subsequent exposure with The Roots on The Seed 2.0. ChesnuTT could easily have been just another minor footnote in the annals of rock history had the intervening years not seen him undergo a spiritual and musical awakening.

In creating new album Landing on a Hundred, he has ditched the home made scuzziness of his sprawling debut to channel the ghosts of Marvin, Al and Curtis to recall the golden age of soul music. It is a fabulous redemptive collection awash with horns, harmonies and social commentary. Recorded on analogue at Royal Studios in Memphis it has a strong, organic early 70's vibe befitting a studio used by Al Green for the majority of his classic material. In the flesh Landing On A Hundred sounds raw and visceral, its symphonic edges roughed up by a band that is bang on point. Following the best gospel tradition, at times ChestnuTT is so impassioned it feels like we are in church and he is delivering a sermon. Admittedly, I have yet to see a pastor who takes to the pulpit in a red cardigan and a Belgian army helmet.

The set starts with a bang. That's Still Mama has an urgent blaxsploitation vibe that scores tales of misguided youths valuing money over family relationships.  ChestnuTT may well be describing his youthful self. My favourite track on the album is the soaring 'Til I Met Thee, an ode to Cody's wife whose worship seems to border on religious devotion. Live it is shorn of its harmonies but thumps along with its chicken scratch guitar and insistent rhythm.
Everybody's Brother showcases guitarist and Forrestt Whitaker look-a-like Joel Johnson who takes the song in a bluesier direction then on record. The stories of crack, womanising and a life wasted are partly autobiographical but as Cody gets the crowd to repeatedly sing the refrain:
"No turning back"
 like a mantra to positivity, you can sense the relief he has achieved in redemption.
If Brighton ever decides to adopt a theme song What Kind of Cool (Will We Think Of Next) would be very apt dealing as it does with the changing tastes of fashionistas and fame seekers. I'd bet Cody has never been to Brighton before but he knows a hip place when he see it
"I mean London is cool...but Brighton is COOL"
We are treated to an old school jazz break down with the band changing up the tempo and showing their versatility. Kudos to Jeff Gaines on bass and Alvin Giles on keys for their musical chops.

There is a lot of audience interaction during the show with ChestnuTT getting down to eye level and pressing flesh with the audience. He starts asking the crowd about how long they have been married for.
"Too bloody long".
is a common answer but Cody's regales us with the sort of open-hearted confession you might hear from your best friend after seven pints. His says he has been married for 17yrs and there were times when his wife felt like a stranger to his wife until they managed to reconcile their differences. He shows a remarkable candour and you can't help but warm to him.


These confessionals lead up to Love is More Than A Wedding Day an old school love song whose cheery bounce is Cody's favourite track on the album. His improvised breakdown reminds me of Isaac Hayes rumbling spoken word deliveries mid way through his songs.
Despite protests that his voice is cracking and that "he sounds like a 13yr old".
When he hits the high notes, Cody comes back out for the encore and delivers a funky I've Been Life with its afrobeat rhythms complimenting the song's ode to Africa and black emancipation.
ChestnuTT might now be a well travelled veteran of the music scene but he hasn't forgotten where he comes from. Gunpowder On The Letter showcases his Georgian roots with its southern flavour and triple time hoe down that gets the audience into a frenzy.
That would be the end of the show for most performers but before disappearing from the stage he takes the time to apologise for not performing any of the old libidinous material that veteran fans may have expected. He explains that this is a new phase in his life and he feels a responsibility not to slip back into his old ways.
"I have two kids now. I can't sing those songs anymore"

Such artistic risks would normally be the death knell for any live performer but you can't help rooting for the guy.  When the new material is this good and executed to such a high standard it would be churlish to expect to cherry pick his set list. A performance of such a magnitude should warrant universal praise and a sell out show. It is a scandal the room is only half full.

ChetnuTT has the stagecraft and ability to connect with an audience that 99% of performers would kill for, yet his time away from the business has probably meant he has had to start building his fan base from scratch. For many artists that would be soul destroying but you feel Cody relishes the challenge. The old ChesnuTT is dead. What you see is ChesnuTT 2.0
As a grizzled gig goer of many years standing it is rare that I come out of a venue on such a high (one that lasts well into the following day). They say behind every great man there is a great woman. Judging by Cody's resurrection Mrs ChesnuTT must be one hell of a lady.

Review by Dara Yazdani || Photos by Mike Burnell (Copyright: Mike Burnell - All use to be agreed in writing first)

Darwin Deez Review by Dara Yazdani

11th February 2013 || Concorde2 || Review by Dara Yazdani

It's a cold, wintry night outside the Concorde 2. Only the hardiest of hipsters have been brave enough to schlep down here on a Monday to see if Darwin Deez have retained that off-beat charm that made the eponymous debut album a sleeper hit. It is testament to Darwin Smith's pulling power that the show is still a sell-out.

I saw Darwin back in 2010, when his first album was making waves and was curious to see how much quirkiness and joie de vivre he had been retained after three years in the cynical spin cycle of the music industry.

Darwin bounds on stage in good spirits, resplendent in powder blue cashmere every inch the cross between a low budget Hassidic porn star and Wierd Al Yankovic's long lost son. Backed by a new three piece band (only the original bassist remains), they are keen to air their new material.

It's always a risk playing new songs to punters who haven't had the chance to absorb your new music. Darwin's new album Songs For Imaginative People was only released the day of the show and you could tell by the volume of crowd chatter that the new songs were struggling to make an impact. Sadly, the attention span for your average indie kid is only marginally higher than that of a goldfish on Rohypnol.

Nice to see the ironic synchronised dancing is still on the menu (think Spike Jonze video for Fatboy Slim's Praise You). Its a diverting but inconsequential bonus to the music. On reflection, despite all the signs indicating its business as usual, Darwin may be suffering from "second album syndrome" as little of the new material has the immediacy of Bad Day or Radar Detector. These two along with DNA -"It's 3 years old but it's still got it."- get the biggest cheers of the evening.

Perhaps the new tracks will benefit from multiple listens. 'Moonlit' has more than a hint of Prince circa Controversy with its funky licks and 80's synth-soul flourishes. Midway through the song Darwin blasts out an impressive guitar solo that would do the purple funker proud. In fact Darwin's axe skills have come on leaps and bounds as a number of the new tracks feature clever guitar work complete with Santanaesque facial grimaces.

'Alice' shows promise with a big chorus that stays in the memory and first single Free (The Editorial Me) sounds like a Graham Coxon album track with its unconventional song structure and jagged guitar. 'Redshift' is positively anthemic and in danger of straying into Bon Jovi territory.

However just as you expect certain songs to go a certain direction they dive away from convention and leave you wrong footed. You have to applaud his musical ambition but it ensures his performance struggles to gain momentum.

Final track '(800) HUMAN', a meandering ode to the work of Dinosaur Jr, is probably misjudged as a curtain closer. You can feel the crowd want to get involved but Darwin's left turns keep them at arms length. The general public can do kooky but weird is a more of an acquired taste.

Review by Dara Yazdani