Our family hails from a part of the UK that’s almost the furthest away from any coastline you can possibly get. There is a canal but I’m not sure you’d ever go for a paddle in it unless you were trying to contract a water-borne disease. So while the countryside is all well and good, I have never failed to get excited by the sea.
I’ve lived down in Big London for a few years now and would say I’ve pretty much settled in. I can studiously avoid eye contact with commuters and tut loudly at tourists clustered around tube station exits without even concentrating. But until last year I had never been to the Big Londoners favouite coastline destination – Brighton.
Now, as previously mentioned, I love the seaside. And I had heard lots of exciting things about Brighton. It’s ‘alternative’, there’s some really cool shops, there’s some really cool people, and it’s got some really good pubs. All of these things sounded good and I was excited. Maybe too excited. There were some excellent shops (particularly vintage jewellery) and the beach is nice (although it was raining obviously) but, if I’m honest, I don’t think I’m cool enough to enjoy that level of alternative….
I just sort of wanted to buy a cup of tea without having to pick which organic handmade silk teabag infused with essential oils I wanted it to be made with. I wanted to buy a sausage buttie without having to read the biography of the pig that it came from and see where he used to scamper and who his extended family were. But really it was when a woman dressed as a ‘white crow’ was dancing on her own to her ‘internal life music’ that the camel’s back broke. Luckily they were right about the pubs so I focused on them.
Half Hour Hotel are a Brighton based indie outfit and while I would never describe them as run of the mill they are thankfully not as alternative as I had feared. The band formed in 2011 and have just released (18th Feb) their first single Run from Sirens. The band say their remit is ‘big, full sound with a good melody’ and Run from Sirens does exactly what it says on the tin.
They’re a handsome four piece made up of David on vocals, keys and guitar, Lewis on lead guitar, Kevin on bass and David (different one) on drums. The single, similar to the previous stuff they’ve done, is good old-fashioned indie rock. David’s lead vocals are powerful and a bit epic like a much less pretentious Matt Bellamy and you just find yourself wanting to sing along before you even know the words.
Half Hour Hotel – Run from Sirens
Produced by Abbey Road Engineer Pete Hutchings (Kylie, Gaga, Florence) at Yellow Fish Studios in East Sussex, the track shows off a band that seem really tight musically and know exactly where they’re heading and what they want their sound to be. I recommend checking out some of the live recordings they have on their website too, these boys know how to do live.
Unfortunately I’ve timed this all wrong as anyone interested has just missed a series of live dates but I’m sure there’s more to come. This is not avant garde (thank god) and no-one is likely to be dressed as any kind of spiritual animal – but this is Brighton’s best all the same.