Our Top 8 Moments That Shaped Brighton’s Music Scene in 2015

Nietzsche once said: ‘All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking’, that is exactly what we are trying to do here. 2015 has been a great thought on reflection and some exceptional moments have happened, however, they are all part of a bigger, wiser picture that Brighton dictates. Brighton has been great receiving us at Give It Back in our second year of existence. Years come, years go and 2015 has whipped by and left us scratching our heads at the end trying to summarise our favourite 8 moments of 2015. It barely feels like yesterday that we were putting together our ‘Ones to Watch in 2015’ list and yet here we having watched them all, now slumped in some end of year hangover. However, after all that beer, after all those characters, every song, every cigarette, every word bashed out upon this dear keyboard; we have reached over 550 likes on the Facebook and stretched to over 35,000 people in this year alone at giveitbackmagazine.com. A giant thanks to you, so, here’s our top 8 of the year. Happy fucking Christmas and that, love Tom, Jakub and all the contributors.

Demob Happy – Dream Soda:

Demob Happy released a tub-thumping debut in the form of ‘Dream Soda’ and it got us and every other bleeding music press in the country talking about it. Brighton’s garage-rock and long hair enthusiasts gave us all what we had been waiting a long time for; after a seemingly endless string of singles in the form of ‘Young and Numb’, ‘Wash It Down’ and ’Succubus’ we were itching to hear something in the LP format. Personally, we found it had ups and downs as an album, however, despite this it well and truly cemented Brighton on not just the country’s musical map but arguably they have helped the world realise the true importance of this city. It reached ears high and low and they have recently capped an exceptionally successful year themselves with a headline gig at The Haunt earlier this month. Bravo Demob.

Forgotten Fields:

Forgotten Fields gave the Sussex region a true, intimate and fun-loving festival. One that incorporated enough large acts to sell big and attract a large audience but similarly spent time and energy dedicating the festival to the region’s young acts. Bands such as Gang and Grasshopper were showcased at the festival evidencing the support that Forgotten Fields shows to young music. In addition, the serene environment that the festival was set within showed what a promising festival it truly is. Set in the outback of Sussex’s hills, trees and fields, it was all you really need from a small festival. Topped off perfectly with endless flows of locally brewed beer.


Small Pond Recordings:

Small Pond Recordings demonstrated that they are savvy labourers too having single handedly built their own goddamn recording and rehearsal studio down on Castle Street in the centre of Brighton. Yes, this establishment is fantastic, cheap as chips and handy for anyone who cannot quite bring themselves to trek out to Brighton Electric. Not only do they provide for the local music community by bringing endless amounts of bands to these sunny, Southern shores but they also release various records from bands around the area and continent and now, they let you come down and play at their studio. Show them love, they’ve had a cracking year.


Gypsy Jazz at the Martha Gunn:

Wednesday nights and pub culture has never quite been the same since the introduction of this cosy, gypsy jazz infused night at the Martha Gunn came about. Taking off at around 8pm on a weekly basis, it gives you chance to take your mind off the other issues in life and have a boogie woogie and swing to some fantastic musicians with some great beer to chase down after it.


Black Peaks signing to Sony Music:

As far as big years go, it does not get much bigger or better than it has done for Black Peaks. A band that ended 2014 with a name change from Shrine to Black Peaks now have risen to god knows what abominable size. Their track ‘Glass Built Castles’ was named Zane Lowe’s hottest track in the world for umpteen weeks in a row, they signed to Sony Music and have recently announced a mammoth headline tour and the release of their debut album: ‘Statues’ which is out on the 8th of April. Yup, the progressive, post-hardcore group have really put their name about this year, after playing a huge show at Reading & Leeds you can certainly expect to see their name dotted higher up at many of Europe’s biggest festivals in 2016.

The Rise of Gang:

Bands come in many shapes and sizes but nothing feels quite as fitting like the Brighton via Canterbury three piece. Gang are a set of our favourites that have enjoyed an exceptionally successful year, they have grabbed 2015 by it’s scruffy neck and wrung it off all the sweets and promise it held. They kindly came along and strutted their stuff to headline our first ever showcase event back in March and boy, they blew us away and every other motherducker swimming around the Hope and Ruin on that fateful evening. On top of this, they have released a flurry of singles in the form of ‘Eye Garden’, ‘Animalia’ and ‘Silverback’, all of which received critical acclaim to some extent and a swell of plays on some of the nation’s favourite radio stations. They have recently announced a gig down at Green Door Store in the infancy of 2016 – January 14th to be precise – in order to launch their latest single. No doubt the loveable three piece will give us another slice of their doom infused rock with a great big sloppy smooch.

The Return of Fallow Deer:

Music, like any artistic, creative form falls and rises from the depths of existence and nothing has demonstrated this in Brighton quite like Fallow Deer have. Fallow Deer started the year on a  real high and our heart melted at an early stage after hearing and playing witness to one of their infamous shows down at Fitzherberts. A venue they would hire out on a bi-monthly basis and vanquish with an impromptu, DIY sensibility. They have always been an exceptionally endearing set of people. After taking what seemed like a five year break, they have returned in striking confidence with their latest single: ‘Holding On’. Produced by Magic Gang’s Kristian Smith, the 2 minute, 48 second frustrated, angst can only suggest that it has been a trying year leaving 2016 at their mercy. Miss this band at your peril.

The Joker Turned One and We Hope 2016 Looks as Purty for Them:

The Joker has quickly risen in the city of Brighton to be at the forefront of the city’s music scene. What it provides is a fantastic upstairs venue in the form of the Devil’s Disco. Plagued with a giant, mirrored skull and a haunting Devil’s Disco flickering light, it sets quite the sinister ambience. It has played host to numerous Jack Daniel’s Rocks events, We Calm Promotions have given us a slice of Brighton’s music scene there and on top of it all, Demob Happy played an intimate, sweaty affair back when they released ‘Dream Soda’. Ultimately, we have had a great year visiting gigs at this venue; it has all been topped off with the beautiful people who work there, the fantastic beer and even better hot wings. Stick around Joker, you have got us hooked.


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