Brighton Magazine

The Brighton Magazine

Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Thursday 02 April 2020

Power-Folk Band Calan Perform World's Smallest Ever Album Launch Ahead Of Winter Date In Rural Sussex

One of Wales's biggest trad-folk bands will, ahead of a rearranged date in Sussex, premier their new album from one of the world's smallest stages... the front room of a semi in Cwmbran.

With Covid-19 cutting a swathe through auditorium concerts, and the release of Calan's sixth album Kistvaen scheduled for 3rd April 2020, the band needed a new plan.

"So, on that day, we're going to play the album end to end in a live online streamed concert from my front room," says Calan's vocalist, accordionist and step dancer Bethan Rhiannon.

Folk Wales magazine describes Calan's music as, "A storming juggernaut of power-folk," so they've had a quiet word with the neighbours! 

"It helps that we're going to play the album unplugged," adds guitarist Sam Humphreys. 

"To be honest, I'm not sure a three-pin socket would take us all at full pelt!"

This is not the first time that Calan have come up against the Curse of Coronavirus. 

Last week they were in the middle of a nationwide American tour when concerts suddenly began to be cancelled. 

In a mad scramble for airline tickets, they managed to get the last seats on one of the last flights back to Britain...  and found themselves the best part of £6,000 out of pocket after paying for visas, flights, accommodation, transport and all the paraphernalia of a Stateside tour.

So they've set up an online shop - with just about the only thing they have to sell…. themselves!

"You can commission a tune specially written by one of us," explains fiddle player Angharad Jenkins. 

"You can book any one of us for an online music lesson, and even enter our tune raffle .. send us your own tune and if you win, we'll include it in our repertoire."

Quickest off the shelf was fiddler Patrick Rimes' famous custom-made Bollywood jacket from the band's Solomon album. It went in a day. "Yes, you can literally buy the clothes off our back," he added. 

"None of us want to make light of an awful national emergency," said Bethan. 

"We absolutely recognise that people are losing loved ones and livelihoods

"But, even if it's online, we'll do our level best to bring just a small amount of joy and music into people's lives."

Meanwhile, Calan's UK tour, due to begin in early April, is being rescheduled for November/December, when they'll play as many of the gigs as they possibly can.

Calan play Alfriston Old Chapel on 9th December 2020. CLICK HERE for the latest info.

by: Mike Cobley


Credit Climon Parent

The thrill of live contemporary dance and circus theatre will return to Brighton Dome's Concert Hall stage this autumn.

Written in 1888, Miss Julie - which comes to New Venture Theatre, Brighton - caused outrage when it opened and was banned by the censors — yet over 130 years later, it's no surprise that this powerful drama still retains its shock factor.   
Credit Andy Sturmey

With the shackles of lockdown finally released and Brighton's cultural swing doors once more admitting concert goers, photographer Andy Sturmey was back in the pit at Concorde 2 Brighton, last night, and this time he had folk-punk hero Frank Turner in his lens line.

The honour of 'Freedom of the City' of Brighton & Hove has been awarded by the Green council to 'all those who helped during the pandemic,'  kick-starting a programme of recognition of city residents that will run throughout the year.

Following months of closure for many stores across the UK, successful pop-up marketplace The Pop-Up Club is returning to Brighton's Dukes Lane.

Students with additional educational needs from across the South have come together to participate in the South of England Agricultural Society's 23rd Jim Green Challenge. But, due to Covid, the format of the competition changed for 2021.

Back in the old world at the start of 2020, psychedelic punk heroes The Lovely Eggs were primed to release their new album I Am Moron – a work over-flowing with political venom and fresh ideas, set to a gloriously independent noise.

A local community group is creating new school resources for primary and secondary schools focusing on the story of the Three Kings of Botswana and their visit to Brighton and Sussex in 1895. 

Brighton & Hove Green Councillors joined in solidarity with the city's trans and non-binary community and allies once again as part of last weekend's annual Trans Pride celebrations in the city.

Having opened for the mighty Psychedelic Furs back in 2019 and then received critical acclaim for the release of her fifth solo album, Queen High Straight, Wendy James was supposed to be heading out on a UK tour in 2020.  
Credit Craig McIntosh

Showcasing Goodnight Louisa aka artist-producer Louise McCraw's icicle-clear vocals and stiletto-sharp writing smarts, visceral dark disco track Get Your Hands Off My Girlfriend dramatically contrasts euphoric 80s driven drum sounds and nostalgic synths with troubling lyrics on a little-talked about experience – the harassment and assault of gay women in what were thought to be safe spaces.

With the summer holidays fast-approaching, Brighton & Hove Music & Arts (BHMA) and East Sussex Music (ESM) launch their Digital Summer School; a family-friendly programme that offers a vast choice of online music education from under £30.

Organising a conference or event in Brighton?
See our Brighton Conference section.
Brighton web design by ...ntd