Famous Bands From Brighton

Famous Bands From Brighton

Brighton's thriving music scene has produced some legendary artists: Fatboy Slim, the Kooks and British Sea Power, to name but a few, and even the Sony BMG executive and talent show mastermind, Simon Cowell, was born here. It is hard to picture Brightonion culture without summoning everything from dingy grottos with drippy ceilings and stage invasions, to packed out stadiums that call to the most diverse of musical talents to soak up one of the UK's most infamous musical cities. Its quirky atmosphere and forward-thinking drive will no doubt churn out plenty more decades of pure, albeit edgy, talented artists who will make their mark on Britain's music scene, much as the following artists have proven this great city can do.

The Maccabees

The Maccabees began in Brighton in 2004, led by frontman and vocalist, Orlando Weeks, who has been responsible for most of their song's lyrics over their time as a five-piece indie group. The Maccabees chose their recognisable title by flicking through pages of the bible and pointing at words, finally settling on the name that is now internationally identified with them, despite at that point not knowing its meaning. The group have claimed that at their humble beginnings none of them was particularly talented musicians, but grew together into the organic sound that they now produce, the only replacement being of their drummer, Robert Dylan Thomas, by Sam Doyle in 2008. They released their first album, Colour It In, in 2007, followed by Wall Of Arms, 2009, and the most recent Given to The Wild, which received nominations for the 2012 Mercury Prize and Q Awards for Best Album.

The Kooks

The Kooks produced their first album, Inside In/Inside Out in 2006, just three months after forming, which impressively gained the spot of Number Two in the UK album chart with hits such as 'Ooh  La', 'Naive' and 'She Moves in Her Own Way'. This was followed by Konk in 2008, which reached the Number One spot, featuring 'Sway', 'Always Where I Need to Be' and 'Shine On', and established in the nation's hearts and minds the band's distinguished sound and probable longevity. In 2011 they released their most recent album, Junk of the Heart, swiftly followed by the release of title track 'Junk of the Heart (Happy)'. The band is fronted by Luke Pritchard (pictured), and are signed to Virgin Records. In 2006 the band won the prize for 'Best UK & Ireland' at the MTV Europe Awards and later they were awarded the gong for 'Best Art Direction' at the UK Music Video Awards for 'Sway'. The band have also been nominated for 'Best New Act' (Q Music Awards, 2006), 'Best British Breakthrough Act' (Brit Awards, 2007), and 'Best Indie/Rock Video - UK' (UK Music Video Awards, 2012).

Fatboy Slim

Fatboy Slim, aka Norman Quentin Cook (born Quentin Leo Cook), is one of Brighton's most infamous residents and iconic musicians. As a student at Reigate Grammar School in Surrey, and then at Brighton Polytechnic (studying a BA in English, Politics and Sociology), Norman honed his creative talents as a drummer, singer and finally as a DJ gaining fame amongst Brighton's eclectic nightclub scene as DJ Quentox (The OX that Rocks). Cook began his professional musical career in the 1980s as the bassist for indie rock band 'The Housemartins', who enjoyed chart-topping glory with their Acapella arrangement of 'Caravan of Love'. Soon after he formed 'Beats International', scoring another Number One in the process with 'Dub Be Good To Me', and later joined multiple other acts, including 'Freak Power', 'Pizzaman' and 'The Mighty Dub Katz'. He finally adopted the stage-name Fatboy Slim in 1996 and has since won ten MTV Video Music Awards and two Brit Awards. In 2008 he founded a project, as Norman Cook, called the 'Brighton Port Authority', whose debut album, I Think We're Gonna Need A Bigger Boat contained tracks such as 'Toe Jam', featuring Dizzee Rascal and David Byrne, and 'He's Frank (Slight Return)' which featured in the TV series Heroes. However, Fatboy Slim has recently made appearances at Glastonbury and V Festival (2009), Australia's Good Vibrations festival (also 2009), and most significantly at the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony, where he played atop a giant inflatable octopus. Some of Fatboy Slim's best-known records include 'Everybody Needs a 303', 'Praise You', 'The Rockerfella Skank' and 'Weapon of Choice', and with Slim's awe-inspiring credentials it is easy to see how he has become Brighton's most famous export, with no view of stopping any time soon.

Rizzle Kicks

Jordan 'Rizzle' Stephens and Harley 'Sylvester' Alexander-Sule make up Brighton's hip-hop duo Rizzle Kicks. The band was technically founded in 1996 when the boys played together as young children, yet it only became a serious venture when they were reunited 8 years later after both moving to Brighton, finally becoming 'Rizzle Kicks' in 2008. Both attended the Brit School, yet shared a mutual love of football, hence 'Kicks' featuring the band's title, and as a band began hustling for good base tracks from local producers and making music videos with their friends. Their debut album, Stereo Typical, was released in 2011, and their first 'Mama Do the Hump' was produced by Brighton's own Fatboy Slim. Other hits include 'Down With the Trumpets' and 'When I Was a Youngster'. The pair have been nominated for a Q Music Award, UK Video Music Award (both 2012), and 5 MOBOs in 2011 and 2012. Keep your eyes peeled for the next instalment from these Brighton youngsters.

Natasha Khan from Bat for Lashes

Natasha Khan, stage name Bat for Lashes, was born on 25th October 1979 to an English mother and Pakistani father, Rehmat Khan, who is a former professional Squash player from Peshawar. Natasha claims that attending squash matches inspired her creativity and that she carried on the family's legacy for greatness through music, still captured by ceremonial, communal experience. Natasha released her first album, Fur and Gold, in 2006, after signing to Echo Records, and was one of the albums nominated for the 2007 Mercury Prize. Also in 2007, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) awarded Natasha with the ASCAP Vanguard Award, and in 2008 she was nominated for British Breakthrough Act and British Female Solo Artist at the Brit Awards. Her second album, Two Suns, 2009, reached Number Five in the UK album chart, following a journey through the Joshua Tree Desert in California for inspiration. The album attracted much acclaim, further award and nominations, and resulted in performances at Glastonbury, Somerset House and the Itunes Festival in the same year. Her third and most recent album The Haunted Man was released in 2012, following a tour supporting Coldplay, and her collaborated track 'Let's Get Lost' appearing in 'The Twilight Saga: Eclipse' soundtrack in 2010. The album features releases such as 'All Your Gold' and 'Laura', which was released digitally at midnight on 24th July 2012.

Photography: Christian Bertrand

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