Words: Poppy Richler | Photo: Jamie Harding & Matthew-Sterling
Now marks the 24 hours before Brighton’s third Mutations Festival kicks off, and the line-up is stacked to say the least. Packed with a mix of up-and-comers and veterans within the loosely defined worlds of post-punk, indie and electronica, this festival simultaneously celebrates the plethora of independent venues the seaside city has to offer. You may see us running from Chalk to The Hope and Ruin to The Green Room and in between, but it’s because there’s too much to see. It’s been difficult to narrow down our top picks for the 4-day festival, but below represents a noble effort to do so.
Starting the weekend off, the pained croons of Merseyside’s Bill Ryder-Jones will take to the stage of Chalk on Thursday evening. Co-founding The Coral and setting up YAWN Recording studios (hosting the likes of Hotel Lux who will be performing at The Old Market on Friday), it may have been 2 years since the singer’s last album release, but that’s only added to the intrigue building ahead of his performance.
Yanking the plaster off Friday’s lineup are Peeping Drexels. Familiar to the London independent venue circuit, this South London five-piece are set to bring their gritty guitar and despairing shouts to The Brunswick. Off the back of their sold-out Windmill show last week, noisemakers Cheap Teeth will throw a dark veil over Patterns on Saturday with their gory melodies, catchy choruses and an enticing sense of impending doom. Speaking of guitar music, the funk-fuelled bops of So Young Records signees Lime Garden will get your Sunday going at the Hope & Ruin, before South London disruptor Nuha Ruby-Ra graces the stage of Komedia Studio with echoing and eerie explorations of subterranean sound.
The arms of Mutations extend far past the 6-string, courtesy of Manchester’s Porij who bring the energy with their danceable rhythms and enchanting lyrics that emulate live drum ‘n’ bass and garage breaks. In the murkier waters of the same pool, Bristol’s Scalping will take to Chalk the following day, guaranteed to electrify you with their pulsating techno realised with live instrumentation, leaving you on a weekend’s high.
Also worth a mention are The Umlauts, Lynks, Mandrake Handshake and WU-LU. Perhaps see you there, but you can fight us for the front of the barrier. Find the full line up and ticket info here.