Wednesday, 18 December 2013

A warm welcome to The Welfares

by Jian Farhoumand.

Photographs by Kerry Rice

Brighton’s hottest new band is rehearsing for its first Christmas gig this weekend.

The Welfares are a group of talented, twenty-something musicians who came together six months ago to create an exciting new ska sound.

Bassist Joe Joyce, 25, said: “We mainly play ska and our influences are Toots and the Maytals, Madness and The Specials.”

As well as a bassist, the band comprises a guitarist, a saxophonist, a cornet player, a drummer and a singer/keyboard player.

The Welfares’ emphasis is on live music and the band already has a loyal following, both at shows and online.

“We’ve been doing a few shows over the last few months,” said Joe, “all working towards this weekend’s gig. This is going to be the spectacle.”

Joe grew up in Buxted, East Sussex, and moved to Brighton two years ago.

“Brighton has an excellent vibe,” he said. “It’s just a great city with a lot going on.”

The Welfares bring a welcome change to Brighton’s ‘post-BIMM’ scene and its resulting over-preponderance of singer-songwriter solo artists.

Joe and his bandmates wanted to found a group that would focus on live music with a wide range of traditional instruments.

The upcoming gig will showcase some of the band's more established tracks as well as new material and many ska classics.

Joe said: “This is the biggest gig we’ve done yet. It’s going to be a big Christmas blowout.”

The Welfares will be performing at the Prince Albert, 48 Trafalgar Street, on Friday December 20th from 8.00pm. Tickets: £4 in advance; £5 on the door.

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