“A mind-melting day out of acid-hued action from five of my favourite acts.” Comedian Stewart Lee is curating his own stage at the first-ever Brighton Psych Fest, with five hand-picked artists

Stewart Lee
(Image credit: Jody Hartley | Brighton Psych Fest)

The first ever Brighton Psych Fest will take place on August 30, and comedian Stewart Lee is curating his very own stage to showcase five avant-garde acts to appear alongside the likes of The Horrors, Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs, SCALER, bdrmm and NewDad.

Lee's stage will be hosted at the Komedia club, and will feature The Bevis Frond, The Physics House Band, Alison Cotton, Eliza Skelton and Secluded Bronte.

Speaking about his involvement in the festival, Lee says, "Brighton Psych Fest asked me to host and program a stage, which is reckless of them as the last thing I curated, the 2016 Prestatyn All Tomorrow’s Parties, went bust. And no, I didn’t get paid either. Nonetheless, here’s a mind-melting day out of acid-hued action from five of my favourite acts, with minimal onstage interruptions from me.

"I’ve tried to skew the selection towards Brighton and Hastings talent," he adds, "because sometimes we don’t always acknowledge the geniuses on our own doorsteps."

Of his hand-picked stage headliners The Bevis Frond, the comedian says, "Nick Saloman’s enduring underground legends enter their thirty-eighth year utterly undimmed, surging inland from the seafronts of the South Coast with paisley power-pop anthems Teenage Fanclub would’ve clobbered them for, short sharp shocks of Wipers-influenced melodic hardcore, and vast electrical storms of duelling guitars that sound like the ‘70s Miles Davis band battling The Quicksilver Messenger Service. The Bevis Frond are a silver thread running through my life."

For those wondering what the other artists on his stage sound like, Lee says that The Physics House Band play "ugly-beautiful instrumental progressive rock that aging King Crimson fans think no-one can play anymore", that Alison Cotton is "a Nico for now", and Eliza Skelton is "a cross between Steve Nicks and a Stygian witch that can see into your soul".

And Secluded Bronte?

"People who hate my stand-up often deny it even constitutes ‘comedy’. Doubtless many would wonder if the work of the veteran improvisatory trio Secluded Bronte should be considered ‘music’.  Instruments may be involved, perhaps furniture, maybe even words, or all three in a chance collision of calculated heterogenity.  All that is certain – time will pass, and something will happen. Start your day in a right state."

General admission tickets to Brighton Psych Fest are available to buy here.

Brighton Psych Fest poster

(Image credit: Brighton Psych Fest)
Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.