Since their formation a little over a year ago, Brighton fuzz-pop quartet Beach Riot have been riding the crest of an increasingly intense wave. They racked up their first major festival appearance, signed a record deal and released their debut EP within the space of 12 months. Featuring BIMM Brighton alumnus Jonny Ross on drums and the campus’ very own coffee dispensing guru Rory O’Connor on guitar, Beach Riot are just as fun as their name suggests. Read on to find out why.
Who and what is Beach Riot?
Jim “Who is Beach Riot? Well, let’s start at the kick drum and go from there shall we.
On drums you’ve got Jonny Ross. On bass Jim Faulkner. Then sharing guitar and vocal duties in equal measures is Cami Menditeguy and Rory O’Connor.
What is Beach Riot? On record it’s catchy fuzz pop music. Live shows however, now that is something entirely different. In a nutshell, Beach Riot becomes part of a feedback loop. It’s the perfect excuse for everyone in the audience to lose their sh*t. We in-turn then feed off that buzz and round and round it goes until…well, until a shared state is reached that I still find very hard to describe. It’s like nothing else.”
You’ve had one heck of a year. Can you tell us some of your own personal highlights?
Cami “In 2018 we celebrated one year of being a band and we were lucky enough to do so many great things. We played a sold-out show at Concorde 2 with Don Broco, did our first ever live session with BBC introducing , supported Blood Red Shoes, played Reading and Leeds festival and finished the year with a rammed and crazy mosh-filled EP launch show at Sticky Mikes (RIP 😕). We also released our first EP on 3 coloured vinyl, and had our debut plays on Radio 1, BBC 6 Music, and chatted several times on Amazing Radio. Hopefully 2019 is full of many more exciting things.”
How did your relationship with Vallance Records come about?
Rory “So, Cami was hanging around with another amazing Brighton band, Strange Cages, who are on Vallance Records. She got talking to Elliott who runs the label, and then text me saying this guy was interested and we should send him some stuff! So, we jumped at it, sent a load of tracks, got Elliott down to a show, and that was that! Elliott really believes in and us and loves the band. Initially, we were on another label called Killing Moon Records, so I suggested that Elliott manage us. We haven’t looked back 🤘.”
You’re playing at this year’s Bad Pond Festival here in Brighton. How are you feeling about hitting the stage alongside such amazing bands?
Jonny “Of course, massively grateful to the guys at Small Pond for putting us on! I remember when they were just starting out and they’ve gone from strength-to-strength. Since day one, me and Jim adopted it as our place when we used to jam drums and bass back in the day. A big standout act for me to watch at the fezzy is Jamie Lenman, Jim showed me the old Reuben doco’ “What happens in Aldershot stays in Aldershot: the other day. If you haven’t seen it, check it out! The guy’s a mad genius and I can’t wait to see his solo stuff.
Rory, as the BIMM yard’s resident caffeine connoisseur, can you tell us a little about your coffee cart.
“I started the cart as soon as I moved back home from Brighton, initially just as a coffee cart under a gazebo in the BIMM yard. My first week was enrolment 2017, during which time I melted a plug to a socket inside, and nearly set it on fire… but luckily I’d already convinced the powers that be that it was a great idea!
Since then, BIMM has been amazing to me, allowing me to do my thing, and the cart has grown into so much more than just a coffee business. It’s the central hub for all things BIMM band related; where everyone hangs out, starts bands and projects, advertises shows and generally just get involved with this insanely awesome Brighton scene we have right now! It’s also led to Beach Riot getting a following and taking us to places we only dreamed of. We’re insanely grateful.
Can you give us any sneak peaks as to any upcoming releases and/or gig news?
Cami “We can’t wait to play the Concorde again at Bad Pond Festival this April! We’re also very excited because we’re planning an EU tour later this year. AND definitely new music, so stay tuned!”