Hocus Tocus – BOTW 08

Staying Out For The Summer – by Sacha Shaikh

Holy Smokes by Hocus Tocus by Beatcast

An Icelandic volcano erupted recently halting all air travel in and out of the UK, last month saw British Airways staff striking. With summer looming and the sun beginning to finally smile down on us we should be looking forward to and planning our summer escape. However with the uncertainty surrounding international travel why not try the classic British beach holiday.

If there’s one town sure to attract tourists near and far it’s the south coast gem of Brighton. Long gone are the 1930’s one-piece swimsuits and the homemade hankie hats. One of the most vibrant, colourful and creative cities in the UK, with a fantastic mix of iconic attractions, famed nightlife, arts, culture, shopping, girls and boys but also a burgeoning live music scene. Next month sees the 5th Great Escape Festival, which will host over 350 bands in 30 venues over 3 days all over Brighton. With These New Puritans, Silver Columns, Real Estate, Mount Kimbie, Summer Camp and Crocodiles my ones to watch.

More so there are some exciting local bands coming through the ranks with the likes of MASKS, La La Vasquez and Peepholes. Last year we had the excellent and hotly tipped but unfortunately now disbanded Teen Sheikhs, who promised so much, (Look out for their new reincarnation coming soon) and the excellent Cold Pumas, both favourites of our featured band Hocus Tocus.


Hocus Tocus wash over our body, mind and soul and seep into our ears with their thrash surf pop gems. Having only recently started playing live they have already secured some great shows in London, including a slot at the 1234 Festival in July as well as being picked up by Moshi Moshi’s new off shoot Not Even Singles.

The Brighton duo comprises of cousins Sam and Mike, you could even say life long friends. Mike still remembers the day his mum took him to see Sam when he was born. Each drawing from their own influences, Mike’s early inspirations range from Breakdance the movie to Michael Jackson to sub cultural propaganda such as early 90’s BMX videos and Grunge. Nowadays for Mike it’s watching other bands, especially where their gigs are fairly small and intimate and it’s clear they’ve made an effort to be there. Sam draws, paints and makes films, he loves Harmony Korine,. Musically though American bands with nostalgic/frustration based lyrics have a strong influence as you can tell from their sound. Initially Sam recorded three songs with a drum machine and had no plans to play them live. Mike was then asked to record some drums and they started jamming the songs, with a few more tracks under their belt they were soon asked to play their first gig and the rest seems to be history.

When asked what they think of the current Brighton music scene Mike retorts. “I’m not a huge fan of the scene, there are a lot of sick bands”, mentioning in particular Bear Feet, Easy Hips and Rothko. “But I guess the general scene is a bit err….. patchy” continues Mike. Which is true of all cities and their so-called scenes it’s just a matter of searching and seeking out what you fancy. But Hocus Tocus are definitely worth a look at. I’ll leave the final sign off from the boys and maybe their mantra for this summer…….

“Shred ‘til you dead. Shred ‘til you puke”.

Some bands I have found and love recently:

Glass Bricks –

Heavy Times –

Bitches –