Brighton Rocks #35 : Insides

Back in the early nineties, Insides made waves with their alternative take on pop music, with their debut album Euphoria (which came out on 4AD) now considered a classic. In 2000 the band called it a day but a few years ago after a long stretch of producing, mastering, mixing and everything else that might go on at their own studio they started record again themselves. In 2016 they released the single Ghost Music, which would go on to form one of the tracks on the album Soft Bonds which finally came out earlier this year. They also have the honour of being the first band to have a release on Graham Duff’s new vinyl only Heaven’s Lathe label, selling out the Crumb Dropper in under three hours.

What’s the best thing about Brighton?
The two columns you drive through on the A23 when you get back. Plus both Duke of York cinemas which we hope to get back in to before long. The sea in front & the Downs behind.

Who are the your favourite local bands?
Map 71, Fujiya & Miyagi

What’s the best venue?
The Rose Hill and Green Door Store

What’s the best rehearsal space / studio?
Of course our recording studio (Church Road Studio in Hove) is the best place to record, and Ooosh is lovely for rehearsals, although we favour our spare room.

What’s the best club?
The Pétanque Club on Hove seafront, by the Peace Statue is great for Arabic pop music, competitive heavy ball games & emergency toilets.

What’s the best record shop?
Resident, & used to love Wax Factor too, when second hand records were cheap.

Where’s the best places to eat?
Kitgum Kitchen for East African food, Manju’s for Gujarati home cooking & Bardsleys for fish & chips.

What’s the best pub?
The Colonnade Bar in town and the Watchmakers Arms closer to home.

Who’s your favourite Brighton celebrity?
Boy: Chrissy Boy from Madness
Girl: Stacy Dooley.
(But enjoyed the rumours about Macca shopping in Furniture Village when he lived in Millionaire’s Row).

When was the last time you had any Brighton Rock?
Reckon 1990. They used to make it in the old Maynards factory by us. Horrible.

Brighton Rocks # 34 : Jacko Hooper

After being away for so long, I feared that we may be writing about venues closing. Instead however, our first proper post back is about a brand new venue for Brighton. It’s location is somewhere familiar for most Brightonians, and it’s being run by a familiar face on the local scene too. The Folklore Rooms is the new name for the upstairs space at The Quadrant, and the man behind it all is Jacko Hooper, who’s been running the Folklore Sessions, which had a residency at the White Rabbit before the pandemic, but has been held at various locations in Brighton since 2014.

What’s the best thing about Brighton?
Might sound a bit cliché but for me it’s the people. There’s so many creative people in this city and so many exciting projects it just encourages you and makes you want to soak it up and be involved. There’s no reason to not get in the thick of it because there’s so many likeminded people. That and the summer…I don’t think there’s a better city than Brighton in the summertime.

Who are your favourite local bands?
Crikey…That’s a hard question. My best pal has a project called Luo which is brilliant. I’m a big fan of a lot of the Folklore community that I work with, my friends Bess Atwell, Oktoba, Route 500, Edie Bens, Son, Arthur to name a few. I’ve been fairly consistently obsessed with all of Nancy’s releases as well.

What’s the best venue?
The Folklore Rooms of course! I’m also the Live Events Manager at The Brunswick, a venue very close to my heart where I gigged extensively in the early days in particular. Two venues across two floors and so much eclectic music, from grassroots shows to touring international acts. – Totally independent too. That’s the good stuff.

What’s the best rehearsal space / studio?
Well I’ve worked at Brighton Electric so I should probably say them. I’ve rehearsed there since I was 14 and walking through the corridors and hearing The Xcerts and Architects and The Cure rehearsing and recording was a pretty inspiring way to go through your teen years.

What’s the best club?
Those days are probably best left firmly in my past. I don’t even know half the names of them. I thought LIFE was still there after it being gone for about two years. I think i’m old now.

What’s the best record shop?
I used to love Rounder Records, such a cool place and I bought so many records and gig tickets there in my teen years. Such a shame when it went…Luckily Resident is also awesome and I’ve seen some great in-stores there as well. It has quite an authentic ‘old record store’ feel to it which is harder to find these days.

Where’s the best places to eat?
Ooo…Well, I’m a couple of years into being vegetarian so my pallet has changed somewhat. Before it would have been wherever had the best burger but now not so…I ate at Easy Tiger recently on Upper North Street and it was amazing. Indian street food to die for, I HIGHLY recommend. Also the veggie roast at Hop Poles was a joy.

What’s the best pub?
My usual watering holes are The Foundry, The Prince George, Basketmakers or The Great Eastern. I like them small and cosy. I’m that guy that whinges to his mates that the music’s too loud when having a pint somewhere. Yeah, I am old.

Who’s your favourite Brighton celebrity?
Gotta be Nick Cave hasn’t it. Painfully cool.

When was the last time you had any Brighton Rock?
Not since I was a kid and to be honest I didn’t really like it then either. I’m the sorta person that eats ice creams by biting into them. I’m mental like that. Rock sort of frustrated me. I want to eat it, I don’t want to earn it.

The first gigs announced for the Folklore Rooms are:

2nd August – Liberty Matisse
14th August – Josh O’keefe
17th August – The Folklore Monthly Showcase (Tickets on sale July 2nd)
28th August – Jack Cade
4th September – The Sweet Ordeal

Jacko Hooper’s latest release is entitled This Was The Earth, which can be bough over at bandcamp as well as the usual digital download sites:

Don’t call it a comeback

… but we figured it was about time to switch things on again. It’s a few days short of a year since we last posted, but what a year, eh?

Even though things aren’t over yet it feels like a good time to start things again. Hopefully in a few weeks’ time gigs can start again properly, but let’s give a shoutout to everyone who’s put on socially distanced gigs and set up livestreams while we haven’t been able to go out, and also everyone who has put in all the planning and effort for gigs, only to have to rearrange things (multiple times in some cases).

Until we can get out to gigs again we’re going to revive our Brighton Rocks interviews – There’s one going up later and plans are afoot for more over the next couple of weeks.

And then before long, hopefully the last year and a bit will fade to a distant memory and things will return to normal. Fingers crossed.

Pressing Pause

You might have noticed that we’ve been a bit quiet since lockdown started. Whereas this time last year we were posting a couple of times a week, we’ve only managed to make five posts in the last three months – The practicalities of having a family and a job don’t work right now, let alone trying to do anything over and above that, such as writing a blog. So it’s with a heavy heart that I’ve decided to press pause on things for a while until life is a bit more “normal”.

Things came to a bit of a head with yesterday’s #letthemusicplay activity, where I didn’t have the capacity to get anything together which is ridiculous given that I started the blog to get to more gigs, but I also didn’t have any time to post anything in support of Black Lives Matter, which I regret.

This is just a pause though – we’ll be back at some point later in the year. See you then.

Brighton Rocks # 33 : Nick Hudson / The Academy of Sun

Who are your favourite local bands?
Hmmm. Spleen, Fragile Creatures, Collect Call, Twenty One Crows.

What’s the best venue?
Damn I miss The Hanbury Ballroom. I’d say The Hope, with a stentorian shout-out to Leon,
who’s engineering is peerless. Otherwise, The Old Market, for the diversity of its programming.

What’s the best rehearsal space / studio?
We’ve started using Botega to rehearse in, and they’re awesome. I just really hope they survive the economic devastation of the pandemic. As for recording studios, we lived in Church Road Studio for two years while we were making The Quiet Earth, and it’s fair to say Julian and Paul are truly excellent humans and engineers. Adaptable, ingenious and inventive. Also Audiobeach, where I made a collaborative record with Oli Spleen. Forbes, Rocco and Old Clunky are a triumvirate to be reckoned with.

What’s the best club?
I don’t really go clubbing, Though we did play The Volks last November, which was beautiful
chaos. Sad to see Legends close, not because it was a great club per se, but because of the late night potential for preposterous hijinks. And for their insane lasers in the basement club.

What’s the best record shop?
I love, and have always loved Wax Factor. It’s browse-to-revelation ratio is particularly strong
and I frequently spend time in there just ranting with proprietor Mark. Will always miss
Rounder. And Monkey Music. Sigh.

Where’s the best places to eat?
Mange Tout and its sister restaurant Plateau are consistently excellent. Bincho Yakitori and
Ephesus on Preston Street are to die for. Riddle And Fins are still great and I’m still in pursuit
of lockdown lobster. The Setting Sun offers an incredible menu, and I’d say the same even if
my brother weren’t the head chef. Famous Szechuan on Queens Road is my favourite oriental restaurant in town. With an unassuming exterior, their menu and service are at once world-beating and homely.

What’s the best pub?
The Hand In Hand, Kemptown. It’s been my living room for over ten years. It functions as a
rustic bar, a psych ward, a hedonist’s miniature playground, a storyteller’s lounge, a tiny venue, a brewery, a community, a Fellini-esque speakeasy and a last refuge of the hangdog and esoteric. Jen is a local legend and deserves colossal applause. Their beer hatch during the lockdown is a wonderful thing.

Who’s your favourite Brighton celebrity?
Well, it’s always nice to know Nick Cave is in our realm, scratching out his red hand files from deepest Kemptown. We once had a natter about songwriting at a parking metre and he was a true gentleman.

What’s the best thing about Brighton?
It’s a weirdly malleable place. You can kinda forge your own version of it, within reason. It’s
small enough to be walkable and easily-escaped (and the downs, and the rock pools beyond the marina have proven cherished boltholes during lockdown) and big enough to sustain a degree of momentum and identity of its own. I also have a kinda authorial fascination with the way various disparate demographics intersect to form its strange socio-cultural ecosystem. Like, the gangsters, the lunatic chefs, the musicians, the queer community, the old level-heads in their KLF threads, the curious paradox that is Tory queens, the bar poets, the Soho exiles, the sprinklings of Crowleyana.

When was the last time you had any Brighton Rock?
I’ve never had it! Though a friend was telling me about Sellafield rock actually. Which reminds me of the time an old friend walked into The Hand In Hand using an unirradiated nuclear cooling rod as a didgeridoo.

The Quiet Earth by The Academy of Sun is out on Friday 19th June and can be ordered from Bandcamp

New Brighton Music

So, it turns out that even if I have the desire to keep the blog update, the combination of lockdown, a job and childcare mean that there aren’t enough hours in the day, which is why it’s been over a month since our last post. Here’s an attempt to catch up, with no promises about when I’ll get to make my next post! In no particular order, here’s more than twenty tracks that have come out from local acts since we last wrote:


Ellis D / Puppeteering
Jetstream Pony / It’s Fine
Fragile Creatures / Parallel Lines
Dan Sumner / Electric Light
Lucy Feliz / Magic Hour
Will and the People / Head in the Sand
Psychic Shakes / Wage Slave
Nancy / Call Me On Your Telephone
Billy Carr / Swinging
Jon Mcleod / The Cavalry Comes
Libra Libra / Juicy Lucy
Maurice Business / Inside (from Songs for the Office EP)
Mrisi / West Baby
Thrillhouse / : Ready When You Are
Sit Down / Told U So (from Nice One EP)
The Daylight / Ghosts (Clementine remix)
Politeburo / Middlechild
Dom Champ / Slow
Candid / Oz
Fruity Water / Telephone Song
Thudd / What Once Was
Joe Peter / Self Adhesive
Maida Vorn / Manic in Me

New Brighton Music

We took a bit of a break over lockdown, but after a couple of other posts this week we’re properly back. We’ve got a bit of catching up to do with our new music, so this week’s post has over thirty tracks:

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/5TmKIDKouCEbbD8D2oD53I?si=XuNikwuATaWsYsfXae29Og

Cate Ferris / Keep Going
Battery Operated Orchestra / The Getaway
CLT DRP / Like Father (Sit Down remix)
Kudu Blue / Are You With Me (DJ Zinc remix)
El Train & Kallitechnis / MAD
Megan Lara Mae / Jungle
Jacko Hooper / You Don’t Understand
Oxomo / Keep it Blessed (feat Skinny Tallss)
Idyll / Sunny B
Maida Vorn / River (from Face Like Thunder EP)
Penfold Gate / Asteroids
MarMan / Space
SABRINA / Losing Sleep
Black Square / The Hope and the Crutch (from Beggars Opera Album)
Alysha / Stronger
Jack Barnes / Down & Out
Para Fiction / Roy (from Pandemic EP)
Boudicca / Mountain (from Pushing Up Daisies album)
Beachtape / Somewhere Better (from Bigger Picture EP)
Osaro / Think of You
Hear Lies / Ministry (from In War, Grief, Hope & Peace EP)
Tilda Allie / Boi
Niches / Beautiful Daydream
Orpine / Two Rivers
Sianon / Overthinking
The Psycho Relics / Rocking Chair
Giant Sinclair / Mountain’s Gone
Gulls / Shame Shame Shame
Nature Trip / Parley
The Brave Faces / In The Dark
Octopuses / Yesterday Man

Brighton Rocks #32 : Projector

Some Brighton Rocks take a bit longer to come to fruition than others. I first approached Projector last September about getting them involved but with touring, holidays, and line up changes throwing spanners in the works we didn’t end up meeting until March. It felt like one last twist of fate that on the day the weather was awful, but it turned out that Coronavirus would the last laugh. So finally, we’re happy to present Brighton Rocks number 32:

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 Who are the your favourite local bands?
E: We’re both big fans Laundromat.
L: Some of my favourite bands ever operate out of Brighton – Tigercub and Demob in particular, but also Sick Joy, Murmur and Zooni.

What’s the best venue?
L: Hard one…depends on the kind of evening you’re anticipating. I love the Hope, I’ve played many happy shows there. Controversially I’d also say Brighton Electric, for the many fine parties they’ve put on over the years. And the Bee’s Mouth for a rare evening of jazz.
E: Green Door Store, my place of work and play.

What’s the best rehearsal space / studio?
E: We are long term punters at Brighton Electric. But we also love the Small Pond.

What’s the best club?
E: Hove chess club

What’s the best record shop?
L: Sadly I have little money for records at the moment, but obviously Resident is a place I like to go and pretend. The last record I bought there was Oscar Peterson’s Night Train.
E: I listen exclusively to mini-disks.

Where’s the best places to eat?
L: I cannot possibly recommend Hove Tandoori enough. I will not eat any other curry. Nothing compares. If readers were going there tonight I would recommend to them the Vegetable Balti or Massala, with added paneer, complimented by a glass of their Sauvignon Blanc and finished off with the garlic naan.
E: Pom Poko.

What’s the best pub?
E: Rossi Bar for cocktails, Caxton Arms for macaroni cheese burgers
L: I am also a devotee of Rossi and their charming bar staff. But I love the Neptune, near fourth avenue in Hove. It is very small and warm, like someone’s living room, the drinks are reasonably priced and sometimes there will be someone playing some sort of old folk stuff. Sort of place I’d have imagined bumping into Billy Connolly.

Who’s your favourite Brighton celebrity?
L: I’m a big fan of Steve Coogan. I *thought* I saw him on the beach the other day but no dice. I’m told he’s always accompanied by extremely attractive young women. I’m not really one for meeting my heroes though, I imagine they’d disappoint me, or in this case I’d get nervous and shout AHA etc.

What’s the best thing about Brighton?
L: I’m going to say Brighton Electric if we’re quantifying this with happy Brighton memories. I first visited in 2012 when they just had a hatch, no bar etc, and I was in tiny old room 4 (now absorbed by the live room). Since then I must have spent hundreds.

When was the last time you had any Brighton Rock?
L: I have very sensitive teeth and avoid that shit like the plague.

Projector were finalising work on EP2 before lockdown started and are posting snippets of recordings on their Instagram and Facebook pages.

Save Our Local Live Music Scene

These are difficult times – Lockdown has forced venues and pubs to close putting the live music scene on hold. Gigs have been postponed or cancelled leaving the venues and promoters with their overheads.

The Music Venue Trust have instigated a Save Our Venues campaign, with the Hope & Ruin, Green Door Store, Komedia, Latest Music Bar, Pipeline, Old Market and The Brunswick linked to the campaign. Head over to the Save Our Venues website to find out more. The Prince Albert has their own crowdfunder link and there’s also the opportunity to donate to Brighton Dome

The Rose Hill have mentioned on their facebook page that they may join the Save Our Venues campaign, but I can’t see anything for Chalk or Concorde 2. I’ll update this post if anything comes up for them.

Venues are only half the picture though – It’s one thing having places to go but someone has to put the gigs on in the first place and the promoters are the unsung heroes of the scene. They’re the ones picking up on the bands you haven’t heard of yet, booking them for gigs months ahead. They’re the ones working out whether a band would be best placed to play a big room like the Old Market or somewhere smaller like the Hope & Ruin. They’re the ones dealing with bands suffering from tour fatigue and making sure things are in place so that they still put on a good show. It’s their experience and devotion to the local scene that makes it what it is, and they’re suffering too. So here’s a shoutout to Melting Vinyl, Love Thy Neighbour, Acid Box, Lout, Dictionary Pudding, Hot Wax, Brighton Noise, One Inch Badge, Joy and everyone else who brings gigs to Brighton.

Melting Vinyl, stalwarts of the local scene for over twenty years, are running a crowdfunder to help keep the lights on, with rewards ranging from gig posters to a promoting masterclass with MV founder Anna Moulson. Brighton Dome, who run Brighton Festival, gave ticketholders the option of donating a percentage of the value of their tickets when offering refunds. The advice generally has been to keep hold of any tickets you’ve bought which will still be valid for rescheduled gigs.

 

New Brighton Music

It’s been a funny few weeks since I last posted – Coronavirus has changed the world as we know it. Festival season has been decimated – Glastonbury has been cancelled this year, as has Brighton’s own Great Escape. I doubt I’ll be doing my monthly gig previews post for a bit. But there is still music to listen to, so here’s what’s new including a few Lockdown themed songs:

Knightstown / Rewire (from Rewire EP)
Man Like Malcolm / Don’t Cry For Me
Ruby Dutch / Listen To The Rain
The Ducks / Disco Fox (from Up To No Good album)
Ahsoka / Creature of the Deep
Ralph TV / Making Movements (from Cabin Fever Dreams LP)
Chxrlotte / Don’t Save Me
Mariah Casals / For You
Night House / To Be With (from Everyone is Watching from Afar LP)
Heights / Let Down
CLT DRP / Worth It (AKDK remix)
Samuel / Karma

Kate Gerrard and Beth Chesser from The Delta Bell / May You Bring Light // The New And The Old

Yumi & The Weather / Struggling

LibraLibra / Panic Buy

Sit Down / Quarantine