Normally we’re very strict about making sure we only write about Brighton based acts, and Crayola Lectern lives in Worthing these days, but he’s one of the precious few who we relax our rules for. He’s been a fixture on the Brighton scene for a number of years now, his first album came out on Brighton label Bleeding Hearts Recordings, and the launch for his new album Happy Endings was at the Rosehill.
What’s the best thing about Brighton?
For me, these days it is its proximity to Worthing. This works both ways as the two towns complement each other and provide things the other lacks. I love Brighton for its vibrancy and the feeling that you may follow your dream, at least for a while, that you can be your glorious, unedited self without fear of small town tut-tuttings. It has worn off significantly on the neighbour town, where a burgeoning community of creative types, writers, artists, weirdos, poets, bad-ass rock’n’rollers, radish-worshipping occultists, DJ’s, string quartets and experimentalists all do their thing whilst the town retains a sleepy serenity. Collaboration between the towns is increasing dramatically culturally, not least with Brighton’s creaking City College having being merged with Worthing’s thriving Northbrook, whose Theatre departmant is one of the top in the country and whose music department boasts some of the best equipped recording facilities in the South, giving incredible opportunities to students.
Who are your favourite local bands?
Le Juki – the album doesn’t seem to want to leave my CD player. Very organic, kind of playful, oddly beguiling, familiar somehow, yet a little out of reach, like a dream. The sound of being alive. I love it.
Here’s a list of ones who are up to interesting things who I recommend: Dog In The Snow, MUMMY, Brother Twain, Chop Chop, L C Pumpkin, Libra Libra, Map 71, Porridge Radio, The Fiction Aisle and Muddy Suzuki for starters.
What’s the best venue?
Well, on this subject I’m going to have to rule out all the venues without pianos, which will narrow things down somewhat. Komedia Studio Bar has given me some treasured memories (piano 9/10) and is lovely, ditto the Friends Meeting House (grand piano 9/10). Brunswick is good too (piano 6/10) and The Verdict (piano 8/10).
But my winner here is The Rose Hill, a very vibey space, great layout, good people, top sound, a low upright (piano 7.5/10) which is of course great for sight lines. Feels like a hub for my kind of musical echo chamber.
If we could include Worthing, I’d say St Pauls Arts Centre, a deconsecrated church, feels like you’re in a film, such is the enchantment of the place (piano 10/10).
What’s the best rehearsal space/studio?
I like the way Brighton Electric has grown over the years. It is such a beautiful old building and is so conducive to band practising with the whole lounge / bar thing, whilst being really well laid out and equipped.
For recording, I use Metway as again, I love the space itself. You can hole yourself up in there without fear of the outside world intruding.
What’s the best club?
The only club I’ve really attended with any frequency over the last few years is Synthesize Me. It was hosted at Pelirocco Hotel and the lights of Innerstrings competed with the kitsch interior decor to provide a setting in which some weird and wonderful sounds would be regularly exorcised from musicians and DJ’s alike. It has moved to Worthing now. I just went there again yesterday at the groovy Coast Cafe. Always a great feeling in the room.
What’s the best record shop?
Bella Union vinyl shop. The day Simon Raymonde upped sticks from the big smoke was a great day for Brighton. A generous soul, meticulous curator, laid back (but slightly dangerous) rockstar / label boss and maximum dude, his little shop hidden away on Ship Street Gardens is a magic place to discover some of the musical gems from the incredibly impressive Bella union family. It is like a sweetie shop for music lovers.
Where’s the best places to eat?
I always stop off at Necot in Kemp Town, whose Americanos hit the spot exactly, as they add the perfect amount of water of water, ensuring the “hit” is achieved and the taste uncompromised. I actually look forward to going by there, very calm environment, light, food looks tasty and the people working there are ace.
For food, I’ve phoned a friend and Bic recommends the Vegetable Patia from Maharani or Bankers for chunky chips. As he says, “who doesn’t like chunky chips?”
What’s the best pub?
The Robin Hood or The Bees Mouth if I’m over that side of town. Dimly lit, dens of iniquity generally are good for evening japes.
Who’s your favourite Brighton celebrity?
The Australian Contingent. Noah Taylor, a friend, I bumped into right after this photo shoot on my way home and his buddy, Mr Cave without whom….
When was the last time you had any Brighton Rock?
La Mômo (krautische punky pop band with Sadie and me) had some bespoke Brighton Rock made up as band merch in about 2004. We also did La Mômo knickers which were amazingly popular. I still have the rock. Horrible stuff!
Happy Endings by Crayola Lectern is out now on Onomatopoeia Records now. The next Brighton Crayola Lectern gig in on 17th September at the Komedia supporting Lost Horizons.