Ġenn and Mangö supporting Pins at the Green Door Store Gallery

Last Friday, Melting Vinyl invited us down to the Green Door Store to see Pins supported by two local bands – Ġenn and Mangö. It was the first time we’d caught either band, and we weren’t disappointed – in fact we’ve already pencilled in Ġenn’s next gig – at the Hope & Ruin on 6th December, supported by Currls and Cabria – into our diary. Click through on the pics to view large: 

Projector at the Hope & Ruin Gallery

Gigs have been back for a few weeks now, but it’s taken me until now to bring my camera along to see some local bands and take enough photos to justify a blog post. But last Friday Projector played a storming set for the hometown date of their current tour at the Hope & Ruin and we found our way to the front. Support came from Hutch (who we did see) and Sleep Council (who we saw a bit of, but only from the back).

It’s great to be back at gigs, and hopefully we’ll have some more pictures to share very soon

Brighton Rocks #36 : Great Pagans

More than five years in the making, Great Pagans return in the next few weeks with their new album Aux Follies, coming out on local label Cupboard Music. We caught up with Alex Painter to give him the Brighton Rocks treatment:

What’s the best thing about Brighton?
I’ve lived in various parts of the country and never felt as at home and at ease as in Brighton. I suppose that’s why I’ve been here 15 years now. Also there’s always someone weirder than you, which is reassuring.

Who are your favourite local bands?
The biggest pleasant surprise recently has been Ensemble 1, the album ‘Guitar, Bass & Drums’ is amazing repetitive, morphing guitar patterns but not dry and emotionless like that could be. Also Japanese Sweets, Owen from Speak Galactic’s modular synth project. He creates really beautiful human sounds with them.

What’s the best venue?
I like the Pipeline, it has that same DIY feel that upstairs at Fitzherbert’s used to have before they gentrified it. But with a better PA. Green Door Store will always have a place in my heart too.

What’s the best rehearsal space / studio?
Friendliest staff has to be Small Pond, and they have a nice range of cables to borrow when I invariably forget something.

What’s the best club?
Hard to recall after the last couple of years but downstairs at the Rossi Bar has a nice feel. Small, great sound, interesting nights like Flex etc.

What’s the best record shop?
We’re totally spoilt for record shops here aren’t we. I think a special mention should go to the great little well-curated record corner in Family Store though. It’s nice to have a selection chosen by real people and not just what will sell well.

Where’s the best places to eat?
Any of the myriad posh bakeries we’re blessed with in Brighton.

What’s the best pub?
I would consider having my ashes scattered in The Basketmakers.

Who’s your favourite Brighton celebrity?
I love the old guy who walks slowly through the lanes in a different glam rock/punk outfit every day. He used to have a little dog and often wears platform boots and like bright blue velour suits. I’d love to know his story if anyone knows?

When was the last time you had any Brighton Rock?
I am a Brighton Rock virgin. Saving myself for that special rock.

Aux Follies comes out on 3rd September, and the band are playing on the bill of a free gig at the Hope & Ruin on 1st September.

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.

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

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.

 

Brighton Rocks #31 : Lau Ro from Wax Machine

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What’s the best thing about Brighton?
Brighton seems to attract very interesting characters. I’ve met all sorts of crazy people here, that’s the best part for me.

Who are the your favourite local bands?
Off the top of my head I’d say Rokurokubi, Hill, Woody Green, Codex Serafini, Count Kujo, Strange Cages, Oh Mama, Jouis…
There’s also a great new upcoming project called ‘Anona’ to keep an eye out for.

What’s the best venue?
The Rialto Theatre is quite an interesting space and we’ve had some great nights there. The Hope and Ruin has good sound too. I reckon anywhere Acid Box or Melting Vinyl go for 🙂

What’s the best rehearsal space / studio?
Brighton Electric is cool and they got good gear. But we don’t have much money so we usually jam/rehearse in a mysterious dark and damp cave under a bridge.

What’s the best club?
Mmm I don’t really go to clubs. Been to some good Eight Miles High club nights and I’d definitely recommend the Sidereal Ziggurat if you wanna have a boogie or freakout.

What’s the best record shop?
Resident seems to have its finger on the pulse of local music and more.. One day I hope to have the necessary funds to buy more records.

Where’s the best places to eat?
Izzi and I treated ourselves to breakfast at Brewed this morning. But basically anywhere in the Lanes or around the Open Market.

What’s the best pub?
I don’t go to pubs very often but I’d say The Great Eastern or White Rabbit.

Who’s your favourite Brighton celebrity?
Apparently Aleister Crowley had his funeral here, I like to think that I can feel his presence when walking around Woodvale.

When was the last time you had any Brighton Rock?
Never!

Earthsong of Silence by Wax Machine is out on Friday 20th March. It’s available to order through the bandcamp link below, or via Resident.

At the time of writing, there’s a launch party at the Hope & Ruin on 21st March, but keep an eye on the Facebook event for updates.