Brighton Rocks #30 : Paul Pascoe from Beat Hotel

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What’s the best thing about Brighton?
The best thing about living in Brighton and Hove has to be the sea. I’m from Plymouth originally and although that city definitely doesn’t have any kind of cheery seaside vibe, it is close to all the amazing beaches of South Devon and Cornwall. When I reached my early 20s and decided to make good my escape, I couldn’t imagine living very far from the sea. That may be the only reason I’m here, now I think about it?! Peace Statue to the Lagoon is my happy place. The uncool Hove bit.

Who are the your favourite local bands?
Right now I’m a little out of touch with the local gig scene. I’ve just been listening to Scare Taxi (Tara Hartley and Alexander Boag out of These Animal Men, self-styled “trash rock”) and they are well worth checking out. I’m lucky that I get to work with a lot of incredibly talented local bands and artists as producer/engineer at Church Road Recording Company. Jetstream Pony, The Perfect English Weather and The Popguns if you like old-school indie power pop. Caaw are an idiosyncratic blend of dive bar blues and East European folk. Nick Hudson and his “gothic dystopian post-punk ensemble” The Academy Of Sun are doing great things. Look out for The Quiet Earth (LP) this spring. Representing the younger generation, I’d recommend checking out Koala Club, feel-good indie rock with a strong nod to The Strokes. I have mainly just name-checked my recent clients. That’s the first of several shameless plugs! Also, I’m going to mention SJ Brett (Stephen ex-Mojo Fins) even though I co-produce and play bass but his songs, voice and guitar playing are seriously top notch. Will be making waves this year, you mark my words. See also The Also-Ran, the new solo fuzzy pop project of DC Cane from Palm Springs/Random Acts Of Vinyl.

What’s the best venue?
My favourite venue to play is The Prince Albert in Trafalgar Street. There’s no bullshit to it. It always sounds great and everybody involved there seems to be having a good time. Apologies if I’m wrong about that! I always feel very comfortable. I’ll be back there in May (date TBC) with Mudlow to launch our new 6 track EP, Blood On Your Hands Volume 1. Shameless plug no. 2! To see bigger touring bands I like The Dome but the sound is sometimes a bit dicey. I used to love the old Pavilion Theatre next door and I’m looking forward to seeing how the new development there turns out. I wish more cool stuff would happen at The Old Market. I’ve had some great times there. Mudlow supported the Detroit Cobras there many years ago and it was one of our finest hours. Lovely venue.

What’s the best rehearsal space / studio?
Obviously the best studio in town is Church Road Studio! Julian Tardo (Earwig, Insides) and Grant Lyons (La Di Da Records) opened the studio in the old Barclays Bank vault on the corner of Sackville Road in Hove in1996. It’s still the best place for independent music production with a real vintage vibe. We’ve retained our links to analogue recording with an impressive array of classic gear, combined with cutting edge digital technology. I’ve worked there for 20 years and I’m still hungry to get local artists in and work with them to get the high end results they deserve. Shameless plug no. 3! With the bands I play in, Mudlow, Beat Hotel, SJ Brett, we normally use the studio live room for rehearsals as well and it’s a great environment to practice in. As engineers and producers I’d say both Julian and I are very focussed on getting the best performances out of our clients. It’s not all about the technical trickery, it’s much more important that people feel relaxed and confident to express themselves.

What’s the best pub?
I gave up booze a couple of years ago so I don’t really go to pubs very often these days. I considered myself to be a pro-drinker up to that point and I used to love the Lord Nelson on Trafalgar Street. It’s all very different now though. I might still go and sit in the Colonnade Bar, attached to the Theatre Royal on New Road. That’s another place that feels like a time capsule. My tolerance for drunk people is virtually non-existent now though, so I prefer a café that does proper, good, strong, no-nonesense, Americano. Preferably Italian. Controversially, I’m a big fan of Caffe Nero! If I’m feeling like I want to patronise a more independent outlet, whilst out and about in Brighton, I’ll try Pelicano on Sydney Street.

What’s the best club?
I’ve never really been into clubs. I know that’s what a lot of people think Brighton is about but even when I used to go to clubs it was really just somewhere you’d end up to carry on drinking! I flirted with acid house when I was a teenager of course and I remember nights at the Zap Club in the early 90s but it was more about the drugs than the music for me!I’m a rock’n’roller and I’ve made peace with that. We used to go the Catfish Club at The Volks 20 years ago. That was quite good! Nowadays, Stay Sick and Whiskey Preachin’ play the kind of music I’d want to drink to. The only club that I’ve ever really felt truly at home in was The Bleeding Hearts Club. It was run by Chris Davies and Davey Pinnington and had homes in various venues over a 15 year period, most recently at The Rialto Theatre. First Monday of every month. I used to genuinely look forward to it’s unique blend of music, poetry, theatre and even dance. Chris was a brilliant host. It could be quite challenging at times. Pleasure and pain! But the acts all performed 10-20 minute slots so you would always be looking forward to the next thing! I miss it.

What’s the best record shop?
The Record Album opposite Brighton station is just a wonderful place. The original owner, George Ginn, has retired now but it seems to be in safe hands and continues to specialise in soundtrack albums. I always loved the fact you could tell what films were on the telly that week cos George would arrange them in the window display. It was better than any TV guide! It was the range of brilliant record shops that impressed me when I first came to Brighton and Waxfactor on Trafalgar Street is another one that’s still going from those days. Long may they all continue. I still prefer to own music on vinyl where possible and I’m trying to buy more regularly to support the industry. If we don’t actively participate in the things we say we enjoy then they will be lost in time. I’m as guilty as anyone on that score but it’s something I’m trying to address.

Where are the best places to eat?
As a non-drinker, food has become much more of a focus in recent years. I was never all that bothered before! My favourite place to go is Marroccos down by Hove beach. It’s a traditional Italian cafe bar that’s been going since the 60s and probably hasn’t changed that much. My 4 year old daughter loves it there and we always go for ice cream after a swim at the King Alfred leisure centre. They do great pizza but as everybody knows THE best pizza in town can be had at any of the 3 Fatto a Mano restaurants. My favourite is the original London Road one but they are all amazing. I also try not to leave it too long between visits to Casa Don Carlos in The Lanes. Fantastic Spanish tapas and the most jaw-droopingly incredible banoffee pie you will ever encounter. Trust me.

Who’s your favourite Brighton celebrity?
My favourite Brighton celebrities don’t live in Brighton anymore. Nick Cave and Chris Eubank! Actually, I remember Chris Ellison, aka The Bill’s D.I. Burnside, once shared a Mudlow post on Facebook! I can’t think of anyone else? I saw Cate Blanchett in Bread & Milk on Trafalgar Street once! Actually I was there at the time with Barry Adamson (ex Magazine, Bad Seed) and he’s also an ex-Brighton celebrity resident! There’s a shameless name-drop to round things off.

When was the last time you had any Brighton Rock?
I’ve had quite a lot of expensive dental work done over the years and I’m in no hurry to jeopardise that. Great book and film though!

Beat Hotel by Beat Hotel (is it a mini album? Is it an EP? I probably should have asked that) is out now:

February Gig Previews

It’s almost the end of January so, after a break over the Christmas and New Year period, here’s our first gig preview post of 2020.

We’re actually going to kick off with a gig at the end of January, which we would have included in a January post had we made one. Beat Hotel have a new six track mini LP out this week, and are launching it at the Hope & Ruin on Wednesday 29th. Tickets are £5.50 in advance, and proceeds are going to the Grassroots Suicide Prevention charity.

Anyway, onto gigs actually in February. On Saturday the first, Dog in the Snow plays at Green Door Store with support from Polymers and The Daylight, as well as a DJ set from LibraLibra (who have just remixed the new Dog in the Snow single Monochrome).

Over the last year or so, Animal House having been putting out quite a few release, all of which has culminated in their new album Premium Mediocre, which they’re launching at Patterns on Friday 7th February. Then on the following night (Saturday 8th) the fantastic Guru are playing a sold out gig at the Prince Albert.

If you haven’t yet experienced Nancy’s leftfield noise-pop, then Wednesday 19th February could be a good chance to get acquainted when they play the Prince Albert. Support comes from Deep Tan and EllisD.

Last but not least, there are a couple of single launches that we’ve spotted too – Lime launch their debut single Surf’n’Turf with a gig at the Rossi Bar on Thursday 20th February, and M Butterfly host a gig for their upcoming physical release at the Black Dove on Saturday 29th February with support from Such Small Hands.

New Brighton Music

Welcome to our first new music post of 2020. We’re on catchup somewhat, having not made any new music posts in December or so far in January, so we hope you’re sitting comfortably. We’re kicking off with two albums, the first from some Brighton legends who’ve kept us waiting for six and a half since their last record, and the other from the ambient solo project of one of our city’s most prolific drummers:

Electric Soft Parade / Stages

Muddy Suzuki / Endleofta

Beat Hotel / Bury It Deep

Guru / Don’t Talk
Alex Banks / Falling Down
Klae / Take it Back
Thrillhouse / One of These Days
Liemba / Ever Evolving
BUNKR / Solitary Drift (from The Initiation Well Remixed album)
Ornament / Ghost of What We Knew
Fukushima Dolphin / The Furry Side (from The Furry Side EP)
La Lune / Holding onto U
Speedboat / For Jean
Thyla / December
Ross Patience / Dark Days (from Dark Days EP)
Hannah Renton / Skyline
Leroy Horns / A Simple Joy
Good Guy Clarence / Pure Ego Death (from Split Habit EP)
El Train / Out of My Head

New Brighton Music

Almost our last New Music round up of the year – of the decade, thinking about things. Not much gets released in December, so there’ll probably be maybe one more, then we’ll have some kind of end of year post, which I haven’t really thought about yet. Anyway, here’s what to listen to this week:

Hanya / Dream Wife
ARXX / Swallowed The Sun (taken from Wrong Girl, Honey EP)
Beach Riot / Stuck Inside
Meljoann / Assfuck the Boss
Sunny / Infinitely Endless (title track from the album of the same name)
Johnny Kills / Right Now (taken from Panic EP)
Dead Skin Sessions / London, England (from Health & Safety EP)
The Academy of Sun / Rose Devoid of Form
niff / Stuck in my head
Ahsoka / Beg For It
RALPH TV / Loverboy

Super Creature / Lynx

Heroes of Limbo / Madchester Woman

Beat Hotel / Feel It

Jetstream Pony / I Close My Eyes

New Music – Random Acts of Vinyl, King Porter Stomp, GAPS

The flow of new music has slowed recently, as it always does this time of year. The blogs are otherwise occupied with end of year lists (ours will be coming soon), but there’s still a few bits and pieces out there to tell you about.

King Porter Stomp‘s new single Warning, which features the talents of reggae legend Prince Fatty came out last week on Feet Up records on 10″ and download. It’s backed with a Dub remix by dub producer Nick Manasseh.

Yesterday saw the release of GAPS new single She Bears a Flower. We posted up the video for the single back in October, so we won’t repeat ourselves. Instead what we have for you is the b-side We Are Here – the most ambient thing we’ve heard from the band so far:

Finally, now it’s December it was inevitable that there would be some Christmas music coming. Random Acts of Vinyl have put out a four track 10″ EP with their bands each penning an original festive tune. We’ve got the audio of Fire Eyes‘ O Falling Snow below and the EP also has contributions from Beat Hotel, The Delta Bell and Palm Springs. Details of how you can get hold of the EP will be in the next blog we put up later this evening.