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.

 

Weekend Gig Picks

We’re going to kick off this week’s round up of the best local gigs with probably the fastest selling out local gig of recent times. Nick Cave may have been born in Australia, but he’s been a Brighton Resident for many years, and this Thursday he brings his Bad Seeds to Brighton Dome as part of their Push The Sky Away tour. If you didn’t manage to get a Nick Cave ticket and fancy some live music tomorrow night, then Physics House Band are supporting Jaga Jazzist at the Old Market.

LETOn Friday night a couple of regular Brighton live music nights have got some great line ups. At the Blind Tiger, Les Enfants Terribles have Tigercub headlining, alongside Plasticine, Great Pagans and Skirts, and then later on at Sticky Mikes Late Night Lingerie have a bill consisting of Spit Shake Sisters, The Querelles, Vyypers, Thee MVPs and Slagcan.

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Sticking with regular nights, Saturday is the next Source New Music night at the Dome Studio Theatre. Recent Source cover stars Traams headline – technically they’re not a Brighton band (they’re from Chichester), but they are signed to Brighton label FatCat, they do play most of their gigs here, and they are a fantastic live band. Support comes from Teardrop Factory, Cousin and Last Heir. Saturday is also Oxjam Brighton day, where for a five pound wrist band you can see dozens of bands all over town at different locations, kicking off from 12 o clock. Full line up details are on the flyer below – our picks are BentCousin, who will be playing at the Seven Stars at 6.30, and Fragile Creatures on at 9pm at the Hobgoblin.

oxjam

Abi Wade live at the Old Market

Abi Wade at The Old Market

Last time I saw Abi Wade, back in December of last year, she was playing the acoustic spot at the Source New Music night at the Pavilion Theatre. Her ‘Of Blood and Air’ EP had just been released, but she was playing to a largely unappreciative audience. In the past three months a lot has changed, because last Thursday night she played to a packed out hall at the Old Market, where the crowd were hanging on every note. Support came from Dan Edwards & Max Crawford, and Luke Sital-Singh. Rumours of me having missed the support because I was distracted in The Conqueror around the corner are unfortunately true. We arrived just as Abi’s set started, and my companions marvelled at both the simplicity and the complexity of her setup. With just one person on stage, it is quite incredible that the sound of a whole band is produced. Somehow, with the aid of a tambourine and a stomp box on drum pedals, cello strings being bowed, and plucked, and the cello body being tapped with the bow, and drumsticks and even a hairbrush, and warm rich sound was created which, had you not been watching, that thought that it was only being created by one person wouldn’t have even crossed your mind. For three quarters of an hour, we were treated to a selection of tracks from the debut EP, and a whole host of other material, including an interesting cover of One Hand Holding by The Maccabees. We were left wanting more, which is the way thing should be – thankfully, Abi’s got a lot more gigs coming up soon: On 18th April at The Haunt (supporting Sea of Bees, with fellow Brightonions Heliopause also on the bill), 27th April at The Hope (supporting Dan Mangan) and 13th June at the Prince Albert (supporting mancubbabywoman)