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

Who are the 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