Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas 
and a 
happy new year 
to one and all!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Ida Barr @ Pavillion Theatre

Ida Barr is a rapping granny from London.  If you can imagine  Hinge and Bracket freestyling over dance beats then you are almost there.  "Last Christmas (possibly)" was her reminiscing about the the past year, telling a few jokes and having a bit of a sing song.  Her act was nice and at times poigniant but as it was the first night, a little under polished.  Her guest acts were where it really got interesting.  Ukelele Eric was an old chap giving some old Max Miller material a bit of a "Kemptown" twist.  The Two Wrongies were the main surprise though.  Without giving too much away, they did a 6 minute synchronised swimming routine on stage, sans costumes.  It is really not something you see every day.  The show runs until Friday so it is probably worth trying to catch this show before the council or the Argus try and close it down, as they surely will.

Friday, December 17, 2010

No Walls Gallery

Seems there is a new gallery in town.  No Walls Gallery specialises in all your trendy graffiti and alternative outsider artists.  Their artists list is quite impressive (if you read Juxtapoz) and they seem to have quite a few Banksy pictures for sale.  Then again, what shop in Brighton doesn't have some Banksy tat for sale.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Alright, its not particularly Brighton related but my fave web site at the moment is KickStarter.  If you have ever fancied yourself as a patron of the arts then this is the place to go.  Or if you are a struggling artist and want to raise some money for a particular project.

To begin with, you submit a description of your project and how much money you want to raise.  You then say what levels of pledge (££) you will accept and what the pledger will get in return.  So if you are making a film then $5 gets a name in the credits and $25 gets a signed copy of the DVD.

You can pledge as little or as much as you like.  So far I have received CDs, MP3s, Comics, DVDs, paintings and the warm feeling of having helped someone make their dream come true.  Check it out.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Robin Ince @ The Dome

It was billed as "The Return of Nine Lessons and Carols for Godless People" and was sort of an anti Christmas show.  Or at least a Christmas show with all the "little baby Jesus" stuff taken out of it Jesus.  What you got was Robin Ince compeering a string of comedians and entertainers all doing their slightly nerdier material.  There were a couple of mathematicians and journalists in the mix but not as many as I'd been expecting.  Richard Herring started off reading his letter of application for the post of Pope which surprisingly was a post he didn't get.  Josie Long came on and talked to the audience about nothing much for several minutes.  Other acts included our own Stepen Grant, Simon Singh and Frisky and Mannish.  Local lass (and friend of JohnnyVegas) Joanna Neary did a hilarious skit about buying sex toys for Christmas and Dara O'Brian finished the night off with a thorough dissection of the film 2012.

It was a good show but probably one for the more scientific amongst you.  If you don't know your Quantum Physics from your Quantum Leap then you may miss some of the jokes.  Also if you are familiar with the podcast work of any of the above people then you may have heard some of the material before.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Vampire Weekend @ Brighton Centre

Who would have though, when they played Audio a couple of years ago, Vampire Weekend would end up headlining festivals and playing the Brighton Centre.  Most people who were there might have guessed it as, despite being a Brooklyn band and playing African rhythms, they do write incredibly catchy pop tunes.

Their set consisted most/all of the tracks from their two shortish albums, with the four piece band spread out over the centres largish stage.  The arrangements were looser than on the album and every now and again the drummer would wander off and play some of the other percussion they had lying about.  The centre of the show was "I think you are a contra" the slow one with the political message off the last album.  As with the album its change of pace made it more memorable compared to the surrounding tracks.

As usual the singles were saved till last and went down a storm.  They left after one encore promising to have written some new material for their return.  Considering they have only been around a couple of years, they have played Brighton a few times.  There was Audio, the C2, Great Escape, Del La War Pavillion and now the Centre.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Let It Snow ...

It may have escaped your attention, but it has been snowing a bit recently.  There was much consternation on the Brighton Centre Vampire Weekend Facebook forum.  It seems that some people might not be able to make it to the gig.  There lots of call for the gig to be rescheduled even though the band were already in town.  There was even a Facebook group set up.  

Anyway, the gig came and went and i have to say Brighton town centre was quite magical that night.  It was snowing quite heavily and the roads were devoid of traffic.  The beach was covered in snow and for once the clock tower Christmas lights actually looked quite lovely.

Of course by this time of night all the taxis and public transport had packed up and gone home.  Almost all that is, there was a lone 700 bus sat at Churchill Square that picked up the everyone it could and headed off west.  Western Road was deserted except for a few brave antarctic explorers and deserted cars.  The roads were very treacherous and the corner or church road and grand avenue took several minutes to navigate.

Have you had any adventures?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Get Your Skates On ...

If you have been past the  Pavillion recently you will have noticed that there is an ice rink out the back now.  It runs from 13 November 2010 to 16 January 2011 and comes with its own bar and restaurant.  Tickets cost about £10 and are available here.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

PAY & DISPLAY Pop-Up Gallery

Unlike puppies, some things are just for Christmas.  One of those things is the PAY & DISPLAY Pop-Up gallery.  It looks like a selection of artists have taken over a shop in the North Laines and are selling their wares there.  The folks from Modern Toss are there selling a particularly rude tea towel.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Rounder Ticket Listings

As much as I rave about Resident Music in the North Lanes, I see Rounder Records has finally bitten the bullet and stuck its ticket list online.  Where as Resident do a new list each week, this seems to be one page that gets updated as necessary, making it easier to bookmark.  Well done Rounder.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

S. H. O. P. P. I. N. G., We're Shopping

It's that time of year now.  For the next month or so it is best to avoid Brighton town centre at the weekend.  Why, because of ALL those Christmas shoppers.  It is amazing just how many people can squeeze into Churchill Square on a Saturday afternoon.  I'm sure when they covered it, they must have used the same stuff as Dr Whos TARDIS.  If you must go then I suggest you try late night shopping Thursdays.  The square stays open till 8pm and a few of the surrounding shops stay open later as well.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Lizzie Thomas

A couple of weeks ago I got a book called Papercraft.  It is a marvellous exploration of sculptures made from paper.  Folding, cutting, tearing are all methods you can use to create lovely pieces of art.  It has since come to my attention that Brighon resident Lizzie Thomas does similar stuff.  In fact her stuff is so good it's been featured in another book on the subject.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Radioheads Crowdsourced Beach Sculpture.

According to the NME, Radiohead's Thom Yorke has teamed up with the band's sleeve designer Stanley Donwood to try and create a human sculpture in Brighton next Saturday (November 27).  The plan seems to be to get 2000 people together to form a shape that would be visible from space.  Or something.  Sign up quick and you could take part!

It takes place between 11 and 1 so even if you don't get called on, pop down and you might see something.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Divine Comedy @ Komedia

It was billed as an evening with Neil Hannon, but having been too late to get tickets for the evening show, It was lucky that the Komedia managed to get  to do an afternoon one as well.  He came on stage to the theme tune from Mr Ben, dressed in a suit and bowler hat and carrying a brief case.  That sort of set the mood for the show quite well.

Why this chap isn't more successful is beyond me.  He proceeded to play an hour and a half of witty, clever, intelligent pop songs, a bit like an indie Neil Tennant.  Swapping between piano and guitar, he played most of the DC hits as well as the stand out tracks from the new album and a song from both the cricket album and his upcoming musical.  National Express was saved for the final number as would be expected.  The crowd was well up for the moments of audience participation, joining in on backing vocals and chatting amongst themselves when prompted to.  It was a shame that he had to pace himself so he would be in a fit state for the evening show.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Fashion, turn to the left ...

Break out the leather gimp suit with lace trimmings and fake fur attachments, the University of Brighton Fashion Society are having their first catwalk show at Geisha arts in a couple of weeks time.  Check the blog for more details.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Brighton v London

Not quite sure what Geisha Arts is, but they seem to be having a bit of an artistic Brighon v London battle. There are some big names there with Goldie and Jamie Reid.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Dolphins Film Preview

Tonight at the Duke of Yorks they have a preview of the film Dolphins. This is a film set in Brighton, all about the boy racers that hang out down Marine Parade come nightfall. If you fancy a teenage love story packed with shiny chrome alloys and huge bass bins then this is the film for you. The trailer looks good and the soundtrack features Fatboy Slim and hip-hop legend Roots Manuva.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Brighton Music Venue Crisis

It seems the future of three Brighton music venues are all in doubt at the moment. The Hanbury Ballroom and the Engine Room are both under new management and that always means they may just turn into pubs or clubs. More worryingly the Freebutt is having trouble with the council over noise levels and may have to close.

Now having been going to gigs in Brighton for longer than I can remember, this is nothing new. Every couple of years things change and some venues stop doing music and some start. I remember seeing the Verve at the Pressure Point (nee the Richmond) a long time ago and they haven't done gigs for years now. Audio was also a venue back in the 80s under another name. The Hanbury and the Engine Room are more clubby pubs and will probably always continue to do stuff.

The Freebutt is different though. I remember when it was just the front part of the pub, before they knocked it into the horse shoe shaped bar. Since then they have built a small housing estate next to it and that is probably where the problem is. I haven't been upstairs in the venue recently but downstairs it looks a bit grim. There is a functional bar and industrial warehouse looking stage part. It is not the nicest place to visit and the number of pillars make watching bands a bit can't help thinking they would be better off cutting their losses and taking the name somewhere else. Still, if you want to protest then you can sign the petition.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Local Festivals

If you are ever at a loss for something to do at the weekend then chances are there is a mini festival happening in Brighton somewhere. Coming up soon are the following ones.

Sat 03 Jul 10
Paddle Round The Pier
A popular one on Hove Lawns if you are into watersports or just laying on the beach.

Sat 10 Jul 10
Kite Festival
Out in Stanmer Park, this is a day of kiting with demonstrations and lots of people selling kites.

Sat 10 Jul 10
Family Fun Day and Music Festival
Sat 24 Jul 10
PoCo LoCo Dance and food Festival
A couple of things under the umbrella of the Poets Corner festival.

Sat 07 Aug 10
Get out your cowboy hats, it is the UKs premier gay festival.

Fri 20 Aug 10
29th Brunswick Community Festival
This is a good one held in Brunswick Square. Two days of jumble sales, markets, bands, food and drink.

Sat 25 Sep 10
Brighton & Hove Food and Drink Festival
A food and drink festival that takes place all over Brighton and hove.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Soundwaves Festival 2010

It seems the Soundwaves festival has moved from the Old Market to the Sallis Benney this year. This is a now annual festival of weird and wonderful music of a more "experimental" nature. The only consession to "pop" will be the indie starlet Micachu helping out in a performance of Cornelius Cardews Treatise. Expect a very tune free weekend.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Julian Cope Review 02/06/2010

Droolian, the Arch Drood and that bloke from Teardrop Explodes were all present tonight in varying amounts. This was a one man show that picked the best bits of his back catalogue and presented them on guitar or mellotron for a rabid audience. the man himself hasn't changed since I last saw him with stories about taking acid on his 50th birthday and how his Vietnam era US army cap was better than a German one.

Considering he hasn't really bothered the publics conscience since Beautiful Love, the more recent stuff sounded nice and familiar. One tune contained the humorous line "I like the avant garde, but you avant garde a clue". Classics like Christine and Sunspots also got an airing.

Of course it wasn't perfect. The guitar songs were either played on straight acoustic or acoustic through fx pedals. This meant that some of the songs did disappear into a puddle of noise come the middle eight.

Mention should also be made of the support act. David Wrench looked a bit like a geriatric Suicide with a chap in white denim and grey beard shouting anarchist type statements over a two note synth line for ten minutes.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Edinburgh Comedy Previews

The Caroline of Brunswick pub in Brighton has some comedians down this month trying out their new Edinburgh material on unsuspecting punters. Not quite the big names that they had last year but a good chance to see Josie Long and Stephen K Amos in a pub.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Brighton Nude Bike Ride

If you are around on the 13th June and dont mind cleaning your bicycle seat afterwards, then you could take part in the Brighton Nude Bike Ride. It is part of Bike Week and is either a chance to protest against something or just some gratuitous exhibitionism. I forget. Either way its probably worth supporting.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Bodies In Urban Spaces - Review

This was an interesting one. We all met at the little shopping parade between New England Street and Preston Circus at 11pm on Friday night. all the neighbours were peering out the window wondering what was happening. What followed was an imaginative if surreal walk down through the North Lanes.

It was like a cross between graffiti and free running. Every now and then we would stop and look at the performers who had thrown/heaped/wedged themselves into the environment somehow. they were hanging from roofs, poking out of basements, wedged up behind lamp posts and bundled into doorways like a pile of brightly coloured charity collection bags. How they got in and out of some of the situations, I will never now.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Peter Blake Art Bus

I missed this last year but it seems Peter Blake, the famous 60s pop artist has a bus full of his art in town on the 15th May as part of the Brighton Fringe Festival.
View the incredible interior, featuring many of his finest prints, plus you could meet the artist himself!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

This is Pure Scenius! - Review

Call me a soft southerner but I only attended one of the three Scenius performances. The thought of them jamming away for three two hour sets fell into the "too much of a good thing" category.

What was it? It was a college lecture beamed back in time from 2050 where they were trying to piece together the last thirty years of music after it had all been erased in a big accident. What was it really? It was an jam session featuring Brian Eno, Karl Hyde, the Necks and a few others. As with this sort of thing, there were no tunes. There were fast ones, slow ones, loud ones, and quiet ones. Some of it was drums and loop based and some wasn't.

The one that started on two pianos was quite good and watching the two screens above the stage gave one the feeling of watching on DVD as opposed to being in the hall. I am not sure Karls lyrics really added that much to the tunes but every now and then he would get something going with Brian which was interesting.

photos from eye magazine.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

dreamthinkspeak: Before I Sleep - Review

Spoiler alert. As it isn't a straight theatre piece, it is hard to review without going into detail and the detail is what makes this so special.

It is a sort of sequel to the classic play "The Cherry Orchard" though only in as much as a few characters from the play are used as recurring themes in it. You start off walking round to the goods entrance of the old Co-Op building on London road. From there you are lead down into the basement where you start your walk through the story. the story relates how the Cherry Orchard in question is sold, chopped down, and turned into a huge housing and shopping complex. It is almost like an Advent calender as you walk (in the dark) from room to room, never knowing what to expect and being quite amazed by what you do find. The surreal feeling of walking across an snowy plain, through the orchard, round a bustling department store or through a ballroom all in the same building.

All in all this is one to see. It is a unique production that you won't get the chance to see again.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Unravelled Exhibition

If you start walking north and get a bit lost then there is a chance you may end up at Preston Manor. Well, starting the 1st May and running for three months, there is an exhibition on there. It is called Unravelled and to quote the web site ...
Based in East Sussex, with an international membership, the group aims to provide an informal network and resource for artists. Members work in innovative ways with the notion of craft, incorporating and subverting traditional techniques.
Sounds like a good excuse to go and have a wander round the manor and the park.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Julie Doucet

Keeping on the comic theme, fames US underground artist Julie Doucet has a show at Castor + Pollux, down on the seafront. For those unfamiliar with her work, she was notorious back in the 80s/90s for her rather graphic comic Dirty Plotte.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Chris Cunningham

If you fancy a bit of an audio visual treat then pop down to the Dome on the 19th April where Chris Cunningham putting on a show. Famous for his Aphex Twin videos, Chris "presents a live multimedia AV show featuring remixed, unreleased and brand-new videos and music to create what promises to be an amazing spectacle". Support comes from BEAK> who are Geoff Barrow from Portisheads latest band.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Brighton Comedy Festival 2010

What you up to in October? Well, if you get in quick you could go to the Brighton Comedy Festival 2010. It looks like the big hitters have already got their name down. Messers Boyle and Murray are doing 2 nights each and are bound to sell out well in advance.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Sound Map of London Road

As part of the Brighton Adult Learning Festival, some people are putting together a Sound Map of London Road. It sounds like they are gathering spoken word histories of London Road, Brighton and the surrounding area. As the gentrification continues it is only a matter of time before the shops and markets get bulldozed/turned into boutiques.

If you would like to contribute then I am sure they would love to hear from you.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Daniel Clowes and Chris Ware Talk

Not sure if it is part of the festival but on the 25 of May, Daniel Clowes and Chris Ware will be in conversation at the corn Exchange. For those unfamiliar with their work, Dan and Chris are two of the leading comic book artists/writers around at the moment. Dan is most famous for Eightball and Ghost World his comic about two teenage girls which got turned into a film with Scarlett Johansen. Chris was resposible for the Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth graphic novel.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

News From Brighton

News From Brighton is a Brighton blog that covers all the news stories out there that feature out lovely town. It covers things like News, Politics, Economy and a whole host of different subject areas.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Gorillaz Play Brighton

Everyone's favourite cartoon band are preparing for a summer of touring with a warm up show at the Old Market in Hove. It takes place on the 25th March and tickets are only available to members of their fanclub. They have just released their new album Plastic Beach and while it isn't as tune packed as the previous ones, it would be nice to see them in a small venue like that.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Brighton iPhone Apps

Having succumbed to the lure of the iPhone a year ago, I have found it a very useful gadget. However it has got a lot more useful since I found the "Brighton Bus Realitme Info" app. This lets you pick a bus stop (going both ways) and see what time the next buses are due to arrive there.

There is also one called "On Brighton" which shows the gigs, clubs, comedy and events for the next seven days. Its database looks quite full and up to date.

There are also plenty of maps and guides to the town but they all cost money. The two mentioned above are both free.

There is even a Google Group out thee for Brighton iPhone Developers.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Brighton Festival Suggestions

It seems the first few (mainly free/cheap) festival shows have started selling out already. Of the main programme, here are my suggestions.
Koyaanisqatsi. Great film and here you have the chance to see Phillip Glass conducting his own work.
This Is Pure Scenius. This is probably the "experimental" music hi-light of the festival. Eno, the Necks and the bloke form Underworld jamming through three sets over the course of a day.
dreamthinkspeak: Before I Sleep. A sequel to Chekhov's Cherry Orchard and enacted in the old Co-Op building on London Road.
Seeing Things (A One-on-one-Experience). Your entrance fee buys you five "one on one" performances. That's shows where there is one actor and one audience member (you).
Marine Parade. Going on in a Brighton bed and breakfast. Featuring songs by the American Music Club's Mark Eitzel

Friday, February 26, 2010

Brighton Festival Open

Yep, it's that time of year again. The Brighton Festival and Fringe websites are now up and selling tickets for this years performances. Like last year, it looks a bit of a mixed bag. Being curated by Brian Eno, I would have hoped for a few more interesting musical items. I will report the hi-lights once I have had a good browse through the listings.

Don't hang around though, most of the tickets for the good stuff usually goes in the first few days of sales.

Monday, February 8, 2010

It Lives ...

After a few months off I have decided to restart the Brighton Arts Blog. Partly as it was getting more hits than my other active blogs and partly as there is just so much happening in Brighton these days.

Don't forget to bookmark the site, add its RSS feed or Follow it in Google.