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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.