Archive for the ‘Brighton’ Category

Fucked Up – The Haunt (28 October 2016)

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Promised myself I wouldn’t end the year frantically scribbling something to fill these out. Looks like I was wrong. Maybe the abandoned monthly post thing is a better idea. Although, there’s no-one reads this stuff. It’s just for my reference. Maybe I need to get back on top of it. Let’s see…

Couldn’t be arsed paying to see Fucked Up at a festival in London (even Bat For Lashes didn’t make the price worth it). Of course, nearer the date they announce that ‘extra’ show here. But it was in the execrable Oslo. No way on that. So, I hauled myself to Brighton to see them*.

As usual they were fantastic. I’ve often commented on how are what is ultimately a genre band so much better than others? Tonight I think I begin to pick up on it. It’s the three guitarists ans serious lack of shredding. They lock into a massive almost-motorik toungued-groove wall-off-sound. It’s rather mesmerising.

*Thinking I might have to stop doing this. The current Thameslink improvements moving the level of service back a notch to “downright painful”


Written by Tony Kiernan

29 October 2016 at 4:54 pm

Posted in Brighton, Gigs, London, Music

Allo Darlin’ – Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar (18 November 2014)

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Despite all my best intentions to keep this thing up to date this year, I have failed to do so. However, for my own benefit, I’m adding a placeholder-type post.

VERDICT: They still seem to love playing live. And, so they should. This stuff should be on the NHS. Wunnerful.

Written by Tony Kiernan

19 November 2014 at 10:17 am

Throwing Muses/Tanya Donnelly – Concorde 2 (24 September 2014)

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Despite all my best intentions to keep this thing up to date this year, I have failed to do so. However, for my own benefit, I’m adding a placeholder-type post.

VERDICT: Dodgy sound. didn’t dampen the joy of the crowd to see the reformation, though.

Written by Tony Kiernan

24 September 2014 at 4:19 pm

Posted in Brighton, Gigs, Music

The Handsome Family – Komedia/100 Club (12-14 May 2014)

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There are few things in the world that get me as joyed as The Handsome Family touring.  Well, where I can see them,  I mean.  Last time I only caught them the once, so this time, well in advance, I’ve got my self booked up for two of the easily gettable-to dates.  Then a second London date is announced.  Of course, this has been ascribed to their new found profile after their Far From Any Road was used as the theme tune to True Detective. But, they always sell out the 100 Club.  Why weren’t they in a bigger room?  They were last time.  Actually, shhhhh, ignore that. I’m very happy with getting to see them three times.

One of the great things about seeing Mr & Mrs Sparks live is the fact that they are pretty much a different band every time, depending on a few variables.  Prime amongst these is which guitar Brett has brought with him.  This tour, he’s twanging a whammy-barred Telecaster®. They’ve got the drummer bloke that’s been with them this side of the pond the last few times. So, it’s country-rock version that we get.  Which delivers to a rapturous Brighton an excellently balanced career-spannng set.  Including Somewhere Else To Be and All The Time In Airports back-to-back. The former, they have not played for too long. And, the combination of both rendered me a little unnecessary.  Rennie, keeping control, with regular reminders of “no jamming”.

Next night, the extra capital show, is about as perfect as they get.  Stunning. Markedly different set, which I thought was rather nice of them.

Last night, another of the variables comes into he mix; just how much has Brett had to drink.  Enough to be jolly, but also for the no jamming rule to fall on deaf ears.  Joined tonight by the musical saw bloke that normally does here, there’s a lot of messin’ about.  When The Helicopter Comes is transformed into a complete Doorsy sounding breakdown.  It’s black,  hilarious and rather wonderful.  Kinda like everything about this band.

They’re back in October.  Bigger venue.  Let’s see if we can force a second night there.

There’s a point tonight at which someone shuts at the gabbing mouths to shut up so we can hear the band.  Who, in turn, concur.  What

Written by Tony Kiernan

15 May 2014 at 2:54 pm

Brighton (or, yet another Spookey related post) Pt2

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Sage adviceBleary headed (not least of all due to the hostels very accommodating policy towards residents in the bar) we eventually surface on the Sunday with a plan: Breakfast, find the pub that’s showing the Celtic match, Meet M&S there, drink, go see Spookey, drink some more.

J’s scouted the area and found a cafe that looks like the place for breakfast. It’s close-by (same street as the Chinese place) so off we toddle. The fry up is not great, but passable. However, the cup of coffee that came with it could possibly be the most godawful cup of crap I’ve ever had the misfortune to find placed in front of me. When asked if everything was alright, I point this out. They don’t seem to care. Well, we shan’t return. The experience was slightly tempered by musing as to why they had a poster for Helensburgh on the wall and watching a young lady get some balloons together (not a euphemism) for ‘car-free Sunday’ as it apparently was.

So, to make up for the poor coffee, we head back to the Heart & Hand for the breakfast of champions: Bloody Marys. And, a damn fine one it is they do, too. Then, either as a result of being half cut, the stupendous hangover, or J coming down with the virus I’m just kicking back up from, we end up laid out in the park having a snooze. It’s a lovely sunny day and it’s great fun. Unfortunately, we have somewhere else to be, and that somewhere else appears to be a lot further than we’ve been led to believe.

The Lectern is, apparently, in the middle of the university area of town. It also has the most televisions I’ve seen in a pub outside of an ozzie/sports theme pub (any one, take you pick). Yet, for some reason the motley bunch of Celtic ex-pats are required to fork over £2 to use the dank attic area to watch their matches. Luckily, there’s a nice fire exit and beer garden to keep me entertained throughout. J opts to go sleep in a park, apparently it’s ‘good’. After the match we experience a strange incident where on asking who scored the last goal (Hibs, FWIW) results in a completely un-called for verbal assault from the broken Celts fan towards the one non-Scot in our group. Way to not uphold cultural stereotypes, douche.

We decide to taxi back into town, and it’s just as well because the rain comes on, my god does it come on. No longer it’s summer. The decision has been made to go to the meat version of the all-you-can-eat veggie curry shop, it’s on the way to the venue. Turns out the hugely advertised prices in the window relates to the veggie menu. Sneaky. OK, it’s only a couple of quid, but be honest in your advertising. Turns out not really to be worth it. The best stuff they do is the veggie. Well, filed for future reference.

Minako - justifiably triumphantSo, let’s not moan about the fact that the Concorde 2 is nearly as far out of town as the Lectern. At least the promenade(?) you pass along to get to it is covered. And, in this driving rain, that’s a godsend. (Was it really summer just hours ago?)

We get to the venue just after the first band have finished. We get teated to a couple of poems by the legendary (and local) Attila The Stockbroker. Not having lost any of his edge, wit or bile he made for the perfect compere. (If a fascist hits a poet, the poet’s doing something right).

They open with the mighty M3 from their debut album, and then proceed to give us (with one exception) a set of completely new tracks. OK, quite a whack are from the new Cheeky Girl ep, but I wasn’t familiar with it at this point. There’s also a handful of others that bodes well for future releases. They also close with a version of the Banana Splits theme that had no right to be so rockingly joyful and un-naff. A magnificent performance, but i could’ve strangled the sound man. Can’t wait to get them up to Glasgow.

It’s J’s first time seeing them and he’s gobsmacked (well, that’s my translation of the particularly rude comment he made). S hasn’t managed to extricate himself from chatting up smoking ladies outside the venue, so completely missed them. Fool.

Back up the hill to the Prince Albert for a lot of very drunken, very silly talk. Dontcha just love it when a plan comes together? (Actually, discovered today that the excellent Salter Cane were playing later that night. Oh well, you can’t have everything, and we did check all the listings we could find to see if they were playing while we were down.)

Written by Tony Kiernan

16 October 2007 at 4:10 pm

Posted in Brighton, Music, Spookey

Brighton (or, yet another Spookey related post) Pt 1

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OK, I’ve posted stuff about the wonderful Spookey probably more than just about anything else. And, I suppose there’s only so many ways in which you can explain just how wonderful the experience of seeing them live is or how brilliant their recordings are. But, they have been back in the country. I saw them play three times. Here’s kinda what happened roundabout those gigs.

Everyday people smiley helloAnd, lo! So it came to be that the band were down to play Brighton and a scout hut in the middle of nowhere close by over the September weekend. J had the time booked off for some misguided plan to go to the rescheduled Truckfest and, working in education, I just get it off anyway.

Back in the day, I had a real fondness for Brighton. Recently, I’ve found myself back there for various reasons. As can only be expected, I’ve noticed a lot more gentrification/affluence. Probably a lot more pronounced due to the gap in time since I’d been there. Although, thankfully, unlike the parts of Glasgow that have had the soul ripped from them to facilitate the burgeoning boho-classes and their tanker truck prams of offspring, there’s still enough unbranded, rough and downright funky (in it’s truest sense) places to kick back and enjoy.

Central to this is the North Laine area. It’s a ramshackle network of terraces and pedestrianised streets. It abounds with vegetarian cafes, second hand clothing shops and “antiques dealers” (ie fun to rummage round junk shops). The town is often referred to as Camden-On-Sea due to the influx of young professionals unable to afford London’s trendier areas, and weekend revelers. And, while this district is the epicenter of such painful trendiness, it still manages to maintain a genuine buzz that has been being dismantled in similar places all over the country.

After my last experience staying at their London Bridge branch(es), I swore blind that I would never stay in a St Christopher’s Inn again. However, on my last time I was in Brighton I’d clocked that their hostel there could not possibly be more central. Literally it’s practically across the road from the entrance to the Pier, right next to the bus ‘station’. Unlike their capital counterparts, all of the front-facing staff were as helpful and friendly as you could hope for. The attached Belushi‘s bar is mainly a ‘sports bar’ and full of backpackers. ie. Not somewhere you’d chose to frequent if you were in your right mind, but all right. The accommodation is not as bad as some of their places, but not as good as a lot of similar establishments I’ve stayed in. Functional, and a little tatty. And, no, it’s not ‘character’, it’s wear and tear. Biggest complaint: The cleaner bursting into our hungover room on the Sunday morning yelling about checking out time. Then bursting back in to holler about how she was sorry and didn’t know we were staying another night. Hopefully she had to deal with the aftermath, when we left, of J coming down with the bug I’d got over just before we got there.

The day was spend wandering round just checking the place out and enjoying the occasional drinkie. We were handed a bunch of fliers stapled together (actually a good idea) at one point. This featured info on the gig we would be going to the next night and other stuff on in the town. One of which was Club Meow Meow hosted by the band of the same name who had toured with the girls last year. We decided to forget the travel out to the ‘middle of nowhere’ and to go along to that at the Prince Albert. Well, we might as well try and absorb some of the local atmos.

For dinner we went to a rather cheap Chinese place right on the edge of The Lanes (no ‘i’ this time) near the hostel. Sadly I can’t remember the name of it, which is a shame because the food was good enough for the price and plentiful (I failed abysmally to clear my bowl of Tom Yum) and this would be handy info to pass on to anyone that might find themselves down that way. Looking at the map, it’s very possibly East St (or Lane).

Tony Kiernan in his natural habitat.A leisurely pub stroll up to the venue. (Central Brighton appears to have one hill. The train station is at the top of it. The pub is next to the station.) One of the pubs we visited was the Heart and Hand. It has a Northern Soul record label for a sign and there are pictures of Johnny Cash behind the bar. What more could you possibly want? Well, coffee, TBH and they’d just switched off their machine. So we continued on to the 3 Jolly Butchers where the rather delightful barmaid offered to stop cleaning the Gaggia and make us some coffee. Double espresso, double Jameson‘s and sat outside on a beautiful evening. Ah, I neglected to mention that we got caught unawares with it still being summer down there late in September. For the first time ever I heard J utter the words and, have one for yourself. He claimed it was because the barmaid had been so helpful and accommodating. Aye, right.

The Albert itself was well cool. Well what else can you say about somewhere with a mural of John Peel on the side of it and a Banksy? (The snogging coppers one, now under a protective plastic shield.) The also serve a rather lovely local made perry. In fact we spent the night sat outside just talking to the folk that drifted past or elected to share our table. The worst thing about that being we could hear the bands (upstairs) but didn’t have to pay to enjoy them. I fell slightly guilty. But, not very.

Photos courtesy of Joste Bowen

Written by Tony Kiernan

11 October 2007 at 3:25 pm

Posted in Brighton, Music, Photos, Spookey