Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Brighton under siege

Residents of Brighton and Hove have been living under a virtual police state for the past few days thanks to the Labour Party conference. Steel barricades, swamping surveillance, the constantly hovering chopper, the incongruous sight of cops with machine guns strolling round Regency Square.

This has given police carte blanche to stop and harass anyone they fancy - a crusty with a can of brew minding his own business on the sea front is hardly a threat to the security of the government.

They don't take too kindly to being photographed and I've been moved on or had to scoot off sharpish a few times for daring to snap back at the state which has been filming and photographing me constantly for the past 30 years - at least on Sunday's demo there were so many of us photographing that we managed to get away with it trouble-free.

While I'm not into conspiracy theories, I get the feeling that this show of strength and so-called Ring of Steel is not so much for the benefit of protecting Brown and co but as a practice run for controlling and subduing the civilian population as a whole at some point in the not-so-distant future.


Thursday, September 24, 2009


More DJing gigs at the Marlborough

Next dates: Friday 18th December, 8-midnight
New Year's Eve, time tbc

Free entry, all welcome
Expect punk, electro, decent 80s (The Cure, Soft Cell), some current stuff which passes my quality threshold, ska, anything else I fancy.
Hope to see you there!

Marlborough Pub, Prince's Street Brighton, opposite the Royal Pavilion.

Check out January 2010's G-Scene for a profile.


Wednesday, September 02, 2009


And now the Loop festival has folded

A pity to see another local festival has folded: reports have come through today that Loop has gone bust.

While it's a shame as the organisers were trying to do something a lot more cutting edge than Beachdown, my comments below about that particular scenario I think are pertinent in this case too.

Nowadays I think it's almost impossible to launch a festival on anything like the scale of either Loop or Beachdown without establishing a firm credibility and public following. I really enjoyed the first Loop festival, a one-day affair at Steine Gardens with Fujiya & Miyagi (pictured above at Loop 09), Dan le Sac vs Scroobius Pip, the Go! Team, Mira Calix and more. I don't know how they did financially, but it looked pretty crowded and created quite a buzz.

This year, however, trying to stretch it over three days, cancelling the Matt Herbert gig, and with a great lineup on the Saturday (Fever Ray, The xx, Squarepusher, mum) but a patchier one on the Sunday (James Yuill, Tuung and Fujiya excepted), it was too much and people voted with their wallets accordingly.

Well done for them trying something different, but with many of the newer festivals having to take account of people's tastes, finances and the competition from established festivals with a guaranteed quality of lineup and attractions, tough times are ahead for anyone who wants to take chances.


Tuesday, September 01, 2009


Beachdown ballsup - Concorde 2 saves the weekend

Well it wasn't entirely unpredictable that the Beachdown festival would go to pot. Blaming Brighton people or the recession is a bit lame - it's your reputation that cuts it. Cancelling the Fringe Festival tent in May with a week to go, leaving local contractors from last year unpaid or paid months later, and a lineup that could have been interesting-ish fifteen years ago (Ocean Colour Scene excepted - puh-leeze!) all militated against the event.

So more power to Concorde 2 who picked up the local bands scheduled to play, and created a 3-day Bank Holiday free festival.

Personal highlights were the marvellous Gloria Cycles, Puncture Kit (pictured above) who plays drum 'n' bass on his bicycle, Marina Celeste (sometime of Nouvelle Vague) and peace 'n' love reggae from Rebel Control, who were perfect for a scorchingly hot afternoon. A great atmosphere, lots of goodwill and a sterling example of how people in Brighton can actually get their shit together when they try.

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