Tuesday, 29 March 2011
Last saturday i gathered together a bundle of cash and a friend and went in search of pubs in Brighton id never been to before. We went to 10 in total and this is just the beginning. Part II is already in discussion. For each pub we wrote a short bullet point review using the back of old flyers id never got round to giving out.
Here's what me and Jack got up to:
Prince of Wales
This is that strange pub next to Churchill Square (next to the burger stand/JD sports). This has been here forever, yet no-one that i spoke to had ever been in there. There is a definite reason for this. Upon entrance my hungover stomach was turned by the sight of two old men struggling through a plate of sausages, chips and beans and the whiff of dementia. It was so bad infact, that i had to leave and let Jack get the first round in. Before i turned though i did manage to see some odd WWII pictures that adorned the walls. It said stuff like "NICE TRY ADOLF!". The pints we had were sour and the entertainment consisted of an old hippie wailing through Plan B songs with an acoustic guitar outside. I did see an 8 year old kid jump a flight of steps on a Micro Scooter though. Big ups.
According to our notes this got a 0/10 but the 'Nazi Shit' got a +2 so..
Overall - 2/10
The Iron Duke
After a brief stop in Primark for some shoes and sunglasses, we walked to Waterloo Street in Hove to this boozer / hotel due to being told it showed the football, which it promptly did.
Was a nice vibe in here, although a few too many children for our liking. However that said, it did manage to have a pool table, 3 big screens and a function room without being a shithole, which i suppose is some kind of achievement. Plus Peroni on tap which is always a bonus.
We gave the Iron Duke a 7/10 but Jack started moaning later in the day and this was turned into a retrospective...
At half time in the football we decided it was time to move on. Tried to go to CAPS SPORTS BAR on Western Road but it wasnt showing the football. Worst sports bar ever? So after i threw a little strop we decided the football was rubbish anyway so went to a newly refurbished The Juggler; which is now called The Paris Something. The first thing we were greeted with was a basket of baguettes and croissants. If you know me and jack this was an automatic +1 for us. When it came to ordering drinks though, we were promptly told they "only sold half pints". Rubbish. Interior was acceptable, even if it did feel a bit like laurence Llewelyn-Bowen had been let loose in a Cafe Rouge.
According to our notes the lack of whole pints got them -5 but an extra point for making our hands look bigger.
Found this pub my mistake while looking for a different pub. Its located behind The Old Market venue was we were pleasantly surprised. It showed the football, was in a nice quiet location and food sounded like it might actually have been tasty.
According to our notes the carpets to the toilet were 'springy' and it got a +1 for having a "friendly dog with big balls". Plus Jack liked the fact it held a Meat Raffle there every sunday.
Overall: 6.5 / 10
Had never been here but had heard good things. All profits from this pub go to charity once all bills and wages are paid, which even in my cynical brain is still a definite nice touch. We were starting to get a bit drunk by this point so the notes get a bit more obscure. We got very excited that there was bunting hanging off the walls apparently, and the barmaid got a +1 for knowing that Jack fancied her. The size of the place surprised us, as it looks very small from the outside and the decor was comfortable, albeit very "standard Brighton pub".
According to our notes we very much liked the fact they sold Rizlas and Filters here. Although that was probably just because had been Jack poncing both off me all day.
This definitely isnt a pub but we were both dying for a piss so were forced in here by our weak bladders. This is a Pool hall / restaurant / bar for West Street types who have grown tired of the Gammon and Chips at Wetherspoons. Its situated opposite Waitrose on Western Road and is actually a lovely building that has been many things over the years. Paid £10 for an hour of pool but left after 25 minutes. Barstaff were very friendly but apparently "Jack felt nervous as he entered". Also all pints were served in plastic glasses which meant an automatic -5.
According to our notes the toilets were "missions/out of breath"
Hadnt even known this pub had existed until we (literally) stumbled upon it after finding the similarly situated Shakespeares Head closed on a saturday night? No idea what was happening there. The Prince Arthur looked inviting as we walked up the road (Just up from Mcdonalds on Western Road if memory serves) with nice benches, flowers and lights. Jack even marked the pub a +1 for the "nice lights" so they must've been fucking good lights. Walking inside was a different kettle of fish however. Was extremely sterile and also extremely empty, except for two queens propping up the bar. Got our drinks and sat outside. We were quickly joined by the landlord who in fairness, was extremely friendly if slightly defensive about his pub. We told him we were writing a review and he offered us a free roast if we came back on sunday which was very kind. Dont think we'll be taking him up on his offer however.
According to our notes the selection of beer was shit and the clientele was marked as "none". Being next to Mcdonalds got it a +1 though.
Overall - 5/10
At this point in the evening we were joined by Nick, our "Cock Friendly" friend. With this in mind we decided to head into Kemptown to sample some more of what the Brighton gay scene had to offer. I actually have no idea whether this is a gay pub or not actually...it all gets a bit hazy at this point. I'll let the notes do the talking:
- Gay Bar at Butlins -1 (!?!)
- Nicks here +2
- Old Dj + 1
- Not sour beer
- BANKSY -20 (The walls were covered in banksy prints, i remember that much)
The Queens Arms
Now we actually cheated here, cos we'd all been to this gem before. If you've never been to the Queens Arms before (which really wouldnt be that surprising, even if you are gay) then let me break it down for you: Its a cabaret bar situated opposite the Kings Arms off St James St. The name of the road escapes me but its up from the Starbucks. It has a plethora of critically acclaimed cabaret stars, such as my favourite; (who we had missed unfortunately) Robbie. Its camp beyond belief and also slightly scary for gay and straight alike. I remember it had huge Oscars all over the place for some reason, and also quite possibly the least convincing drag queen i have ever seen. Not for the squeamish, but definitely a laugh.
Heres the notes we took - I dont really know what we were on about:
- Atmosphere +9 (!)
- Weird Bloke +10 - Then crossed out and changed to +3
- Decor +5
- Friendly Guy +5
- General Wrongness +10
- General Wrongness -10
We went here because the landlord of the Prince Arthur had told us it was the smallest pub in Brighton. However he was clearly chatting absolute balls. All i remember from being in here is having an absolute screaming arguement about Gay Saunas and the landlady asking us if we wanted a microphone. Im gunna have to let the notes do the talking here again, not that i can really make any of Jacks scribblings out. They really are the scrawlings of a madman:
- Arguments +6
- Decor Fucheng (...)
- Being looked at by everyone +5
- Conrad being here -8
At this point, we left and carried on our arguments in the street. Jack ended up starting on me and Nick 'cos he thought we were calling him right wing. We then went to meet some less than impressed friends at Fitzherberts and finished the night falling over in the PavTav. Classy.
Jack ended up throwing up in his bath and i woke up £120 out of pocket.
Sunday was the worst day of my life.
WINNER = THE QUEENS ARMS (somehow)
Thursday, 22 July 2010
Im not gunna pretend to know a lot about this lot but i cant stop listening to their new track "Living in America". They hail from Massachusets and apparently play post-modern synth pop with some great results, although you didnt hear that from me. This new single seems to be catching some attention, and has record companies banging at their door. Its hazy yet hard-hitting at the same time with its dirty synth backdrop and looping lyrics and has "Summer Anthem" written all over it. Basically, fuck off...I like it.
Dom - Living in America
Tuesday, 29 June 2010
It seems theres a helluva lot of good bands coming out of the London underground right about now (although i spose, when isn't there?) and heres another one for ya! Teeth hail from Dalston although vocalist Veronica So is from sunny California. Bet that one was a bit of a culture shock eh...Musically they make playful synth-punk and the comparisons to Crystal Castles are no doubt endless. However they are far less annoying than their canadian counterparts with their slurred spacey bleeps and vocals that mix nicely into the background as opposed to screamed at you until you get a migraine. New single "See Spaces" is out on Moshi Moshi in a few months and will no doubt have THE BLOGOSPHERE shouting over the top bollocks for a while. Like i'm doing now i guess. Its a perfect summer tune which people could pigeon hole into the "Chillwave" category but personally, i think thats the gayest term ive ever fucking heard so i wont. In my opinion it also offers a lot more than that anyway. B Side "Time Changes" is more of a challenging listen with a harder electro-punk beat but grows on you like no-ones biznizz. Im sure it wont be long until we see these lot down here in Brighton and i, for one, will be there wiv bells on!
Check out both songs (aswell as some pretty dire remixes) on their myspace:
"Raucous joyous skronky dancey whatever-wave with more ideas than time and more pep in its step than a five-year old on a Pixie Stick high" – Pitchfork.
"If Girls Aloud did a duet with New Young Pony Club.." - The Guardian
Wednesday, 17 February 2010
Holy fucking shit - New semi-interesting band for us all to talk about for a bit! Yuck are a stupidly new project, only setting up their myspace a few months ago, and already have a shitload of hype surrounding them, including a whole NME wankfest thing recently. Yuck comprise of two members from Cajun Cunt Party, some bird and some fat bloke. Thankfully they sound nothing like the previous band they were in and instead play a kind of early 90's dreamy grunge ting. New single "Georgia" and personal favourite "The Wall" are perfect lo-fi pop tunes with great melodies that thankfully never become too cheesy, unlike bands they played with in the past...
With some gigs lined up with fellow HYPESTARS Egyptian Hip Hop and Dum Dum Girls at places like The Old Blue Last and all those shitholes on the horizon, im sure they'll be getting 'nuff props in the coming months. A little bird told me theres a BTN gig in the pipeline so keep your eyes and ears peeled lads and ladettes...
Monday, 4 January 2010
So 2010 eh? A new year and that. So what better way to celebrate than to get depressed about getting a year older and still pissing around like a drunk spastic. With this in mind ive got all morbid on yo' ass and have come up with ten songs i want played at my funeral. Ok so im only 24, but say i died tomorrow - at least id have a fuckin good tune to listen to whilst i descend to hell...
10 - Pet Shop Boys - Being Boring
The ultimate nostalgia song. Full of whimsical nods to times gone by and parties attended throughout the years. This is bound to have people collapsing into frenzied heaps of sorrow all over the shop, which i guess is the point. I want this played if i die aged 60 after a few years battling with alcoholism and minor dementia.
9 - Pulp - Sorted for E's and Whizz
"What if you never come dowwwnnnnn..". This is what i want if i die of an overdose.
8 - Nick Cave - Your Funeral, My Trial
This is the song i want played if im murdered by a close friend. Hopefully it'll make him feel so guilty that he admits to the whole damn thing and is arse fucked in prison for the rest of his days. Tosser.
7 - Oasis - Live Forever
I guess this one is pretty self-explanatory..
6 - Arthur Brown - Fire
I want this one played if i die aged like 90 or sumfink. Obviously this has to go hand in hand with a cremation, it wouldnt really work at a burial. I've chosen this because its kinda funny but not too dark or offensive for my 90 year old mates (as if).
5 - Jimi Hendrix - Crosstown Traffic
This one is for a death in a road accident. However if its me thats driving, then it could also be "In My Car" by Madness or "Cars" by Gary Numan, although please not the fucking Fear Factory cover...Remember that!? Theres probably loads for this death actually so feel free to adlib if you think of a better one. Ta.
4 - Joy Division - Love will Tear us Apart
Easily the most obvious inclusion, but i think im just really fuckin arrogant and narcissistic 'cos i just want people literally pissing tears at my funeral. Is that so much to ask?
3 - Stone Roses - I am the Ressurection
This has to be for a church funeral. And i want the priests face when this is played put on Flikr.
2 - Tupac - Thugz Man$ion
If my life takes a sudden turn for the worse and i end up dying in a gang related shoot out, then it has to be this. I actually fucking hate this song but its here for pure comedy reasons. It would be pretty funny...
Ain't no place I'd rather be
Chillin' with homies and family
Sky high, iced out paradise
In the skyyyyyyyyyy...
Couldnt have said it better myself.
1 - Blondie - Heart of Glass
Heart attack. See also; The Strokes
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
Monday, 14 December 2009
Tuesday, 3 November 2009
So the ugliest band that have ever lived (Magic Numbers aside..) came to our fair shores last week to play a sold out gig at Audio, put on by our dear friends at Lout Promotions. It sold out so easily that another gig in March is already booked in at the Komedia and if you missed this show, i recommend getting a ticket.
Support came in the form of brighton band Esben and The Witch. I was quite looking forward to seeing them as id heard nothing but good stuff about their goffik reverb shenanigans and although i wasnt disappointed as such, it wasnt quite as good as id thought it might be. The songs all seemed quite shambolic and unfinished, and 2 minute moments of brilliance would be followed by 7 minutes of pissing about with FX pedals and banging a floor tom over and over. Basically it was quite pretentious but at the same time, they were pretty mesmerising and there is definitely some potential there. The birds quite fit aswell...
The Xx album, simply titled "xx", is quite possibly my favourite record of the year so far so i was really looking forward to this gig and they didnt let me down. The Xx have had an extremely quick rise to fame since their album was released by Young Turks in late August and have since toured with The Big Pink and Florence WENCH to name a few. They also went to the same school as Hot Chip, Fourtet and Burial which is kinda quite cool i guess....
They came on to 'Intro' which was to be expected and continued to play the album song by song which definitely seemed to work in this case. It was basically a perfect rendition of the album without any surprises or new bits and if im honest, this was exactly what i was hoping for as i love the album so much. If you havent heard it yet its full of insular, glacial pop tunes which are hauntingly brilliant and weirdly uplifting at the same time, id even go as far as to say its the 'Dummy' of the Noughties... Goosebump moments were "Crystalised", new single "Islands", the Chris Isaac - Wicked Game-esque "Infinity' and the amazing cover of 'Teardrops' by Womack and Womack so all in all pretty much spot on. Im looking forward to March already...
The Xx - Islands - Live on Jools Holland
Wednesday, 21 October 2009
So Liam Maher from early 90's baggy outfit "Flowered Up" died yesterday aged 41. The drugs dont work ladies and gentlemen. Anywho, it reminded me of the classic 2 part video for the rave classic "Weekender". It was directed by W.I.Z who went on to direct videos by Oasis, Kasabian, Arctic Monkeys and Dizzee amongst others and while its pretty fucking dated and cringe looking back, it was a pretty epic video at the time (over 15 minutes in total). Flowered Up were dubbed the "Cockney Happy Mondays" but were never quite as good and after some hype and NME / Melody Maker covers they disbanded a few years later. I digress, i just thought id post the videos up on here. Makes you wonder exactly where the makers of Human Traffic got their inspiration from....anyway, RIP and all that lad.
Let us never be cured indeed...
Let us never be cured indeed...
Wednesday, 7 October 2009
Well i hate to say it (i dont, i fuckin love it), but i said these guys would make it big this year in my "top 10 bands to watch in 2009" ALL the way back in december. Their album 'Sigh No More' came out this week and went in at number 1 on iTunes which they followed with this sellout show at the Komedia the day after. I love being right.
If you dont know, Mumford & Sons are a four-piece folk band from the Big Smoke who play lovely irish-tinged ditties with accordians and banjo's and stuff. I think they're dope and it was only a matter of time before they crossed over into the mainstream and made middle class mothers cry into their glasses of wine after reading about them in the Observer Music Monthly. They were personally invited to support The Pogues at their christmas shows last winter and any band who can manage to wake Shane Macgowan out of his whiskey and cheap hash slumber for long enough to actually make a judgement on their music gets some props from me.
If my slightly drunk memory serves me correct they opened with "Awake my Soul" and started plouging through favourites such as "Little Lion Man", the new single that is on BBC6 seemingly every 5 fucking minutes. It was a lot dancier than i was expecting which was definitely a good thing, but halfway through they brought the tempo down and started playing some new songs. GREAT. Nah, new songs sounded good but it just seemed an odd setlist in my opinion. Things picked up at the end though and they even used a real life drumkit in a few songs (!). They finished with the brilliant "Roll Away My Stone" and although they didnt play "Liar", this was only a minor glitch. Id been wanting to see this lot for ages now, having missed their last brighton gig exactly a year ago and it definitely wasnt a disappointment. It seemed like a band on the cusp of something pretty special and they've certainly got the songwriting talent to take the potential further. Expect some pretty impressive festival shows next summer id imagine...
Its funny, i really dont see myself as a folk/acoustic fan, but two of my favourite shows of the last year have been this and Bon Iver...Maybe im becoming a middle class mother? Oh well, rather that than some brainless little twat who's still banging on about dubstep i guess....