What Happened In Brighton This Year

Picture taken from Sundays @ Life on Brighton Seafront

"The party itself not only proved to be a great kick start to the year but more so the opportunity for most connected with the groove based scene to meet each other in person outside of the on line groups and social networking sites that have gone on to fuel the scene here in Brighton"

Recently we asked some cohorts of ours to comment on how they have seen the last three years develop in Brighton.

Of course in true Brightonian style we've heard bugger all so far from our chosen comrades on this subject.

With that in mind we're going to have a punt at summing up a year which has most definitely been one of the better ones for the city.

To be able to understand the importance of 2009 we have to go back around three years to a darker time when anyone looking for groove based dance music of any kind would of found it very hard to find anything happening outside of a limited number of bars and the odd club night which occasionally sprung up.

What came before

If you were in the fortunate yet frustrating position of putting grooved based music on as a dj or promoter around early 2007 you would of found two obstacles in your way.

One being the dreaded party killer that is"the limiter" and the other being the nightly balance sheet at the club you played at.

With Brighton bars the major issue is that most of them now have limiters installed due to their proximity to local residential areas.

Brighton has always enjoyed a bar/dj culture but when the licensing laws changed in favour of 24 hour drinking one thing that we never saw coming was the requirement for all venues close enough (sometimes not) to residents to have noise restriction devises put in place.

Needless to say that this more or less killed off most things that were not in your standard club night setting, although certain venues with enough balls did and still get away with the odd shindig from time to time.

On the subject of clubs, the problem faced was that the footfall were now getting into music that was significantly geared towards a different sound and drug dynamic.

Club nights became after parties and as such if you were working a venue that was struggling, your night either got pulled or worse condensed into someone else's through the dreaded double booking.

Memories of Greg Wilson/Nathan Coles sharing the same room in 2008 spring to mind at this point, the sight on everyone's faces was a picture to behold.

With all this in mind life was definitely not a bed of roses for people djing or throwing groove based dance music parties in Brighton.

Anyone wanting a dance either had to wait until the summer festivals or alternatively had to endure noise levels just audible above the general chit chat at the bar.

So, as you can see we were up against it from day one but nearly three years down the line there's a much healthier picture beginning to emerge that points towards an acceptance that groove based dance music can find a home with a dance floor and a decent sound system once again in Brighton.

What came after

2009 started well with a sell out show from Greg Wilson at The Loft on Ship Street. The event sold out in weeks and was regarded by Greg as one of the definitive moments of the year for him.

The party itself not only proved to be a great kick start to the year but more so the opportunity for most connected with the local groove based scene to meet each other in person outside of the on line groups and social networking sites that have gone on to help connect the scene here in Brighton.

Greg played another two times in the year, once at the cancelled Beachdown Festival event at Life and another at Audio, he will be back again next year for a Credit To The Edit 2 Party.

Other people to visit in 2009 were Severino from Horsemeat Disco, Pete Herbert, Todd Terje and Disco Bloodbath, this would of not of been remotely possible the previous year.

Funnily enough this years quickest selling ticket party in town is featuring as headliners non other than The Idjut Boys, these guys were mentioned as a good booking only 24 months ago, the music coordinator at the venue in question looked on and didn’t take the idea further at the time.

Radio Shows

These played an important part in bringing music to a wider Brighton audience this year.

One station that sprang up called upfrontdance.net now features shows specifically dedicated to disco and groove based house music over the whole weekend from Friday afternoon until Sunday lunchtime. This station also broadcasts on FM

Elsewhere The Recess would host regular monthly shows on deep frequency radio after leaving Brap, they were replaced by the ever reliable Neal Lewis of Maxxi Sound System who hosts a bi-weekly Thursday slot called The Supper Club.

Both shows continue to deliver the best in disco, cosmic, boogie and pitched down house going into 2010

Finally our old bud Steve (KIW) Ellis has been rocking the planet with his pod casts recently after his departure from Push.FM.

Apparently big in China by all accounts too is our Steve who also happens to be one of the cities most prolific crate diggers.

Music Coming From Brighton In 2009

The year of disco and groove based house music

On one hand we had those that either make music for a living or run an independent, whilst other mere mortals got stuck into editing their favourite cuts and posting them out on sound cloud this year.

Two stables dedicated to disco and groove based music shone through, one being Soft Rocks who continually shifted a shed load of tunes across the planet with their disco antics on various labels lucky enough to have them on board.

As this was going on the boys from Wolf Music scored an underground hit with their initial release featuring mixes of Atmosfear’s Dancin In Outer Space provided by The Revenge, Greg Matter and KRL.

This tune initially released on vinyl has now gone on to sell out completely all over the planet (nice work lads)

Both Soft Rocks and Wolf Music continue to make and release music.

On the edit side of the fence Rob Fahey (Black Lodge) takes the honours this year with a string of re-rubs from the disco/boogie camp creating a healthy bit of attention on sound cloud these days.

Pablo from Disco Deviant, Ras Tuft and Tim from Warm Sounds are also worth checking out, pretty much sure they all share on sound cloud too.

Brighton Venues

We saw a few of the biggies get involved this year at certain points.

The venue stepped up and put on their biggest night of 2009 featuring Severino from Horsemeat in May to coincide with our festival that month. Later in the year both Greg Wilson, Crazy P and Todd Terje would feature at the club, the former hosted by Disco Deviant’s Paul Budd and Danny Webb whilst Todd was the guest at Maxxi Sound System's nice up.

Life on Brighton Seafront (Sundays)
This summer played host to regular outside Sunday sessions throughout the summer featuring the likes of Pete Herbert and Soft Rocks whilst over the last bank holiday Sunday of the year the club was packed for the cancelled Beachdown Festival commiseration event.

Due to the success of these Sunday sessions, Life have handed the biggest night of the year over to The Idjut Boys this new years eve. Needless to say all the Sunday residents from the summer are on hand in the main room to bring the loft party vibe home.

Bar wise
Both The Fishbowl and The Globe continue to throw events, the latter being home to some great underground disco nights in the basement whilst The Fishbowls’ residents continue to bring black dance floor music on a weekly basis to one of the best low key boozers Brighton has to offer

Also worth mentioning is The Thomas Kemp which saw two record breaking days, one over our festival and one in conjunction with The Kemptown Villagers Party both in May. We hope to go back there again next year for more of the same

Brighton Party Planners

Take your pick in 2010 as there's a small army of dj's, promoters and people ready to shake it now on the way.

Parties to keep an eye on include, Disco Deviant, Maxxi Sound System , Wolf Music and Disted Twisco.

DD and Maxxi serve up the slightly more club focussed nights with national guests included on their starting line ups

Wolf Music continue to run a monthly at Riki Tiks in central Brighton while Disted Twisco keep things firmly on the low key underground vibe down in the basement of The Globe once a month.

Finally one of the scenes original dj's Charlie Brown has now relocated back to Brighton.

Previously Charlie ran the Disco Diaries night at The Full Moon on Boyces Street where you could expect a wider more leftfield disco soundtrack, we hope Charlie can find a new home very soon for Disco Diaries.

The Summer Festivals

Sadly we lost Beachdown Festival at the eleventh hour this year. The event itself was making a bold statement with the inclusion of a sizeable amount dance acts and dj's from the national and local groove based camps.

Alas tickets didn't sell as well as expected and the event was pulled the evening before it was due to start.

Loop Festival came to town and had to move from it's outdoor location sadly to the confines of a few in door city center venues.

Loop didn't feature much for the groove based enthusiast to get majorly excited about.

However it wasn't all cancellations and downsizing as the annual Pride In The Park event went ahead, all be it in torrential rain for most of the day.

The highlight was yet another packed house in The Calabash Tent which pumped out all manner of black dance music including disco, funk, soul, drum n bass, reggae and broken beat all day much to the annoyance of the local environmental health officer who was royally told to do one mid way through proceedings.

Fingers crossed that Calabash and Pride will return in 2010, sadly though it looks like Pride has run into a few problems which we hope will get ironed out as soon as possible.

Looking Ahead

Having seen all this go on this year as well as the last couple, we look set for another great year for groove based dance music in Brighton.

Underground events will continue, records will be released, radio shows will broadcast and the odd club will once again come on board for the ride.

Disco is being banded around as the new sound to hit clubland in a big way but as we know the resurgence of the genre has been taking place all over the UK for years now, some rightly say it never went away in the first place.

Walking round the boutiques that populate the South Laines quarter of the city you definitely get the feeling that disco has travelled further than say the basement of The Globe over the last twelve months..

What ever happens, the groove based scene in Brighton will continue both in far flung and not so far flung corners of the city, although this time, without limiters or empty dance floors to deal with.

That's it then, a great year just had and another on it's merry way, see you out there.


  1. Really nice summary, well done GB towers, heres to next year and all the fun it holds!


  2. Lovely bit of writing. Looks great laid out like that.
    Got to mention Norman Jay/DD @ Digital as another highlight - loved the vibe we have felt this past year or so.

    Go Bang has really paved the way and brought some great people together in a very friendly way. Love is the message at every level and I am both happy and proud to have been invited to be a part of that.

    Keep on keepin on,we've come a long way since the Brighton Loft Party days.

    Nice one - Happy New Year, watch out for dem Idjuts xxx