Does The Brighton Disco Boozer Exist?

"Various nights have sprung up recently at the two floored basement venue which indicate a more considered and less random approach that is being adopted by the venue when selecting dj’s and nights to put on"

If anywhere in Brighton was to lay claim as to being the cities closest thing to a disco-centric boozer then The Globe on Middle Street just off the seafront would definitely be up there enjoying early honours in 2010.

However energetic flag waving at present at the thought of enjoying a centralized Brighton hotpot for all things disco related may prove somewhat premature.

Various nights have sprung up recently at the two floored basement venue which indicate a more considered and less random approach that is being adopted by the venue when selecting dj’s and nights to put on.

Subsequently The Globe now has three separate disco themed nights running monthly that use either both floors of the venue itself, the bar or the very cosy 100 capacity basement/bar space downstairs.

Disco Deviant
Disted Twisco
Monthly Basement Parties

Why so?

Well, unlike more well known Brighton dance music spaces, The Globe has developed a greater emphasis on intimacy whilst also leaving the doors firmly open to anyone wishing to experience a more low key vibe but at the same time wishing to have a solid night out of music and socializing in a non club setting.

Brighton boozers have always provided an excellent off piste opportunity to have a great night/day out with places such as The Biscuit Factory, The Fortune Of War, The Three and Ten, The Sidewinder, Ali Cats, The Thomas Kemp, The Gladstone, The Fishbowl and The Hobgoblin all at some stage in their lives seeing many an active night in front of the speakers.

However with some of the above venues now having either changed their direction or having succumbed to the wrath of the in house limiter that unfortunately populates many a local bar in Brighton, we are sadly just left with just a handful of places to choose from in twenty ten.

A friend only today raised an interesting point in that London which is just a 45 minute train journey up country would do well to send a dedicated disco boozer down our way, as such we would also do well to actually acquire one at long last.

The fact maybe is we already have one starting to appear, all be it possibly by accident and not by choice or intention.

However The Globe is still a very long way from for example the capitals omnipresent disco saloon that is commonly know as The Horse and Groom which enjoys a who's who of groove based and disco influenced music as regular highlights week on week.

The Globe also shares it’s disco events with other colourful nights which feature anything from laptop jamming to films shows to live music events, crediting the venue as the cities only dedicated disco boozer at this stage would be inaccurate and also a tad optimistic to say the very least.

What The Horse and Groom and others like them have successfully achieved is to bridge an important gap left behind by today’s hybrid club scene that has developed out of increased numbers of djs/promoters wishing to put on nights whilst almost simultaneously numbers attending haven’t matched what has been offered up across the general dance music scene in relation to footfall.

It also helps that the slightly older clientele places like these attract still probably enjoy that intimacy brought on by their early clubbing/party experiences, all be it with alcohol being the drug of choice and not what is now consumed as a substitute.

The developing situation is that in any one destination anything can be presented musically thus lending the location to be known for it’s various one off nights above what historically should be it's most important asset, the music.

To fully appreciate this fact you have to look back in time before dance music became the commodity it did.

The 80's were awash with venues that played dance music, many not needing to rely on a name of a night or brand to attract the music fan.

Call it economics, call it the nature of the way music is consumed in a live environment, call it what you will, the fact remains that places like The Horse and Groom have become associated with a particular style and musical dynamic which are championed in a specific location, always a sign of a good party, any disco bells ringing at this point?

If your reading this, pick a music space you’re familiar with (past or present) then take a look at the music it offers up.

Think Levan (Paradise Garage) Wilson (Legend) Unabombers (Electric Chair) Russ Dewsbury (Jazz Place) Horsemeat (The Eagle) Phonic Hoop (Enignma) Eccles (B's) for starters, a varied bunch that share a specific common factor, consistent nights in one location that ran for years.

The jury is currently out regarding whether to claim our very own Globe as our cities very first dedicated disco boozer, however for the time being it certainly looks like all eyes and ears are pointing their way in 2010.

Also check The Fishbowl each weekend for something similar and just as rewarding, a little more eclectic dance music wise but still firmly in the groove based/black influenced dance music camp.


Martin Lodge
Daddy Marcus
Rob Fahey
Steve KIW
Barry and Gareth
and more

Mines a pint of Speckled Hen please landlord.


  1. The original one still going strong is The Dolphin in Hackney. Neil Thornton and Johnny 'Chingas'Hiller started Lasermagnetic there years back,they've since gone on to new projects (notably Horse & Groom/Horatio) it is still a very busy old school boozer with plenty of Disco/Balearic/Leftfield music on offer til late.

    A newer place is The Britannia in Hackney Wick, perched on the edge of Victoria park this pub is a massive space with a big big garden. Cymon Eccles (Boys Own)bought it recently, after making a real go of the Griffin in Shoreditch.

    Idjuts, Glimmers, Pete Herbert, Weatherall, Johnny Hiller, Dirt Metal Chior have all played there recently.

    We've not got the population to really emulate these on a regular basis, but a scaled down version would be nice, I think Sidewinder May Bank Holiday and NYE 08/09 were better parties than some of the stuff that goes off in London at said pubs to be frank.

    There ya go. X

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  3. Taking a look at the dj names mentioned there Pablo, I don't think Brighton bar/pub venues have enough confidence in paying for the likes of those mentioned, even though they would do well to.

    The old model of charging extra for guests which the clubs still use doesn't work in the context of a boozer as it's free to get in.

    This however works out well for everyone else as it's the locals that get the pick of the crop as well as fuelling the scene (which now exists across the city in abundance all bit in random locations and at sporadic times)

    The aim of the post was to highlight how dedicated destinations are now a real option again and can work if handled correctly.

    In Brighton the clubs will unfortunately never see this dynamic happen again as the scene is far too diluted and over populated by venues, djs and promoters all after a share of an ever decreasing market.

    If maybe the drugs changed/improved and that coincided with social change we would see a change back, however that won't occur in this mans life time I fear.

    The Globe is miles apart from your highlighted London venues Pablo but you just get the feeling that if there was to be a dedicated space in Brighton then The Globe would be it in regards to groove based and disco influenced music.

    Good point about The Sidey although the list of great nights could of been longer and more inclusive (Globe and Thomas Kemp)


  4. webbtwisco12:38

    Interesting post Ali. The Globe is certainly my boozer of choice when I'm looking for something other than a pint with the mates. Go Bang and others are certainly pushing this forward.

    The Sidewinder is good as well, although I wish they served a better pint!

  5. Agreed a real opportunity here, and a lot is now taking a more defined shape.

    Could of mentioned the Kemp - roof top vibe and spontaneous strip show!! Highlight of 09 definitely.

  6. Damn right, have some footage around this site of that (minus the bloke stark bollock naked)

    So, three of us all on this post who are installed down The Globe then each month, hope we haven't fightened anyone off.

    It would be great to see The Wolf Music team, Disco Diaries, Danceteria or The Recess complete the line up.

    There definately would be no question we would gain a venue as a focal point akin to London (present day) and all those original clubs pre late 80/early 90's UK that grew out of a consistent and identifiable musical approach.

    It would work as well, I have no doubt of that what so ever

  7. Anonymous15:44

    What us? The Recess? Hang out in the Globe with you reprobates and play disco music until grown men get naked? You must think we're mad.... x

  8. Disco boozers are pretty much the only places I like to go these days... I'd love to see a Sunday all-dayer kick off - and the basement at The Globe would be perfect for this. A core of residents spinning from midday till about 8 or 9, whatever the weather, throughout the autumn and winter. Spent the 90s playing Sunday all-dayers for Enigma at Babushka and the suchlike and they were superb.
    At the minute therea re too many nights on that are much the same - i'd love to get along and support everything but it's hard to distinguish between one night at the globe and another

  9. Shall we do an Autumn Sunday all dayer between us then?

  10. I think it's bloody great what is happening at The Globe - intimacy, good vibes, great music, older crowd ... it's already the Disco Boozer. I actually feel identified with a 'scene' in Brighton for the first time in the ten years i've lived here ... nightclubs are so 1990s!

    It's just returning to how it was before the advent of the mega-clubs (although i guess there's always been pub rave ups and sunday all dayers in the background anyway)... my earliest exposure to dance music was Chris Long (Rhythm Doctor)'s weekly bash in the back room of a totally uncool Coventry boozer, which was life-changing ...

    The recession is gonna be good for dance music ... and we don't really need name dj's, there's plenty of us down here

    keep the faith


  11. From when I first moved to Brighton (about 8-9 years ago)up until a couple of years back, a good night out was deep house at the pressure point. Dont get me wrong, still like it, but felt like I overdosed a little. But there was never an alternative. So i stopped going out, and survived on house parties instead. In the last 3 years I think the Brighton disco scene has grown from strenght to strenght. With a little help from networking sites soundcloud etc and some blogs, likeminded people have found each other. At the moment there is definitely a core base of groovers who supports the local disco nights and The Globe has definitely been the centre of this. With boosted soundsystem and some drapings, I prefer to go there than any other club/pub in Brighton. Sidewinder to me has never felt the same as there isnt really a dancefloorish area, same with the fullmoon and fishbowl.Soundwise pretty poor too. Om Bar has had a couple of good night over year, but doesnt have that pub comfort about it.
    So the verdict: Well keep to the Globe i say. And I totally agree with Ian that we dont need any big names to make it good. Its plenty of us who has great taste with record collections to last for days. Intimate is good.If we grow out of it, well lets cross that bridge when we get to it!

  12. Still going strong down on Middle Street with a great array of local nights still keeping that unique party vibe going in the basement.