Dancing On The Streets Of Brighton - Culture Of The Naughties

The above image could of been taken in any UK city over the last decade, as it happens it was taken at The Kemptown Street Party in 2006 on one very hot summmers afternoon outside what is now The Thomas Kemp and was at the time The Polar East Bar on St Georges Road

A handful of us including Kay Walton, Joe Marsh, Carl Faure, Andy Baron, Marcus Hazlewood plus Will and Gav from Deadfly Hi-Fi who provived the sound system in both 2005 (yes we did a sound system party the year before) and 2006 are sadly now most probably members of the final group of djs to enjoy playing recorded dance music outside on the streets of Brighton on the scale demonstrated in the pictures that follow

After 2006 there were other parties following on from this one including one we did as part of our festival in 2009 in The Thomas Kemp's beer garden, however no more were to happen for us or anyone else outside on the streets in this part of our city which allowed for the size of crowd, sound system strength and music (funk, disco, latin, house and reggae) policy

As I remember, we fired up the rig just after the carnival passed through the street having secured enough Red Stripe for our services from Am who managed The Polar East at that time and who worked with us for 2 years as we put the sound system on in the face of ongoing pressure to replace djs with "live music" or simply not turn up at all

Almost immediately after setting up on the day after arrriving early to build the rig, one panic stricken village appointed trustee came running over declaring we should switch everything off and pack up, to which Will from Deadfly replied with a swift "f**k off, we aint moving mate"

A great retort and one that would probably be the final opposition anyone could legally make before times were about to change across Brighton in regards to putting on these kind of events no matter how short lived and infrequent they happened to be

Musically on  the day all the assembled record operators moved through an eclectic mix of mainly black focused dance music aided by our MC Andy Baron who was to later become one half of non other than Rebel Control

As I remember Joe took care of the house side of things, Kay played the latin flavours, Carl did a great job and lifted the vibe with some boogie and funk, Will and Gav played dub and reggae style with Marcus and Myself basically joining the dots with a bit of all sorts as the sun set on the party

Sadly not long after the final Kemptown Street Carnival to feature a sound system party of this size all street parties and outdoor events such as The Pride Street Party, The Brighton Rock Pride Street Party and after just it's first year Loop Festival all fell foul of local opposition and have either now ended or sadly feature no live djs performing to crowds that enjoy amplified dance music outside anywhere in Brighton

Not long after our event at carnival in 2006 the new licensing laws to support the Labour Governments wish for Britan to adopt a more European approach to opening hours was introduced and with it the power for local councils and residents to basically end the tradition of dancing in the streets of Brighton to recorded dance music without due care and attention being paid to this cultral pastime that quite possibly will be looked at one day through more appreciative and inquisitive eyes

Before I end this post I would personally like to say a massive thank you to everybody that either supported our two years at carnival by either coming out and enjoying the vibe with us all or helped in moving things around outside the front of The Polar East

Special love to all The Polar East Regulars, Broadcast Party/Biscuit Factory Crew and all the market traders and staff behind the bar at The Polar East in Kemptown that managed to keep Brighton at least for a while from turning into Eastbourne throughout the mid 00's

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous15:07

    Hi ! nice blog !
    And there is music . And the music was good !!!
    I need some help
    I'm looking for the cow-boy on the fourth picture
    His music miss me. My name is Mélissa, and I'm french. please appologize my approximate language.
    So I woud'like have a touch with Marcus. If you see him, tell him a little frenchy miss him. Thank you, have fun !!!!
    moussaillon69@gmail.com (it's me ! )