Publishing your own blog brings with it the opportunity to cover varied subject matters which otherwise may go uncovered
In the short space of time this blog has been running people such as Jeff Daniels, Rob Fahey, Cosmic Boogie, Tony Daly and Celia May have all been asked to provide some answers to questions posed through this site
Household names or industry movers and shakers they may not be, however their contributions play an important part within roots music dance music culture alongside those that achieve bigger accolade and public standing
Another such person and someone most people may not be familiar with is Carly Fitzpatrick
Carly isn't a crate digger, disco blogger, editor, party host or established local dj like the names mentioned previously, Carly is a landlady
So why the interview?
Well, Carly has witnessed the growth of the Brighton Groove Based/Disco movement more or less since it's inception through her management of two Brighton venues that have facilitated the cities increasing roster of djs, promoters and party hosts since 2007
Currently running The Globe (Brighton's Disco Pub) on Middle Street having moved from The Sidewinder in nearby Kemptown, Carly has provided a few answers to some long overdue questions
Expect some insight into what makes a good disco boozer, keeping a tight door policy in central Brighton and DUBSTEP !!!
Carly, you’ve been a Brighton landlady for a good few years now. Can you give us a brief history of the places locally that you have looked after?
Sure, I started as assistant manager at The Sidewinder just under 6 years ago. Two years after that I took it over as manager. Then after two more years of running it I came to run the fabulous Globe on Middle Street which is two floored venue including a cool basement space where we hold word of mouth parties and dj nights
What about the people that have worked alongside you ? I remember that your bar team at The Sidewinder was a tightly knit bunch of friendly characters. Care to comment on that period ?
It was basically me roping in all of my friends to come and help me run a pub, I think pretty much everyone I know did a stint behind that bar! We all got on so well and were always having a laugh which I think helped make The Sidey a fun place to be. When I came to the Globe I brought some of the staff with me including the camp dancing delights and bar heartthrob Jordan and I also gained some new ones including pocket rocket Anne (aka Spikey) who has absolutely boundless energy even at 4am when even *I* can't be bothered!
As I remember from a conversation we once had, your mother was involved in the brewery trade. Has there been a longstanding tradition of ladies or men from your family taking up the noble profession?
My mum worked at a pub in Dartford for years and when the landlady decided to give it up, my mum was the first person she offered it to. For some reason I saw both of my parents working every hour of everyday and when I decided to relocate to Brighton I thought, "Hell yeah I'll give that a go!" My mum has given it up now but she's definitely my landlady role model, she's ace. Well her and Peggy Mitchell
Talking of traditions, the use of the disc jockey down the local boozer is a relatively tried and tested formula now. Can you give us an idea of when you personally started to notice a more focused interest from local music lovers towards enjoying music in a non club setting?
I think I really started to take notice when I came to The Globe, so just under 2 years ago. My remit when I came here was "to make the Globe cool again", I think it had fallen into a trap of guaranteeing custom by using the basement as a function room for birthday parties, etc, rather than making it a destination pub for a good night out. I started booking DJs/nights downstairs and then realised there was this massive amount of people that weren't up for clubbing but still wanted to have a dance to good music and the Disco Pub was born! I absolutely love coming downstairs to the basement when it's really kicked off and a sea of people dancing their arses off! I'm like a proud parent
Were you aware that The Globe did act as a Disco Pub before your arrival with a few crews doing some one off events, such as Deep Systems who were a renowned Brighton Deep House night and record label ?
I knew about some parties that had gone down well in the past, including a really popular Northern soul night, but I think some promoters moved on to pastures new and rather than being replaced with other nights and DJs, the safe route was taken and the diary started to fill up with private bookings rather than people playing music
Naturally The Globe has now established a great reputation as the destination of choice for a musically astute and party savvy crowd dynamic in Brighton. The ability for a party organizer to shape a night in your basement musically or aesthetically with (décor) is obviously one of the draws of the venue, can you speak about anything else that sets the place apart?
One thing I'm very careful with is the door policy. We've gone through a lot of doormen in the past 6 months, but I've always kept the same rules. Obviously these rules can be interpreted differently by varying door staff but even if people get past him and into the pub and I don't think we're the right venue for them they get turned away. I'm not trying to be elitist but I just want a good crowd to come to a town centre pub and not be met with hordes of leering chavvy men or scantily clad orange girls. We don't always get it right, some do slip through the net! Our bouncer at the moment is amazing though so I'm hoping he stays for a while
If we take a step back to your time pre Globe at The Sidewinder, were you aware of any movements towards what you were going to find later on musically at The Globe?
I don't think I could tell at the time, no. At The Sidewinder I put on quite a mixed bag of nights and they all had their good and bad days. But at The Globe the success of your night along with Disco Deviant, The Music Box, Blacklodge and the rest has me convinced that we're onto a winner and the basement/disco combo is pretty perfect
Can you describe some of the more memorable situations you’ve found yourself in from behind the pumps at The Sidey and The Globe, the juicier the better please?
Haha too many! I've had death threats, marriage proposals, random insults and everything in between. On new years eve at the party you guys put on I got a lot of people asking me if I ran the pub and when I told them I did they were telling me what an awesome night it was, how much they loved the pub and what a good job I was doing which is always great to hear and it really made my night. I think the worst that's ever happened was at The Sidey when I chucked a young girl's mates out because I caught them doing something naughty and she decided to tip her pint all over me! I was bloody soaked! She did get called all the names under the sun, but it takes quite a lot to get me aggravated. I did find it funny afterwards!
A lot of DJ’s have passed through your doors as the Landlady that unwittingly has helped develop an arena where many can now find an opportunity to play music that Brighton clubs wouldn’t touch around 3 years ago. What are your thoughts about this, have you ever stopped to appreciate the contribution you have made and help you’ve given to local djs and promoters on the disco scene?
I don't know if I should get any credit! I like to think that I'm open to ideas and nights when promoters approach me. I think the popularity of your nights and disco as whole in Brighton is a product of a few things, a lot has changed in the music scene with a lot of the Nu Disco stuff becoming popular and that has made a difference in our musically astute city. The crowd that keeps supporting the local DJs in smaller venues instead of being tempted off to clubs by the big guns also helps a lot
You have a deep love for Dubstep and have been known to pull off some fairly impressive DJ sets in your time yet you allow some much disco and groove based music to emanate from both The Globe and previously The Sidewinder. How come You haven’t tried to push your chosen musical genre of choice above that of others?
Haha people always ask me this! We've had some one off parties downstairs where we've played electro, dubstep, drum and bass, techno, house and all sorts and they've gone down surprisingly well. However I don't think these nights have the same kind of broad appeal that disco based music has. When you have a look around at some of the nights there's a great mix of people and a nice crowd which I don't think would happen if we put on lots of "harder" music nights. Also I think there is an appreciation for the crate diggers and unknown DJs that play at our sort of nights, if I tried to put on dubstep or electro I think if we didn't have well known names people would rather hit the clubs
Let's talk about noise limiters for a bit. At The Sidewinder for many years there were no noise limitations in place whilst at the same time music was played at reasonable levels. This changed towards the end of your stint in charge with music levels finally reaching a level barely noticable due to residential complaints. Are there any concerns from industry insiders about this level of control a resident can now exert over the operations of a public entertainment establishment that in some cases has existed well in advance of that resident living next to it?
Yes absolutely. At The Sidewinder we had just one complainant who was so persistent in contacting the Environmental Health that it actually resulted in us having extra conditions put onto our license saying that we had to have a limiter which was set to a level that he basically decided. That meant that if I put in any extra speakers or sound I would be contravening my Premises License, which incurs MASSIVE fines and a license review, which could mean changes to how long you're allowed to be open, etc. All of that caused by just one person was so frustrating and it's been well publicised that similar things have hit other venues in Brighton recently. I just wish that it could be taken into consideration that maybe the one persistent complainant is being a bit over zealous and come to a compromise rather than just punishing the venue in an already difficult time for the licensed trade, whilst letting the neighbour call the shots
There were some amazing all dayers at The Sidewinder as part of The Go Bang Brighton Festival between 2008-2010. Were you surprised at both how many people came and also how little hassle it was to help set up?
Yes they were fantastic! I was pretty surprised at the amount of people through the door, but I guess it was a recipe for success in the summer with the two gardens, good music and I think we had a BBQ going too. I don't remember doing anything to help set up so it must have been pretty hassle free!
Do you feel there is the same buzz around the disco scene as there was when you were helping create an arena for it's development at The Sidewinder. Obviously the secret is out and more people are on board with staging parties at The Globe, has anything changed from your perspective?
I think there's more buzz actually. More people are playing it, making it and listening to it than ever I think. From my perspective at The Globe, it's easy to see the soar in popularity it's had not just from people coming down specifically for the nights, but from people wandering if for a quick drink on a Saturday night then ending up dancing till the early hours in the basement
Working as You have, for so long in Brighton at the helm of two pubs associated with playing dance music over any given weekend would You say that there’s a definite future for a less club orientated social scene to develop in the city even further than what we see happening at The Globe today?
I think there is. I think the youngsters (I can say that now I'm 27) will always go to clubs. However I think as you get a bit older you can't be doing with going to a club every weekend but still obviously want to meet up with friends, socialise and listen to good music. As long as people support the smaller venues putting on parties rather than following the herd to the big names then hopefully they'll be lots of little places popping up off the beaten track
A good percentage of the nights in the basement that You currently play home to are for want of a more precise term “disco” orientated. Could You describe what sets them apart from each other, can you notice a different approach between the DJ’s you hear play?
Everyone’s definitely got their own style, some err on the housier side of disco whereas others stick to more classic stuff. Then there are the added touches, the Go Bang decor (complete with ruching), the live drum, bass and vocals of The Music Box amongst other things. I try to make the weekends consistent, with Fridays a more pub style vibe with a DJ on the ground floor with an eclectic music policy and Saturdays having DJs in the basement and focused on the dance floor
You went to The Bloc Weekender at Butlins in Minehead recently, what kind of music stood out for You and will any of it reach your Ipod play list at The Globe?
There was a lot more techno there than in previous years when dubstep pretty much dominated but that was fine by me! Modeselektor, Daedelus, LFO, Mala, Aphex Twin, Laurent Garnier, Four Tet, Matthew Dear all stood out for me. As for The Globe's iPod, in the week we tend to play a very wide range of stuff, but some of the more palatable, chilled stuff like a bit of minimal techno or future garage will get a look in
We talked about the social dynamic that The Globe attracts, can you expand a little and describe the type of person one would find coming into the venue for a dance and a drink in the basement. Is there say a particular age range that you see more so than in other venues locally?
For the basement nights we see a lot of the 25-45 age group, so definitely a more mature crowd than you'd probably find at most places in the centre of town at 2am! We try and get an even mix of girls and boys as that always makes for the best atmosphere, if it's taking a drastic slide in the sexes ratio then we'll control who comes through the door until we're balanced again. Also people that are up for hearing a different sort of music to the normal funky/electro house Saturday night fodder
Current Top 10 on The Globe Ipod?
-Police in Helicopter - John Holt - Reggae classic, we listen to a lot of reggae on Sunday daytimes
-Pull up to my Bumper - Grace Jones - I don't think I've ever worked a shift when I've not listened to Grace
-Love Cry - Four Tet - The whole album is incredible
-Chick Habit - April March - Brilliant 50s sounding guitar pop tune
-This is a Low - Blur - One of my faves
-Cockney Translation - Smiley Culture - RIP, I have Police Officer on vinyl too which I love
-Cocaine Blues (Greg Wilson Remix) - Escort - The first one from the new Future Disco comp, great series
-Call Me a Fool Today (I'll Be Wise Tomorrow) - Ken Okulolo
Leo (Boyfriend) puts on a monthly African music night at the Green Door Store so we've been listening to a lot of African disco, funk and soul
-What's My Name? - Rihanna feat. Drake - We have 4 massive guilty pleasure playlists, this is one of the least embarrassing believe it or not!
-Let's Take Off (Far Away) - Dam Funk - from the album Toeachizown which is a fave
What can people expect from The Globe this year, any changes or are you sticking to the same formula?
More of the same hopefully! Some great nights coming up over the next couple of months and of course probably the most forward planned New Years Eve ever. We've also got lots happening during the week too, new chef, more midweek nights planned and allsorts. I'm also going to get my arse in gear and book myself to play as I haven't DJed out for ages!
You mentioned that your remit when coming to The Globe was to make the place a destination venue once again. If asked, what would be the one thing that you will take away from managing the site as being your greatest success whilst in the hot seat?
I'd like to think I haven't achieved my greatest success yet :) That or the tough task of keeping a centre of town venue chav free!
And finally can you chose three words that sum up a great night down in the basement when everything is kicking off and the DJ’s and parties are in full swing?
Smiley happy people
Many thanks to Carly, if you get chance visit The Globe on Middle Street in Brighton when you can
Fridays and Saturdays tend to be when the disco action takes over the basement