So unless you have had your head in the sand (or should that be pebbles?) in Brighton over the last few weeks you will have noticed that the most exciting venue for years has opened it’s doors. The Green Door Store enjoyed a massively successful launch night last Friday, with a queue around the block. The Recommender has seen the evolution from the inside, having been approached in the last couple of months by the promotions manager, Ed Lilo, about putting on shows there.
We saw the venue turn from a construction site, to one of the most unique small venues in town, with a gig capacity of approx 150 and a club capacity of over 288 (if you get them in with a crowbar). A large round bar sits at the centre of one room, with a broad stage sat in a square room found through an archway. Two huge green warehouse doors are lit up with under-lighting and create a dramatic backdrop to the main bar. The whole venue is located underneath the large Brighton train station, inside an old Victorian coach house, so it’s full of architectural flourishes, with exposed brickwork and vaulted ceilings. The key thing is that the venue is located well away from any residents, so the license can run gigs up to 3am.
Brighton is an essential part of the UK’s gig circuit, with many small and mid-sized venues a short hop from London, as well as the UK’s largest festival for new music, The Great Escape, each May. For example we have Sleigh Bells, Esben & The Witch, Twin Shadow, Little Comets, Clare Maguire, Man Like Me and Freelance Whales, among several others, all due to visit us in February alone. However, in recent years, just as in other parts of the UK/world, many of our beloved venues have disappeared, including The Freebutt, The Barfly, The Pressure Point, The Astoria and The Ocean Rooms all closing in one small area, let alone the rest of the city.
So we welcome The Green Door Store with open arms, as part of the long fight back to rescue the live scene in Brighton. Being underneath the train station may mean it even benefits Londoners too (only a 45 minute train ride home). The venue kicks off in style with a run of interesting regular shows, including a wide range of genres, from future pop music, to rock, to secret Speakeasys.
The first show set to lure The Recommender back will be an event called The Happiest Place On Earth, presented by the Tender Age blog/label, which is supported by the larger independent Moshi Moshi Records. They’ve been busy throughout 2010 spotting some tidy bands and 2011 is looking even stronger. We look forward to seeing the following set of white-hot bands and DJ sets on Friday:
Following some gorgeous remixes last year, for the likes of Crystal Fighters, Egyptian Hip Hop and the band mentioned below, Cymbals, this electronic duo from Manchester have been generating a veritable tsunami of interest. A successful stint at last year’s In The City festival in their home town and a circling of a few original tracks have only served to increase the wave. Their music is a form of nostalgic, four-beat, ambient trance, that pierces the parts of the brain that underworld used to do so blindingly well during their Rez/Cowgirl period. It’s not hands-in-the-air dance on show here, as it’s aiming for a deeper part of your cerebral cortex and often builds very slowly, but once flowing the atmosphere drowns you in a euphoria not felt since you last found yourself high as a kite on, um, drugs – very, very strong drugs. The real mark will be to witness how they translate it all live; whether it’s a slow, rather arduous affair that would have been better alone on our headphones, or whether the place will be jumping around like the best of late-night after-parties.
D/R/U/G/S – VIRGINITY
We’ve been meaning to write up this band on The Recommender for an eternity, so perfectly perfect is their sound. We fell in love immediately upon hearing them. We’re kind of glad we’ve held off from writing them up, as we can go and meet them in person on Friday, so we will try and garner some insider information prior to the full write up. Suffice to say they jam out spiked guitars that play like a wasp trying to get through a window, darting around and full of separated notes. The vocals charm like a lazier David Byrne, at his Talking Heads best, occasionally breaking into melodic harmonies. Comparisons will likely be drawn with Foals, but only if you were listening whilst dowsed in morphine. It’s almost as if the other band members are playing different songs from one another, flopping and thudding like a square wheel through each song, but when they layer it all up it comes together, creating something original and constantly interesting.
CYMBALS – GOOD LUCK
It’s only a DJ set by the band members this Friday, but it gives us another chance for us to point you in the band’s direction. We covered this Eastbourne/Brighton band on a post back here, after realising that a friend of The Recommender’s happened to be in the band! Why it took him so long to mention he was a member of what has turned out to be one of the hottest bands in the UK still perplexes us. They are rightfully gaining a lot of buzz, with Zane Lowe and Huw Stephens already giving them airtime on Radio One. Their amazing mix of tingling guitars and tribal beats, reminds us of the recent Tanlines or Trophy Wife, making them about as genuinely on message with 2011 as it gets.
YAAKS – HRHRHYTHM
So the show kicks off in a couple of days time (Friday 12th January), and looks to be an absolute winner. it’s also worth mentioning that we will also be getting the Moshi Moshi DJs performing too, so the whole thing feels like The Recommender’s gonna have to be in turbo-networking mode. Doors open at 11pm and would you believe the entrance is FREE. For fuck’s sake you’d be insane to miss this!