Sunday, 28 February 2010

Today's idea - Russell Kane's Fakespeare: "The Tragickal Saveings of King Nigel"

Unprofessionally hungover, but this sounds brilliant tonight. Russel Kane's award winning Fakespeare play entitled "The Tragickal Saveings of King Nigel" which has Time Out saying very good things.

Following a complete sell out run at this years Edinburgh fringe, nascent playwright and Triple if.comedy award nominee Russell Kane brings you his celebrated blank verse bonanza. Shakespeare has been reinvented in modern form many times. Russell turns this notion on its head: Why not take our silly modern woes and re-work them into Fakespearian verse?

"Wonderful play from this very gifted young comedian" Time Out

It's on tonight at Komedia - you can buy tickets here. 7.30pm (opens at 6:45 for the mad rush to bag seats with towels as all seating is unreserved), and £12/£10 depending on whether you are a concession or not.

Saturday, 27 February 2010

Today's idea - Improv comedy tonight at Upstairs at Three and Ten

As is traditional it involves audience members shouting obscure places, names and moods at actors who turn it into something odd, mad, and very funny. Sketches can be short or long-form and are based solely around the audience. I want to stick in a clip of that 80s Improv show in which Eddie Izzard plays guest one day, and much stomping around the studio playing grocers and nazi (or some such ilk) occurs. If you know it, let me know.

Brighton's Off the Cuff formed in 2005 and have been in Brighton Fringe merrily making noise since 2006. They perform around the country, and are meant to be just a tad brilliant. Tonight at Upstairs at Two and Ten (10 Steine Street) you can catch them for £7 - £5 if you're a concession. They start at 8pm, and look to be the best Improv in Brighton.

Friday, 26 February 2010

Today's idea - Expo2010 at the Permanent Gallery

Today, for the first project of 2010, the Permanent Gallery opens expo2010 with art works in painty forms, laser-cut perspex, plaster cast, digital collage and photography. In collaboration with artist-run Norwich-based OUTPOST present eight artists; Richard Cook, James Epps, Susan Forsyth, Gemma Gore, Nikki de Gruchy, Andrew Hladky, Simon Newby, and David Sullivan. We don't know too much info about this exhibition but like all Brighton exhibitions, it's probably worth a look into. The exhibition is free, and runs until March 7th 2010.

Open: Thurs/Fri/Sun 1pm-6pm and Sat 11am-6pm.

Location: 20 Bedford Place (Google Map Link)

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Art Poppy 'Grow Claws' and assorted interesting friends at The Prince Albert

Today sees Art Pop's Grow Claws come to Brighton before it pops off to Camden next month and brings with it two varied supports acts, which we are very much condoning. Grow Claws headline at the Prince Albert, and bring
"their set of energetic Art Pop, and their own Vaudeville meets New Wave penchant for storytelling. Introducing new songs with added intensity, pop hooks and multi-layered experimental execution, expect to hear a lot about this band this year.
" Hooks and premises sound good. Not only this but attendees will each be given a free CD from the band (as long as they pass it on to someone else).
They also bring Soccer 96 and Nimmo and the Gauntletts, and again the event description does a pretty good coverage of the bands here:

"One of the most promising acts to come out of Brighton recently, their progressive Sci-Fi soundtrack meets Buddy Rich freakout features ex-members of sadly lost 'A Scandal in Bohemia'. They have recently supported BLK JKS, and those who have seen them, know what a great act they are live."

They also had these words on Nimmo:

"Superb, dynamic band from London, who have the hooks of Florence, and the voice and attitude of Micachu. Hard to pigeon-hole, and well worth seeing for their foot-stomping groove and blazing sax."

You can find the event on Facebook . It costs £4 with doors at 8pm.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Today's idea - See a showing of 'Plan 9 from Outer Space': "The worst movie ever"

Today the Marlborough Little Theatre holds Silver Wednesdays; old movies, new scene and today's is fantastic. The idea is to "deliver old timely movies, in an old timely way, with cutesy popcorn girls, competent ushers, and candle-lit tables, all within the confines of our picturesque little theatre." Ed Wood, who crops up in biographical films as made by Tim Burton, is known for for his "notably engulfing trash-films."

In this same realm, 'Plan 9 from Outer Space' has been described as "the worst movie ever" and sounds like the 50's unaware answer to the hilarious Action Sci Fi of 2001, 'Ghost of Mars'. Find the Facebook Event here and the Facebook group.

In other news, for Sciencey types this sounds great and is on tonight.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Today's idea - Fionn Regan at Komedia

Today, for fans of Irish singer-songwriters with curly hair, or for those also interested in Mercury Music Prize winners whose songs have appeared on Grey's Anatomy, Nearly Famous, and Skins, Fionn Regan comes to Komedia. In follow-up to debut album 'The End of History' he brings latest curiosity 'The Shadow of an Empire'. Komedia discusses his mixture of witty vignettes and complex soul-searching, which translates in musical terms to influences such as Bob Dylan and Neil Young.

The show's at 7:30pm, and tickets are £8 which can be booked online.

This video's from his first album, but you get the gist: man, guitar, rather nice music.

Monday, 22 February 2010

Today's idea - Robert Winston talks Science

Today the quite lovely Robert Winston is doing science things in aid of Brighton Science Festival. His latest book traces the history of our attempts at self-improvement but also questions their value.

""Bad Ideas? An Arresting History of Our Inventions: How Our Finest Inventions Nearly Finished Us Off", celebrates humanity’s extraordinary inventions whilst warning us that our good intentions can sometimes end up as thoroughly bad ideas; weaponry, for one. 
But what of apparently more innocuous inventions such as farming, writing or medicine? All started off for the greater good but have since produced unforeseen fallout that continues to this day."

Today sees an intellectual and harmless talk about this at The Old Market (on Upper Market Street) in Hove. I went to a talk at last year's Festival and it was lovely, harmless, and educating. This one costs £8 and includes a free glass of wine. Horray. Tickets are available on the door or in advance from City Books, Western Road - Telephone (01273) 725306. Find more here.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Today's idea - Brazil at Duke of York's Picturehouse (Brighton Science Festival)

Today, in the name of The Brighton Science Festival, The Duke of York Picturehouse are showing Brazil; Terry Gilliam's surreal masterpiece. You may know it - and it's absolutely fantastic, and one of my favourite 80s Sci Fi films (if it has a twist, I'm easily won over). Here's some blurb if you haven't seen it, and IMDB makes it sound appealing in every fashion.

Short blurb:
"A bureaucrat in a retro-future world tries to correct an administrative error and himself becomes an enemy of the state."

More interesting blurb:
"Terry Gilliam’s blackly comic futuristic fantasy is set in an Orwellian world of all-pervasive bureaucratic suppression and lumbering 1940s technology, where Jonathan Pryce’s timid, contented underachiever pursues the girl of his dreams and falls murderously foul of the system. BRAZIL is funny, cruel, and relentless, and is filmed with tremendous visual invention and an almost fetishistic attention to the minutiae of its imagined world. Screenplay by Gilliam and Tom Stoppard. Striking cameo roles from De Niro, Bob Hoskins & Michael Palin."

The Duke of York's picturehouse, compared to the dear local Odeon, is a traditional cinema; a lovely yellow, alcohol-providing, building filled with velvety seats. You could watch Avatar and feel art-house in it. Tonight you can pretend film watching is in the name of intellectual science, and the film's brilliant!

It's on at 6pm, it's a 15 so you must be 15 or wear stilts. Adults cost £7.20, and concessions and kids are less. See the Duke of York's website or Twitter @DukeofYorks

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Today's idea - National Chip Week (thanks to @freebutt for heads up)

This week is National chip week, so today in a break from a hectic array of gigs and festival things, we recommend your local chippie. My favourite by far, and I cannot recommend it enough, is Bardsleys on Baker Street between The Level and the not-overwhelming London road. Regardless, there's unsurprisingly a lot of chippies in Brighton and this is the best I've been to so far - they also have their own website (how grandiose). It's also got seats (nice seats and a nice inside) so you can sit inside or run off home with your yummy fishy package, depending on your fancy. Have temporarily run out of fantastic-sounding words, but either cook up some at home, head to your local chippie, or be adventurous, brave and well-rewarded and head to Baker Street;'s Bardsleys in celebration of National Chip Week today.

11:30 am - 2:30 pm, 4 pm - 8:30 pm.

Friday, 19 February 2010

Today's idea - Field Music at Resident Records

Newcastle's Field Music ploughed, in the mid 2000s, a line of beautifully executed art-pop and split, without fanfare, after 2007's splendid 'Tones Of Town'. Their main constituent parts, the brothers David and Peter Brewis, went on doing exactly what they were doing before - crafting elegant, deliciously inventive songs - under different names (David's School of Language made a fine, noisy record in 2008, which was matched by Peter's clever, Paul Auster referencing concept record as The Week That Was the same year). Then, in late 2009, they reconvened as Field Music and have just released their new LP, 'Measure' - which is tremendous news.

Initially criticised for being a touch bookish and distant as a live proposition, these days the polite, undemonstrative brothers are a failsafe bet for a night out (any band with a drummer as good as David is worth seeing, unless they're in U2 or something). Tonight they play a short, completely free set at Brighton's matchless Resident Records, in the North Laine. They're on at 6pm and will hopefully delve into their wonderful back-catalogue as well as playing some new songs. No need to get tickets, but you'd be well advised to get their early.

Their sound - which you can check out in the video below - is intensely musical; gorgeous Geordie harmonies, abrupt tempo-changes and unusual time signatures, with orchestration which varies from lush and pastoral to aggressive and loose.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Today's idea - Brighton Zine Festival and Science Festival

Two events today you lucky people - both very good but different: one part of the Brighton Zine Fest and one of the Brighton Science Festival.

The Zine Fest is is a 4 day celebration of zines and D.I.Y. which starts today and runs until this Sunday. Today sees a Swap Shop for crafty types: "Bring zines, crafts, mix tapes, and anything else you feel like trading for a cash free swap shop. There will be a pot luck veggie dinner, beer and music." It sounds nice, simple, and fun - and pot luck veggie dinner (om nom nom), beer and music tick every box. Entry's free, and for those attending, head to Coachwerks Art Space, 19 Hollingdean Terrace, BN1 7HB.

The grandly named Café Scientifique, for people who like Science, is presented by the Brighton Science Festival who are holding a nice-sounding talk about Polymaths. I went to one of these last year with a Chemistry friend. As a media type who likes science of the entertaining king only, I thought it fun. It was about Synesthesia, shortly after which i discovered a friend with it, and thus had lots of information-based questions to pepper them with. It was very nice (the event, not the pepping).

Today's talk by Alasdair Beal is called “Polymaths – who needs them?”. The blurb is below. Admission is free, and with the festival only lasting another week it's worth a visit. Events tend to be fun, intelligent, and entertaining. Take a friend.

"Polymaths – those brilliant people who range across all kinds of subjects – can be very entertaining but what have they done for science? Are they just dilettanti, ‘jacks of all trades but masters of none’? The orthodox view is that real progress comes from the sustained efforts of specialists who concentrate their efforts on a limited area of research in order to make breakthroughs.

Alasdair Beal challenges this view and discusses the achievements of some of history’s great polymaths, including the Italian Leonardo da Vinci and the Englishman Thomas Young.

Alasdair Beal is a consulting civil and structural engineer and also former journals editor for the Society for Interdisciplinary Studies."

It starts at 7.30pm at the

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Today's idea - Max Tundra at Hector's House

A blissfully weird recommendation today, calculated on the premise that Wednesday's are a drag, and we should all be setting our sights higher than work, dinner, sleep, etc. Max Tundra is, according to his myspace, playing at Hector's House this evening, and he's a fascinating, unconventional proposition, and surely worth seeing, if only for his uniqueness.

Tundra, whose real name is the totally inappropriate Ben Jacobs, has worked with bands from Franz Ferdinand to Kid 606, right through to the marvellous Pet Shop Boys, and recently toured with Hot Chip. But he is best known as the creator of his own odd, fractured electronic pop, which is simultaneously bonkers and brimming with mischief.

Bored of Brighton was introduced to him via his insane 2008 set ‘Parallax Error Beheads You’, which was a cacophony of intricate synth pop, electronic beeps, double-speed bursts of melody and autotuned vocals that seemed to reference everything from '70s TV music to the sound of computers in the 1980s; from XTC's unpredictable art-rock to the heavily ironic synthesised sound of Momus; the pure tones of Scritti Politti to the insanity of Squarepusher.

But this is tuneful music, too - bewildering cacophonies regularly transform suddenly into something reminiscent of the note-perfect, deeply unfashionable jazz-rock of Steely Dan – but just weird, weird, weird. It would perhaps be fair to point out that almost everyone Bored in Brighton has played Max Tundra to has hated it on first listen, but several have since fallen for him completely.

If you have spotify, click here and try to get through all eleven minutes of his exquisite 'Until We Die' without losing your mind - it contains some of the most lovely melodies ever, somewhere in the middle.

Otherwise, here he is cooking soup.

Doors at 8pm. Go with an open mind.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Today's idea - Oscar Wilde's 'Lord Arthur Savile's Crime

Today 'that curly haired bloke' from the Joseph 'Any Dream Will Do' BBC show and other assorted cast members are performing Oscar Wilde's 'Lord Arthur Savile's Crime.' Having seen the Dorian Grey film last night (hmmm) I'd be keen to see more plays by the author. Admittedly the curly haired man is not to all tastes, but the play sounds really rather good.

There's been a couple of very well received performances of Oscar Wilde's plays about Brighton, and today - and until Saturday the 20th February - they're set to continue. By very good, I mean "critically acclaimed."

"Lord Arthur Savile is deliriously happy: a pillar of Victorian society, he’s on the verge of marriage to the lovely Sybil. Then an encounter with a clairvoyant reveals that he is destined to commit murder, and Arthur decides that to protect his future wife, he must commit this bloody deed before he marries. As he sets about deciding which of his family and friends could be most conveniently eliminated, chaos predictably ensues…

This delightfully daffy comedy has a deceptive vein of black humour, sprinkled with Wilde’s inimitable one-liners."

It's at the Theatre Royal, lasts 2hours, has a break for snacks and drinks and intellectual airs and graces, and begins at 7:45. Tickets are £13-28 depending on where you sit and are available from here - and yes, we're keeping our eyes out for cheaper plays about too, although for this much money you do get "all-star cast is led by the legendary Gary Wilmot, (‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’, ‘Me and My Girl’), Kate O'Mara (‘Dynasty’, ‘Bad Girls’), David Ross (‘The Green Green Gras’s). Derren Nesbitt (‘Special Branch’, ‘Where the Eagles Dare’) and Louisa Clein (‘Judge John Deed’)".

Monday, 15 February 2010

Today's idea - University of Brighton's Here & Now Fine Art Exhibition

Brighton University is known for it's good production of art; and although both produce great work, it's a polytechnic-turned university that focuses more on production than neighbouring Sussex University (n.b the latter of which I am a happy student at).

Today, and until the 23rd of February, an exhibition entitled 'Here and Now' with work from 2nd year Fine Art BA (Hons) students will go up at the University of Brighton Gallery & Sallis Benney Theatre. It should be filled with lots of lovely painting, printmaking, sculpture, and critical fine art practice. It's definitely worth a visit, and I shall be trying to pop down at some point within the next week. It's free, and open from 10am-5pm. map here.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Today's idea - The Soft Pack, Freebutt

Today's suggestion: Tonight, The Soft Pack play The Freebutt.
£7.50 / Doors 7.30pm

The Soft Pack started out life in San Diego with a different name entirely: The Muslims. Perhaps predictably, this monicker generated more heat than light and, following endless publicity which focused on their name, The Soft Pack was decided upon as a more appropriate way to present themselves.

What was particularly unfair about the Muslims debacle, is that even when they traded under that contentious brand, it was pretty obvious, pretty early, that they had a keenly developed and sellable sound. The Soft Pack trade in a familiar but rewarding vein of compact, laidback indie rock, drawing comparisons to the Velvet Underground, The Strokes and - most tellingly - The Modern Lovers.

They play the Freebutt tonight unburdened by a contentious name, and promising a set of honed, tuneful vigour. Sample below:

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Today's idea - Interview with Noir Crime Novelist Cathi Unsworth

Cathi Unsworth, London novelist of all things crime-based and editor of other things arty, music and filmy (in Mojo, Uncut, Bizarre, Dazed & Confused, and other rather famous publications) can be located in Waterstones. Held in crime-novel critical acclaim, with influences such as Derek Raymond, it's all very English Noir.

Unsworth regularly takes part in live events, screen talks, spoken word gigs by Tight Lip and The Sohemian society, and today she comes for an interview at Waterstones. As a fan of Film Noir, (check out ChinaTown if you haven't) this bit of interactive, live and question-answering sounds fantastic if you're a book sort of person.? Head to Waterstones between 12-3pm for a copy of her latest book, BAD PENNY BLUES (Serpent's Tail) and get it signed, and at 1pm to catch this interview with an award-winning author, and hear her reading excerpts.

(Thanks for the headsup @bookrocker.)

Friday, 12 February 2010

Today's idea - Rock Archive 2010 Collection

Keeping to a worldwide tradition of staring at rock celebrities, a Rock Archive 2010 exhibition is currently posted at the Crane Kalman Gallery with classic photos of 'music's greatest names' which can be briefly summarised as such: Ella Fitzgerald, Bob Dylan, The Beatles, David Bowie, Marvin Gaye, The Clash, and Jimi Hendrix. The exhibiton's made up of a mix of photos from various esteemed practitioners including David Corlo, Storm Thorgerson, Jill Furmanovsky, Gerard Mankowitx, and Sheila Rock. In non-art terms this means some lovely massive black and white shots.

The project began with Jill Furmanovsky's selection of 30 shots from her 30 year archive (quite appropriate) to be made into an edition of 30 darkroom prints. The project's expanded to more than 50 photographers and art-directors amassing 500 photos amongst themselves.

The rock array brings a collection of live shows, photos from collaborations with the musicians (i.e. they pose directly for the camera), and documentary images. The Crane Kalman Gallery resembles a photography store more than a gallery (perhaps essentially the same thing) nestled into Kensington Gardens. Photos tend to be good, massive things, worth a look at.

Times: 10am-6pm Mon-Sat, 10:30am-4:30 Sundays.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Today's idea - Banff Mountain Film Festival

This comes to you in the afternoon because Beth Jeans Houghton was very good last night. Tonight for fans of adventure and mountains the Banff Mountain Film Festival comes to town at Komedia. Photos look fantastic, dramatic and beautiful. Official blurb says this:

"The tour is a collection of extraordinary short films from the worlds most prestigious mountain film festival. Traveling from remote landscapes and cultures, to up close and personal with adrenaline-packed action sports, the collection of films will inspire and exhilarate you."

There's prize giveaways too during the evening, but with the tour getting in sold out audiences, it sounds like a good film evening to head to.

Tickets cost £10 from Komedia, and it starts at 7:30.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Today's idea - Beth Jeans Houghton at the Komedia

Back when all I could think about was music, Steve Malkmus knew that sound was keyed in, whether intellectually or rhythmically, to our ordinary everyday lives - the city is built with bricks and sound, the hum of cars and car radios, the clap of feet on pavement. "The gum smacks are the pulse I'll follow if my Walkman fades", he sang. There are only a few moments in an ordinary day when some kind of music isn't playing in my head. Increasingly, that music is composed by Newcastle's Beth Jeans Houghton.

Which is ironic, because Beth's weird, wonderful songs run counter to the notion that music, as embedded in our daily lives as it is, is an ordinary thing. Her songs - and Beth herself, if you take her interviews as evidence - inhabits a creative world which is winningly magical. It isn't the wistful, wide-eyed universe of a Bat For Lashes, but rather an arch, colourful terrain which seems to owe more to Cindy Sherman or Tony Hancock than it does Kate Bush.

Her musical palette - she is a young, female, folk singer - may seem familiar at first glance, but she has practically nothing in common with the likes of Laura Marling, Emmy The Great, Florence Welsh et al. First, her voice is more interesting - an effortless, husky hum which recalls 70s icon Bobbie Gentry, and her music is informed by deeper, darker, more esoteric strains of folk, country and progressive rock; by the likes of Tunng, Pentangle and Melanie.

Her imagination is, shall we say, vivid. Her press-pack makes for colourful reading - the biographical details are too long to print here in full, but here's a sample picked at random:
"Until one day, she was on a family holiday with her albino wolves in buttermere in the Lake District. During a dispute about the severe lack of chewing tobacco Beth left the yurt and went for a late night trot around the serene lake. not serene for long though.... She soon heard a splishing and a splashing in the darkest corner of the lake. She carefully began bare-footing along the waters edge to take a closer look at the commotion. As the sun rose golden over the nearest mountains, the waters began to swell and curdle, and three delightful heads appeared. Seeing three boys rise from the lake, Beth stared in disbelief as they emerged to show their glorious furry hind-quarters and scintillating hooves. 'Jesus on a bike' she cried as the half men, half goats trotted gleefully towards her".
You get the idea, I hope. Beth is playing the Komedia tonight with hotly rated folkies Stornoway, and her own 'Hooves of Destiny', of course. It really is an unmissable chance to see one of the most colourful, creative songwriters on these fair Isles. Highly highly recommended - if only for the inter-song banter, which is likely to be worth the entrance price alone (a tenner, since you asked).

Komedia Brighton
10 Feb 2010 - 19:30, £10.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Today's idea - Tuneyards at the Freebutt

It's almost as if recording an album the traditional way is no longer good enough. Ever since Bon Iver retreated to his cabin and recorded 'For Emma, Forever Ago' in starry solitude, indie rock seems to have become obsessed with recording techniques, from cut and paste collage to wilful minimalism. Merril Garbus, who is Tuneyards, has her own distinctive approach - the songs on her wild, excellent, experimental debut 'Bird Brains' were recorded live, consisting only of vocals and ukulele, onto a cheapo handheld voice recorder. Every other sound on her dense, vibrant LP, was added later using shareware software on her PC. Most of the sounds are, in fact, just that - not bits of music, but creaks and clunks, yelps and squeals. It all makes for fascinating, odd pop music, some of it sharing a spirit with the marvellous Mica Levi, of Michachu and the Shapes.

How this strange collection of demos, multi-tracked vocals and found sounds will be reassembled or re-interpreted live is, frankly, anyone's guess, so the adventurous of spirit and curious minded should prepare to brave the cold February night to head down to the Freebutt to see what strange treat Garbus cooks up. It's bound to be singular, and likely pretty impressive.

Tuneyards play tonight at the Freebutt. Tickets are £6.50.
1 Phoenix Place
Brighton, UK

Monday, 8 February 2010

Today's idea - 900 Spaces at JAM

Bored of Brighton attended, on behalf of any readers who missed Thursday's pick, an excellent gig by Sparrow last week, and it's perhaps worth mentioning that the night - the first in a new series of weekly gigs at the Providence - may be worth keeping an eye on. Every week there'll be three bands for a pound, and that has to be one of the best value gigs in town. Can't guarantee that the bands will always be worth seeing, of course, but the omens are good - not only were Sparrow excellent (as promised), but a lively, energetic set by 900 Spaces - characterised by thudding basslines, itchy guitars and waves of shimmering synths - indicated the arrival of yet another highly promising Brighton band.

The band, who formed in Chichester and are now located in Brighton, have built the sort of momentum which indicates we may be hearing more of them - they were recently played on BBC 6music, and the self-evident pleasure the band take in performing their high-tempo indie-disco is reflected in their itinery - they've a bunch of gigs coming up, and this is clearly a band who love performing. Your next chance to see them, as luck would have it, is this very evening, when they play a benefit gig for RISE, the local charity and refuge which supports victims of domestic violence.

Happily, we've got a bit of an exclusive for you here - Bored in Brighton attended the gig last week armed with a digital camera and an MD player, and captured a sample of 900 Spaces' set. All you need to do, then, is click play and make a simple decision - whether to attend or not. It goes without saying, of course, that the charitable nature of tonight's show implies strongly that a Monday night-in this week is a night-in not worth having...

900 Spaces play their vibrant, day-glo disco-pop at JAM on Middle Street, along with Kaptan Swing, The Kid Jones, Reverb and Inertia.

Tickets are £4 on the door.
9pm-12.30am & DJ ‘til 2am.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Today's idea - Felt Up at The Penthouse

Following the weekend's spate of craft attack , there's "Felt Up" today at the Penthouse. Evening revolve around craft-making, and organised and less-seriously organised activities.

"Felt Up! is a glitter and macaroni set up. We deal in thread and buttons. We dance to the beat of the knitters. In the spirit of the worldwide DIY community we welcome anyone who wants to natter about craft/zines/music over tea and making."

I'm very excited (in terms of excitement about paper) for an upcoming night of Origami (put me infront of brightly coloured paper and I'm easily pleased) but tonight's more of a crafty drop in. So, if this weekend's array of classes, workshops and sales at Komedia and The Brighton Centre have launched you into a crafty arty project and now whisked themselves away leaving you stranded - or if you're just into craft - tonight covers a drop-in CRAFT AID for your crafty and craft-based mental emergencies. They cover the discussion topic of getting crafting started, and promise a "We ♥ Bille Holiday" playlist. Pop in at 8pm, and the event's free.

The Penthouse with its seedy little name, can be located at the top of The Freebutt at Phoenix place - which is here on a map. Have a gander at the Facebook Event, and the Facebook Group, MySpace and Blog - and that should take you up till 7pm.

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Today's idea - Handmade Brighton at Komedia

Today sees Handmade Brighton take place downstairs at Komedia. As well as panning to go myself, I've also been inundated with emails telling me about this event, so it's really pretty popular. As "A celebration of all that's handmade" it takes place today again as a bi-monthly event at 11am featuring craft and fashion in a market/fair type deal. There'll be over 30 stalls of handmade things, with clothing, accessories, prints, furniture, and other nice things.

"As we love an excuse for a theme we won't be ignoring the fact it's the week before valentines."

It should be very good for a poke about. There's a Facebook group, a blog, and you can find the Facebook event here.

In other news the London Philharmonic Orchestra are playing at the Brighton Dome.

Friday, 5 February 2010

Today's idea - Creative Stitches and Hobbycraft

Today if you've got tickets to the sold out and slightly difficult to pronounce Fujiya & Miyagi come to Audio. They're a lovely band who I saw back in March last year in the tediously trendy area of London, in Shoreditch. They're very good live, and afterward I stole the set list and loitered around to get my flappy bit of paper signed by the band who I finally found backstage in something resembling a broom closet. Times have changed and they're a tad more famous now (more fool me for chucking my flappy paper) but still really rather good.

On the other hand, if you're into costumes, papercraft, jewellery making, quilting, knitting and such whatnot, the best bet's to go to the Brighton Centre. From 9:30-5pm today for £6.50, there's a mass of how-to-make demonstrations, displays, talks, and inclusive workshops. As an annual event it sounds like a good wander round for anyone interested in crafty things.

"Lots of experts demonstrating including popular Textile Artist Kim Thittichai. Also at the show are the Beadworkers Guild, Quilters Guild of British Isles, Guild of Machine Knitters, Knitting & Crochet Guild, Lacemakers Circle and Ring of Tatters."

Ignoring the somewhat scarily titled 'guilds' it sounds like a genuinely fantastic how-to, and whilst there's "Handmade Brighton" taking place tomorrow, this is more of a how-to learning than solely focused around buying.

It continues until Sunday at 5:30 and there's more info on the main site here.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Today's idea - Sparrow, at the Providence

There are some really terrific bands in Brighton. Many are established, their growing fanbase the reward for years of hard-work and hundreds of great gigs. There are others springing fully formed from nowhere, who have created a sound and a suite of songs from scratch and perfected what they do before allowing scarcely a note to be played in public. One such example is Sparrow, a band formed by four friends from Brighton and Cambridge who "craft sad, beautiful, thoughtful pop music". Their music is unforced and delicate, combining sparse, measured arrangements with beautiful harmonies. Thus far, they have only played a handful of pretty remarkable gigs, and are slowly building up to the release of their eponymous debut album, which will be landing in March.

Tonight represents the last time to see them before the LP arrives, as the band are up first at the first night of Lowlife, the sister club to The Cable Club which is starting up at Western Rd's faintly wretched Providence Pub. Venue aside, this promises to be really excellent- it's only a quid to get in, and the band are on early, at 8.45. Make sure you make it along to catch them.

Here's their myspace page.

Sparrow, at Lowlife,
Thursday, 04 February 2010
20:00 - 23:00
The Providence, 130 Western Rd, Hove, Brighton, BN3 1DA

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Today's idea - Folksy Nancy Elizabeth and Mary Hampton gig

Nancy Elizabeth at the Prince Albert brings some guitary folk to Brighton. Yes, perhaps we're hardly in an drought but tonight's curious. With folk and post-rock influences it's strangely similar to Feist's gentle and delicately - almost weak - vocals with less xylophone and a lack of drums. At times the harmony's almost choir-like - and occasionally pulls in a mix of European gypsy songs, choral a cappella and North African music - references which I've stolen from but explain the occasional choir-like consistency. It's varied, and definitely worth a walk to the Prince Albert and a couple of pounds. Have a listen. (She's also on Facebook)

She's supported by Brighton-based Mary Hampton with a gentle, soft but clear voice. This is better described by Eliza Carthy who distinguishes the above far better than me, calling her "terrifying and gorgeous, epic and tiny, unusual and strong." Have a listen.

You can find this event listing on and a map here. Tickets cost £7 via, which I reckon is really rather worth it.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Today's idea - Bonnie Mitchell: Interactive Installations and Experimental Animation

There's a few today depending on whether you're a digital media type, radio fan, or English geek. There's a peculiar mix of things on today in Brighton and I'm a digital media geek so this one's my favourite, I think - although they're all one-day events so I've got no prior knowledge here.

Bonnie Mitchell, digital artist and academic, is coming to Brighton today. At Lighthouse, on Kensington Street there's the chance to see her exhibition and hear some words on the matter of experimental animation and and creation of interactive art environments that "explore the concept of virtual presence and unencumbered immersion through her use of interactive media and experimental animation." ..I think I could do with a pamphlet to recap this on arrival.

Mitchell's artworks have been around internationally at a whole bunch of anagram-titled places I haven't heard of but immediately hold in revere: SIGGRAPH, SEAMUS, ICMA, ISEA, Prix Ars Electronica, Digital Salon, ArCADE, Gamut, amongst others in a giant list. There have also been awards which also involve large amounts of capital letters too.

There's some more detail below and I'm pretty much sold on the shiny-sounding bits in the last sentence.

"Over the past twenty years Mitchell has developed numerous interactive installations including Virtual Presence (1992), which used a Polaroid sonar sensor to measure the distance of a viewer to the installation, creating a pseudo-dialog between human and machine. Her recent installation 'Inhabitants' immersed the viewer in an abstract world populated with organic entities. Through the use of small handheld projection screens, the viewer caught animated elements projected from the ceiling to the floor to decipher the meaning of the piece. Many of Mitchell's installations explored the sculptural capabilities of light to form 3 dimensional spaces using abstract animation, sensors, projections, and computer programming. The installations often employed elements such as semitransparent scrims, mirrors, hundreds of fluorescent light bulbs and thousands of strands of yarn."

This is all free entry and opens at at 6:30, with the artist's talk at 7pm. Find it on Facebook here and a map here

For English geeks there's also spoken word event 'Sparks' and if you're a fan of Radio Reverb then head to Latest Music Bar where they're holding the show 'Up Yours' in front of a live audience - namely you if you attend.

Monday, 1 February 2010

Today's idea - These New Puritans/Trailer Trash Tracys at Audio

Resident's gig of the week is These New Puritans/Trailer Trash Tracys at Audio. After altercations with the site, I've found a place to buy tickets. If you're an Indie fiend this is probably your thing - and the first video by These New Puritans features a rather nice mask, so this may in some way influence your decision if you are a hat fan.

Find them on the map here. It all starts at 7pm.