Last time we discussed the music seen in Aberdeen. So what is going on on the other side of the UK? Music and theatre lovers will never run out of fascinating events and performances in Brighton. Whether it’s jazz, blues, pop or rock, Brighton’s live music scene has it all covered. Meanwhile, Brighton’s theatres have received rave reviews for their musicals, dance shows, contemporary drama and experimental shows. Here’s an in-depth guide to some of the best venues for live entertainment in town.
The Brighton Centre on Kings Road is undoubtedly the premier venue for live musical entertainment. Its auditorium has seating for over 6,000 and regularly hosts some of the leading music acts in town and a number of rising bands. Among its most recent star performers were Shirley Bassey, Van Morrison and Michael Crawford. The Brighton Centre is also a popular venue for exhibitions and conferences, including occasional meetings of the Labour Party Conference.
Event II is the home of the hippest DJs in the city and a haven for dancing all night long. During those nights when it functions wholly as a nightclub, the music is usually mainstream, with strains of dance and R’n’B. On the other hand, when there’s a hot gig booked as part of the evening’s entertainment, expect the music to be hot and electric as many dance, R’n’B and indie acts perform here. Brighton is also home to Nick Cave and Fat Boy Slim who choose to live in the city.
The Black Horse in the North Laine district hosts Brighton’s best local bands and crowd favourites. As such, the ambiance is very laid back and friendly, as befits a traditional local pub. Aside from the scheduled performances, there are many rousing jam sessions that drive the locals wild. On some nights, patrons even bring over their favourite records to play.
The Freebutt pub is another lively hangout for local bands, including both established and new bands, particularly those that play indie and punk music. There are some occasions when they stage a hip-hop night. The main area is large and features a pool table and some fruit machines, but the performance stage is about as small as an average size living room, which is just perfect for some interaction between audience and band.
The Jazz Rooms is the venue for jazz lovers and is virtually a Brighton institution in its own right. Located at The Lanes part of town, Jazz Rooms features a tantalizing mix of live jazz
The recently refurbished Brighton Dome Complex houses two excellent venues for theatre. The first is the elegant Pavilion Theatre, a 240-seat venue for music, drama and dance which also hosts several Brighton Festival events every year. The second is the Corn Exchange, a 1,000 seat venue that is used for theatre and live shows as well as for sports events and conferences. The Corn Exchange is the venue of the annual Jazz Bop, a contemporary jazz music festival staged every summer.
The Komedia in the North Laine area is also one of Brighton’s most popular theatres. It regularly stages drama, comedy and live music. For a taste of the experimental, The Little Theatre on Clarence Gardens has received very good reviews. The theatre usually caters to the Brighton and Hove border community and its relatively small size makes performances more intimate and personal. The plays here are purely experimental and never mainstream.
This is a party town to say the least. It is often mistaken for being like a scene from Cacoon the movie, but that is certainly not the case.