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The Great Music Scene in Brighton

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.

Aberdeen’s Thriving Music Scene

I have written about Scotland’s great music scene. Here I want to give a special mention to Aberdeen, which is a city that one does not necessarily relate with music.

Aberdeen is Scotland's third largest city and  generally talked about for its less-than-glamorous offerings. The city is dependent on its links to the North Sea oil fields, for which it has the title of Europe's Oil Capital, and its residents often describe it as a grey place because of the gloomy weather and the colour of the granite that is used in many of the city's buildings.

These descriptions don't do Aberdeen justice, though, as it has much to entertain tourists and young people – largely thanks to its bustling music scene. Although firmly in the shadow of Glasgow as the top venue for bands to visit, Aberdeen does trump capital Edinburgh and all other locations in Scotland. Whether it's 'ones to watch' in The Tunnels or Café Drummonds, current chart toppers in the Music Hall or headline acts in the AECC, Aberdeen has much to offer gig lovers.

It is the Aberdeen Music Hall which is the most famous of these venues. Built in 1823 in a prime location on Union Street, Aberdeen's main road, the building originally acted as the city's Assembly Rooms before being converted in 1859 to host concerts. As well as music performances, the Music Hall hosts comedy shows and it is also used – on rotation with other venues – for graduation ceremonies for the city's two universities.

Although Aberdeen hotels are often packed out when the big names visit, Aberdeen doesn't have many world famous musicians of its own to show off. Older music fans will remember Annie Lennox – known as a solo singer and for her time in the Eurythmics – but since then there have been no major acts to consistently top the charts. Sandi Thom – from nearby Macduff – recently turned eyes up north, but her stay in the charts was short lived. Music in Aberdeen is thought to have a bright future, however, with bands like The Little Kicks and Captain Face leading the way.

So although Aberdeen is known predominantly for its oil and gas work – or for the building blocks of its prominent buildings – it is fast developing a reputation for its music scene and nightlife. You just need to scratch below the surface a little.

What to Wear as Musicians – How about Savile Row Suits?

When choosing an outfit to play in, care needs to be taken at the outset. The reason for this this that it quickly defines who you are. Do you choose between Savile Row Suits or Jeans and T-shirts. The former is always a classy look, so with that in mind, here are 9 musicians that have made this look their own.

This Swedish rock band captured the globe’s attention in 2000, and are known for performing in matching suits – always in black and white. The lads are experimental when it comes to the suit, and have sported every style from mariachi madness to Colonel-Sanders-style pizazz and boarding school chic. They still look timeless and cool. Even the chubby drummer!

the hives

This Aussie artist has been rocking everything from a three piece to a pinstripe since the mid-70s.

Ol’ Blue Eyes always turned looking his best in the finest threads.
Pretty much every rat pack member actually turned out in suits.

Don’t forget about The King. Although the 70’s may not have been a great look.

Or whatever his name may be this week.
Let’s be honest, the 68-year-old has worn basically every garment ever invented since gracing us with his presence in the 1960s… but boy does he do justice to a well cut suit:

I don’t think I’ve ever seen the Roxy Music star in a collarless shirt, and, really, why mess with perfection?

So if these guys do it, why not try and emulate them? It seems that most bands have gone the sloppy road, which is a touch unfortunate, when a world of Bespoke Suit London awaits.


Social Media for Musicians

Many bands and musicians have found fame by using Social Media. In cutting edge web 2.0 technologies, music industry is singing out loud. Songsters, musicians and rock bands embrace social networking sites to promote their music, reach out to fans, and create their web presence. Now catching up on the latest music news, watching concert videos, following the tour dates of your favorite music artists and most importantly sharing music is done on a click.

For musicians, MySpace has always been an excellent tool for marketing their music, but the massive popularity of Facebook certainly makes it a community not to be ignored. Facebook’s advertising platform is an incredible example of how targeted advertising has become. The profile pages launched on Facebook enable brands, bands and celebrities to create a customized presence on the social network. Facebook just got a whole lot friendlier for music artists. Plus it has very reasonable advertising rates, so almost any budget will fit.

Facebook is treating music artists just like any other brands, which can also set up their own Facebook pages, collect fans, and market to them directly.
Although MySpace has always been popular for its promotion of music but Facebook is the new trend. Promoting events on Facebook is much more interactive than on MySpace because:
• Friends can respond with comments on the dedicated page for each event. Since Facebook users tend to be obsessive about checking in and using Facebook on a daily basis, this can be a great way to create online buzz about an upcoming event. On the other hand MySpace users don’t have a tendency to check up everyday which hampers its ability to create the online buzz that Facebook can.
• When it comes to online visibility MySpace pages are not very interactive while Facebook lends itself to constant interaction, making it a great way to reach out to your fans on a more personal level. Artists both small and large benefit from an intimate fan-artist relationship, resulting in a more dedicated and loyal fan base.
Invest in your time in social networks for promoting your music online and extending your reach. Facebook has become a real growth industry where musicians  are making it larger through their public profiles. To have an edge over your competitors you have to have a strong connection with your fans so go ahead and promote your music online through Facebook.

Making Money – Music to your ears. Try Bonus Bagging

Let’s face it folks. It’s a little harder than it has been in recent years to land a great paying gig, especially a recurring one. For some of you out there, it must seem pretty impossible? Drastic times call for drastic measures, and often this may involve looking for other ways to supplement your marketing budget or income. A good way that I have come across is bonus bagging, where you can check out a full review here: http://bonusbaggingreview.net

One of the real mistakes that businesses and individuals make is to let their advertising and marketing slip off when times get tight. You simply can’t do that. You have to work even more meticulously to get your band noticed. Get your name in front of people. Shove it down their throats if you have to. If you cut back now, you might as well just throw in the towel.making money with bonus bagging

Everyone wants to know the key to success, no matter what business they are in. If only it was a button you had to work hard to get to, but that you at least knew was in front of you. It’s not. Sometimes, even with hard work and dedication, you may feel like it never comes.

Perseverance is what separates the winners from the losers. You don’t give up. You don’t quit. I’m not sure there is an industry more suited to this than music. If you are committed, if you are dedicated, you will succeed. (Does it help to have a bit of talent? You bet it does.) Is success going to happen overnight? Not normally.

If you’re ready to move onto to the next level with your music, you need a marketing plan. You have to get in front of the right people. If you are not a natural marketer, then you need to stand on the shoulders of giants and copy those that have gone before you. How have other made a success?
In the meantime, check out bonus bagging as a good short-term opportunity. It is certainly not a scam:


Keep on trucking.

What Makes Scotland’s Music Scene So Vibrant?

For a relatively small country, Scotland punches above its weight with regards to music and the arts. It is home to a thriving music culture, not only in terms of classical and folk traditions, but also in the field of contemporary music. Scotland, in the last 20 years, has been home to some of the most prestigious and influential bands and record labels. These have included The Proclaimers, David Byrne, Mogwai, Del Amitri and Franz Ferdinand. This is just the short-list. Here is a more comprehensive one:

So what is being done to make this the case?

Firstly, Great Live Music Venues

The live music scene in Scotland is based around the two major cities, Edinburgh and Glasgow. Whilst Edinburgh is the capital, Glasgow has a better reputation for gigs. It features the Barrowlands, a legendary venue which saw early gigs from bands like Nirvana. It’s also just a brief walk from the railway station.  The post-gig dash back to catch the last train is something of a rite of passage. Even the name of the place just exudes coolness.

There’s also King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, where Alan McGee of Creation Records famously saw Oasis play for the first time in 1993. It continues to enjoy a superb reputation. Glasgow also has the SECC, an indoors venue which larger bands can play, along with the O2 ABC. Bands of all sizes can find a venue to play in this city.

Edinburgh, despite its reputation as a festival town, has lagged behind its sister city somewhat in the live music stakes. There are some good venues, however- Whistle Binkies, Henry’s Cellar Bar and Bannerman’s are three long-established small venues where you can see live music most nights of the week.

Decent Record Labels

The grand success of alternative music in Scotland is Chemikal Underground records. Formed by veteran Glaswegian band The Delgadoes, Chemikal Underground has been home to a diverse array of Scottish talent, from Mogwai, Arab Strap and Bis. It has supported a staggeringly diverse roster of artists in its 20-odd years of existence. Also of note is Fife-based Fence Records.  Fence are a loose collection of musicians who have produced success stories like Found and KT Tunstall.


The most notable one is The Skinny, an NME-sized periodical dedicated to the Scottish scene. It covers all of Scottish popular culture, above and beyond just music. The List is also widely read, though as its name suggests it focuses more on listings than reviews.

Up-to-Date Websites

The real source of good information on music in Scotland can be found online music blogs such as Aye Tunes, the Scotsman’s Radar Music Blog, and smaller home-grown efforts such as music-banter.com. They all provide recent updates regarding listings and venues.

Current Great Scottish Bands

St Jude’s Infirmary, Frightened Rabbit, Meursalt, The Twilight Sad, Sparrow and The Workshop are all attracting attention. Any one of them could be the next band to follow in the footsetps of KT Tunstall, Glasvegas, Mogwai or Belle and Sebastian and find a wider audience. Paolo Nutini has just completed a sold-out tour of the UK. These bands, and many others besides, are what ultimately makes Scotland’s music scene a vibrant and exciting place to be.

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