For the first Heterotic release I was asked to write about the places in my life article for http://www.urb.com/ that have shaped my love and fascination for music. As this did not get used in the end I’m posting it here because it was actually pretty fun to do.
The Colonnade Madeira Dr, Brighton.
This place really is an absolute hell hole. I could eulogise it, but I’m going to talk about it straight. This was where I used to go when I was about 16. I could get in without an ID and could listen to music which allowed me to be angry, feel grown up and get off my head. I became friends with the guys at Wrong Music and they used to put on some fun breakcore/electronic/bass music nights every month. I guess this is where I got into a lot of the artists and labels I listen to today. Boxcutter and Ital Tek played, and as such I became aware of Planet Mu. I really couldn’t handle going to this place anymore, maybe I’ve just had enough of smelly, damp clubs or it could be the painful hangovers from what I swear to be the world’s dirtiest beer pipes.
149 Southover street.
This house was owned by my grandparents, they split but my grandmother stayed living in the house. I think it’s been turned into flats now (like most old, massive houses in Brighton) but when it was a whole house it was pretty much party central for many years. My grandmother (Hazel) was really into music, in the seventies she used to go to London and crash reggae parties. I spent a lot of time with her when I was young, she was still on the look out for music that she liked/excited her. I remember feeling really jealous of my brothers because Hazel took them to see Prodigy at Brighton Centre I think in ’97. Hazel’s love of music was infectious and has stuck with me even now.
Yeah, I know, it’s too commercial, yeah you like to go the smaller festivals where you don’t have to worry about tickets selling out in less than an hour. Well, this festival is my family’s mecca. My mother came here with her parents and all their friends for many years before my brothers and I came along. Not even young children stopped this pilgrimage- We even brought the babysitter (regardless of her broken leg…) and to be honest with you it was much smaller then, and great for kids. There are many ‘Glastonbury Moments’ that I can remember but I think the main one that stands out for me, is seeing Radiohead in 2003. I was 13, Hazel had died a year before. I was in a really dark place and Radiohead are great for self indulging melancholy in a teenager. Their set really moved me, I did know some of their stuff due to my older brother playing their music but this took it to a new level. When I got home I stole my brother’s albums and played them continuously.
This war memorial was made in 1921 in tribute to the hundreds of thousands Indian troops that died for the UK in the first world war. It is situated in East Sussex because the Royal Pavillion served as a hospital for many wounded Indian troops. Those who were unfortunate enough to die who were Sikh and Hindu were, as according to their religions, cremated where the Chattri now stands. This place is accessed via a bridleway, and as I rode horses as a youngster, this was a common place I would ride to. The scenery is beautiful and theres a open field for you to gallop across (also a wooden gate at the end to jump if, like me, you’re too lazy and your horse is too mental to open it the ‘safe way’). I used to listen to a lot of jungle when I was 15, just before I had to sell my pony due to academic commitments). Listening to jungle was great for working around the yard, but not so great when you’re riding. When riding horses you have to keep in rhythm with your steed to keep in balance. Jungle is almost like the three-canter stride sequence, but if it had an extra break that could throw you of kilter if listened to whilst riding.
10 Marine Parade, Brighton
I love this club. It isn’t big, yet I always seem to enjoy nights here, even when it’s really packed. There used to be some really great nights in Brighton; one of them “Square Roots” was great for dubstep and grime. There don’t seem to be any nights with the same sort of excited atmosphere anymore in Brighton. Now there are just cheap pop nights for students’ first time away from their parents to get trashed to- they started out as ‘ironic pop nights’ which was only really ironic if you realised it was irony (This is pure Brighton). They are now overrun with girls that want to be photographed kissing their mates and boys that wear outdated post chillwave (of 2007 era) styled T-shirts. Oh yeah, there is actually a cool club, it does feature some good people, but it’s filled to the brim with all the fashion and design students and people who talk over music so loud you can’t hear it. It’s so cool that when it opened hardly anyone knew for ages because there no promotion, that’s how fucking cool it is (I seem to be too cynical for a 22 year old).
Vicarage Road, Roxwell, Chelmsford
This is where some of the first Heterotic stuff was written, it really is in the middle of nowhere (granted I did go to an agricultural college to do a degree) This is the place that Mike and I have talked about in previous interviews as being the coldest place to live. It had storage heaters which ran on a pound metre (costing a fortune). Being cold isn’t a terribly inspiring but once warm can put you in a surreal mind set which is interesting for making music.