The History of Brighton & Hove Concert Venues – Part 2

Posted On 13 Apr 2020 at 5:58 pm

Welcome to Part Two. This has been a mammoth task and we would once again like to ask for your assistance in filling in the missing gaps. Have we inadvertently omitted any venues? Do you have any further relevant information on any of the following listings? If YES, then please comment at the end of the article and we will look into it. Thank you very much – the Brighton & Hove News Music Team.

The History of Brighton & Hove Concert Venues – The first 75 years (listed in alphabetical order): PART TWO

Coachwerks, 19 Hollingdean Terrace, Brighton, BN1 7HB.
Coachwerks was established as a combined arts and workshop space in 2008 and is a hub for community activities. It is a venue for musicians and film-makers, a gallery for artists (resident and non-resident alike). It is a bike-repair hub, a cafe, a whole-food shop, a space to hold workshops, meetings, swap-shops and more. I saw Battery Operated Orchestra perform here. They said it was their favourite venue as it had true character. Indeed it did.

Coalition, 171-181, Kings Road Arches, Brighton, BN1 1NB.
Billed as “Brighton’s oldest seafront nightclub”, Coalition has been clubbing it since 2008. Mainly a nightclub under the arches, they have also been putting on varied music acts since that date, but with a majority during The Great Escape, which they have been doing every year since 2012. Suffice to say that some of these TGE acts have gone on to make it big – see below!
Highlights:
Jonathan Richman 7.10.2010
Wolf Alice 16.5.2013 (TGE)
Slaves 10.5.14 (TGE) + 15.5.2015 (TGE)
Rag’n’Bone Man 20.5.2016 (TGE)
Sigrid 18.5.2017 (TGE)

The Spearhead

Coalition (pic Nick Linazasoro)

Coasters, Kingswest, Kings Road, Brighton, BN1 2RE (formerly Jenkinsons).
Coasters was open from late 1981 to early 1986 and was the place to be for young Brightonians. The club/bar was situated under the Odeon cinema then known as the Kingswest on the corner of King’s Road and West Street. Although famed for its club nights, they also put on bands just like their predecessor Jenkinsons had, although the former’s artists did, in the main, have more of a cutting edge, with the exception being SPK. They were the Australian industrial and noise music group who used to bash oil drums and attack them with grinders and cause sparks to fly everywhere! I was at the front of their concert here and could smell my hair and clothes getting singed. This was exciting but a toned down show from their performance at the Sallis Benney Hall. Founder band member Graeme Revell went from working as a nurse on a psychiatric ward to SPK and on to being Hollywood film score composer – nice work if you can get it!
Highlights:
The March Violets 13.11.1983
SPK 11.11.1984
The Icicle Works 9.10.1985
Big Audio Dynamite 4.5.1986
Belouis Some 28.5.1986
Xmal Deutschland 22.9.1986
New Model Army 19.10.1986
The Beloved 24.11.1986

Coliseum, 187-193 Kings Road Arches, Brighton, BN1 1NB.
Around October 2014, Coliseum replaced Digital on Brighton’s infamous beachfront party strip. Digital had opened up on 14th September 2007, which had previously been the home of The Zap Club. Before long it was the turn of Bermuda Triangle and has currently been The Arch for the past five years. All the other four incarnations hosted concerts amongst the club nights and so it is quite possible that Coliseum might have done the same. (see also Digital, Bermuda Triangle, The Zap Club and The Arch).

Concorde, Brighton Aquarium, Marine Parade, Brighton, BN2 1TB.
This was the original Concorde venue! The one which opened many moons ago opposite the Palace Pier, and was eventually bulldozed late in 1998 to make room for the Aquarium Terraces. This low ceilinged establishment had a very much local feel as opposed to the Concorde 2 nowadays has. You would often get a night with a few local acts on the same bill. I have vague recollections of seeing John Peel favourites The Chefs perform here, with support from bouncing Brighton band the Ammonites. (see also Concorde 2).
Highlights:
The Fall 22.10.1981

Concorde 2, Madeira Drive, Brighton, BN2 1EN.
The Grade II listed building opened in 2000 and was originally the shelter hall for the Madeira Lift, which had carried passengers down from Marine Parade since 1890. The building was previously used as a tea room, a reading room and a bikers’ café called the Waterfront, but had been empty for around 18 months before the Concorde took over. Wind the clocks forward and now the C2 is nationally recognised as one of the UK’s leading independent live music venues and nightclubs. They regularly host concerts from 7pm to 10pm and then a club night from 11pm onwards on the same evening, so double-bubble. The Concorde 2 is now famed for hosting a diverse cross section of live music and club nights. It was nye on impossible to select just 10 highlights as there have been so many, therefore I have chosen some corkers from around their first decade, check out that pedigree below. (see also Concorde).
Highlights:
Moby 1.2.2000
Coldplay 20.3.2000
The White Stripes 11.11.2001
Franz Ferdinand 28.10.2003
Amy Winehouse 29.10.2003
Buzzcocks 7.3.2006
John Cale 21.6.2006
Foo Fighters 17.8.2007
Gary Numan 29.7.2010
Ed Sheeran 6.10.2011

Concorde 2 (pic Nick Linazasoro)

Corn Exchange, Church Street, Brighton, BN1 1HE.
On this site a riding school and stables were built between 1803 and 1808 by William Porden for the Prince of Wales. In 1868 the Riding School in the west wing was converted into the Corn Exchange. The Corn Exchange (and Dome Theatre) were given the form they have today in 1934, with the Corn Exchange being converted into an exhibition hall, although extensive works began in 2017 to renovate the building as well as the Studio Theatre. Gigs have taken place at the venue, but not as many as one would expect, with the peak being the previous decade. (see also Brighton Dome Concert Hall, Brighton Dome Studio Theatre, Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, and Pavilion Theatre).
Highlights:
Girlschool 4.5.1981
Elbow 29.9.2003
The Go! Team 25.2.2006
The Fratellis 30.10.2006
Mumford & Sons 12.3.2010
Heaven 17 30.11.2010
Rag’n’Bone Man 15.5.2015 (TGE)
Slaves 16.5.2015 (TGE)

County Cricket Ground, Eaton Road, Hove, BN3 3AN.
The County Cricket Ground, currently known for sponsorship reasons as The 1st Central County Ground, is the home of Sussex County Cricket Club. This is where most Sussex home matches have been played since 1872. During the 1890’s, the County Ground was also used as a football ground for teams from the Brighton area, including Brighton United of the Southern League (until they went bust in 1900), and Brighton Athletic of the East Sussex League. Many concerts have been held at the County Ground. Elton John obviously likes it as he has played at the ground three times – in 2006, 2011 and 2019. The ground has also hosted Madness, Lionel Richie, Little Mix, Ollie Murs, Cliff Richard and Rod Stewart.
Highlights:
Elton John 9.6.2019
Rod Stewart 12.7.2019

Court Hope Youth Centre, (aka Village Centre Children & Young People’s Trust Portslade) Windlesham Close, Portslade, BN41 2YL.
There is information to suggest that they used to have local bands playing here on a Friday night in the 1960’s, including The Motion and The Need. On 3rd October 1979, local punk outfit Molesters played there.

Cowley Club, 12 London Road, Brighton, BN1 4JA.
The Cowley Club is a social centre on London Road in Brighton. It houses a vegan cafe, radical bookshop and library during the day, a bar and gig space during the evenings, and is a base for a variety of other political projects. It has been hosting occasional gigs since at least 2009.

Digital, 187-193 Kings Road Arches, Brighton, BN1 1NB (formerly The Zap Club).
Digital was located directly in front of Brighton beach and opened up on 14th September 2007 with a set from Maximo Park and then Brighton’s very own Skint boys taking control of the decks. Although mainly a nightclub, they hosted a few gigs as well. I purchased a Great Escape pass in 2012 solely to see the then unknown Grimes perform here, having ‘discovered’ her three months earlier via a KEXP session. The following year saw Chvrches perform here. After a good run for several years, the venue morphed into Coliseum and Bermuda Triangle for a short while and on 7th March 2015 the current residents opened The Arch. (see also The Zap Club, The Arch, Coliseum and Bermuda Triangle).
Highlists:
Florence and the Machine 28.10.2008
Grimes 11.5.2012 (TGE)
Chvrches 18.5.2013 (TGE)

Doctor Brighton’s, 16-17 Kings Road, Brighton, BN1 1NE.
Doctor Brighton’s stood at the corner of Little East Street and it’s been stated that they had a resident blind pianist who performed at the bar for many years. The bar closed in November 2018. But we can’t leave our notes at just that, as it has an interesting history. Formerly the Star and Garter Hotel, it was dubbed Dr Brighton’s in the nineteenth century and the name stuck; the proprietor posted a notice on the wall giving the ‘consulting hours’ and listing the ‘prescriptions of the finest quality’ which were available inside. The hotel has played host to many famous people, including Winston Churchill, Jack Dempsey, Charlie Chaplin, Richard Burton, and the Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII), and dates back to at least 1785 when twin Irish giants were exhibited there. In front of the original bow-fronted building stood a capstan which was removed in 1827 to make way for the construction of the Grand Junction Road. This action provoked the last major argument between the town’s fishermen and other inhabitants.

Door 77, 77 East Street, Brighton, BN1 1NF (formerly Bau Wow).
Hot on the heels of Bau Wow came Door 77, which was primarily a nightclub for around a year. Although Britpop band My Life Story played here on 10th May 2019. But by 5th October it appears that Door 77 had morphed into a cocktail bar and late nightclub by the name of Zahara. (see also Bau Wow and Zahara).

Door 77 (pic Nick Linazasoro)

Duke of York’s Picturehouse, Preston Road, Brighton, BN1 4NA.
The Grade II listed Duke of Yorks Picturehouse was opened by the mayor of Brighton, Alderman Edward Geere on 22nd September 1910 as the Duke of Yorks Theatre. After many years of being mainstream, in 1979 it reinvented itself as an Art House Cinema. The occasional music concerts started appearing on the bill a decade later. A music video by former Sussex band Mirrors was recorded at the Duke Of York’s in 2011 – enjoy it HERE.
Highlights:
Nick Cave 30.8.1989
Robin Guthrie 11.6.2006 (of Cocteau Twins fame)
Kristin Hersh 27.5.2009 (of Throwing Muses fame)

East Street Tap, 74 East Street, Brighton, BN1 1HQ (formerly The Fishbowl).
The East Street Tap was formerly known as The Fishbowl and before that The Greyhound. There is evidence of concerts taking place whilst the venue is named East Street Tap from 2016 onwards. They have a very compact upstairs room where I have seen some bands performing live. (see also The Fishbowl).
Highlight:
The Beths 10.11.2018

East Street Tap (pic Nick Linazasoro)

Engine Room, 5 Preston Street, Brighton, BN1 2HN.
Housed beneath the West Beach Hotel on the sea-front, The Engine Room with its dull grubby doorway and a metal railing was one of Brighton’s most authentic and grimy music venues. It had a dedicated rock ethos offering up rock, punk, psycho-billy, alternative and metal nights through the week. It had an unusual layout, with little hideaways to your right as you enter downstairs and two larger rooms to your left. The dance floor was based in the centre of the club and there was a raised seating area to one side and a number of booths reminiscent of the cantina in Star Wars opposite. Gigs were hosted here from at least 2005 to 2010. However, on 1st April 1985, I do recall visiting what I believe to be this venue after the Sisters Of Mercy gig at the Top Rank. So it’s likely to have been around for yonks! CuBar Brighton is showing at the same address.
Highlights:
The Dickies 10.8.2009
Discharge 29.4.2010
The Adicts 3.5.2010

Envy, Charles Street Tap (upstairs), 8 Marine Parade, Brighton, BN2 1TA.
The Envy nightclub is showing as being located on the first floor above Charles Street Tap which is large, funky gay bar. There are a few gigs listed as having taken place here from 2014 to 2016.

Escape Club, 10 Marine Parade, Brighton, BN2 1TL (became Audio and then Patterns).
The Escape Club was an interesting proposition back in the 1980’s as it had a true underground feel as in physically and musically. It wasn’t the first choice for gigs, but it could certainly hold its own. It’s currently Patterns, but the room feels as though it was facing the other way back in the 1980’s. Apparently The Smiths were going to perform live at the Escape Club on 24th September 1983, but had to cancel as Morrissey was ill. They did get to Brighton in the end when they appeared at Brighton Polytechnic on 25th February 1984. I can recall seeing Factory Records act Stockholm Monsters playing at the Escape Club. There were a number of well connected Factory bods hanging around including Ron Gretton, who was the manager for both Joy Division and New Order. I also still have my ticket which shouldn’t have been issued as it’s number 0000.
Eventually all good things must come to an end and so Audio was launched in 2004. (see also The Pier (Ted Potter’s Music Bar), The Royal Escape, The Buccaneer, Audio and Patterns).
Highlights:
Stockholm Monsters 12.6.1984
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds 21.4.1985
Sigue Sigue Sputnik 3.11.1985
The Wedding Present 10.12.1985
The Soup Dragons 2.11.1986
Pop Will Eat Itself 23.11.1987
My Bloody Valentine 10.10.1988
The Flatmates 30.10.1988
The Stone Roses 28.2.1989
Happy Mondays 12.3.1989

Essoldo, 134 North Street, Brighton, BN1 1RH.
This was a serious hotspot for the top acts of the day from 1961 to 1964. The building originally opened in April 1940 as a 1875 seater variety theatre called The Imperial Theatre. By 1948 it had become Essoldo Cinema. After it’s heyday, it became a bingo hall, where incidentally I used to work part-time whilst at college. The stories I could tell you about those days, but I daren’t. The structure bowed out as a bowling alley and Hotspots nightclub. The structure was demolished and the site is now occupied by Sainsbury’s Local and Sports Direct.
Highlights:
The Shadows 3.3.1961
Emile Ford & The Checkmates 22-27.5.1961
Adam Faith 10-15.7.1961
Cliff Richard & The Shadows 6.2.1962
Jerry Lee Lewis + Gene Vincent 7.5.1962
Billy Fury 10.11.1962
The Crickets + Bobby Vee 11.11.1962
Gene Vincent 24.11.1962
Del Shannon 9.5.1963
Dusty Springfield + The Searchers + Brian Poole & The Tremeloes + Freddie & the Dreamers 13.11.1963

Event, Kingswest, West Street, Brighton, BN1 2RE (formerly Top Rank Suite).
This building’s first introduction to music was on 10th November 1965, when the doors swung open as the Top Rank Suite. For the duration of its life, it was a legendary venue and couldn’t quite be matched in my opinion, when it became ‘The Event’ in 1990. Having said that, they did actually manage to get Blur, Pulp and Suede to play live here. It was refurbished in 1990 and renamed the Event, and The venue was refurbished in 1996 and renamed Event II. In 2007 another refurbishment led to it reopening as Oceana for a couple of years before coming Pryzm in 2011. (see also Event II and Top Rank Suite).
Highlights:
James 14.5.1990
The Charlatans 5.11.1990
Primal Scream 21.10.1991
The Prodigy 6.12.1991 + 11.11.1992
The Beautiful South 29.4.1992
Suede 20.5.1992
Blur 23.5.1994
Pulp 18.10.1995

Event II, Kingswest, West Street, Brighton, BN1 2RE (formerly the Event and Top Rank Suite).
The Event II came into being in 1996 after a refurbishment of ‘The Event’, which had come into being just six years earlier. This was now much more established as a nightclub as opposed to a live venue, and thus in 2007 another refurbishment led to it reopening as Oceana for a few years before coming Pryzm in 2011. It was here at Event II that I finally thankfully got to see Soft Cell perform live. That was another one off the list. (see also Event and Top Rank Suite).
Highlights:
Republica 9.4.1997
Travis + Reef 7.5.1997
Daft Punk 10.11.1997
The Chemical Brothers 12.5.1999
Placebo 24.10.2000
The Waterboys 29.1.2001
Soft Cell 24.10.2001
Embrace 7.11.2001
LCD Soundsystem 8.12.2005

Fabrica, 40 Duke Street, Brighton, BN1 1AG.
Fabrica aka ‘Fabrica Gallery’ is Brighton’s Centre for Contemporary Art and opened on 1st March 1996, as a place for artists to make work and introduce new audiences to contemporary art and creative participation. Fabrica is situated in the former Holy Trinity Church, which is a Regency period building dating from 1817. It was originally a non-conformist chapel, and is Grade II listed. This building was used in 2019 as one of the music venues for The Great Escape.

Fabrica (pic Nick Linazasoro)

Fiddlers Elbow, 11 Boyces Street, Brighton, BN1 1AN.
Fiddlers Elbow is as it sounds – Brighton’s original Irish pub, which is located in the narrow Boyces Street that runs between West Street and Middle Street. From 2013 to 2018 they have been involved as a venue for the Alternative Great Escape.

Florida Rooms, (aka The Cadillac Club), The Florida, Brighton Aquarium, Marine Parade, Brighton, BN2 1TB.
The Florida Rooms was situated within the Brighton Aquarium complex and the original Concorde would have been around here too. The Florida Rooms were most certainly one of THE places to visit in the 1963-1965 period. On 2nd May 1964, famed drummer, Keith Moon, played his first gig with Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend, John Entwistle aka The Who. Eight days later he was playing the first of at least 12 gigs the band were to play at this venue in 1964. For just a few months during that year (approximately July to October), The Who changed their name to the High Numbers, releasing one single under that billing before reverting back to The Who. The following year Davie Jones & The Lower Third were listed on the bill, with Davie Jones of course being David Bowie. It’s reported that during an Easter all night rave in April 1963, the Chris Barber Band played a set which was followed by the Cyril Davies All-Stars which featured vocalist Long John Baldry (who had joined the outfit 3 months earlier) and apparently a young Rod Stewart. The club closed in 1967 and a dolphinarium was built on its site. If still standing today, it would be sitting above Sea Life Brighton.
Highlights:
The Who 10+16+17.5.1964, 7.6.1964, 28.6.1964, 12+19.7.1964, 2.8.1964, 2+9+16+23.12.1964
Davie Jones & The Lower Third 11.12.1965 (David Bowie)

Fortune of War, 157 Kings Road Arches, Brighton, BN1 1NB.
The oldest of the beach side bars having opened in 1882. It was closed for a significant portion of 2014 when internal refurbishment works caused the roof to collapse, destabilising and closing the A259 above – doh! I seem to recall that this venue possibly used to have local punk bands playing back in the day or it might have been where the Belvedere Beach Bar used to stand. These days they have the ‘Fortune Sessions’ and invite rappers, MCs, poets, lyricists, and musicians to “come and create some juicy juicy music down on the beach”.

Fortune of War (pic Nick Linazasoro)

Fountain Head, 101-102 North Road, Brighton, BN1 1YE.
This Brighton watering hole located near the bottom of North Road was used for the Alternative Great Escape in 2017 and very occasionally has live music in the bar.

Fountain Head (pic Nick Linazasoro)

Fox Club, Queens Square, Brighton, BN1 3FD.
The Fox Club was also known as ‘Fox’s at Sussex Sports Centre’ was a short-lived affair in 1971. Apparently the business had transferred from the Big Apple which was a short distance away, who’s last concert was Emerson, Lake & Palmer 18.3.1971. The building will be familiar to many as having been an ice rink, but this closed in 2003 and in February 2009 the building was damaged in a suspected arson attack. (see also Big Apple).
Highlights:
Thin Lizzy 2.4.1971
Rory Gallagher 28.5.1971

Gardner Arts Centre, Gardner Centre Road, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton, BN1 9RA (eventually reborn as Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts).
Owned by the University of Sussex, the unusual Grade II* Gardner Arts Centre was built by Sir Basil Spence between 1966-69 and opened in 1969. It had a fan shaped auditorium with a capacity of 482 people. Gigs were known to have taken place from 1987 to 2006. Sadly the venue closed in 2007, but eventually came back to life a number of years later as ACCA. (See also the listings for Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts, Mandela Hall and University of Sussex).
Highlights:
Peter Hammill 13.2.1988
Dead Can Dance 10.11.1990
Cabaret Voltaire 29.11.1992
Judie Tzuke 3.4.1998

Green Door Store, 2-4 Trafalgar Arches, Brighton, BN1 4FQ.
The popular Green Door Store swung open its green doors directly underneath Brighton Railway Station in January 2011. The former railway yard is now regularly a hive of activity as the Green Door Store hosts gigs in the early evenings and then turns into a (usually free) club night later, as does the Concorde 2. This doesn’t happen every single night, but is more often the case. For the past nine years, gigs have been hosted here and features touring bands on the way up as well as local DIY talent. Since 2013, the GDS has been used as one of the venues for the Great Escape. The venue is quirky due on the account of its previous use, with some cobbled uneven flooring and josh sticks have been known to have been placed in wall cavities in order to hide a musty smell, or possibly it WAS the josh sticks causing this, anyway I love quirky! The not for profit Platform B radio station (105.5FM) also broadcasts from the Green Door Store.
Highlights:
Bastille 27.10.2011
Palma Violets 29.10.2012
The 1975 8.2.2013
East India Youth 8.5.2014 (TGE)
Celeste 6.9.2014

Green Door Store (pic Nick Linazasoro)

Hanbury Arms, 83 St George’s Road, Brighton, BN2 1EF (see Proud Cabaret Brighton).

Hangleton Youth Centre, 34 Northease Drive, Hove, BN3 8PP.
There is information to suggest that on 4th October 1979, punk outfit Molesters played here.

Hare & Hounds, 75 London Road, Brighton, BN1 4JF.
The Hare & Hounds pub is located opposite the Brighton Fire Station, so the locals will be used to noise. They had their opening party on Wednesday 26th March 2014 (having previously been known as The Hydrant), and have had the occasional band performing across from the bar as well as DJ sets. These have been in the main local acts, but from May 2014 until 2017, there were also concerts held upstairs on the first floor room which ran the length of the building. This was known as Bleach. (see also Bleach and The Hydrant).

Harrison’s Bar, Kings Road, Brighton, BN1 2GS.
This establishment was located on the seafront road where the Jurys Inn Waterfront (formerly the Thistle Hotel) now stands, near the Old Ship Hotel. It was the mecca for young emerging rock’n’roll bands in the 1950’s. It had a bay window sticking out over the pavement with a resident drum kit in it for whoever played there. You would get two lots of live music as Bill’s Dive was located in the basement. The building was to get a second lease of life when it became the Alhambra, which was one of the main hangouts for Brighton punks during the tail end of the 1970’s. (see also Bill’s Dive and Alhambra).

Hector’s House, 52-54 Grand Parade, Brighton, BN2 9QA (see The Blind Tiger Club).

Hideout, Kings Road Arches, 210 Kings Road, Brighton, BN1 1NB.
The Hideout Club Brighton is located right on Brighton beach within the Kings Road Arches and is one of the south’s newest Grassroots music venues and has been utilised by The Great Escape for the past two festivals. This is mainly a club venue that carries on raving until 4am.

Hideout (pic Nick Linazasoro)

Hippodrome, 52-58 Middle Street, Brighton, BN1 1AL.
I have to say that back in the early 1980’s, I wasn’t particularly a fan of the then owners of this 1897 built building. You see it was a Mecca bingo hall and I was at college and working part-time for the opposition up the road, Ladbrokes (see Essoldo listing). But then my father told me a little of the history of the Hippodrome and suddenly it opened up a whole new world. No wonder that English Heritage have listed the building at Grade II* for its architectural and historical importance. It opened as an ice rink, but just three years later it was converted into a circus, and the following year was renamed The Hippodrome (having previously been Real Ice Skating Rink), but that failed too. On 22nd December 1902 the Hippodrome reopened as a variety theatre and was expanded to a 3000 capacity, although 4500 has been recorded. It was after the second world war that music concerts started to take place and from the mid 1950’s up until 22nd November 1964 when the theatre was closed. To have visited this building from June 1963 to October 1964 must have been a truly wondrous thing, as there were no less than three concerts by The Beatles, three by The Rolling Stones and two by The Who. Does it really get any better than that! Mecca took over in 1967 and the final bingo hall shut its doors in August 2006 and has been empty and decaying ever since. What a crime! This is the place where in 1963 The Beatles and Roy Orbison played on the same bill that had sold out in minutes and The Beatles had to escape the venue by hiding in a Post Office van! Having just performed ‘Some Other Guy’, ‘Do You Want To Know A Secret’, ‘Love Me Do’ ‘From Me To You’, ‘Please Please Me’ ‘I Saw Her Standing There’ and ‘Twist And Shout’.
Highlights:
The Ink Spots 7-13.11.1949
Tommy Steele 26.11.1956 – 1.12.1956
Gene Vincent 16-22.5.1960
Adam Faith 19-24.9.1960
Little Richard 14.10.1962
Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas + Johnny Kidd and The Pirates 1.12.1963
The Beatles + Roy Orbison + Gerry & the Pacemakers 2.6.1963
The Beatles 12.7.1964 + 25.10.1964
The Rolling Stones 29.2.1964 + 19.7.1964 + 11.10.1964
The Who 9+23.8.1964

Hilton Brighton Metropole, Kings Road, Brighton, BN1 2FU.
Built in 1890 by Alfred Waterhouse on the site of former cottages. The new building’s architecture, particularly the red terracotta bricks, was initially criticised. Now listed and one of the top hotels in Brighton along with its near neighbour, the Grand. The plush 340 bedroom 4-star ‘Metropole Hotel’ and conference centre is located on Kings Road, the A259, which incidentally runs from Folkestone in Kent to Havant in Hampshire. They have hosted the occasional concert here over years, with the late 1960’s being their heyday. But I suspect that the more recent concerts have an air of corporate hospitality involved, if you catch my drift. On a different note, I have a cherished childhood memory regarding this place, as when I was a little lad, my dad took me here and we met (and got autographs of) Bobby Moore and Kevin Keegan.
Highlights:
Geno Washington & The Ram Jam Band + The Move + Jimmy James & The Vagabonds + Cliff Bennett & The Rebel Rousers 14.4.1967 (Brighton Arts Festival Ball)
Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich 26.5.1967
Marmalade + Simon Dupree & The Big Sound + The Nice + The Tremeloes 2.8.1968
Boyzlife 1.5.2017
Matt Goss 4.12.2019

HMV, Unit MSU1A, Lower Mall Churchill Square Shopping Centre, Russell Place, Brighton BN1 2RG (instore).
The HMV music shops have had three previous sites prior to its location on the lower level in Churchill Square. Records are indicating that they have held the occasional concert in Brighton stores from 1995 up until 2019. Some of these must have taken place at 48-50 Churchill Square Shopping Centre, Brighton, BN1 2RG and 61-62 Western Road, Brighton, BN1 2HA. Although I know of late, that they were having the instore performances nearly every Saturday afternoon at the back left corner of the shop. They had a rack at the front left of the store listing the forthcoming and recent instore’s next door to the relevant releases.
Highlights:
Biffy Clyro 28.8.2008
Frank Turner 12.5.2011

Horatios Bar, Brighton Palace Pier, Madeira Drive, Brighton, BN2 1TW.
Horatios is located at the end of the 1,722 feet (525 m) long Grade II* listed Brighton Palace Pier, which opened on 20th May 1899. The pier had 4 million visitors in 2016, and featured in the gangster thriller ‘Brighton Rock’, the comedy ‘Carry On At Your Convenience’ and the Who’s concept album and film ‘Quadrophenia’. The pier contains 85 miles of planking and at night, it is illuminated by 67,000 bulbs. Horatios bar has been used by The Great Escape as a fun venue in 2009, 2012 and 2016-2019. Highlights from those being artist Girli handing out feminine hygiene products to the crowd during her set and Australian quartet Confidence Man getting the whole packed room to crouch down and then jump up in unison.
Highlights:
Girli 20.5.2016 (TGE)
Confidence Man 20.5.2017 (TGE)

Horatios (pic Nick Linazasoro)

‘Horror Hotel’, Brighton Palace Pier, Brighton Palace Pier, Madeira Drive, Brighton, BN2 1TW.
Directly situated across from Horatios (see above) is the ‘Horror Hotel’ ‘Ghost Train Station’. It’s worth flagging up that energetic duo Slaves performed a rousing set from this attraction as part of the 2017 Great Escape.
Highlight:
Slaves 18.5.2017 (TGE)

Hotel Pelirocco, 10 Regency Square, Brighton, BN1 2FG.
Awarded ‘Best Independent Hotel of the Year 2019’, the Hotel Pelirocco is situated within the large early 19th-century residential development on the seafront. It has 19 uniquely themed rooms in a pop subculture vein, which have been inspired by visionary artists, maverick musicians and individuals. Up until May 2019 they were dabbling in intimate concerts here, but had to stop due to grievances with noise.

Idle Hands, 59 Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XD.
A newly presented live music venue based right in the heart of Brighton. Offering a variety of live music and DJ’s throughout the week, accompanied by 10 rotating craft beer taps & a variety of cocktails to satisfy all tastes.

Jam (aka Jam In Brighton), 9-12 Middle Street, Brighton, BN1 1AL.
The venue was previously a nightclub called The Water Margin as well as Kubuki aka Sumo, which was mainly frequented by students. On 22nd February 2009 there was a mini-riot here with trouble spilling out onto the nearby streets. There are records of The Great Escape concerts taking place here in both 2006 and 2007, when the venue was Kubuki, as well as usual gigs in 2011 when it was Jam. It went on to become the popular Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar. (see also Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar).

Jenkinsons, Kingswest, Kings Road, Brighton, BN1 2RE (became Coasters).
Jenkinsons…hell yeah! I’m not sure when this compact club opened, but I suspect early 1980, but for around two years this was THE place to go and see a band before they got famous. I have no idea who was the person responsible for booking the bands at Jenkinsons, but I sure would love to shake their hand. A large majority of the acts I saw in the small club went on to make it big and I mean in some instances seriously BIG! (see list below). I have limited the highlights to up to just 10 per venue where relevant and this one was a nightmare to choose. I have so many cherished memories of this place, for instance meeting Depeche Mode and getting my half of the ticket stub signed by them. Yes those bloody doormen used to tear them in half and just give you half. The venue went on to become Coasters was open from late 1981 to early 1986.
Highlights:
Ultravox 10.8.1980
Echo & the Bunnymen 28.9.1980
Dead Kennedys 12.10.1980
Simple Minds 19.10.1980
The Teardrop Explodes + Thompson Twins 2.11.1980
Killing Joke + Theatre Of Hate 23.11.1980
U2 30.11.1980
New Order 22.3.1981
Bauhaus + Subway Sect + The Birthday Party 21.6.1981
Depeche Mode 2.8.1981 (5pm show + 8pm show)

Jimmy’s, Steine Street, Brighton, BN2 1TE.
Jimmy’s aka ‘Jimmy’s Bar’ was a haunt for the ’U.O.S Blues Scene’ aka University of Sussex Blues Society, who used to organise gigs from at least May 1968 up to at least March 1970 at this venue. In essence it was a first floor room with a capacity for 150 to 200 folk to go (usually on a Thursday or Friday night) and chill out listening to the likes of Jethro Tull, Free and Mott The Hoople. As Chris Taylor puts it “Jimmy’s Bar” was part of the old Southern Hotel in St. James’s Street. The Southern Hotel was an Edlins pub and hotel. The main entrance to the Southern was in St. James’s Street, but you got to Jimmy’s Bar by going round the side to Steine Street, where the entrance was opposite The Queen’s Head. The bar was on the first floor but it’s now flats. You can still see the remains of the magnificent facade of the Southern Hotel in St. James’s Street above the slot machine arcade on the south side of the street below Manchester Street”.
Highlights:
Jethro Tull 31.10.1968
Free 10.10.1968 + 26.2.1970
Mott The Hoople 12.3.1970

Jubilee Square, 17 Jubilee St, Brighton, BN1 1GE.
This is a modern public square adjoining Jubilee Library which was opened in 2005 by the Princess Royal. The square hosts food and art markets, plus live street theatre and concerts. There have been a number of performances held here for The Great Escape from 2017 to 2019. The Great Escape also organised for bands to perform in “Jubilee Gardens” in 2015 and 2016. I’m assuming that this is the same area as Jubilee Square as the only gardens around would be the Pavilion Gardens on The Royal Pavilion Estate accessed in New Road, and the others nearby are Old Steine Gardens and Victoria Gardens.

Jubilee Square (pic Nick Linazasoro)

K4 Discotheque, West Pier,Kings Road, Brighton, BN1 2FL.
The West Pier was opened in 1866 and was the first pier to be Grade I listed in Britain but has become increasingly derelict since its closure in 1975 – but we won’t go there will we! On 15th April 1967 Pink Floyd played the K4 Discoteque on the West Pier during Brighton’s first Arts Festival. It was titled ‘Kinetic Audio Visual Environments’ and described thus: “Created and arranged by The Advanced Studies Group at Hornsey College of Art under the collective titled K4, this immersive audio visual arts installation incorporated three different experiences at the end of the West Pier. The Kinetic Labyrinth was a succession of small spaces which exhibited international art work involving pulsating lights and strong colours whilst the Video Drum was a device for singular use which played material concerned with dream fantasies. The largest space was the Kinetic Area; a nightly discotheque which, on Saturdays, featured live performances from the likes of as-yet-un-famous prog-rock legends The Pink Floyd and British artist, performer and eccentric Bruce Lacey (with his Humanoid Robots) alongside endlessly changing patterns of light and colour projected onto screens. The installation also featured a soundscape designed by pioneer of electronic music Delia Derbyshire titled LIGHT/SOUND WORKSHOP”.
Highlight:
Pink Floyd 15.4.1967

King And Queen, 13-17 Marlborough Place, Brighton, BN1 1UB.
The King And Queen was built in 1779 as a farmhouse and named in honour of George III and Charlotte whose 60 year reign ended in 1820. The principal bar, built in the style of a nobleman’s hall is flanked by a paved courtyard. The building also incorporates Prinny’s bar on the Minstrels Gallery. The Tudor room is the main banqueting hall and was formerly the headquarters of the Brighton Corn Exchange. There have been occasional gigs going on here since at least 1978 and was used as a venue for The Great Escape in 2009. I can recall one merry evening dancing away to Sussex covers band In Yer Face her many moons ago. Everyone was bogling large! A couple of years ago, I witnessed a large queue outside and learned that they were waiting to get in for the popular karaoke night being run by Adrian Cricker, who also runs an equally busy one at The Faraday in Epsom.

Komedia, 44-47 Gardner Street, Brighton, BN1 1UN.
On May 1st 1994, the directors of Umbrella Theatre, Colin Granger, Marina Kobler, and David Lavender, opened a new venue called Komedia, in a converted former billiard hall in Kemp Town, believed to have been at 14-17 Manchester Street, Brighton, BN2 1TF. They modelled the venue on the cabaret theatres they had seen while touring with Umbrella in cities such as Copenhagen, Amsterdam and Berlin; small informal welcoming venues that offered people from all walks of life a place to enjoy comedy, cabaret, and music whilst having a meal and a drink. There were no venues like these in the UK in the early nineties. In 1998 the venue was moved to larger Jubilee Shopping Hall (a former Tesco supermarket) on Gardner Street. Krater Comedy Club was born in June 1999 after the ‘crater like’ basement area was transformed into a cabaret space and the larger venue quickly attracted established and up-and-coming comedy and music acts. On its relocation in 2000, the Brighton Komedia grew to include three spaces: Komedia Upstairs, Komedia Downstairs and the Studio Bar, as well as a street-front café and box office on Gardner Street. In December 2012 Dukes at Komedia opened at Komedia, a two screen cinema operated in collaboration with the Duke of York’s cinema. Duke’s at Komedia replaces Komedia Upstairs. Gigs have taken place in the downstairs Komedia from at least 2005 and from at least 2009 in the smaller studio bar.
Highlights:
KT Tunstall 8.2.2005
Arctic Monkeys 24.8.2005
The Damned 22.12.2008
Rag’n’Bone Man 26.11.2014
Idles 3.9.2018
10cc 25.9.2019

Komedia (pic Nick Linazasoro)

Komedia Studio Bar, 44-47 Gardner Street, Brighton, BN1 1UN (see Komedia).

Komedia Studio Bar (pic Nick Linazasoro)

Kooks, 56 Gardner Street, Brighton, BN1 1UN.
The Kooks Restaurant located in Gardner Street, is a daytime venue for a range of imaginative seasonal dishes. It was listed on the 2019 venue list for The Great Escape.

Kooks (pic Nick Linazasoro)

La Trap, Brighton.
I have found information that a certain Mike Stuart Span played 2 gigs at La Trap, Brighton on 18+25.5.1967. I cannot ascertain where the venue was. Maybe someone out there has some information regarding this?

Latest Music Bar, 14-17 Manchester Street, Brighton, BN2 1TF.
The Latest Music Bar lies between Marine Parade, the A259, and St James’s Street, the B2118. This street was developed in the late 18th century as Brighton began expanding eastwards from the Old Steine. Many moons ago this was apparently a billiard hall and then on 1st May 1984 the Komedia moved in until 1998. The Joogleberry Playhouse occupied this site for 5 years before selling it towards the end of 2007 to Latest Homes, who produce their magazine from there. The Latest Music Bar is a live music venue with a cabaret stage downstairs and a skylit restaurant/bar upstairs. James Bay played here in 2011 and his debut album hit the No.1 spot in March 2015. There have been concerts here since at least 2008. The venue is one of the locations for The Great Escape. (see also Komedia and The Joogleberry Playhouse).
Highlights:
Royal Blood 11.2.13 + 17.3.13
Idles 16.5.13 (Alt TGE)

Latest Music Bar (pic Nick Linazasoro)

Loading Brighton, Unit 11, Lower Promenade, Madeira Drive, Brighton, BN2 1ET (formerly C:\ Side Quest).
Seafront cafe by the pier that has had acts performing in the 2019 Bad Pond Festival as well as a few others. Customers enjoy playing a selection of the 100 board games on offer.

Madeira Hotel, 19-23 Marine Parade, Brighton, BN2 1TL.
The Madeira Hotel aka The New Madeira Hotel aka The New Madeira Seafront Hotel is located to the East of town. I can recall visiting here a few times in the early 80’s when there used to be ‘Numan Disco’s’, where a group of like-minded Numaniods and synth fans would hire out the venue and pose around to ‘Down In The Park’ and ‘We Are Glass’ etc. They were happy times! Move the clock forward to between May and October 1993 and there were at least 3 proper gigs there, one of which being Slowdive. The location has also been home to The Funkyfish Bar & Club for quite some time now.
Highlight:
Slowdive + Cranes 25.5.1993

Mandela Hall, Student Union Building, University of Sussex, Falmer Campus, Brighton, BN1 9RH.
This listing mainly comes under the University of Sussex. However the early concerts from around 1966 to 1978 used to take place in the University Common Room/Old Refectory as it was then named, but in December 1978, the Old Refectory Room in Falmer House was renamed Mandela Hall after Nelson and Winnie Mandela. So for those of a certain age, they will only recall the Mandela Hall days as opposed to the earlier days. Therefore listed below are just three of the memorable concerts that I have attended here. Altered Images, where I can recall meeting a mate for the very first time as we perched on the long brown wooden railing in front of the large glass windows at the back of the hall. Also when Killing Joke came on stage from the back of the hall via a real torch-lit procession and vocalist Jaz Coleman’s hyped up face as he passed us.
(See also the listings for Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts, Gardner Arts Centre and University of Sussex).
Highlights:
Altered Images 25.11.1981
Killing Joke 4.12.1983
China Crisis 26.1.1984

Marine Parade, Brighton, BN2 1TL.
The Radio 1 Roadshow has taken place on Marine Parade in the past, as well as also taken place at The Level and Preston Park. The final old-style Roadshow was held at Marine Parade, Brighton with Chris Moyles in 1999. As part of reforms to the station, the Radio 1 Roadshow was axed in favour of a series of one-day pop concerts, called One Big Sunday. These have now been replaced by a single two-day event called BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend. The style of the event is more akin to a standalone music festival than the broadcasting-based shows of old. The emphasis is on current artists and new music. Since the Radio 1 Roadshow’s demise, some of the crew that were behind the roadshow’s success have subsequently purchased some of the old roadshow vehicles, and are using them as stages for many local radio station roadshows.

Marine Room (Harbour Hotel) 64 Kings Road, Brighton, BN1 1NA.
There’s an old photo taken in 1878 showing that the street level of this building was a stationers shop. Wind the clocks forward to August 2016 and the Harbour Hotel opened its doors. This 79 bedroom hotel lies at the very bottom of West Street on the Eastern side. Within the hotel there is a bright and airy room called the Marine Room and it is here that from 2017 to 2019 that various performances have taken place during The Great Escape new music festival.

Marine Room, Harbour Hotel (pic Nick Linazasoro)

Marwood Coffee Shop, 52 Ship Street, Brighton, BN1 1AF.
The Marwood Bar & Coffeehouse opened around the corner from Fabrica in Ship Street on 2nd November 2009. There are records of performances taking place at Marwood’s from 2015 to 2017.

Montpelier Disco and Blues Club, 66 Montpelier Road, Brighton, BN1 3BL.
The old Park Royal Hotel was built in 1840 by Henry Mitchell Wagner, the vicar of Brighton, for his unmarried sister, the house was named Belvedere. This was passed on to other members of the same family, and when the last member died in 1902, the house was sold, and became a hotel, known as the “Sixty-Six”, then later on it was the Park Royal Hotel. In about 1969, it closed its doors, the residents evicted, and for a short while it became the Montpelier Rooms nightclub, a very different use for the old place, the old ballroom being reincarnated as an underground disco, but the Park Royal was demolished until about 1972. Before that on 1st July 1971, Mungo Jerry performed a gig there – check out the photos HERE. Graham Knight from Portslade recounts: “The gig was held at a big house called the Montpelier Rooms, and the band were actually playing in a large room.The house was packed with people standing in the doorways, and on the stairs. The atmosphere was VERY electric! As you can imagine, it was very hot in there and they were selling small glasses of Coke for 20p a time, which was a lot of money in 1971. The band sang a lot of songs from their album, ‘Electronically Tested’ plus ‘Lady Rose’ and ‘Have A Whiff On Me’. Banned by the B.B.C because of the cocaine references, Ray told us that the song was written about the cowboys who used to snort cocaine up their noses. By the time they reached their late twenties, early thirties, their guts would have fallen through their arses. It was a memorable concert, one I shall remember for the rest of my life”! The site is now occupied by a 1970’s block of flats named ‘Park Royal’.
Highlight:
Mungo Jerry 1.7.1971

Mrs Fitzherbert’s, 25-26 New Road, Brighton, BN1 1UG.
There are notifications of gigs going down at Mrs Fitzherbert’s from 2012 to 2014, so one assumes that it’s this place as opposed to anywhere else in town. These events could have taken place outside on their portion of New Road or in the first floor ‘Lost Gardens of Fitzherbert’ roof terrace and disco shed.

Find all 4 parts in our Music Section – click on the links below and enjoy:
The History of Brighton & Hove Concert Venues – Part 1
The History of Brighton & Hove Concert Venues – Part 2
The History of Brighton & Hove Concert Venues – Part 3
The History of Brighton & Hove Concert Venues – Part 4

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