‘234 FEST’, GREEN DOOR STORE, BRIGHTON 18 & 19.9.21
Congratulations to the Green Door Store music venue in Brighton for celebrating the fact that they have been supporting local grassroots music and night clubbing’ for a whole decade.
The distinctive and popular street level venue is conveniently located at Unit 2, 3, & 4 Trafalgar Arches, Lower Goods Yard, Brighton Train Station, Brighton, BN1 4FQ. This is a blessing as patrons can easily get public transport (trains, buses, taxis) to and from the venue as they are all located a mere one minute walk away!
The building has an unusual past and the current owners found the venue’s name as it had previously been known by the railway workers back in the day as “the Green Door Storeroom”. It had previously been a horse hospital and the roof was built over the area in 1888. This is why the concert room is slightly cobbled and uneven and slightly slopes down in the middle with a soakaway. Have a look the next time you are there – interesting stuff!
The team at the Green Door Store were certainly celebrating their 10th birthday in style as they hosted the ‘234 Fest’, (as in based in Units 2, 3, & 4) which was a free entry two-day mini festival to highlight the plethora of exciting new local talent.
The ‘234 Fest’ was just like a mini Great Escape, with the bands performing around half hour showcase sets on Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th September 2021.
The Brighton & Hove News Music Team initially decided to dip their toe in the water for the early part of day one (the Saturday), just to see what the ‘234 Fest’ was like as most of the team had been out at gigs the night before covering Arlo Parks at CHALK, DJ Shadow at Brighton Dome, Dr. Feelgood in Hassocks of all places, Dreadzone at the Concorde 2, John Grant at the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill, and Projector at The Hope & Ruin.
We very soon realised that the ‘234 Fest’ was going to be a corker as there was an early buzz around the venue. We were already scheduled to move onto the Brighton Centre at around 7:30pm in order to witness the live performance from elbow (review HERE) and as a result the final three bands on Saturday were going to have to be seen on another date. The upshot of all of this meant that we had to call in the elbow photographer early and get him to cover a snippet of the ‘234 Fest’ and then for day two, get the photographic troops in. So the longer the ‘234 Fest’ ran for, the better our photographs became.
During the event we were talking to the Green Door Store owners and they informed us there “Never has there been such a buzz at the 234 Fest before”. This was music to our ears and therefore one would hope that it returns in 2022. But let’s’ stick with the present and check out the two day liner-up
Day One – Saturday 19th September:
I arrived nice and early in order not to miss the first act of the day who were the Dagobah Sisters. They willingly kicked off proceedings at 2:10pm with their heavy raw noise, which was certainly giving the building’s foundations a good old seeing too. How on earth are my ears going to last all day today and tomorrow?.
The Dagobah Sisters actually are a trio of lads, so clearly are not sisters and it’s extremely unlikely that they hail from the fictional Dagobah planet and eponymous star system that appeared in the Star Wars films ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ and ‘Return Of The Jedi’. After 26 minutes, the noise created by the three cool looking dudes had ceased and so at 2:36pm they were done.
The event is very relaxed at the moment with people and bands milling around outside on the benches in the September sun, what little there is not being blocked by Brighton railway station which is towering above us.
I’m feeling a little peckish already. Must be 3pm and time for Toast. By that I mean Toast the local quintet that has Annabel Whittle and Leila Deeley from Lime Garden amongst their ranks.
They kicked off with ‘(I’m A) Celebrity’, which might be the case for Lime Garden who have been announced as tomorrow night’s headline act. Back with Toast and they are an off beat combo that offer up quirky little numbers delivered with deadpan vocal delivery that Mark E. Smith would very much approve of if he was still with us. Each tune appears to be telling a different story. After 21 minutes, their set had concluded at 3:21pm.
In fact that did actually make me hungry, so I wandered across the road to ‘Toasted’ in Trafalgar Street for ‘A Little Pitta Heaven’ which consisted of falafel, garlic hummus, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes and peppers in a pitta with sweet chilli sauce “mmmmm” .
Next up it was the turn of Dan Rumsey & The Dark Days to take to the stage at 4:03pm. This was my first live encounter with Dan and his chums, who were sporting the usual band format of vocals and guitar, with another guitar, bass and drums.
I thought that there was a distinct Psychedelic Furs vocal delivery and sound on offer from them this afternoon. They were an unassuming band that simply let their music do all the talking. They had a post punk sound that you would have heard back in the day on the John Peel show. The concert room is filling up nicely too. They ended at 4:25pm.
Right then, I now fancy some fruit, how about some Mangö for tea as it is 5:01pm. Mangö the band that is, whose motto is “Juicy music for juicy minds”.
Initially their set was loaded with chilled funky jazzy vibes, which were much smoother than all of the previous acts. Their format was guitar and vocals, guitar, bass and drums. But then after a few minutes they morphed into 1970’s rock. Maybe should have been on the Woodstock bill. For fans of Santana. As Zane Lowe used to say “You’ve gotta respect what they are doing!” 26 minutes later at 5:27pm they finished.
There was an unusual change in format now as a mere 13 minutes later the Lambrini Girls commenced their raucous set with rumbly bass at 5:40pm in the bar room and not the concert room. In essence, this brought the band to everyone’s attention and all the times I have been to concerts, I haven’t seen the bar area utilised as a stage for a band. It wouldn’t be the last time!
The mayhem ensued with vocalist Phoebe Lunny downing a Tuaca, and why not? She then got the crowd to crouch down and jump up again. Never has so much fun been had in the bar. She clambered atop the bar in her customary bra and knickers and addressed her faithful. Drummer Catt Jack absconded from her post and was swiftly replaced by a stand-in. This was also the case on guitar as Phoebe neglected it as she rolled around on the floor at the punter’s feet with Catt in tow. Fox Foxington Fox manned her bass station admirably. ‘Big Dick Energy’ was awesome. After 24 minutes of chaos their ‘performance’ ended at 6:04pm.
After a mere five minute break, we all headed back into the normal concert room in order to see what WACO (pronounced Wake-oh) were going to bring to the party. They began at 6:09pm.
They consisted of a handful of guys all dressed in camouflage gear ready to do battle with the crowd with their heavy rock sound. They had come down from Keighley in Yorkshire to play for us. “I have come here to chew gum and kick ass” one of their many samples uttered and that kinda summed up their set. They admitted that they were “Recruiting members for the resistance”. Their singer was a talkative fellow and their last track was heavy glam rock. They ceased fire at 6:41pm and retreated back north.
After a space of only 18 minutes, it was the turn of Hanya, who have slowly been morphing from a vocals and guitar duo with drums up to a full quintet band. Their latest addition is a female backing vocalist.
They commenced their wonderful set at one minute to seven. As always, they offered up very melodic compositions as opposed to those that had recently gone before.
Hanya have been evolving naturally over time and are getting better by the month. Vocalist Heather truly has a fabulous voice and as I had been basing myself at the front for all of today’s (and in fact all of tomorrow’s acts too), I decided to place my hand onto one the the main stage speakers in order to also ‘feel’ their music. For me ‘Monochrome’ was the song of the day, but then I sorta knew it would be prior to attending.
I particularly love their music when Heather uses her Keylab49 Essential keyboard. That’s the way forward for me! Remember to order her a shot of tequila on her birthday at their gig at The Hope and Ruin on Wednesday 10th November. Tonight, their set lasted 29 minutes, concluding at 7:28pm. I’m pretty sure that we will have a longer one next time round.
We have previously reviewed Murmur when they appeared with Thyla and Nature TV at the Brighton Electric Studios. Back then we stated:
“Murmur is a 3-piece noise rock outfit hailing from East Staffordshire, but now based in Brighton. The trio are George Mills, Ben Jordan and Jack Looker, and tonight they launch into their 7 song set with heavy guitar and warbling vocals that begin to shake the small room with waves of sound and riffs. The boys look fairly young, but this doesn’t matter as their talent and lots of fuzz flow through the large stage side amps of the venue. The bassist and guitarist provide vocals in tandem, which adds to the atmosphere as the instruments heave overdriven sonic waves that swirl above us in the audience. Their set ends on the song ‘Shiner’, which starts slower than most of the rest of their songs and then builds into a tremendous tune with heavy pedal use. Even though the venue is not full at this point, the group of guys get a good round of applause and leave the stage”.
We have actually reviewed BEACH RIOT just seven days ago when they appeared with The Wildhearts and Those Damn Crows at CHALK.
Last week we reported:
“Those arriving late tonight miss an absolute treat as Brighton’s own Beach Riot kick up an almighty storm. They blast their way through 7 fuzzed-up garage rockers. Favourites from the set were ‘Sofa Surfer’ and the punky ‘She’s A Hurricane’ which got the plug pulled on it halfway through due to the set overrunning”.
This week BEACH RIOT have dropped their debut vinyl album. It is called ‘Sub Atomic Party Cool!’ and you can listen to or purchase it HERE. You can catch them next live in Brighton on Thursday 16th December when they play at The Prince Albert – tickets HERE.
Lime Garden were formerly known as just ‘LIME’ but changed their name. Since doing so, there has been a seriously marked increase in interest with this four girl Brighton based quartet consisting of Chloe Howard (vocals/guitar), Leila Deeley (guitar), Tippi Morgan (bass) and Annabel Whittle (drums).
Their forthcoming sold out concert at The Prince Albert on Thursday 21st October, sold out five months in advance and as a result the band have added another local Brighton show. This time it will be at The Hope & Ruin on Thursday 24th February 2022. Tickets for this new concert can be bought from HERE and HERE as well as from Resident music.
To view tomorrow’s ‘234 Fest’ report, click HERE.
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