This year saw Brighton emerge cautiously from Covid only to bake in a super hot summer before the extreme cold kicked in alongside a cost of living and energy crisis. Somehow, amidst all this, we managed to get out and enjoy ourselves. Despite the harsh realities of climate chaos, dysfunctional politics and war, we reckoned it was still worth celebrating some of the great things about our city.
SOURCE contributors were asked to nominate their favourite records, meals, bands, gigs, plays and pubs. So here it is, Brighton Source’s picks of 2022 – without any product placement, bribes or meddling from the editor. There’s no order of preference here, no scoring system, just some recommendations from a bunch of people who love living in Brighton & Hove.
Top 10 Best Brighton Pubs
It’s probably telling that half of our favourite pubs also host live music of one sort or another. And it’s no surprise that The Prince Albert was nominated several times given the recent scare about a worrying planning application. But the truth is that Brighton has more than its fair share of excellent boozers. These are just ten of the many pubs we’ve been hanging out in this year.
The Prince Albert, 48 Trafalgar Street
The Hope & Ruin, 11-12 Queen’s Road
The Paris House, 21 Western Road
The Rose Hill, 70-71 Rose Hill Terrace
Daddy Longlegs, 1 Arundel Road
The Exchange, 8 Goldstone Street
The Roundhill, 100 Ditchling Road
The Jolly Brewer, 176 Ditchling Road
Haus On The Hill, 58 Southover Street
The Great Eastern, 103 Trafalgar Street
Top 10 Best Brighton Records
Local releases came on strong this year, as if every band in town had a lockdown record at the ready. We don’t only listen to music from Brighton, but if we did there’d be plenty of great stuff to choose from. Here are some of the best.
Anzahlung, ‘What You Think Is All You’ve Got’
DITZ, ‘The Great Regression’
Frankie Stew & Harvey Gunn, ‘Nothing New Under The Sun’
Fujiya & Miyagi, ‘Slight Variations’
Hutch, ‘Radiator Centre’
Libra Libra, ‘Modern Millennial’
Opus Kink, ‘Til The Stream Runs Dry’
Porridge Radio, ‘Waterslide, Diving Board, Ladder To The Sky’
R.Dyer, ‘Little Victories’
The Daniel Wakeford Experience, ‘I’m a Rock-Popstar’
“I stumbled across Daniel headlining a show at the Green Door Store hosted by Carousel, a Brighton arts charity that supports musicians and performers who have a learning disability. He is pure rock opera and I love the unbridled joy that adorns every note of this record.” – Jason Warner, Brighton Source
Top 10 Best Brighton Meals
Our top ten meals came from a mix of established restaurants, new ventures and unassuming local favourites. Outlets near the seafront rank highly as expected, but there’s also a surprising number of recommendations from around London Road. Which may tell you something about the up-and-coming nature of the area – or the postcode of our writers. Either way, these places are worth checking out.
Bonsai Plant Kitchen, 44-45 Baker Street
Kitgum Kitchen, 9 Preston Road
Kusaki, 5-6 Circus Parade, New England Road
La Capannina, 15 Madeira Place
No Catch, 127a King’s Road
Shahi Tandoori, 40-42 Beaconsfield Road
Star & Garter, 16-17 King’s Road
Suriya’s Thai Kitchen, 77 St George’s Road
Terre à Terre, 71 East Street
Tiger Eats Carrot, 81 London Road
Top 10 Best Brighton Gigs
It’s easy to forget, but this time last year gigs were very much touch and go. Although 2022 started slowly due to lingering Covid concerns, by the summer it felt like we were back in full swing in Brighton. Our team reviewed over 40 local gigs this year, not counting all the coverage we gave to festivals like Love Supreme, The Great Escape and Mutations. Here are ten live shows that stuck with us.
Lewes Psychedelic Festival, All Saints Centre, Jan 29th (See review)
Father John Misty, Chalk, Apr 10th
Bonobo, Brighton Centre, May 3rd (See review)
Lambrini Girls, Heartworms, Audiobooks, SNAYX, The Great Escape, May 11-14th (See review)
Arooj Aftab, St George’s Church, June 16th
Hannah Moule and the Moulettes + Blythe Pepino, The Rose Hill, Oct 1st
Vukovi, Chalk, Oct 16th
Buffo’s Wake, The Old Market, Oct 21st (See review)
Scalping, Chalk for Mutations Festival, Nov 6th
The Leaning, Hope & Ruin, Nov 26th (See review)
“I’m delighted but not surprised to see SNAYX and Lambrini Girls getting shout outs from so many of my SOURCE buddies. Brighton’s punk scene is in the rudest of health, fuelled by the loveliest of people! A special mention has to go to Pussy Riot for their show at Mutations, one of the most poignant live things I’ve ever seen.” – Ashley Laurence, Brighton Source
Top 5 Best Theatre Productions
Meanwhile, Brighton’s stages reopened in time for the theatrical treats of Brighton Festival and Fringe. These five shows were the highlights of the year for our theatre reviewers.
Betsy: Wisdom Of A Brighton Whore, Brighton Fishing Museum (See review)
Stones In His Pockets, Brighton Little Theatre (See review)
To Be Men, Presuming Ed (See preview)
The Doctor, Theatre Royal (See preview)
Waitress, Theatre Royal (See preview)
Top 5 Best Brighton Bands
Whittling the city’s musical talent down to a shortlist of five was a difficult and possibly pointless task. Nevertheless, our reviewers seemed to enjoy the challenge and there was more agreement here than with any of the other categories. In a few months this list would probably look quite different, but these are the bands that made us sit up and pay attention in 2022.
Coco And The Lost
“The Brighton scene is on fire at the moment. DITZ and Lambrini Girls both destroyed the Fiddler’s Elbow at Love Thy Neighbour’s Alt Escape chaos, while Opus Kink left my jaw on the floor at Mutations with their new take on Ian Dury and The Specials. Picking a purely local list, and still having real choices to get really excited about is amazing. Massive shout outs to Penelope Isles, SNAYX, Laundromat, TRAAMS, Electric Cowboy Club, Safety Jacket, Porridge Radio, Hutch and Trip Westerns. I’m over my word count and I’ve not even got started! What a time to be alive in this beautiful city by the sea.”
– Nick McAllister, Brighton Source