After braving the hordes for Record Store Day, we rounded the corner onto Jubilee Street and heard the echoing sound of a bass and acoustic guitar. It was a song we knew. On the corner of New Road and Church Street, Jorge’s Hot Club were doing an impromptu gig. Their jaunty gypsy swing made us quicken our pace as our destination was in sight: the Dome Studio.
To celebrate Record Store Day the good folk at Spectrum teamed up with the Dome to put on 19 of the most vibrant and diverse and local bands they could find. When you look at the running order for these kinds of all-day events, you do wonder how it will ever work out. Luckily we had nothing to worry about.
The performances were split between the Dome Studio and the bar downstairs. Buzz Holly opened things upstairs with their straight-up brand of neo grunge. As soon as they finished, Underhound were just about to start in the bar. Their acoustic indie folk, with Roy Budd-esque bass, was a good contrast to the blistering set Buzz Holly had just delivered.
Underhound received a well-deserved round of applause and we were straight back upstairs for Via Tirana. The music in the studio was predominately by bands and groups and because of this dynamic the sound was bigger and fuller. Normanton Street added some groove and soul inspired hip hop. This was the moment the crowd stopped just watching and started to engage by dancing and singing along on cue. Calico slowed things down a bit, but their Cinematic Orchestra vibe was the perfect choice after Lucas & King reworked the Simon & Garfunkel blueprint with some Ry Cooder riffs.
That isn’t to say that the bands in the bar were quiet and acoustic all night. Squid seamlessly mixed post-rock and jazz together evoking the original ethos of the Portico Quartet, while MØSS and their ‘Topshop Pop’ was a nice inclusion on the bill. Tigercub closed not only the event but Record Store Day too, and showcased why 6 Music and labels like Too Pure were championing them in 2015.
Whatever your opinion of Record Store Day, Spectrum’s all-dayer was a nice antidote to the commercialist chaos happening a few streets over. It wasn’t about money or touts, just the music. The real winners today weren’t the punters who paid the price of a 7” to watch 19 bands, nor was it the Dome or Spectrum for putting on an exceptional line-up – it was Brighton for having such a diverse and exciting pool of bands. Go us.
Brighton Dome Studio, Saturday 16 April 2016
Words by Nick Roseblade
Photos by James Kendall