An evening of brass driven ska from the Chainska Brassika on the south coast.
Sometimes it only takes half a song or half a video to get you sit up and pay attention and think, “Aye aye, these look like they are worth seeing”. Chainska Brassika are one such band.
Looking at the tour dates, the only one that fit in with the Iguana Diary was a show in Brighton. I used to love Brighton back in the day, but I have not visited for a few years. It is not the counterculture epicentre it once was and had been victim of much gentrification, but it still has a bit of an edge.
On the day, we didn’t really delve into the counterculture side of the city, we just sat on the pier drinking cider watching the sun go down, then headed over to the venue, which was only a short strut away.
Since opening in 2015, Patterns Brighton has firmly established itself as a safe space for Brighton’s underground club culture and a small live music venue that punches above its weight. Built on the former site of an art deco hotel, the building has a deeply ingrained musical heritage, including Ted Potters Music Bar and the infamous Escape Club. We run a two-for-one on all our Cutting Shapes pizza and have a wide range of spirits, beers and cocktails.
The basement is designed purely for dancing and ‘lose yourself’ gig moments, with sonic experience at the top of the agenda.
Overlooking the sea, Patterns has the look and feel of a trendy nightspot, but on the night we found the staff friendly, the crowd up for it and the gig room just the right size. Towards the back of the venue, it is terraced slightly so you can still get a good view at the back, although there is an annoying pillar in the middle which limits the sight lines. But hey, without that pillar the other function rooms in the club would fall on your head.
Although the beer is expensive, it was cheaper than the pier. Not that long ago I would never have mentioned the cost of a pint in a gig review, but with five pounds a pint not being unusual these days, it must have an impact on gig crowds.
By the time we arrive the support band, the Skandals, are well into the swing of things and we only manage to catch the last two songs. They have the crowd well warmed up and ready for action.
The break between bands gives an opportunity to find our viewing point of choice, half way up the steps to get a cracking view and leaning against the aforementioned pillar, whilst we watched the more energetic members of the crowd bounce and skank.
Chainska Brassika are not far from home tonight, being Sarth Landan through and through. They play a fresh brand of ska, not traditional/Trojan ska, not two-tone ska and certainly not ska-punk. Ska with a hint of soul and a lot of panache. All presented with a confident cheeky cockney chappie style. They all appear to be accomplished musicians and I wouldn’t be surprised if they do a bit of session work on the side.
The eighteen-date tour is to promote their third studio album ‘Tales of a Londoner’ (released on 25th March 2022).
As hinted at the top of this review, I’m not really familiar with their back catalogue, I just knew they would be a good night out. And I was right. From the word go their brass driven energy had the crowd up and bouncing with hands in the air, like they just don’t care.
Eventually we move to the side for some breathing space. Because of the lay out of the venue, you can’t see much from the side, but there is room to dance and, tonight, just watching the crowd is entertaining.
Before we know it, the gig is over. We pour out onto the promenade at a civilised ten thirty, as the queue for the club night that is to follow is starting to form.
Yep, I think I’ll go and see these guys again