The Badger reviews this year’s newest nightclub and live music venue: The Haunt
Whether you fancy Sextape, Thursday Night Fish Fry or It Is Still 1985, The Haunt seems to please both midweek clubbers as well as weekend partygoers.
There’s an argument to be made that Brighton has, if anything, an excess of achingly trendy nightspots scattered about. With venues like Coalition for those seeking to jump around to the week’s hits to Casablanca for those seeking to pay £4 a pint, there’s a little something for everyone.
The news that there is yet another club opening its doors in our fair city may fill some people with a certain amount of exasperation, but fear not – The Haunt has found its own niche by filling every niche going.
With an almost overwhelming array of themes and performances on offer, keep an eye on The Haunt’s website – the hilariously ironic shoulder pads which you wore to their ‘80s night ‘It Is Still 1985’ (on every Saturday) will just look silly when you turn up to the performance of Yelle and CocknBullKid on March 25th. Indeed, you may well recognise a lot of the features of said ‘80s night – it’s done by the same people who put on similar ‘80s themed nights at Concorde2 in September and at Coalition on New Year’s Eve.
It is the plethora of live performances planned which are particularly interesting. A few venues, such as Jam and Audio, manage to combine being decent places for gigs as well as being able to cater for an acceptable clubbing night, but the formula can certainly be improved.
If The Haunt is able to combine these elements, the payoff could be considerable. Especially with regard to hosting bands more conducive to dancing, as well as the standard acoustic guitar-plucking fare which usually inhabit the various dingy club basements. In this it may well be aided by is location: on the waterfront almost opposite the Pier, it’s in the territory of the most popular clubs like Coalition, Digital and Honey Club. If the passing traffic is from that kind of crowd it will have to make sure that it caters to them.
However, the worry with all these differently themed nights being put on by such a variety of companies is that The Haunt will fail to establish itself as a venue with a concrete identity – essential in a city so concerned with image as Brighton. Spots like Jam and Volks have a well established persona, and people know what they’re getting when they go. Even Oceana, for all its sins, knows exactly what kind of clientele it’s serving.
Unless The Haunt can equal or better what all these other places do there may not any reason to go beyond the novelty of it. For now, it looks like it promises plenty of half remembered nights and unexplained bruises.