By Connor Langham
It’s no secret that the music scene in Brighton is thriving. You only have to sit on the throne in any pub toilet to see thousands of band stickers fighting each other for top spot on the back of the cubicle door. If you’re a musician, the chances are that the allure of Brighton’s booming creative environment has peaked your interest – but how do you work your way in to the community?
The good news is that, as a Sussex student, you’ve got loads of doors open to you. Whether it’s playing live you’re interested in, or you’re looking for some other guitar fanatics to pine over the greats with, there are a wealth of societies full of individuals who share your passion.
Sussex Live Music Society (SLiM) hold open mic nights at Northfield Bar every other Tuesday. The talent on display is as abundant as it is varied – rappers, singer songwriters and musicians of all disciplines take to the stage to play to what is almost always a full house. The SLiM open mic is the ideal starting point for musicians looking to break the seal of playing live in Brighton and network with other student musicians.
The week beginning 18 November is being coined by the society as SLiM week, and is the perfect opportunity to get involved and make some connections. The week kicks off with the Arctic Monkeys special at CHALK, and climaxes with the BIG SLiM band night on Saturday in Room 76, with events on everyday in between. You can find all of these events and others on the Sussex Live Music Society Facebook page.
The Brighton music scene doesn’t end with live performance, though. For those of a specific sonic inclination, the Guitar Society and Ukulele Society offer the chance to hone your skills and share your appreciation for your tools of aural pleasure. The newly formed Album Listening Society provides a space for deep listening and reflection – bask in the glory of some of the greatest records ever created, and find some new favourites.
For those wishing to find their voice among the voices of others, you’re spoilt for choice. Sussex has a few choirs: the Sussex Chamber Choir lend their pipes to the classics, whereas Sussex Sounds belt out a collection of modern greats. Both offer excellent opportunities to sing live, so whether you’re missing the buzz of performing or wanting to push your own limits, the choirs are a great way to get involved with the music scene at Sussex.
For the orchestrally orientated and classically trained, Sussex has its own symphony orchestra that performs stunning shows at the end of each semester. Sussex Big Band and Concert Band also provide playing opportunities for a wide array of musicians, and they sound incredible. I still remember Big Band playing at the old East Slope Bar as one of the best nights out I’ve had during my time at Sussex.
Do none of these tickle your fancy? Are you waiting for the paragraph about the Bavarian Shoegaze Appreciation Society? Is there a hole in your life that a Theremin Players Society could fill? Then start it up yourself. All of the music societies at Sussex love collaborating and helping each other out, and at Sussex you are never far away from someone who shares the same passions as you do.
Find more information about all of the music societies at Sussex on the Sussex Student website and take the plunge – we’re waiting to hear from you.