1983, When Alternative wasn’t trendy and Trendy was naff

➤ Nightlife in Brighton:
identity crisis at the seaside

First published in The Face, October 1983

TAGS – The Face, nightlife, funk, dance music, Alternative music, Brighton, Oliver Peyton, The Can,

Hosts at The Can in Brighton, 1983: Ian and Kate flanking Oliver Peyton years before he started opening restaurants. (Photo Shapersofthe80s)

SO MUCH FOR NIPPING DOWN TO BRIGHTON for a quiet weekend! Ever since certain unsavoury events persuaded the unsavoury end of Fleet Street that this South Coast resort was a hotbed of vice, the town has been swarming with scoop artists posing as villains and X amounts of Old Bill trying to round them up.

Six months ago the headlines were all about that notorious beach the mayor had licensed as a live encounter peepshow. Now ladies without their 60-inch G-cups seem about as daring as a saucy postcard. All this aside, our spies took the chance to hype up Brighton nightlife: come on down to the coast! We could dodge all the cops and hacks because they were only patrolling the pink zones and anyway the gay clubs cater for the Mogadon set. So here we are, bucketing out of Victoria on the 21:08 one late summer Friday, bound for Palace Pier.

“If a club calls itself Alternative, people know it’s definitely not trendy; and if it uses the the word Trendy, people think how naff”

❏ “With funk getting so commercial, tonight I dug out some Sparks and Skids. We’re thinking of going back underground”

“We’re like the Batcave with disco” say clubworld’s first all-female trio of host-persons


The Face, nightlife, reviews, funk, dance music, Alternative music, Brighton,

Click for larger image © Nick Logan/The Face Archive

❏ “Taste is either very Haysi or very Alternative, so long as they know it well, like Orange Juice”

◼ Graham with the rude-boy hat offers the cleanest car-wash on the coast, charges six quid a go and claims he’s done nine this week. Forty-hour weeks, who needs them?

❏ Oliver defines the typical Can member: “He is an art student on the dole or a rockabilly variation on the North London soulboy. He likes mid-Seventies Brass Construction and Eighties New York funk”


Rip Bristol, The Face, nightlife, reviews, funk, dance music, Alternative music,

Hosting Rip in Bristol: Paul Smith and friend in 1983

RIP at Upstairs, Bristol, Thursdays £1
Era Club frontman Paul Smith expands into a second venue with the no-funk alternative. “Call it anything but that,” he says. “Post-punk futurism even. We do play new New Order and Cabaret Voltaire but you can’t get away from nostalgia in Bristol. You can’t get away with new dance mixes here. Rip represents the avenging spirit of nightlife where the haircut counts for everything. Does that sound pretentious?”



TAGS – The Face, nightlife, reviews, funk, dance music, Alternative music, Brighton, Oliver Peyton, Andy Hale, Paul Smith, The Can, Subterfuge, Electric Grape, Wednesday’s Yard, Inn Place, Aqua café, Rip Bristol, State Liverpool, Tin Can Birmingham, Bananas Bournemouth