The Loft @ The Prince Albert, Brighton

Friday 03 March 2023 – Brighton.

This was the second in a string of gigs that we planned to attend, admittedly we haven’t made all of them; mainly due to my laziness, though there are more to come, including one tomorrow.

The Loft in Brighton was, on the surface, an odd choice. I had majorly stuffed up this weekend; ages ago, possibly as far back as September, I’d bought tickets to Entombed Festival a punk/metal two day festival in Hastings. It starts tonight and here is me driving 50 minutes to Brighton to see another band. When I bought the Entombed ticket it was so far in advance of the gig I hadn’t bothered updating my calendar and we’ve now accepted an invite to dinner with St Leonards’ friends tomorrow night, which meant missing most of the festival, not going to tonight’s sets seemed to be inevitable.

The Loft were an early 80s English indie-pop band, from a time before indie-pop was a thing. They were one of the first bands to be signed to iconic record label Creation, though they split up on stage in the middle of one of their largest gigs, ending any chance of fame. I hadn’t heard of them until I met Eleanor, though I have a record of the lead singer’s follow up band, The Weather Prophets, which I bought when I lived in London in the late 1980s. The Loft are releasing a retrospective album of all their material and are headlining a gig in London tomorrow to promote it. This gig tonight is an unannounced warm up gig and The Loft are supporting Mozart Estate.


The main reason this is an odd choice is Eleanor’s ex-husband is the lead guitarist and a founding member. Eleanor and Andy’s relationship has improved over the last few years and I guess if they hadn’t divorced then I wouldn’t have met Eleanor and be as happy as I am, and have been for the last 10 years. I think she is as happy as me so it’s been a win for the both of us. We both like the band’s music and Eleanor was hoping some old friends who live in Brighton would come to the show, which they did and she was very pleased to see them. Having a partner who likes music is one of the best things!


I don’t really enjoy driving any more and I especially don’t like driving at night. My car is fresh from an MOT and a service so at least it was running well and the headlights had had a special clean and were the brightest they’ve ever been, making the drive to Brighton not too stressful. We chose to drive as the train journey back to St Leonards of an evening is over 90 minutes and the trains only run once an hour, not the most convenient for the tired.

We arrived at the Prince Albert just before the band came on, it looked and felt like a great pub with a positive vibe and the upstairs venue was fab too, small, good sound and a bar. I would happily see a band or go for a drink there again; if only it was in Leytonstone.

The Loft played a 40 minute set to a pretty full room of mostly people our age; people who knew the band and their songs. I really enjoyed it as did the rest of the crowd, and for a change it was a decent place to take photos. The band seemed to enjoy it as well.



We hung around for a bit after the Loft played; Eleanor chatting to old friends, though regrettably we didn’t stay for Mozart Estate as I wanted to get home while I was still awake, we had another night out coming tomorrow and I’m very tired at the moment.

A day trip to Brighton

Thursday 29 August 2013 – Brighton.

Wow, another month has almost gone and I am still unemployed in London. I have had one interview since last writing though in the end this did turn into a job – oh well, such is life and all that. Just to let you know, I am actually doing OK with this. I have my moments of doubt that I will ever get a job, but I did know it was going to be tough and take some time. I am pretty happy though, so no need to worry.

Not working does mean I get to get out and about when I am asked and today was my first trip out of London for a couple of weeks. Photographer buddy Steve had a few days off work so we decided to head down to Brighton and have a wander around, sample a couple of ales and take some photos.

I liked Brighton, this time I saw a bit more of it than when I was down there last September. The main downtown area is very orientated to tourism, with some cool markets with some interesting shops.



There is quite a few big murals around the market area and I have put most of these on a separate street art post on my Photos by Phil blog. But I had to include one or two, and these cassettes are just everywhere.


Just behind the shops I found this small scooter chained to the side of a house – weird…


The light was savage so I did not end up taking too many photos, plus I had visited the pier last time I was down so though it was of the key sights in Brighton we decided not to visit it.

We did take a walk along the beach.



And walked around the outside of the totally bizarre Pavilion. It was built in the early 1800’s and has to be one of the more unusual buildings in the UK.


Back into town again we walked down some of the narrow alley ways that run through the old part of town, before stopping for a cooling ale or two before catching the train back up to London.


Though we did not visit this pub with its cool mural up near the station.


It was another good day out, but sadly I was not feeling particularly photographically inspired so ended up taking less than I should have. It is only an hour by train.

This weekend El and I are off to Edinburgh, I hoping I get some photo mojo back then as I have been really looking forward to this trip !


Day 252, Wednesday 12 September 2012 – Brighton

I am using another laptop this week and thought the last blog post I was writing in MS Word had been saved to Dropbox but it hadn’t, so missing a post, for now anyway. Not that it was particularly exciting of course, but for the sake of my records I will post it later.

Another highlight of my birthday week; heading to Brighton to see (and hopefully photograph) my current favourite band, New Yorkers (by way of Auckland for the bass player) A place to bury strangers.

It seems that going anywhere in the southern part of the UK by public transport means a trip through one of the main transport hubs in London, and the ride from Brentwood to Brighton was no exception. The bus I was taking left Brentwood at 9:45 and went all the way into central London to Victoria bus station before heading back out again to the coast – not that I was in any particular rush, just needing to be there before the gig tonight.

The journey was OK, a wee bit tedious, though it is always good to see a bit more of the English countryside. The bus got us to Brighton on time in the early afternoon. It was sunny but with a very strong wind – which was naturally a head wind for the longer than anticipated walk along the water front to my hotel for the night – the Brunswick Square Hotel, which funnily enough was on Brunswick Square.

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I decided to mooch for a while and leave the hotel a couple of hours before the doors opened and do my waterfront sightseeing on the way. I am conscious that I have a massive run in four days time and I need to be doing some decent resting rather than hours of sightseeing. Naturally while I rested the weather turned to crap 🙂

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The cloudy and windy skies made for quite a good walk along the front, at least I got some decent photos – I was getting sick of all those clear blue skies in Spain ! As I was going to a gig I decided to take the big Canon rather than the little Panasonic GF1 I have been using. I am so glad I did, I love that Canon and I think it loves me back, I was pretty happy with the images I got this afternoon, though it is a lot more to lug around than the GF1!

The hotel is probably a mile up the road from Brighton Pier and it is a pretty good walk from a photographic perspective, I should probably have taken a bit more time than I did, but I wanted to eat before the show and with doors opening at 7:30 I couldn’t muck around too much.

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The Pier is an interesting beast, so typically English, I don’t think there is any other country in the world who could do this as well, I arrived too late to see any fun fairaction but I did like the almost closed feel to it as well.

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Helter Skelter – I am not sure if I have ever seen one of these in New Zealand!

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And a double rainbow !

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I had pizza and a couple of reds at a local Italian restaurant before heading up to Komedia Brighton to see what was happening at the A place to bury strangers (APTBS) gig. I wanted to see if there was a support act – there was a band called Sealings, what time the bands came on – and most importantly, if I could take my camera in- I could – Yes !

I went to a local bar and had a drink before heading back to the venue for 8:00 just before Sealings came on. The venue is pretty cool, small, low ceiling, good size bar and good view of the low stage, it would be a favourite if I lived here. Sealings were pretty good, a young trio – made a lot of noise, which is always good. The lighting was very dim with most of it being back lit, a nightmare to photo and not having shot a band for a while it took a bit of experimentation to get back into the groove, though I was happyish with the results.

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APTBS came on about 9:30 – I love noise restrictions ! they played for an hour or so and were pretty loud, though not as bad as I expected. They were also fabulously awesome, playing most of my favourites, with a good chunk from Exploding Head, definitely my favourite album, with a searing version of “I lived my life to stand in the shadow of your heart” which is such an awesome track. The whole show was lit from the back and side of the stage and mostly by strobes, it was a brutal to shoot, a lot of the shots I did get were shooting bursts and hoping to get exposure and timing to coincide. I was also shooting wide open and at max ISO so it was never going to be pretty, especially as Dion (bass ) and Oliver (guitar) barely stood still for half a second the whole show.IMG 1693

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I will post some more gig shots in another post.

It was a good night 🙂