‘The ethos of Foundations is quite simply to offer an accessible and consistent club night in Brighton,’ says the team behind Patterns weekly Friday night slot.
In providing a platform for up and coming talent, there are similarities between what Foundations is doing and what we’re trying to do here at Offie Mag. So naturally, sitting down with the people behind it made sense – even if being at in the venue at midday was surreal. A place we’re often at when it’s heaving in the evening, Ben and Neil use the Brighton hotspot in the daytime to work on all things Foundations and Patterns.
“Everyone needs a leg up somewhere.”
‘It’s important to clarify this before I say what I’m about to,’ says Ben, before explaining how the city has a ‘very good music scene for the size of the city we’re living in.’ But he feels it has a limited number of small venues available for collectives to build up a following. Brighton is a city with a reputation for producing and catering to good music, both for live gigs and club nights, as Patterns’ Neil Ellis adds, ‘There’s plenty of choices when it comes to genres, but viable spaces and opportunities for up and coming promoters are somewhat limited.’
‘Everyone needs a leg-up somewhere,’ says Ben, with the most recent artists he’s helped nudge up onto Patterns’ stage being Faze Miyake, The Busy Twist, Coki and quite literally dozens more with local support acts warming up diverse crowds for the headliners. In booking up and coming artists, it’s an opportunity for their peers to show some support. A chance for young creatives to meet each other and a chance for regulars to stop by, no matter who the headliner is, and catch a new artist they might not have found otherwise.
“It’s not always about selling hundreds of advance tickets – it’s about having something that people can just rock up to.”
Booking up and coming acts with local support is a good and important aspect of programming, as well as booking bigger names that sell out in advance. “It’s important to diversify, and provide different options for a price-sensitive market” Neil explains, with Patterns becoming a staple of most Brighton students night-out calendars over the past 18 months.
‘We just want to provide something that’s consistent, somewhere that you know you can come down to no matter what the acts are. By it being priced with the student pocket in mind, first and foremost it can be a place that people don’t even think twice about saying yes to an invite.’
‘It’s not always about selling hundreds of advance tickets,’ says Neil, a refreshing statement in an industry where many put profit over performance. ‘It’s about having a good offering and something that people can just rock up to in a city that’s as easy to navigate as Brighton.’
Slipping back into our own niche of UK hip-hop, genuine legends of the scene, Task Force were recently downstairs in Patterns for a mere three quid. That’s a price that works out at about 3p for every piece of wisdom Chester P shared with the crowd that night.
‘UK hip-hop is a genre that has always been very close to my heart,’ admits Ben, for whom booking Chester P and Farma G was a bucket list moment. And although they are far from up and coming talent (rather, established icons in their genre), the nature of UK hip-hop means a platform for their definitive, powerful, homegrown hip-hop was still much appreciated – especially in Brighton.
‘Brighton has a healthy hip-hop scene and Task Force was an iconic booking – it was very gratifying that it turned out the way it did,’ Ben said proudly, as Foundations allowed the legends to share the stage with local talents like Phonetic and a couple of Yogocop heads, Nuphzed and Kemastry. Even after the official music had stopped, Task Force’s set done and dusted, a cluster of budding rappers gathered around the mics and practised their craft.
And this, in effect, is what Foundations is all about – a gateway into an organic music scene in one of Brighton’s best venues – and often for as little as three quid.
Take a look at what nights they’ve got coming up and support some young talent.