'The beach is a place where a man can feel, he's the only soul in the world that's real...'
Oh, we do like to be beside the seaside...
British holiday resorts are great, but there's something ever so slightly depressing about them when it's just out of season, old couples clinging on to deckchairs in gale force winds, miserable rain, empty (dangerous) rides, tired, snotty nosed kids eating Ice Cream out of traditional habits, beggars wanting to finish the tray of chips you've just bought for £9.50 on the Pier. I enjoy the seaside though, don't get there enough. There's something dead soothing about the ocean and the fresh sea air. I could live there, all we have is a dirty river. Brighton is nice, I have no fondness for it's Northern counterpart of the same initial, it's a shithole, it's sleazy and from past experience nasty and dangerous. Brighton is trendy, laid back and there's a lot going on, there's hipsters, hobos, and a melting pot of easy going folk. You catch my drift.
The last time I visited Brighton must have been around a decade ago, my team, doing fairly well, beat Brighton at that awful Withdean stadium. Brighton now sit in the second tier, we just lost to Vauxhall Motors. So fuck football!
That took us a million years to get there, I'd recommend going via London Bridge, it only took us an hour, so three hours all in to get there from up North, albeit broken up by a few hours in the capital via that shouty woman in the ever excellent Regency Cafe in Pimlico.
The basis of this weekend trip was a gathering of likeminded 'Connoisseurs'. Basically, men off the internet (our forum) meet up in random towns and cities, a few times a year and get slowly drunk. A friend of ours came over from Italy for his 40th, so we all congregated at the seaside for an all dayer and as long as the night would last too. Landlords braced themselves for an invasion of CAMRA men with cameras, beards, nice coats and shoes as they strutted their stuff in Sussex. A good day was had, which finished with a handful of us looking for the 'Bellboy' hotel on the seafront at 3 in the morning, like you do. You know you've had a good time when you still feel horrible come the following Wednesday, it's all worth it though.
Above, The Prince Albert, an original protected 'Banksy' piece, the kissing coppers, sits framed amongst some famous, if ever so slightly warped faces. Better than I could do though, like.
Friday night was a washout, literally, my Wallabees and jeans are still wet now, it pissed down as biting winds battered my face, tea in Harry Ramsdens was followed by a very wet pub crawl, starting in Brighton's answer to the Blue Oyster (by accident) via the Craft Beer Co (by default) and finishing at the crap club beneath our hotel. Saturday, a pre drawn up [geeky] pub crawl as around 25 of us from all over met up and did the 'Laines'. The day passed by quickly, too quickly really, and as we finished up at a bar sat right on the beach, I decided to go for a pissed paddle in the English Channel at one o'clock in the morning, like you do.
That pebbly beach is perilous to anyone, not least when you've had about nineteen pints, why can't it be sand like any other beach? My feet still ache now, I somehow managed to stay on my feet and keep my 6876 Brecon as dry as it had kept me all day, so happy days. We finished off in the slightly surreal 24 hour Cafe 'Buddies', a load of drunken zombies eating Full English breakfasts at 2:30am, with bouncers on the door. Mental!
A Sunday stroll saw loads of mods and rockers converging along the seafront, as they probably do every other Sunday, I guess. Time changes things, so none of them were kicking seven shades of shit out of eachother as I thought in my head, they might. Instead, they all at outside Burger King and listened to Radio One on a wireless, together. Lots of varied scooters on show, many displaying loads of nice chrome, headlights and mirror combinations, and, it has to be said one or two of those over the top divvy mods with those pathetic Terrahawks haircuts.
As we're big fans of the cult film Quadrophenia, who isn't? it wouldn't be right to not pay the famous passage a visit, situated between two shops off East St along the main drag . A lot has changed since Phil Daniels and Leslie Ash sneaked away from the Police and had a quick stand up bonk. But, as passages go, not a lot can be changed and not a lot has, so being a film geek I was in some kind of element. Visiting Scooter Clubs had paid tribute in graffiti form, some others with stickers! A personal highlight the day before was our friend, a very attractive Italian modette, asking me to recreate 'Jimmy and Steph', no, not literally. But it was fun while it lasted and I'll cherish the photos!