Tag Archives: Catalyst Club

A taste for genius… David Bramwell’s Odditorium

David Bramwell’s Odditorium returns and if you’re at all familiar with Dr Bramwell and The Catalyst Club – “celebrating the singular passions of everyday folk” – you’ll know we’re in the world of curious talks, performances, music and arch-weirdness from the fringes of culture. There’ll be people who’ll make you think or maybe smile. Expect the unexpected, as someone else probably said about something else. 

Lucy Cooke Bitch: Sex, Evolution and the Female Animal

Sun 14th 7.30-8.30pm, Bosco Theater

What does it mean to be female? Mother, carer, the weaker sex? Think again. Author and filmmaker Lucy Cooke demonstrates how the female of the species has been marginalised and misunderstood by the scientific patriarchy; not least Darwin, who cast the female in the shape of a Victorian housewife: passive, coy and monogamous.

The Weird and Wonderful World of Some Bizarre Records + The Book of Goth with Wesley Doyle & Cathi Unsworth

Wed 17th 7-8pm, Bosco Theater

Featuring the likes of Soft Cell, Depeche Mode, Blancmange and The The, Some Bizarre was the vanguard of outsider music in the 1980s. Label boss Stevo’s unconventional dealings with the industry are legendary. Wesley Doyle tells us how a teenager from Dagenham took on the music industry and beat it at its own game.

Lifelong Goth, music journalist and crime-writer Cathi Unsworth takes us on a journey through Gothic music during the Eighties. 

Sing-Along-A-Wicker Man 50th Anniversary + Magnet’s Peter Brewis

Wed 17th 9-11pm, Spiegeltent 

Dust down your best Scottish accent, dress up as your favourite character and come join in with this horror classic. To mark the 50th anniversary of the film they’re joined by Peter Brewis, who appeared in the film and was  on the Wicker Man soundtrack.

Legacy of the Stones with Jeremy Deller, Annebella Pollen and other guests 

Tues 23rd 9-12pm, Spiegeltent

Billed as “An evening celebrating the rich neolithic history and stories around our henges and monoliths, our folk horror legacies and occult artists and groups”, speakers including Jeremy Deller and Annabella Pollen talk about Britain’s neolithic monuments and counterculture, and how they helped shape his work, and the mysterious green-clad hooded figures of the 1920s who performed ritual gestures (naked, obvs) on Silbury Hill, Stonehenge. The evening wouldn’t be complete without more Wicker Man (which Bramwell claims to have seen over 200 times) in the shape of The Dark Heart of Wicker Land. 

The Drone in Music 

Wed 31st 7.30-8.30pm, Bosco Tent 

Harry Sword, author of “Monolithic Undertow” joins  David Bramwell, for an exploration of the sub-cultural and spiritual significance of ‘the drone’. From the neolithic burial chambers of Malta to the psychedelic glory of Hawkwind; the vital influence of Indian drone traditions on the 1960’s counter culture to the thieving doom and stoner rock underground of today, They’ll also talk about the personal and spiritual significance of the ‘universal hum’.

There’s also a Catalyst Club Special: Live from the End of the Pier at Horatio’s Bar on Palace Pier,  

Tues 9th 8pm



Brighton Science Festiaval 12 – 28 February

Weather diceDo people tell you science is rubbish because scientists go beefing on about global warming when the world is quite obviously freezing over? Give them this neat explanation of the difference between climate and weather, using dice. If you throw ‘weather dice’ you may get a one, a five, a six… you can’t say what the weather will be. But if you take an average score over many throws, you will get 3.5. that’s the climate. The problem for us humans is that the average is going up; the climate is getting warmer, even while the weather is swinging from hot to cold. A sign of how clever humans are: we can spot this warming trend, something other animals can’t do. However, the sign of how dumb we are is we can’t do anything about it, so it seems.

Brighton Science Festival is celebrating its sixth anniversary in 2010, with two weeks of hands-on workshops, demonstrations, presentations and discussions. As always, an eclectic mix of scientists, authors, poets and performers will be on call aiming to entertain, educate and inspire. This year’s highlights include talks from Robert Winston, Ben Miller and Polly Toynbee.

Kicking off the Festival will be the Family Fun days: Bright Sparks for 7-12 year olds and White Heat for 10-14s at Hove Park School. Here, families will be able to try their hand at a musical twister, make a supersonic car, learn about bridge building, get to grips with the technologies of recycling, design and build an incredible machine and measure their height to precision with a laser.

The adults will be having fun, too, at Big Science Saturday on 28 February at the Sallis Benney Theatre – a day of talks, demonstrations and discussion featuring everything from the perplexities of ecology, via the art of rap science and into the back end of a cow. [I went to this last year and it was fantastic – Ed]. Weekdays will also be busy with an evening of debate on alternative energy, the science of genius at Café Scientifique, two packed evenings of the popular Catalyst Club. and a special evening devoted to space telescopes by the Institute of Physics. There’s also the opportunity to delve into philosophy over a pint of ale, swap skills with Build Brighton and Brighton Carnival, not to mention a preview of a fabulous opera which explores the impact of Alzheimer’s disease (The Lion’s Face). The programme concludes with an exciting symposium – Life, the Universe and Everything – which will set out to understand and explain the complexities of emergence. All in all, a feature packed fortnight for curious minds.

For a full programme of events see www.brightonscience.com

West Hill Hall Events

ITCHY SCRATCHY A fundraiser for The Permanent Gallery Saturday 31 October
A musical event to accompany the October exhibition at the Permanent Gallery, Itchy Scratchy, a show which invites photographers to donate a photo as a digital file, which will then be printed and exhibited at the gallery. Itchy Scratchy is a term coined by writer Charlotte Cotton to describe a troubling photo in a photographer’s practice that doesn’t quite fit but precipitates a new way of working. The event at the Hall will be about inviting a group of musicians to respond to this notion in musical terms, either with a piece they wrote which changed their musical direction or to play in public a current unresolved direction. For more info please visit www.permanentgallery.com

CHRIS T-T plus support Saturday 21 November 7.30pm – 10.30pm
Chris T-T is an English songwriter. So far he’s made five albums. His current release is ‘Capital’ which came out in March 2008 on Xtra Mile Recordings. Chris says “It’ll be a solo set on piano, acoustic and maybe electric guitar. I’ll be playing my new record ‘Love Is Not Rescue’ which is much quieter than the last album and has a miserable, personal vibe to it. The West Hill Hall show will be the last night of my UK tour.” www.christt.com

ODDFELLOWS CASINO plus support Saturday 28 November 7.30pm – 10.30pm
“A hidden treasure of the English music scene”, Oddfellows Casino has been quietly releasing albums over the past five years, to great critical acclaim. They hail from the mountains of Sussex and are an ensemble whose music and live performances centre around forgotten corners of England, birds, landscapes, death, hauntings and an old Victorian freak show from which they take their name. At the centre of the group is singer-songwriter David Bramwell (“an English Sufjan Stevens” Plan B) who is also known locally as being the co-author of the Cheeky Guide to Brighton and creator of the Catalyst Club.

Oddfellows Casino have recently completed their third album, Raven’s Empire, produced by award-winning composer and producer Andrew Phillips (Grasscut). Their most ambitious project to date, this album sees the group plunging into darker waters with the music veering from pounding hypnotic orchestral arrangements and plaintive piano tracks to Stooges-style guitars; all held within Oddfellows distinctive English sound. In 2008 they were commissioned by Brighton Live and the Arts Council to perform with the Brighton and Hove Concert band, culminating in a concert at St George’s Church with over 50 musicians on stage. The gig in November at the West Hill may be more stripped down in comparison but promises to be a treat, this is the band’s first performance in over a year, and will be a showcase for lots of new tunes with Bramwell at the piano and a small band comprising of horns, percussion, bass, electronica, harmonium and flute. www.myspace.com/oddfellowscasino