Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on Jan 9th 2010 5:53AM by Stephen Dowling
Capacity: 1,500 in the concert hall.
Come to see: Well, Vampire Weekend for starters. The Afro-pop-influenced indie scenesters are kicking off their UK tour supporting new album 'Contra' with a show at the Pavilion. Something of a modernist classic, the venue's much more than a music venue -- in fact concerts are a pretty recent occurrence at this south coast arts hub as it stakes its claim to become one of the leading arts venues in the country. The venue boasts two contemporary art galleries, a bar and café overlooking the sea, open-air terraces and balconies. And it looks pretty damn futuristic, even in 2010.
The atmosphere: Unique. The Pavillion was the first public Modernist building in the UK. It was built in 1935, designed by architects Erich Mendelsohn and Serge Chermayeff and designed to invigorate the local area during the Great Depression. The building was given an £8m makeover and reopened in 2005. Part of the refurbishment has allowed the venue to host concerts in its main auditorium, which still has its original 1930s atmosphere. Head of live programming Laura Duchessi says, "Hand on my heart, I think it's got the best acoustics in the south east. It's beautiful. Plus, the auditorium has a really high stage, so it's a good place to see a concert."
You saw them here first: This grand building isn't exactly what you'd call a fixture on the toilet circuit – it's not likely to be giving the Barfly or the Dublin Castle much competition. Duchessi says, "We see music as an art form, and as long as bands fit into that, we will book them." The Fall and Richard Hawley are among artists who have already played.
Claim to fame: Spinner is certain it is the only music venue lampooned by comic veteran Spike Milligan, who served in Bexhill-on-Sea during World War II. In his comic autobiography 'Adolf Hitler -- My Part in His Downfall' he wrote, "...De La Warr Pavilion, a fine modern building with absolutely no architectural merit at all. It was opened just in time to be bombed. The plane that dropped it was said to have been chartered by the Royal Institute of Architects..."
You should also know: It may have only been a regular music venue for the last 18 months or so, the venue has built up an international reputation for one-off gigs and developing artists. This has included getting concert pianist Joanna McGregor teaming up with electronic maestro Scanner for a piece based on Bach. You don't get that down the Kentish Town Bull & Gate.
Booking now: Nanci Griffith, Bat For Lashes, Portico Quartet and Sweet Billy Pilgrim.