Member of The Week - Zoe Brownrigg

Introducing Zoe - social media manager extraordinaire, secret singer/songwriter and general optimist.

So you have the job that many millenials would idealise! Can you tell us a bit about the reality of managing social media?

The reality is...it’s what you make of it. I’m very spontaneous in my creativity so I chose not to schedule most of my posts, and instead visit my clients often throughout the week to create fresh content. I also have to reply in real-time to customer queries and complaints etc - this often means that I have to whip my phone out at social occasions and excuse myself for a few minutes, which can definitely be annoying for everyone, but it also means my “work hours” are completely flexible and I get to live the sweet freelancer life of working on the beach etc!



Do you find it hard to switch off and be without social media in your personal life?

Definitely! I love going for a dog walk and not taking my phone, even then I often do take it in case I want to take a picture, but I can just about stay off the socials for an hour or so...that’s bad isn’t it?! I would love to go out and stay in a log cabin once a month for a weekend and not have any internet, to really unplug and unwind. Working in social media can sometimes feel like you’re never truly ‘off’. Also, even though Facebook is on the “way out” (especially for the 18-35s - it’s all about Insta now don’t you know), I would still be lost without it as that’s pretty much where I find out about every social event/gig/exhibition/birthday, and Instagram just can’t compete with that (right now).


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So a little birdy (yours truly) mentioned at the karaoke social that you enjoy singing and songwriting - Has that always been a passion of yours?

I’m actually song writing at the moment for a solo project and am currently looking for band members! I need a drummer, bassist - anyone please! But yes, it’s always been a passion of mine and I have been singing since I was four at the East Sussex Junior Choir. I’ve since been in a band for four years under the name 'Sundaughter'.


What in your opinion is Brighton’s best kept secret?

That’s a tricky one! The most recent place that I think is awesome is Twin Pines coffee shop on St James’ Street. Their downstairs is like entering a whole other world and on a rainy day it makes everything feel better. They also do amazing Vegan cakes and cinnamon buns by the Planted girls!


How would you describe the ambience of PLATF9RM in three words?

Community. Support. Fun.


Would you rather give up bathing for a month or give up the internet for a month?

In Turkey they rub oil all over you and that’s meant to be cleansing. So with that in mind..not bath, because I need to work, so I would cover myself in oil and have a Turkish wash!


So you are one of PLATF9RM ’s younger members, around the age where a lot of your peers are familiar with the term ‘quarter life crisis’ - Do you associate with this phenomenon?

I’ve already had mine. So I now feel I’m owning it. 21 - 24 was a bit of a nightmare. There’s so much focus on finding a career, which puts you under so much pressure and can quickly make you feel depressed. It’s such a rush after uni and people feel like they’ve got to make a name for themselves. I’m looking forward to being 25 and just relaxing a little bit!


What would be your main skill in a zombie apocalypse?

I hold a lot of scientific knowledge. I feel I could help people with my understanding and facts related to the land and mother nature!

Some lush answers, thanks Zoe!

If you think you want to be a member at our space, get in touch for a tour and trial.

Wax Never Dies: A Guide To Brighton’s Best Record Stores

The appetite for vinyl is back and shows no sign of being sated. A report by the British Phonographic Association found that sales of physical records went by 26.8% in 2017 with over four million sold in the UK during 2017.

In Brighton we’re spoilt for choice and even though there have been some notable closures over recent years – RIP Rounder Records – there’s still a community of shops helping vinyl junkies to get their fix. Ahead of Record Store Day, which will see special edition releases from the likes of David Bowie, Mac DeMarco, and Madonna, here’s a rundown of some of our favourite stores. Happy hunting!


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Opened in 1948, this shop specialises in original film soundtracks, musicals and high quality classical recordings. Its owner is 86 year-old George Ginn, a bona-fide legend and proprietor of the shop for over six decades. Just opposite Brighton train station on Terminus Road, George’s shop is first port of call for any out-of-towner coming to dig the local crates.



Resident Records

A gentle titan of the local scene and hailed by The Vinyl Factory as one of the world’s best, Resident is probably the city’s most renowned record shop. Opened in 2005 – by Natasha Youngs and Derry Watkins who met stacking CD in the local Our Price – they expanded into the shop next door in 2015. They have a huge selection of genres and they host regular acoustic gigs from bands like Mystery Jets and local heroes The Xcerts.

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It make look small from the front, but The Wax Factor’s little blue door is a portal to decades of the world’s best music. Well-known for its tight aisles and prodigious collection of 45s, it doubles up us a second-hand bookstore and is manna for all lovers of music and literature. Got some tasty (read: pricey) rarities too if rare 50s and 60s beat and rock and roll is your jam. After you’re done, head next door to the 50s-themed Rock* Ola – run by Al and Pattie Berwick, owners of The Wax Factor – and listen to its free vinyl jukebox whilst munching on a burger.

 

Rarekind Records

Instantly recognisable thanks to the graffiti on its frontage. Rarekind is a wonderland of hip-hop, funk, soul, jazz, house and everything in-between. It also happens to be next-door to The Great Eastern, so you can go quench that thirst you built up rummaging through those secondhand 12”s.

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Bella Union

Bella Union is one of the world’s finest independent labels, releasing artists like Father John Misty, Fleet Foxes, The Flaming Lips, Ezra Furman, and Beach House in the last 20 years. In 2016 they opened a record shop on Ship Street Gardens (that’s the little lane in-between Ship Street and Middle Street) and it only sells Bella Union releases and collaborations. If you’re hoping to find a rare release by one of label’s artists, it’s a must-visit. Keep an eye out when their acts are playing a gig in Brighton; it’s not unknown for them to pop by the shop to press the flesh.

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Punker Bunker

Since opening in 2001, the Punker Bunker basement shop has become a hub for the city’s punk scene. Shop owner Buz prides himself on stocking tiny labels and records you’ll not find anywhere else and whether you’re into hardcore, pop-punk, or grindcore, you’ll be able to itch your punk scratch down there.

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Across The Tracks

Across The Tracks is a purist’s paradise and prides itself on stocking comprehensive collections of rock, soul, jazz, reggae and (almost) everything in between. Originally starting life as Disclocator in Redcross Street in the mid 80s, it moved to its current location in Gloucester Road in 1994. Since then it has thrived with a dedicated customer base that flock back to chat with the ever-attentive staff.

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Happy record hunting!

Guestblog: How To ‘Do’ Brighton Fringe

An event as large as Brighton Fringe can seem rather overwhelming (well, it IS England’s largest arts festival, with over 1000 separate events) so here are our PLATF9RM Member, Steve Bustin's thoughts on how you can have your best Fringe EVER!


The First Steps...


Get tooled up. Pick up a copy of the Brighton Fringe brochure, the family brochure (if you’ve got kids), download the app and log into the website. Set up an account on the app or site so you can store your favourites. The app and website will also have listings for hundreds of shows that didn’t make it into the brochure, so it’s worth looking online as well as offline. All the large venues also publish their own brochures, with more space for each show so they can be slightly easier to peruse than the main brochure, but you can book tickets for all shows at all venues in one place.

Think about becoming a Friend of Brighton Fringe to access 2-for-1 ticket deals on hundreds of shows (which will cover your membership almost immediately), no booking fees, invites to Friends events and a range of discounts and special offers all year across the city.

 

Explore Some ‘Cross Sections’ Through The Brochure


OK, we know the Brighton Fringe brochure can be a little overwhelming with so much to choose from and so many listings. The trick is to take some ‘cross sections’ through the brochure, looking at smaller groups of shows and events so you can ‘see the wood for the trees’. Here are some ideas how:

  • The Seasons. This year the Fringe includes a Dutch & Flemish season, a Finnish season, The Freedom season and the arts industry focused ‘Window’ season of shows that are ready to tour nationally and internationally. Each has its own page at the front of the brochure and on the website. Check them out to catch some of the best international shows.
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  • The award and bursary winners. You’ll also find these at the front of the brochure – shows, performers and companies that have won awards or bursaries in the last year, often at Brighton Fringe or other fringe festivals around the world. Catch an award-winning show or see if you can spot this year’s winner.
  • On the website or the app, simply do some keyword searches for things you like. For instance, I love Stephen Sondheim’s work so I always search for ‘Sondheim’ - and hey presto, this year there are two shows featuring his work. You could search for anything from ‘puppets’ to ‘Black lives matter’ to ‘Donald Trump’ to find anything from drama to satire.
  • Keep an eye out for previews and reviews. All the local print, broadcast and online media will be previewing shows and then reviewing hundreds of shows afterwards. I particularly like Broadway Baby and Fringe Guru.
  • Many of the major venues run ‘Pick of the Fringe’ or ‘Heart of the Fringe’ shows, especially The Speigeltent and The Warren. These shows are a great chance to see a selection of excerpts from shows you might want to catch later in the month.
  • Take a punt. Pick up a flyer and give the show a try. Stay at a venue after your show has ended – and try the next show too. Go to visit the fab pop-up bars but catch a show while you’re there. Take a risk and see something you might not normally have chosen – you might be pleasantly surprised, and if you’re not, you’ve only spent about a tenner on a ticket. Share the shows you’ve discovered with your friends and ask if they can do likewise.
 

Here’s What I’m Hoping to See or Recommend Catching


These are very much my taste but you might see a few things here that appeal to you too!

  • Bourgeois and Maurice, Style over substance, Spiegeltent, Fri 4th & Sat 5th May 9pm – dark, twisted humour from this brilliant cabaret duo – not for the easily offended.
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  • La Clique, Sabai Pavilion, every night of the Fringe, 9pm – cabaret/vaudeville/burlesque show.
  • Ida Barr, Granarchist, Spiegeltent, 1-3 June, 6.30pm – hilarious character comedy with this rapping music hall star. There will be bingo, there will be community singing and there may well be a hokey-cokey
  • Abstraction Park 7090: Preparing for Take Off, FREE – 31 May – 03 June. Fabulously surreal playground full of music, films and installations. Likely to be totally bonkers, but in a good way.
  • Warmth – pop-up sauna on Brighton Brach – every weekend throughout May. £10 per ticket. Enjoy a performance as well as a real sauna.
  • The OS Map Fan Club – The Dukebox, 14-20 May, 18.15, £9. This is my ‘take a punt’ show – I like maps, I like theatre, so thought I’d give this is a go, despite knowing very little about it.
  • Brighton Food Tours – Fri & Sat in May, 11am. 3 hour walking tour of some of the lesser known independent Brighton food and drink makers and sellers. £40 including all food and drink!
  • Geoffrey Mead’s London Road Tour – Fri, Sat & Sundays throughout May, 5pm. £8. This was one of the highlight of the Fringe for me last year. If you think London Road is a down-at-heel, low rent shopping drag, think again. This fascinating tour takes in history, geography, sociology and architecture.
  • Take Shelter – 12&13 May, 19&20 May, Downs Junior School. Step back to the 1940s when visiting the original WW2 Air Raid Shelter under the playground. £5.
  • Wind in the Willows, by Box Tale Soup – The Warren, 27&28 May, 2 June, 4.15pm. £10. My tolerance for puppets is VERY low but Box Tale Soup are the exception to the rule. Their adaptations of classics are beautifully done, using homemade puppets and a cast of just 3. Definitely not just for children.
 
So, you may well not want to see ANY of the above shows and events but don’t let that put you off. Dive in. Take a punt. Have fun. Have a great Fringe!

Member of The Week - Chris Rogerson

From the moment he came for his first tour at PLATF9RM, Chris Rogerson - Director of Styler Wulf - has been making us chuckle with his eccentric insights and impressive dance moves (we saw them at the social Chris and we're waiting for them to come out again!)

How’s PLATF9RM treating you? Any highlights so far?

Yes, very well. A highlight would probably be the last social and the fact I found my work husband, Jess! At the last social I basically hung at the back and indulged in the alcohol and brownies - I also had a chance to talk to people which is obviously a bonus.

Cats or Dogs? (Who’s your favourite PLATF9RM doggo?)

Dogs. It’s going to have to be Clarence. Mainly because I know him. Although there is a black labrador that smiles and he’s pretty amazing.

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What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not hard at work?

*Long Pause* Thinking.....Going to the pub, Going out for food, Kite-Surfing…

Could you tell us a little about your business and what inspired you to start Styler Wulf?

So it’s an executive search firm and I started it because I wanted more flexibility in my personal life and I always wanted to own my own business. I really wanted to change the executive search process - I want to meet people face to face and change it from something that’s traditionally impersonal.

What were you like as a child?

Umm I was quite shy, quite camp and I was a mummy’s boy to be fair. I grew up in Manchester… It was like Coronation Street.

The first time you were shown around Tower Point you mentioned a rather interesting childhood memory... are you willing to repeat it?

To protect the dignity of my six year old self...no! Ask me at the next social...

What were you doing before you decided to start your own business?

I was working for a couple of search firms in Brighton to learn my trade. The other positive to having my own business is that I get to fly out and meet clients in places such as Singapore and New York. Something I wouldn’t have been able to do in my previous company.

Can you name 5 things you are most grateful for? (Other than Jess)

My family

My friends

Netflix

Asos Premium

The Pond chips.


What’s on the horizon for you and Styler Wulf for 2018?

I want to get a new website. I do want to expand the business. Make that transition to more professional and less ‘start-up’.

For me, I want to get fitter but pizza at lunch probably isn’t the way forward. Kite-Surfing, more gigs, the Fringe Festival...


Thank you Chris - or should we say King Herod?!

If you think you want to be a member at our space, get in touch for a tour and trial.