80’s Dub Disco, New York to the World!

Once a month at Jubilee Library, there’s a free music talk – everyone is welcome! Francis, one of the members of library staff who runs the music club, gave April’s talk and in case you missed it:

80’s Dub Disco, New York to the World!


steve 1Steve Miller rocking out in the 70’s

Steve miller band – macho city

As a fan of funk, disco, reggae, punk and psychedelic rock this is genre of music that takes in influences of all of these and also affected all of them too.

Late 60’s, 70’s, early 80’s were all particular times when people experimented a lot with music and took influences from a wide range of places.

Also it seems record companies let them do it as I suspect they didn’t quite understand this unusual new music but as people were buying it, didn’t mess with the people making it. As the decades progressed record labels regrouped and restricted the freedoms of these bands. Could you imagine Thirteenth Floor Elevators putting out a psych album in 1975 or The Specials “Ghost Town” coming out in 1985?

60’s and 70’s soul funk was more influenced by psychedelic rock whereas dub disco was from dub reggae, though I’m sure there were people the late 70’s/early 80’s music scene that were involved in psychedelic rock, for example both Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers from The Police had been in psychedelic rock bands, Frolk Haven and Dantalian’s Chariot. The Police released a classic dub disco epic “Voices inside my head” in 1980.

Psychedelic soul, prog & fusion rock – the first wave

In Don Lett’s “Tales of Doctor Funkenstein” documentary George Clinton, the founder and inspiration between Funkadelic and Parliament said that in the 60’s black people listened to rock music and the album that really affected and influenced him was The Beatles Sgt Pepper. It is noticeable after 1967 how trippy sounds drifted across the soul world, especially to Motown.

One of my favourite and I think most talented song writers and producers ever was Norman Whitfield, he’d go to Funkadelic gigs and get his house band the Funk brothers to play a version of what he heard on his groups, especially The Temptations, Undisputed Truth and white funky crossover band the Rare Earth. His lyrics were more outspoken politically than Marvin Gay’s “What’s going on” and the sound of the last two bands really trippy and heavy on the fuzz and wah wah guitars, something I love!

Bands such as Gong on their epic 1974 “You” album brought jazz-funk and space rock together, Canterbury’s Caravan on 1972’s “Waterloo Lily” combined some very spacy fuzz keyboards with funky rhythms and also German bands Agitation Free had moments of spacey psych rock on their albums released between 1972 and 1976. Not forgetting the legends of this area Can, their 1978 track Aspectacle is my favourite example.

I’ve chosen to play more of a psychedelic soul than funk track called “Fantasy is Reality” by Parliament and recorded in 1970 but never released. Not sure why it wasn’t released as it is brilliant!

parliament 2.jpgParliament in psychedelic times

Fantasy is Reality – Parliament 1970

Aspectacle – Can 1978


Dub Disco

There was a run of spacey disco records around 1977 following the mega success of Star Wars , Meco did an album of Star Wars music and Space released “Magic Fly” these had a spacey and trippy edge but were also a tad cheesy too. Kool & the Gang released the much better “The Force”in 1978 and Instant Funk had “Dark Vader”in 1979, again a quality track.

Also to remember is some pretty groovy reggae tracks came out which whilst not being dubby, did add the disco element, Bob Marley’s “Could you be loved” is a great example.

An amazing record that came out in 1976 is often talked about as one of the first dub disco records, it the aptly titled Disco Dub Band’s cover of “For the Love of Money”.

It was the inspiration of music exec and songwriter Davitt Sigerson, who made two records in the 80’s on legendary left field New York Ze Records. Recorded in the basement of Beanstalk Music in Camden and by legendary funky reggae artist Mike Dorane. Also check out his tracks Penguin Funk and The Ghetto.

This record really sets the sound and was very influential, being re-released in 1979, 1981 and 2018.

sigerson 3
Davitt Sigerson looking smooth in the 80’s
mike 4
Mike Dorane & Carol Williams, funky reggae

Though the 70’s music came out that would fit the dub disco description, but it is mainly in the early 80’s that the majority of music that fits into this style can be found.

Again the big difference to me is that the early 70’s dance music was more influenced by psychedelic rock and the late 70’s/early 80’s by dub reggae.

The next track I’m going to play came out in 1976 but really set the scene for the sound of dub disco.

Dub Disco Band – For the Love of Money 1976

There were many mixmasters responsible for great dub disco mixes across disco, rock and funk especially, to me three stand out as real leaders, Francois Kervorkian, Larry Levan and Paul Simpson.

We’ll also need to mention David Mancuso who had a club in his own loft apartment aptly called “The Loft”, he influenced a lot of these guys in that he played long trippy and often less commercial and more serious records such as Dexter Wansell “Life on Mars” and War’s “City Country City”.

Another very influential record, or I would say probably “the record” was Funk Masters “Love Money”.

Recorded by South Londoner Tony Williams, a 70’s soul and funk DJ and reggae presenter on BBC Radio London in the 70’s and 80’s. He didn’t release a lot of records but what he did were a brilliant mix of dub reggae, disco-funk and early rap. “Love Money”

Funk Masters – Love Money 1981 remix

tony 5
Tony Williams, Mr Funk Master himself!

The record was very influential on the New York disco scene and especially to the king of disco dub mixes Francois Kervorkian. He said of it;

“I hadn’t been exposed to King Tubby’s early stuff at the time. But when I heard a dance music thing with all those big reverbs, those stops, those crazy effects where a piano comes in, cuts off and decays. To me, that was a revelation. “Oh, you can do that?” I immediately I started searching out those sounds. I started searching out records that had that in it. Then I started going in the studio and playing with tape delays and all kinds of crazy regeneration effects.”

Originally released in 1980, a few copies made it to Vinylmania record store, very near to the Paradise Garage where Larry Levan deejayed. It was 1981’s heavy dub mix on Champagne records that really took off.

The man himself said “I’ve always been involved in music in some way or another. I never thought I was going to be a producer. I never thought I was going to make a record. And what your telling me is that the first record I made in my life is a phenomenal, legendary record.”

As we heard from Francois K earlier he got into the spacey sounds from the dub reggae he was hearing and really applied the sounds to a lot of his mixes on New York’s Prelude Records. D Train being a band he did a lot of great work for, my favourite track is Michael Wilson “Groove it to your body”, where there is a very funky and trippy B Side instrumental.

francois 6
Francois Kervorkian

Michael Wilson – Groove it to your body

Francois K said Larry Levan got into the world of dance and dub a bit later when he started mixing dance tracks for Gwen Guthrie and Grace Jones. These had funk reggae legends Sly and Robbie as the rhythm section. The song “Seventh Heaven” is from a special remix album of Gwen’s that Larry mixed in 1983.

larry 7Larry Levan on the decks

Gwen Guthrie – Seventh Heaven

Paul Simpson put out some great tracks under different act names in the 80’s, Paul Simpson Connection, Serious Intention, Pushe, Subject and Paradise Girls. He really went in for the dub mixes and brought more synth sounds in though keeping a definite foot in early 80’s boogie disco.

For vinyl fans, check out the B Sides and instrumentals.


Subject – The magic the Moment

Noel Williams was a Miami based producer and musician, coming from a reggae background ne co-wrote “Buffalo Soldier” with Bob Marley & the Wailers. He released records under his own name of King Sporty and his music moved from reggae, to funk and then to disco. He’s responsible for a lot of good music released on via his Konduko and Tambasha labels, Connie Case “Get on Down” being a classic, the other legendary release and dub disco classic is The Ex Tra’s “Haven’t been funked enough”.

paul 8
Paul Simpson in the early 80’s

This was a very influential record and I think especially popular in the underground New York clubs and also with Manchester DJ legend Greg Wilson. Check out his memories on-line at Electrofunk roots, there are so many great tracks listed and many of them fit in the dub disco manor.

The Ex Tra’s “Haven’t been funked enough

There are many other examples of dub disco, Atmosfear “Dancing in Outer Space” and Patrick Cowleys pre Sylvester work among them.

Reggae bands who had so inspired the scene also got into the spacey disco funk sounds themselves, Monkaya “Go Deh Yaka”, Chalice “Funky Kind of Reggae” and UB40’s excellent B sides “Mek Ya Rock” and “Nkomo A Gogo” are brilliant examples.

noel 9
Noel Williams, Miami’s funkiest chap

Dub rock

As in the late 60’s/early 70’s the late 70’s and early 80’s was a time of real music openness for bands to take in wide musical influences and make more exciting music because of it. A friend Stewart who had the Jesus and Mary Chain as his neighbours in East Kilbride and played in a band at the time said, “the record labels were following the bands as the 80’s went on they took control”.

This allowed for some great unusual bands that mixed indie rock, dub and funk, The Clash, Raw Sex (feat Neneh Cherry), Pigbag, Generation X, The Slits, 23 Skidoo, A Certain Ratio and maybe surprisingly Modern Romance.

In America, Chris Stein and friends from Blondie made provided a very dubby and funky backing for New York’s rappers in the 1983 movie Wildstyle soundtrack. There is an excellent release as the early rappers are awesome, there is also a release just with the music too.

Bands such as ESG a Bronx punk funk band with sometimes spacey leanings released “Moody” and “Ufo”, Mark Kamin’s who helped introduce Madonna to the world did very spaced out mixes on Affinity’s “Don’t go away” and UK funksters, Quando Quando “Love Tempo”.

I used to think of Modern Romance as a more poppy, blond with highlights version of Duran Duran. On hearing their first album and their incredible Salsa Rappsody mix of Everybody Salsa I definitely changed my opinion. This track was on the B side and was widely played on the New York club scene.

Modern Romance – Salsa rappsody (dub discomix)

The last band from the alternative rock scene to really take to this sound was The Clash, they were a band that really experimented with many styles of music, punk, funk, reggae and even folk on Sandinista. Mick Jones was really into the New York hip hop scene but they were all very open minded musically. Slated by some of the London music press as a disco sell out at the time, history will have recorded who was right. This song to me captures the best of them, funky, dubby, punk rawness and fun.

modern 10
Modern Romance, secret funkateers!

The Clash – This is Radio Clash

The Clash with Rankin Roger – Rock the Casbah

joe 11
Joe Strummer and Rankin Roger 

Summary of some great sounds!

The dub dance sounds spread across many genres in the early 80’s, though especially in the underground disco and garage scenes.

The music carried on throughout the 80’s though reducing as the years went on. Larry Levan’s second band Man Friday produced the dub disco classic “Love money, Love Heartache” in 1986, a time when commercial funk or soul had become often very overproduced and commercial sounding.

Mick Jones from The Clash’s new band Big Audio Dynamite mixed dance, rock and dub and later on bands like The Orb, Eat Static, Happy Mondays, Future Sound of London and Primal Scream on their Screamadelica album all added the dub to the dancefloor.

orb 12
The Orb live with Steve Hillage from Gong

Francis Field 2019
From his talk at Jubilee Library Music Club, 12th April 2019


Don’t want to miss the next music club talk? Here are the upcoming dates!
It’s 4pm-4:45pm on a Friday, once a month.

music club poster 2019to NOVJPEG.jpg




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Space Rock and Free Festival Bands

Once a month at Jubilee Library, there’s a free music talk – everyone is welcome! Dan from Resident Records was kind enough to come in and give March’s talk and in case you missed it:

Space Rock and Free Festival Bands

My talk here today, is on topic that I am passionate about, but understand that it is from a personal perspective. So, there may be a few bands that I’ve missed or bits left out. I hope you enjoy it, all the same.

Anyone who knows me will know my love of Space Rock. But what is Space Rock I hear you ask?

According to Wikipedia, space rock is a music genre characterized by loose and lengthy song structures centred on instrumental textures that typically produce a hypnotic, otherworldly sound. But there is much more to it than just that. The bands that define the genre have a sense of community, spirituality, mysticism and links with the cosmos. Their music has the ability to take you away to far off lands and encounter the weird and the wonderful.

I guess it fits in between psychedelia, kraut rock and prog if I was going to categorize it. But I’m not going to. Let’s just say its great music.


The first band I’m going to talk about, and one of my favourite bands of all time, is Gong. Led by musician, artist, activist and poet Daevid Allen (aka Bert Camembert, Dingo Virgin and many other aliases). They fused free form jazz with the avant garde, to create magic.

I think the first album I heard from Gong was Camembert Electrique. It has amazing artwork, beautifully drawn by Daevid Allen, depicting Pot Head Pixies and the Planet Gong. It also has a photo of the Gong line up, taken at their run down commune in France. Recorded during the full moons of 1971, it was and still is, an incredible album, which always manages to make me smile when I hear it. Here is my favourite track from that album – Fohat digs holes in space.

Such a great track! It has a real groove to it. This is space rock!

Hearing this album made me want to explore more. I sought out the trilogy of Flying Teapot, Angels Egg and You albums. Getting stoned and getting lost in these albums became a great way to spend my days. It was easy to get lost in those sounds.

Some of my favourite tracks from this era are, Selene, Oily Way, Flying Teapot, Zero the Hero and the witches spell, and Master builder. Such great tunes, and a pleasure for the ears.

The Gong sound developed over these albums. Their sound became more spacey, with the space whisper, electronics and glissando. Plus, you had the ongoing story of the Planet Gong, in both the artwork and lyrics. Talk of aliens and other worlds that catapult the listeners imagination into the stratosphere.

To some, they were a joke band, who clearly had smoked too much and taken too much acid. But to me and many others, they were from another planet, spreading their music, visions and love to anyone that would listen to them.

For me, the classic line-up of Daevid, Gilli Smyth, Steve Hillage, Tim Blake, Didier Malherbe, Mike Howlett and Pierre Moerlen, is when they were on fire.

Gong were pure magic live. They stole the show at the 1971 Glastonbury Festival. If you check out some of their early 70’s stuff on Youtube, make sure you watch them doing ‘I never glid before’ from 1973. Such great musicianship. Great stuff!

Daevid left Gong in 1975, after he said that he was being prevented from getting on stage by an invisible force field. Steve Hillage left to go solo, releasing many fine albums, including Fish Rising in 1975 and the album featured a lot of the Gong family. Tim Blake also left to do his own thing – The Crystal Machine. But, in the words of Daevid – ‘Gong, the sound that goes on forever’, the band continued, with many different line-ups, including Daevid returning to the Gong family. I saw Gong and Daevid play, including their 25th anniversary birthday party in 1994. And without doubt, I would have been stoned out of my tree. But I can still remember them still looking like they were having fun, doing what they love, and blowing the crowds minds.

Daevid left this planet in 2015, and I remember my girlfriend telling me. I felt sad off course, but also thankful for the joy that he had bought into my life and many others. He penned a song called ‘Now is the happiest time of your life’, and I think he firmly believed that sentiment and showed the world the kind of person he was.

Up next we have the mighty Hawkwind. Are there any Hawkwind fans here today?

Greetings Hawkfriendz.

The band that put the Space in Space Rock. Formed in the Ladbroke Grove / Notting Hill Gate area of London by Dave Brock in 1969. They were known as the people’s band, because they often played for free, did benefit gigs for worthy causes, and were instrumental in the Free Festival scene.


was introduced to Hawkwind with their 1971 album ‘In search of space’. It is an astonishing album, and to this day, my favourite Hawkwind studio album. From the opening bass line of ‘Master of the Universe’, I was truly hooked.

The original fold-out sleeve of ‘In search of space’ was designed by long-term collaborator, graphic artist Barney Bubbles. And initial copies of the album came with a log book of science fiction writings by Robert Calvert. The words, the art and the music combined to create a space rock masterpiece.

Here is a taster from the album – ‘You know you’re only dreaming’.

Hawkwind, like Gong, had constant personnel changes and ever-changing line-up, except for the constant – Dave Brock, who sang, played guitar and wrote most of the songs. Other notable members from the classic line up are Nik Turner on sax and flute, who added the mysticism, Dik Mik and Del Dettmar took care of the synthesisers and strange noises and Simon King on drum duties. Terry Ollis played drums on ‘In search of Space’ but loved his pharmaceuticals way too much, became a liability and was replaced. And lest we forget a certain Lemmy Kilminster on bass, who gave Hawkwind their edge, got booted out for being a speed freak, and then formed Motorhead. Rest in peace.

Nik Turner & Tim Blake

As most Hawkwind fans would agree, their golden era was 1971 – 1975, with their studio records – In search of space, Doremi Fasol Latido, Hall of the mountain grill and Warrior on the edge of time. During this time Hawkwind released one of the greatest live albums of all time – Space Ritual. It captured the band in full swing, and showed any critics that they could really play.

I’ve always wished that I could have seen them in their heyday. The sonic attack of their music with the Liquid Len lightshow and Stacia dancing around the stage – what a trip that would have been. They all looked cool, played cosmic music, lived in squats or on the road, and did loads of drugs – they were my heroes.

Hawkwind were part of the Underground scene. They believed that music, as well as people, should be free. This ideal prompted them to play outside of the 1970 Isle of Wight festival with the Pink Fairies. Although the entry ticket to the festival was only £3.00, a lot of the underground preferred to pitch up their tents outside the gates, in the alternative festival with ‘Pinkwind’ (Hawkwind and the Pink Fairies) playing all day and all night. For 5 days straight they played.

Hawkwind became the main attraction at a lot of the free festivals around the country, especially at Stonehenge. A lot of the people involved in the underground were involved in the squat scene and with the travellers. Hawkwind and the people who went to the festivals were kindred spirits, who had the same outlook on life. The music that Hawkwind played connected to certain people, and had wonderous effects. They played the free festivals from 1970 to the late 80’s, and will always be in the hearts and minds of the travelling community. And in the true spirit of Hawkwind, they appeared on a 1988 compilation album to raise funds for the Travellers Aid Trust. Much needed, for it was a time when the travellers needed all the help they could get.

Hawkwind soared through the early seventies, developing their sound, and going further into space with the help of science fiction author Michael Moorcock. The music got heavier, the amazing artwork more out of this world.

Hawkwind continue to fly, and probably will always do so. Dave Brock is still ever present at the helm. They celebrate their 50th birthday this year and are out on the road to celebrate.

Next up is Here & Now. Another firm favourite on the free festival scene. I got into them through their album with Daevid Allen under the name ‘Planet Gong’ from 1977. A bit heavier than the Gong sound, but still space rock.

My favourite album by Here & Now is a split album they did with Alternative TV called ‘What you see is what you are’ from 1978. Here is them live from that album.

Here & Now played many of the Free Festivals, starting with Watchfield in 1975. They also provided the PA, staging and lighting for the Stonehenge free festival for many years. It cost them a lot of money and effort, but that festival was a creature very close to their collective free-floating-anarchic hearts, and ensured them a likewise warm place in the hearts of everyone who took part in those mystical,

magical events.

Here & Now

I saw Here & Now play many times in the 90’s, including a reformed Planet Gong line-up with Daevid Allen (or Dingbat Alien as he called himself then). I remember one particular gig at the Dome in Tufnell Park where they were totally on fire.

No talk on space rock would be complete without the Ozric Tentacles. They formed at the Stonehenge free festival in 1983, and continue to this day. They fused many different styles of music, but space rock was the driving force behind their early sound.

I first came across the Ozrics at a dingy pub called the George Robey in Finsbury Park, London. The Club Dog crew would transform the pub into a mini festival, with music, decoration and psychedelic light shows by Fruit Salad. This place was amazing and I still have great memories from those nights. I remember seeing some cassettes on a table and one of them was ‘Live ethereal cereal’ by the Ozric Tentacles. Here is the opening track, Erpriff.

Sorry about the quality of the track, but you get the idea.

The Ozrics adopted the DIY ethic of releasing their own music on cassette, as did many bands at the time.

I have some hazy memories of seeing the Ozrics live. I caught them at the Strawberry Fair free festival in Cambridge, but was too wasted to remember many more of the details, except that I had a great time. I do remember more about seeing them at the Kilburn National in London. It was 1992. The support came from Eat Static, an offshoot from the Ozrics, who created dance music for the crusties. It was such an exciting time, and I was part of it – illegal raves, squat parties and festivals were the place to be for me and my friends.

The Ozrics had an abundance of creativity, and channelled it through their many offshoot bands, including Eat Static, Nodens Ictus and the Oroonies.

Here is a track from the Oroonies. Again, it’s from a cassette so not the best quality.

The free festival movement started in the late 1960’s. Most people would have heard of the summer solstice festivals held at Stonehenge. The festival at the stones started in 1974 and was the brainchild of Wally Hope. It started as a relatively small affair, but it grew with each year, and by the early 80’s it was attracting thousands of like-minded individuals. In 1984, the crowds were estimated at 30,000 people.

Stonehenge 70’s

Another festival of note was at Windsor, in the Queens back garden! Although the festival ran successfully for several years, there was trouble with the police which forced the festival to move to a new location, and the Watchfield festival was born.

The free festival movement continued to grow, and allowed people to spend their summers on the road, going from festival to festival. People could earn a living by selling stuff at the festivals, and not just drugs! It enabled the city folk to get out into the countryside, listen to some great music, see friends and make new ones too.

The motto of the festivals was – ‘bring what you expect to find’, which says it all really.

Does anyone have some memories of going to a free festival that they would like to share?

I remember picking up a flyer in the early 90’s. It had a list of the different festivals happening over the summer, all across England and Wales. They had great names like Torpedo Town, White Goddess, Treworgy Tree and Happy Daze. I had visions of getting my driving licence, buying a vehicle, and hitting the road. That never happened, but we did manage to get to a few festivals, including Happy Daze in Wales in ‘91.

Heading for Stonehenge 1985

There are so many bands that became part of the free festival movement. And they weren’t all just playing space rock. Key bands include Culture Shock, RDF, Rhythmites, Hippy Slags, Cardiacs, Back to the Planet, Citizen Fish, Mandragora, The Magic Mushroom Band and many more. All genres, from ambient to punk to reggae. These bands weren’t in it to become famous and to make millions. They did it to put smiles on the faces of the people who came to watch, and to tell people about the injustices of the world, to those who’d listen.

One of my favourite free festival bands are Culture Shock. A blend of punk and ska, with some of the most thought-provoking lyrics around. They sang about social problems, inequality, government and politics and many other important issues. They wrote a track about Stonehenge and the plight of the travellers, with all proceeds going to helping people get to the stones for solstice and equinox. Released as a backlash to the horrific police brutality experienced by the travellers at Stonehenge in 1985, otherwise known as the battle of the Beanfield, it also highlighted the importance of the solstice and Stonehenge, as a means for celebration.


Here is a track from Culture Shock’s first album; Messed Up.

The authorities sought to wipe out the travellers and their alternative lifestyle that day. But as the slogan goes; you can’t kill the spirit!

The illegal sound systems like Spiral Tribe and Bedlam introduced a new sound to the free festivals in the early 90’s. New age travellers and ravers – side by side. Me and some friends went to many of the illegal parties in the early 90’s, but that is another talk altogether.

This new lease of life enabled festivals to go ahead, culminating in the Castlemorton festival in 1992. The media estimated 40,000 people attended. This lead the government to pass the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act in 1994, which gave the police and authorities more powers to stop such events from taking place and also the council’s duty to provide permanent sites for travellers would be repealed, police would have new powers of unsupervised stop and search, and the criminalisation of “disruptive trespass” would have far-reaching consequences for squatters, travellers and protesters alike. Me and my friends joined the fight against the bill, with 50,000 other protestors we marched through central London to show the politicians what we thought of their bill. But to no avail and the bill was passed anyway and the party was over.

Castlemorton 1992

The free festival movement had died. The travellers dispersed, most being forced to leave the life on the road behind them. The sound systems went to Europe and started the Teknivals. It must seem like an alien concept to the youth of today that they could attend a festival for free, which is organised by the people, for the people. Instead they have to pay a fortune to attend festivals that are so corporate, where the organisers are more interested in profit than people.

Urban Free Festival

But the spirit lives on in the hearts, minds and stories of the people who were there, and the legacy of the music that is still enjoyed to this day and hopefully in the future. The space rock sound continues to influence many bands, including Spacemen 3 and later Spiritualized.

Here is a track from their 1997 masterpiece – Ladies and gentlemen we are floating in space. No god, only religion.

This is space rock – Do not panic.

Thank you for listening Magic Brothers & Mystic Sisters and I hope you enjoyed the talk.


By Dan Robertson
From his talk at Jubilee Library Music Club, 1st March 2019


Don’t want to miss the next music club talk? Here are the upcoming dates!
It’s 4pm-4:45pm on a Friday, once a month.
2019 MUSIC

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Angels in Our City

On Saturday 3rd November, the awards ceremony for the Angels in Our City competition took place in Jubilee Library. The competition to create an angel, either an image or a piece of writing, to represent Brighton & Hove in all its diversity was run by the Interfaith Connect Group. There were four different age categories with four prize winners and runners up, and additional entries were highly commended. Friends and family gathered in Jubilee Library to see the prizes and certificates awarded by the Mayor of Brighton & Hove, Cllr Dee Simson. Tea and cake were consumed and everyone had a great time.
angel blog.JPGThe Winners
Everyone admired the winning entries, which are displayed in the foyer of the library for a week. There is also a fascinating complementary exhibition of angel images, Angels: the devotional and the decorative, taken from the library’s special collections, on display in the Tony Miller Rare Books Room on the upper floor.




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Visitors from Sweden

During October 2018, a group of women from Sweden visited Brighton & Hove to find out more about how we help newcomers to the city to integrate into our community.

The Swedish organisations represented were:

  • SV (Studieforbundet Vuxenskolan,https://www.sv.se/en/this-is-sv )  SV was founded in 1967 to promote social equality through learning and has over 400,000 active members, including 14,000 volunteers who lead their activities
  • The Tea House women’s group(Te-huset)
  • A Somali group Hilac
  • The Swedish Church

The Network of International Women, who meet at Jubilee Library on Wednesdays mornings, organised a full and lively itinerary for the Swedish women’s  visit, including meeting the Mayor (Cllr Dee Simson), and the Community Safety Team at Hove Town Hall, sharing a meal of homemade food at Café Rust in Hove, a lesson at Brighton Table Tennis Club (the country’s first table tennis club of Sanctuary http://www.unhcr.org/uk/news/stories/2018/4/5ae199de4/bringing-hope-to-the-table.html), visiting Brighton Photo Fringe’s exhibition at ONCA Gallery (https://onca.org.uk/about/accessibility-and-inclusion), and last but not least, spending a morning at Jubilee Library!



The Swedish women’s group spent their Wednesday morning with the Network of International Women at the library, making lavender bags, chatting and looking at the Illuminate Tapestry. The tapestry was created by the women from the Network, and each tapestry square represents the home country of the woman who created it. There were opportunities to talk to the Swedish women (in English, with some Arabic interpreting!) about what they do to welcome newcomers in the municipality of Uddevalla, which has a very large immigrant population, and to exchange ideas and learn from each other.

The Swedish women were impressed by the inclusivity of the activities available to newcomers in Brighton & Hove, and the welcome that they were given. The Network of International Women intend to maintain a long distance relationship with the group and to continue to exchange ideas when the women are back home in Sweden.

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Your Face In This Space! Exciting new art commission at Hove library…

The recent refurbishment at Hove library left the newly painted walls of the Children’s section crying out for a new artwork. We have an exciting project happening this November: illustrator and ex-Laureate Chris Riddell is obliging us with a brand new piece and Hove library’s young customers can get involved!

Parents and carers are invited to upload photos of their little ones proudly displaying a book they’ve borrowed and enjoyed from Hove Library. All of these “shelfies” (pun intended) will be displayed in the library, and a lucky few will be pulled from a hat to be painted by Chris as part of the new work.  To enter share your picture on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, including the hashtag #HoveShelfie in the caption.

As well as this, come and see Chris Riddell live in action let loose on our wall on Thursday 15th November from 10am.

See Chris Riddell’s brilliant work here.

Open to ages 0-12.  Free to enter.

Parents: By uploading your child’s photo you’re giving permission for their image to be displayed at Hove Library or on social media.

Deadline: Wednesday 07 November.  Winners will be notified via social media.

your face in this space POSTER-1


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Libraries Week and World Mental Health Day 2018


Next week (8th-14th Oct) is a busy week in the world of Brighton and Hove libraries, as we celebrate Libraries Week and World Mental Health Day! This year the themes interlink, covering both wellbeing and mental health – with a particular focus on mental wellbeing and young people in an ever changing world.

In recent years knowledge and awareness of mental health issues has increased, with the subject gradually making its way in to mainstream media and daily conversations. However, there’s still a lot of progress to be made…

We know that building awareness helps to combat taboo surrounding mental health problems, so during the next week our aim is to get people talking about mental health and wellbeing – starting conversations and shattering stigma.

Brighton and Hove libraries have a wide range of books available covering the topics of mental health and wellbeing. These include both fiction and non-fiction titles, for children, teenagers and adults – providing a source of awareness, knowledge and also acting as self-help guides.


Throughout the week we will have these on display around the libraries for you to browse and borrow, also feel free to search our online catalogue. Included on the displays will be leaflets and posters providing local information and also titles from our Reading Well and Shelf Help collections.

The link between libraries and wellbeing:

  • Library users have higher life satisfaction, happiness and sense of purpose in life
  • Reading fiction leads to higher empathy and better relationships with others
  • 76% of adults say reading improves their life and makes them feel good
  • Reading for pleasure reduces stress and depression



Whilst libraries nurture a love for reading and hold a wealth of information through books, they also provide so much more! Libraries are adapting in a changing world, providing a community hub, a safe space where the community can come together.

Connecting with others is an important aspect of boosting wellbeing. It is a great way to combat feelings of loneliness and isolation, often associated with low wellbeing. We have various regular events across our libraries, where people connect through interests and hobbies. Details and more information can be found on our website.

Small changes can improve our wellbeing – why not give these suggestions a try?!

  • Take time for yourself
  • Practice relaxation techniques
  • Try mindfulness
  • Learn a new hobby

Next week provides a great opportunity to celebrate libraries and their role in improving wellbeing in the community, whilst also starting conversations about mental health. Keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter pages for regular updates!

Let’s celebrate Libraries Week and World Mental Health Day together!

Monday 8th October:

The Scribe Tribe – A creative writing course with a focus on cultural heritage will be launching at Jubilee Library on Monday 8th during Libraries Week. The course will be taking place every Monday between 4.30pm and 6.30pm until the 3rd December. For more information please contact course leader, Umit Ozturk via email – info@euromernet.org

Storytime at Jubilee Library – To celebrate Libraries Week we will be incorporating the theme of wellbeing in to our morning Storytime sessions. Storytime takes place at Jubilee Library, Mon-Fri at 10.15am – what a great way to start the day!

Mindful Mondays – On Monday the 8th, we will be launching a new afternoon Storytime session that will be taking place every Monday (during term-time) in the Children’s Library from 3.45pm – 4.15pm.

Wednesday 10th October: World Mental Health Day!

NHS Librarians Visit – Wednesday 10th of October is World Mental Health Day. Pick up a book from our displays at Jubilee library and speak to our visiting NHS librarian from the Audrey Emerton Library for health information. For more information on World Mental Health Day take a look at our previous blog post and check out the Mental Health Foundation website here.

Thursday 11th October:

Author event at Jubilee Library with Ben Clench – Author Ben Clench joins us at Jubilee library to talk about his inspirational memoir Ben Again. Ben will discuss the memoir which covers his experience of traumatic brain injury and recovery after he and his girlfriend were hit by a car in the Dominican Republic. Event starts at 6pm, and includes book signing and free refreshments!

Friday 13th October:

Baby Boogie at Hove Library – Libraries Week special Baby Boogie celebrating wellbeing. Come along at 2.30pm for a fun music and rhyme session for babies and toddlers and parents and carers.

Saturday 13th October:

Dad’s Baby Boogie at Jubilee Library – Another Libraries Week themed Baby Boogie, focusing on wellbeing. Starts at 10.15am. Come along and have a boogie!

Good Vibrations Singalong – Join us from 11.30am – 12.30am at Jubilee on Saturday the 13th for a free performance by the Martlets Good Vibrations Choir. Be uplifted and join in! Libraries across the country will be hosting choirs today to celebrate the benefits of singing for your wellbeing. Get your vocal chords ready – let’s sing and feel great!

Phoenix Family Fun Workshop – Join us at Jubilee library on Saturday afternoon for a free drop in workshop from 2pm-4pm. The workshop is inspired by ‘The Sitting Room’ exhibition at Phoenix. Families are invited to create small objects, playful sculptures and write messages or stories. The workshop will be lots of fun, with plenty of opportunity to explore and create.

Sunday 14th October:

Brighton and Hove Family Learning Festival Join us at Jubilee library from 11.30am – 2pm for some fun, free family learning activities with a snail theme! Enjoy story-telling, crafting, games and so much more!

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Silver Arts Award photography – My Jubilee Library exhibition

By Evie Harnden

At the moment I am doing my Silver Arts Award, part of the criteria is arts leadership, which is why I had an exhibition at Jubilee Library. I chose 10 photos to be on the wall of the young people’s section of the Library, from the 7th of August to the 4th of September.

I am very passionate about photography; I don’t have a specific thing that I enjoy photographing, normally it’s just something that looks visually aesthetic or unique. However I enjoy taking photos of the sky since it is always changing and will never look exactly the same again. I prefer to zoom in when taking my photos as it makes the image more interesting and gives it a different look to a photo that I haven’t cropped.

Some of the photos that were on display included the moon in the daytime, the west pier and some from the cement works. I am also doing photography at school for my GCSE and know for a fact that I will do it for my A levels. I know that when I am older that I would love to have a job that involves photography.Evie H promo image.JPG


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A young Volunteer writes – British Comics blog 15 08 2018

young-vols-stamp1Hello Everyone, Carlos here. In celebration of the Beano theme this year, I thought I’d highlight some of the most interesting British comics to have been released in recent years.



6. corpse talk 2Corpse Talk by Adam Murphy- Serialised in the comics magazine “The Phoenix”, Corpse Talk is a treat for fans of Horrible Histories and The Danger Zone book series. Adam’s cartoon alter ego interviews undead versions of famous historical figures, such as Cleopatra, Einstein and Henry VIII. Both funny and educational, if you like Horrible Histories you’ll like this. The library has season 1, season 2 and the Ground-breaking scientists and Ground-Breaking Women books available



pirates of pang5. Pirates of Pangaea by Daniel Hartwell and Neill Cameron- Jurassic Park meets Pirates of the Caribbean in this swashbuckling adventure comic. In 1717, young woman Sophie Delacourt finds herself attacked by pirates whilst travelling to the mysterious island of Pangaea to meet her Uncle. However, pirates are not the only threat on Pangaea, as it is the only place in the world with living dinosaurs! A fun comic any fan of dinosaurs, pirates or both will love.




fish head steve4. Fish Head Steve by Jamie Smart- A small Mid-Western town suffers from a strange mutation in this hilarious comedy by cartoonist Jamie Smart. Steve wakes up to find that not only he has a fish for a head but everyone in town has had their heads combined with objects and animals! A truly off-the-wall and funny comic.






3.Vern and Lettuce by Sarah vern lettuceMcIntyre- Vern, a sheep, works as a park groundskeeper and lives with the rabbit Lettuce and her family. Together, they get into misadventures involving baking, birthdays, bunny-sitting and fame! Long time fans will know that Sarah McIntyre was the illustrator of 2014’s Reading Challenge “Mythical Maze”. This is a really sweet and funny comic.



mezolith2. Mezolith by Adam Brockbank and Ben Haggarty- Myth, Magic, Terror and Survival all blend together well in this Stone Age Dark Fantasy Graphic Novel duology. The story follows a teenage caveman known as Poika as he comes of age, whilst he and the rest of his tribe face a struggle to survive in prehistoric britain. Drawing on traditional mythical elements and featuring very detailed realistic artwork, Mezolith is like no comic you’ve ever read.





brighton graphic novel

1. Brighton: The Graphic Novel by Tim Pilcher, Brian Talbot and others- 300 years of Brighton History are presented in 14 different comic stories by 28 different writers and artists. Spoofs of Charlie’s Angels and EC Comics Horror Anthologies are featured, along with personal anecdotes and stories.

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Lorraine Bowen visits Jubilee Library

lorraine bowen twitter

Jubilee Library was delighted to welcome Lorraine Bowen last weekend for a perky reading from her new book The Crumble Lady and some great live music. It was a really well attended event and an interactive experience – good fun was had by all!  Lorraine sang many of her hits, including ‘Off On My Bike’ and ‘The Crumble Song’ and even got the audience moving along to ‘The Cat Food Crumble’ with her unique choreographic stylings.

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It’s fair to say Lorraine Bowen is the ultimate Mischief Maker! You can sign up to Mischief Makers: the children’s Summer Reading Challenge 2018 at all Brighton and Hove libraries for FREE!  Also, lots more free SRC 2018 events are taking place; see our website and social media for all the details of everything that’s happening plus more information about the Summer Reading Challenge.




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Official Launch of the Illuminate Tapestry

The launch of the Illuminate tapestry, created by the Network of International Women of Brighton & Hove, took place on Saturday 23rd June. The film of the making of the tapestry was presented by  Councillor Alex Phillips, the Deputy Mayor. Dee Simson, the Mayor, and Pinaki Ghoshal, Director of Children, Family and Schools were also present. Representatives from the Brighton & Hove Community Safety Partnership and Sanctuary on Sea attended the event. There were at least 50 people present, including some of the women who had created the tapestry and their families.IMG_0044

Some of the contributors to the tapestry, stood up and spoke about what participating in the project had meant to them, the friendship and acceptance of other women, and working together to create and share something of their home country – which was very humbling. See more info about the making of the tapestry here https://brightoninternationalwomensday.org/2018/02/22/creating-a-community-tapestry .IMG_0048Teachers from Queen’s Park School and St Luke’s Primary Schools who had introduced the Illuminate tapestry to their pupils, brought a wonderful tapestry created by Queens Park School with them, and spoke about the impact the women’s tapestry had had on their pupils. Children, whose mothers had contributed a square for the tapestry, were very proud to see it displayed in their school. Children talked to each other about the countries the squares represented, and how the creator had been feeling when she made the square, and what the images meant. Children at St Luke’s Primary School http://www.stlukes.brighton-hove.sch.uk/news/year-1-visited-the-illuminate-tapestry can be seen with the Illuminate tapestry.   Other local schools are really keen to use the tapestry with children for PSHE learning, and info about the tapestry. We all discussed how the tapestry could be used in the future to promote understanding, community cohesion and bring people of all ages and cultures together.

 There was also a collection of relevant books available from libraries on display including: books in other languages, dual language picture books, books for children about refugees and books and CDs on learning English.

 The Illuminate tapestry can often be seen hanging from the mezzanine at Jubilee Library, unless it has been lent out for study or an event. We are also arranging to display the Queen’s Park School tapestry in Jubilee Library over the Summer holidays.

 The Network of International Women meet every Wednesday morning from 101m-12pm in Jubilee Library to sew and chat. Women from all countries, including the UK are welcome.



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