Sunday 23 November 2014

Help the homeless

It's coming up to Christmas and the nights are getting colder so please give a thought for those less fortunate than ourselves who don't have a roof over their heads.

One of our friends works for Off The Fence - Antifreeze, a local charity helping Brighton & Hove's homeless and she is co-ordinating a collection of men's jumpers, hoodies, shoes/trainers, thick socks, coats, woolly hats, gloves, scarves and waterproof clothing which can be taken to the next Albion home match against Fulham this coming Saturday 28th November. Although the charity are mainly looking for men's clothing womens warm clothing will also be welcomed. There will be a number of collection points around the Amex ground, alternatively if you are aboard one the NWSS supporters coaches you can hand over any items you wish to donate to your coach steward when you board who will then drop them off for you. See here for more details about the scheme.

There's also more information about former Albion player Guy Butters 'Big Sleepout' project in support of the Antifreeze charity on the Seagulls website and in the Blackburn matchday programme.

Thursday 20 November 2014

Bobby dazzler

A very enjoyable evening spent with my friends from Albion supporters club North West Sussex Seagulls at their November meeting.

Darren Balkham, Albion's Police Liaison Officer, gave a really interesting and entertaining talk followed by a lively Q&A. A very nice guy, who's appreciated and respected by Brighton fans for all the good hard work he does in liaising and communicating between police, football club and supporters.

Darren says he has the best job in the police force and he clearly loves his work. Those of us who know him realise how lucky we are to have a true football person looking after our safety on match days. His frequent and extensive use of social media networking such as Twitter keeps him in touch with Albion fans on a daily basis. A very modern, progressive and forward thinking bobby who always makes himself accessible and available, the police force could do with more like him.

A big thank you to all those who came along, especially to Simon & Fran who looked after us very well and kept us all fed and watered.

The next NWSS supporters club meeting is scheduled for January 2015 when an ex Albion player is being lined up as our special guest for the evening.

Thursday 3 July 2014

Jacko Hooper - Just For You

JACKO HOOPER - For You EP Launch
The Brunswick, Hove
Wednesday 2nd July 2014

It's the night after the night before and I'm just looking back on a really enjoyable gig at The Brunswick in Hove where Jacko Hooper was launching his new EP titled, rather invitingly, 'For You'. It was great to see a packed room who gave the Brighton troubadour a rousing welcome as he took quietly to the stage. 

Jacko's gentle and somewhat modest personality shone through and he seemed genuinely humbled and embarrassed at the warm reception and loud applause that greeted him at the end of each song. Amongst the many stand out performances were Borderline, which was a debut duet with Tom Staniford, Faces Blue (inspired by a poem written by a much younger Jacko) which he dedicated to his dad and Too Far To Sea, all proved to be popular song choices with an enthusiastic audience. We also heard the four new songs from his newly released EP which were also very well received; Egg Shells, November 5th Song, Run Away With Me and the penultimate song of his set Roaming. The final song of the evening, and for me one of his best, was Common Sense which was played unplugged. It was a touching and moving end to his EP launch show. There's a very good review of this gig on Tom Charles Sayer's blog, follow this link.

Do try and get a listen to Egg Shells from the new EP, it's possibly his most accessible tune to date and a good introduction to the man and his music. You can see the video on You Tube here. I guess I would describe his songwriting and performance as intense, introspective, vulnerable, open and honest and at times highly emotional. You won't be dancing in the aisles but you will be listening, this is no bad thing.

Also a special word here for the two support acts, Ellie Ford and Staniford who were both excellent, it may well be worth investigating their music output further. Ellie, with her ethereal vocals and accompanying herself expertly on guitar and harp (how wonderful to see this instrument in the context of a more modern, contemporary setting) was a very pleasant way to open the evening. 

Tom Staniford's songwriting skills were there for all to hear, especially on his last unplugged acoustic number, This Time Around, which was very moving and I thought the best song of his all too brief set. Although struggling with a cold and a somewhat dodgy piano that seemed to have the odd key out of tune, he produced a strong set that was hugely enjoyable. I wasn't familiar with Tom Stanifords work but the three numbers I heard on piano and six on guitar proved to be a real bonus on what was a hugely enjoyable evening.