Now under the control of Mothership Group — the same people who run The Book Club and Queen Of Hoxton venues in London — Audio will open its doors as Patterns on 13th May, still as Brighton's most credible venue, they reckon. Just as well considering Audio was voted Best Small Club at our Best Of British awards by DJ Mag readers at the end of last year.
“Our vision is to make Patterns a destination venue for the UK,” says Creative Director Heather Pistor. “People chat of The Escape and The Zap Club as iconic venues in Brighton’s clubbing history — we want Patterns to stand alongside those names as a place where people go for top sound, DJs and an all-round amazing clubbing experience. If the seafront has succumbed to the mainstream, we’ll be providing an appealing alternative.”
And with names like Gilles Peterson, Mount Kimbie, HNNY, Tamo Sumo, Artwork, Spectrasoul and DVS1 booked already, they might just have a point, especially considering Brighton's seafront has been overrun with cheesy pop clubs in recent years. “It’s been well documented that the Brighton club scene has suffered in the last few years with many operators favouring a price-driven offer over a credible musical direction.
We want to take it back to being about the music, with a considered price point on drinks and food,” Heather tells DJ Mag. “Music will be at the forefront of what we do, and the environment will appeal to music heads of all ages. We've chatted to a lot of locals, promoters and DJs and feel confident that this is what Brighton wants and needs, so we're going to give it to them.”
It's not just a case of the club changing hands and staying the same. They've gutted the basement, exposed the building's original feature and done up the bogs. There's also a photobooth and all sorts of kitsch, stylish décor.
“We’ve stripped the building right back to its original condition, exposing some beautiful, original tiles and cast-iron pillars,” says Heather. “We've also gained extensive ceiling height and floor space and we'll be filling this with a mixture of bespoke and sourced furniture, lots of warm, reclaimed leather seating and wood panelling.”
A L'acoustics soundsystem has been fitted and a new stairwell put in place to improve flow of traffic through the venue, plus the terrace has been totally re-designed, “making it a desirable space for knocking back a glass or two of Rosé on a sunny afternoon,” adds Heather.
Rather than just a heads-down nightclub, Patterns will also bring more attention to the outside area of the location, taking advantage of its sea-facing courtyard area out front. “A day-to-night venue where you're just as likely to come for some street food at lunchtime on a Monday, as you are to rave till the early hours at the weekend,” Heather explains. “We'll have a strong programme of events throughout the week, and will be engaging with a much wider audience.”
However, most serious thought has gone into programming the music. Well-to-do local brands like First Floor, Disco Deviant and Rhythm Junction sit side by side with the likes of Bugged Out!, Dimensions Festival and, yes us, DJ Mag, when we partner up with Brighton Music Conference (BMC) for a party with Dave Clarke, Tom Demac and DJ Rebekah on Friday 5th June. This is one Pattern you should follow.