A sunday in Brighton

I woke up in my living room on the sofa fully clothed and slightly hung-over. A little stretch and eye rub. Laura and nick had taken my bedroom on my insistence. After a bit of freshening up and food we headed out for a walk along the seafront ambling towards town. It was a bright misty morning and the sights, sounds and substances of the night before drifted off like the steam rising off the near heated pavement.

Did you know that there is a public right of way that leads from the promenade down through the Concorde 2 for public access to the beach? Well there is and we called for the mysterious lift. A light starved man with deep set eyes greeted us and beckoned us in with a mumble and hand gesture. We got in the lift and the lift keeper closed the doors. He had a book on the floor of the lift but I didn’t catch the title, unfortunately. I like to imagine it was something ironic like ‘a room with view’ or maybe something more esoteric like ‘The hound’ by H. P. Lovecraft. In fact the lift with its sliding iron grates, the apparent live in keeper and the dank atmosphere was closer to Lovecraft than Forster’s stifling Italianate illumination of a novel.

We emerged into the concert hall of the Concorde 2 to the odour of beery floor and sweat. We thanked our man, headed out the double doors and onto the sea front. The sun was proper up by now and the hum and buzz of the mid morning was electrifying. The usual families and folks and friends were laughing, shopping and eating. There is something magical about Brighton seafront.

Nick wanted to go on the pier. We whiled away the morning playing the machines and wining enough pier vouchers to buy a pair of binoculars from the exchange shop. 400 vouchers if you were interested. We stood beneath the rides at the very end in stunned silence as the giant rides swung people round, flung upside down 100s of meters into the air. I got vertigo just looking at those fun seeking idiots, I hid behind my sister.

Laura wanted to get some lunch so we walked to the lanes. There was a hold up at the bottom of the North Street. A murmur grew into a roar and a moment of realisation hit me. The racist fascists were marching, a couple of police vans drove by and the pavements were full of Sunday shoppers and moochers. We decided to wait and watch the marchers pass as no one was able to move anywhere. Although we could not yet see the march we could hear them. Someone was being racially abused. Then there came the chants as they came into view with a full luminous police escort;

“We want our country back”
“We want our country back”
“We want our country back”
“ Engerland… Ennnngerland… Ennngerlandah.”
“Engerland… Ennnngerland… Ennngerlandah.”
“St George in my heart”

At the front of the March were four or five little girls all wearing St Georges Flag T-shirts. Behind them I guess were their parents. Later it was clear that they were the only females in the whole procession. My heart sank as I saw a man at the front in a “Help for Heroes” T-shirt. That charity does amazing work and it felt like this person was using it to garner sympathy for something alien to what it is that this charity does. I then sensed a feeling of intimidation within myself and from those around me on the pavement. People had just heard the racial jeers a minute before they came round the corner and then the aggressive chants came. The march was stopped right in front of us at the bottom of North Street.

There were about seventy all together stood in the road flanked by the police. A quiet swept down the road. This happens on marches sometimes; an air of calm bought on by prolonged noise. They had after all no doubt screeched like nesting gulls all the way through central Brighton. Something occurred to me as I looked on at the crowd; they were all men of certain age and a certain dress, can you guess what dress it was? Bomber jackets, boots, American style shirts, shaved heads, bellies and no doubt dreadful table manners.

I bellowed at the top of my voice over the silent crowd “Why Don’t YOU go home”. A policeman turned and looked at me, his jaw dropped in mild deflation, and he must have known I had just no doubt ruined his first piece of quiet for twenty odd minutes. Behind the cop a particularly fired up bloke in his thirties pointed at me and fixed his arm in my direction like a road sign and shouted back “Why don’t YOU F%$* OFF HOME MATE”.

They are well organized and single people out for abuse. About thirty blokes turned and lurched towards me, the cop’s lurched back to stop them leaving the column. They all started jeering, my legs started to shake, blood rushed to my head from the volume of the cries.

I have always hated shouting and the force of a gang of people is honestly, well, hell. It seemed I could not move a muscle. I scanned the faces of those shouting. Spit coming out of their frothing mouths at boiling point. Some of their faces twisted with an agony and rage I have never encountered. It truly was ugly. Ugly.


There was only one thing I could think of doing. I took a bow.

A few people on the street laughed. A conga line of riot cops came running down the hill, I felt relieved. A typical Joe shopper shouted “She shouted it and pointed further down the road” to a cop who then continued running while the others got the column to move. The bloke smiled at me. My sister and nick grabbed my hand and patted me on the back and said they’d buy me lunch.

The EDL are responsible for violent racist attacks and trying to cause trouble when they march. The Mekano set did a gig with the great, Miss Halliwell in Birmingham last year and I was horrified that this racist group were rioting in the centre just outside the train station?! “Quick lets a get a cab” was the general MEK Consensus. I mean why oh why are these people allowed to march through city centres? Violent Muslim groups are (quite rightly in my opinion) banned from doing so. Why now because racist fascists have oh so cleverly apparently ditched the swastika for the ST Georges Flag are they now acceptable? They are not.

Racism and Fascism need to be ditched where they came from-the past. This is the 21st century for F***sake. I saw ‘Back to the Future', aren't we supposed to flying around on skateboards that hover or something by now? Thanks a bunch.

Well, at least music is getting better and in celebration of a future time where we ditch all that sexual repression and domination type stuff here is a play list I compiled to cheer myself, and now hopefully you, up;

1. “Magazines” by White Lung
2. “ That Boys Messing With my mind” by The Raindrops
3. “Snake” By Anarchist Wood
4. “Deception” By This Mono Glaxay
5. “If I were a Boy” by Beyonce
6. “Rude Boy” by Rihanna
7. “(Don’t worry) If there is a hell below we are all gonna go” by Curtis Mayfiled.
8. “Whats Going On” by Marvin Gaye
9. “Money Worries” by I Roy and The Maytals
10. “Regualtors” By Warren G

ps Come see us play! http://soundcloud.com/mekanoset