Wedged under the arches around the side of Brighton train station, like some kind of Brooklyn punk venue from the 70s, the diminutive Green Door quickly became a favourite among local music lovers after opening in early 2011.
Its instant popularity was probably not due to the obvious Shakin’ Stevens link. More likely, it was because of the excellent roster of bands it immediately started to showcase. It has to be said, within a year or two it had knocked The Hope off its perch as the best place to find up-and-coming new bands. Annoyingly, these bands tended to be so good that they’d sometimes be bumped up to play at the bigger (but inferior) Haunt. This is what happened to Melody’s Echo Chamber when I had tickets to see them on their first tour.
The sparse decor, cobbled floors and barrels for tables give it a cavernous feel, while the main bar (which is always free to enter) is separated from the gig room by a curtained archway at the end. This means that if you’ve popped in for an impromptu drink, you might not be very well insulated from whatever noisy bastards are playing on the other side.
Its relaxed informality is epitomised by pleasingly skanky toilets, and the place’s welcoming feel extends to its door policy, which straddles the line between easy-going and nonexistent.
It can get a bit “east Londonish” on some nights, and during The Great Escape it becomes so overcrowded that there’s not much point even trying to get in. But I’ve always felt quite at home within its stoney walls.
Lower Goods Yard
Underneath Brighton Station