Back in 2006 I went to my first-ever gig as a Brighton resident. It was Homebase favourites Peter Bjorn and John at a small basement bar on Middle Street called Sumo (near what is now The Loft and a stone’s throw from the once-great Hop Poles pub). The venue soon changed its name to Jam, but is now known (for whatever strange reason) as Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar.
I’m actually quite a fan of Sticky Mike’s; the upstairs bar area is a really convivial place to have a drink while you wait for bands/DJs to set up downstairs (or to hide from a dodgy support act). As the name suggests, it’s a quirky little spot, with friendly staff, good tunes and walls adorned with local artworks.
Head down a perilously steep staircase and you’ll find the club/gig area, which is pretty small with a very low ceiling (so low that parts of it are padded to avoid injury to unusually lofty punters). There are a couple of slightly annoying pillars slapped right in the middle, but they don’t ruin the experience too much (certainly not as much as the ones in The Coalition do), and the queue at the bar to the left of the stage never seems to be too bad — not when I’ve been there anyway.
The best band I’ve seen play here was undoubtedly Moodoid, at GTE 2014 — a French band whose sonic tapestry runs the gamut from Goblin to Gainsbourg via Goat.
9-12 Middle Street
Brighton BN1 1AL