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This may seem a tad parochial by SchNEWS' usually global reach, but we stumbled upon some dodgy goings on at one of our local boozers and regular benefit host which seemed worthy of bringing to our readership's attention.
The Hydrant, a Brighton pub which serves primarily as a gig venue, has committed a rather bemusing act of hari-kiri. New management took over a few weeks ago and they've wasted no time in successfully alienating staff and punters alike.
With all the warmth and charm of a turd in a fridge the new licensee has treated promoters, bands and customers with contempt, sacked bar staff because she “hates gays”, pulled gigs without telling the people actually putting them on and declared that “'all musicians are idiots”. As a result almost all the gigs booked at the Hydrant have now been cancelled or relocated. Even if some promoters were willing to overlook the decidedly dodgy views of the new regime, both sound engineers have quit and taken their gear with them.
About two months ago the new owners (AJ Trade House Ltd – a suspicious looking front company, apparently operating out of Middlesex) arrived promising to invest money into improving the equipment and décor of the venue. However within weeks things went south as there was continually change and confusion as to what the overall plan was, at the same time relations with their new employees soured considerably – with all the existing staff getting “treated like shit”. Shortly after this both the general manager and bar manager were sacked on the vague pretence of “lying” and “missing stock”. Unsurprisingly evidence of the alleged theft of between £5,000-25,000 worth of stock is pretty thin on the ground.
The real reasons for the women's dismissal might be a tad more sinister, an applicant for one of the recently vacated positions was asked by Jasspal 'Jas' Singh (owner/director/manager of AJ Trade) “are you gay?” because “we don't want any more of them working here”. While numerous punters and ex-staff have heard homophobic remarks from Louise (one of thr new managers, described as "Jas's Terminator") including the classic “I don't like those lesbians”. Whatever justification Jas & Louise come up with for the sacking, both were let go without notice, are still owed wages and one was also made homeless from the flat above the Hydrant.
SATURDAY NIGHT FURORE
On Saturday 23rd June things came to a head for the few staff who did remain. Equipment for a gig upstairs was due to be loaded in at 3pm, but by 5pm there was no bar staff and the venue still hadn't been cleaned. Although the event eventually went ahead an hour late, the promoter was left out of pocket as a result and refused to pay the hire fee at the end of the night. In response Louise locked the doors, refused to let bands take their gear and turned into a “shouting, swearing, nutter”. Unimpressed by this approach to negotiation most promoters have now pulled their gives from the venue and the sound men – who were both working that night – walked out.
SchNEWS has attempted to talk to contact the current owners, but to little avail. Recently pints were flogged off at £2 each and they're now closed with building work ongoing. Whether anyone will want to visit when they reopen seems unlikely.
Thatcher-haters party into the night.
In solidarity with 235 Sussex University workers whose jobs are threatened with privatisation, protesters from around the country converge on Sussex University's campus (alread site of an ongoing occupation), invade management HQ and make a bonfire out of corporate files.
To the barricades! As fascists plan to attack an anarchist social centre at some point in the future (or possibly past).
Brighton Feminist Collective stage flashmob in support of Pussy Riot
“We are freer than those who are prosecuting us. We can say everything we want, and they have their mouths shut, and are puppets." - Nadezhda Tolokonnikova Pussy Riot member
Indigenous communities in Peru face violent repression for protests against oil and mine devastation.
Russian punks Pussy Riot remain behind bars, while Indonesian punks continue to suffer police harassment.
Spanish miners riot and roadblock against government cuts