It's been a busy 48 hrs this week as I've been finalising my new trading space for Saturday's for the year ahead. I'm working with Mick the owner of Shortts Bar on St James's Street bringing in djs and weekly local micro traders as part of The Hub each Saturday 12-6pm from March.
The premise being not only to create a fun and vibrant retail / social experience but also to give fellow 'micro traders / makers' a space to do their thing without the challenges faced with high rental / lease and business rate fees that somewhat put a spanner in the works at our level.
However, a big part of choosing to bring The Hub to life is to focus hearts and minds on an area in our city that somewhat gets overlooked if you didn't know it was there or lived nearby.
If I was to ask anyone where in Brighton you'd find along a 200ft stretch of road a Turkish Supermarket, Award Winning Hairdresser, Craft Beer Hotspot, Tattoo Parlour, Locally Celebrated Florist and A Go To DJ Bar come Dinning Establishment then the answer would always be the same .... The Laines. Stands to reason as it's a great place to go and visit that's renowed for it's independent nature.
So with this somewhat lesser talked about part of our world on St James's Street I find myself coming back to again as both a trader and accidental champion of the area it's about time I threw some light on one of its inhabitants to kick start a series of blog posts I'm doing on the places and faces that are also fighting the good fight in keeping Brighton independent and interesting.
Mr William Nastri or as some may know him DJ Billy Nasty who owns and runs The Vinyl Curtain next to Shorrts is my first port of call.
Billy set up shop on St James's Street just before Lockdown and it's a mark of what he does and how he does it for local and visiting vinyl collectors that he's kept going. This week I had a look through the racks like I do on my regular visits more or less each week and as always was met by Billy's warm welcome and engaging sense of humour.
Like most visits I usually go straight to The Breakbeat Rave Section for a trip down memory lane. Call me old fashioned but that's what I used to purchase most of in another life in my 20s. However the breadth of choice on offer across the whole spectrum of credible Dance Music is impressive to say the very least.
You could easily spend a whole day looking through what's on offer and garaunteed you'd find not just what you were maybe looking for but plenty you weren't too. I'm sure I spied a Heavy Metal section that started a conversation off between us both about who's the funkier Rock band. AC/DC of Zeplin ? I'm going for The Aussie's myself.
So if it's purely a visit for vinyl or a visit to experience what this part of St James's Street in Kemptown can offer then why not drop by and see Billy and the other establishments. Garaunteed you could make a day of it and also do your bit for local independent business that does happen outside of the city center with some cool outposts like Billy's offering not just coffee.
Find William Nastri and His Record Shop Here