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Sounds Phenomenal Recordings

Peace Not War Japan


Sounds Phenomenal - A History

In The Beginning 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 Credits


2000: Time for a change

Live Music

Sounds Phenomenal 2000: Music Industry Conference

2000 saw Sounds Phenomenal changing shape in a number of ways, mainly through direction and personnel.

Through funding received from the Government’s Single Regeneration Budget, The Hangleton & Knoll Project set up AudioActive - a youth music project designed to provide young people from the local area with access to opportunities and training in music making, and building on the work already done by Sounds Phenomenal.

Dom Pates joined SP to volunteer for helping with the organising of the third Music Industry Conference. A change in personnel meant that he was to devise the programme for this conference and organise the event himself (with the help of a very capable team around him). In accepting this role, it also meant undertaking stewardship of Sounds Phenomenal from that point onwards; as a vehicle that would diversify from it’s original aims yet continue to help musicians.  

Brighton College of Technology invited the use of their premises for the third Sounds Phenomenal Music Industry Conference. Given the handover of responsibilities and the time frame needed to organise the event properly, the entire Conference programme, including the additional feature of a week of live music in the run-up to the day of the main event, had to be started and finished within three months. However, the good name that Sounds Phenomenal had built itself around Brighton meant that many people were willing to once again donate their time or services to what was becoming an established part of the local calendar.

With funding from the National Lottery's Awards 4 All scheme and additional sponsorship from Groovy Gecko and Waterstone's, the Sounds Phenomenal 2000 programme went ahead in the October of that year, attracting up to 3000 people across the range of events held. The conference itself, at the end of the week, was once again intended to demystify the music business and offer Brighton's up-and-coming talent an opportunity to meet and question leading industry luminaries. The day was divided between seminars from industry professionals and figures from the local scene, and a number of workshops providing training in many different instruments/music making techniques. It culminated in a gig at the college's Tower Theatre that included Kriminal Kollective, a collection of musicians pooled from the college's own Popular Music course students.

Live Music

The showcase of the best of Brighton’s live music was held at two venues across the town.  It incorporated the return of live music to Sussex University after an absence of many years, and was also used as a platform for the live launch of 'The Metway Sessions', an initiative whereby band demos were put to a panel of local music industry and the best ones were chosen to record free at Metway Studios and broadcast on Surf 107's 'Totally Wired' programme. The other venue was The Freebutt, situated in the town itself.

Featured acts included:

Birdhouse Platform Supercoolwater Snorkel Flying Machine



Monday 9/10/2000

Tuesday 10/10/2000

Wednesday 11/10/2000

Thursday 12/10/2000

Friday 13/10/2000

East Slope Bar

Things To Do For Boys


5 Amp Fuse




The Feltro Media

My Device


AudioActive DJ Crew

(house, trance, garage)

Brighter Lunch


Flying Machine

The Freebutt


Agent J

Things In Herds

Slip Jam B

(underground hip-hop)

Liquid Laugh




Elmo’s Rehab

Blitz Tennessee


The first night at East Slope was featured in The Argus, Brighton's newspaper, who offered this review:

"Monday night's launch at the East Slope Bar featured three bands, starting with Shark, formerly known as 5 Amp Fuse. Amid a muddle of beer and banter the crowd cheered the three-piece, who offer Johnny Cash tunes alongside their own blend of indie crossed with occasional Monkees-style harmonies.

As the floor grew stickier, Platform stepped on stage and gradually stunned the crowd with a style that made me think how Radiohead might sound if they were ever happy.

With the venue sweating and straining to full capacity, Things To Do For Boys presented their cheeky stage and song drama as a finale to the evening's music. Favourites included A Tale Of The Unexpected and El Torro/The Bull, whose lyrics, "bless my soul to alcohol", were well chosen for the event."

Review by Laura Hills; with thanks to The Argus.

Conference Programme: Seminar/Workshop Listings

  Seminar Room 1 Seminar Room 2

Seminar Room 3 (Hosted by D2 Consulting)

Workshop Room 1 (AudioActive) Workshop Room 2 Workshop Room 3

New Deal for Musicians.

Meet with Alan Christmas, the New Deal Music Industry Consultant for Brighton & Hove, and Opportunities re: training opps. In music.

SKINT Records.

A panel from SKINT, featuring Damian Harris, Andy Mac and Dave Philpot to talk about the label.

Introduction to listening to music on the Internet.

With Daniel Nathan from Festival Productions.

Computer Music for Beginners.

This masterclass will cover everything you need to know about setting up a computer music based system. Max 12 people.

Guitar for beginners.

Bring your own (with lead) and let Dan Woods (Barnstormer) help you make more out of it. Max 12 people.


Imogen Ryle develops your voice with tips, exercises and a belting finale.


Women in the Music Industry.

With Sarah Thain (Dolly Mixers), Lisa Lout (Brighton Rocks) & Saranne Reid (Sample Clearance Ltd).


Featuring Phil Nelson (Levellers) & Bobby Marshall (ADF).

Publishing & Distribution using the Net – Uploading MP3s.

With Pete Lush (Things In Herds; artist)

Beginners DJ workshop.

A session for those wondering what skills are needed to be a good DJ. Max 12 people.

Drums & percussion: Latin.

Carnival Collective show why street samba is infectious and lend you the instruments to try it out.

Frontline brass.

Sax, trumpet, horn? If you play brass and want to be part of the gig then this is where you learn how.


Harry Shapiro.

Acclaimed author of ‘Waiting For The Man’ – the history of drugs and popular music.


Find out about performing and copyright royalties. With Malcolm Buckland (PRS) and Emma Cummants.

Digital Rights Management.

Issues of copyright and royalty collection.

Advanced Computer Music Making.

A session for musicians who already have some experience of computer music making and MIDI. Max 12 people.

Guitar: Advanced.

Bring your own (with lead) and let Dan Woods will show you how to use your talent more professionally. Max 12 people.

Groovy Gecko demo.

Part 1: What is this thing called Streaming Media anyway? - a brief intro.

Part 2: Shooting video for the Web.


Sample Clearance.

The do’s and don’ts. With Saranne Reid, Emma Cummants from MCPS & Dave from SKINT.

A.I.M. (Association of Independent Music).

Find out about this umbrella organisation for indie labels.

Futurology: A brief look at the industry & the direction it’s heading in.

Discussion forum & input session on music and the internet

Advanced DJ workshop.

This session is for DJs with some experience of basic mixing and scratching. Max 12 people.

Drums & percussion: Indian, African & Middle Eastern.

Julian Franks of Kunundrum leads an introduction to hand percussion with tabla, djembe and darabowka. Max 25-30 people.


© Sounds Phenomenal, 2003