What is your highlight from your time at the Brixton Academy?
There were so many – the five nights of The Clash (the first time I knew the venue could become great), RUN DMC and The Beastie Boys (pure energy), James Brown (true showtime), and The Rolling Stones (the venue had arrived).
How does the music scene in London today compare to when you were running the Brixton Academy?
It’s too expensive and too corporate; fewer chances for bands to break through and fewer small gigs.
What do you think is special about the UK’s music scene?
I think we are more creative and more multi-cultural than other countries and not so pigeonholed. It will be interesting to see what comes out of the US over the next few years.
Apart from the Academy, what is your favourite venue to see live music in London? (Or the UK or the World if you prefer!)
I used to love The Hammersmith Palais, The Astoria, The Marquee, and The Town and Country Club (Forum). I recently stumbled across a very cool small venue in Herne Hill called ‘Off the Cuff’.
What advice would you give to students who want to be successful in the music industry today?
Follow you instincts, work very hard, and don’t accept ‘no’ as an answer. Don’t always follow the rules and ‘think out of the box’. Enjoy it; it’s better than being stuck on a treadmill or behind a desk.
BIMM has a very good vibrant feel…tell those students to go out and conquer.