The Verdict is in: let them swing

MICHAEL TUCKER reports on the opening of a well-appointed new jazz club in central Brighton, with Bobby Wellins, Jim Mullen, Alan Barnes, Scott Hamilton and Don Weller coming up

Verdict clubroomThe Simon Robinson Trio and Jazz Journal's own Simon Spillett and his quartet brought a suitably celebratory, full-on swinging note to the launch of The Verdict, Brighton's new club in early March.

The brainchild of local jazz enthusiast and promoter Andy Lavender, who has put countless hours into realising the project, The Verdict opened its doors - at 159 Edward Street, opposite the Amex headquarters - to an expectant public on the first weekend of March.

At a time when some fear for the future of grass-roots jazz activity in the UK, it's good news that jazz in Brighton has finally found this permanent home, just a few hundred yards east of the famous Royal Pavilion.

The launch also featured a local name-to-watch, the extraordinary 17-year old pianist  Dave Drake, plus trumpeter Jack Kendon and his father, bassist Adrian. A stalwart of the south-coast scene, Adrian painted the many fine jazz portraits which hang in the attractively conceived club, pictured above.

Seating around 70 maximum,The Verdict (so-named because it is just 20 yards or so from the well-known pub The Jury's Out) has a terrific acoustic and also offers an upstairs cafe/restaurant space with good food and coffee, beer and wine. The weekend programme is set through to late May and features such luminaries as Bobby Wellins, Jim Mullen, Alan Barnes, Scott Hamilton and Don Weller. Details at or ring 01273 674847.

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Your Comments:

Posted by Tim Haillay, 9 March 2012, 10:10 (1 of 2)

Brighton Jazz Club is alive and well here The Verdict is a jazz club in Brighton. Thanks
Posted by Mark Gilbert, Editor, 9 March 2012, 11:44 (2 of 2)

Dear Tim, many thanks for that clarification - I have amended our piece accordingly. Regards, MG
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