FIRST Wednesday QR Code Sound Affects poster

One year anniversary of Sound Affects events with Jak Hutchcraft

Jak Hutchcraft, journalist, director and in the last year, events planner! 

He has been putting on music-fuelled evenings in East Street Tap since the start of 2023. Now after a year of Sound Affects – with all the speakers, musicians, photographers, journalists, authors, film makers and everyday music lovers – BN1 decided it was a great time to sit down and discuss past events and find out what Jak has in store for us in 2024.

Jak started by describing himself, as a self proclaimed music geek, with many of his passions and interests nestled within music and subcultures. Coming from a journalistic background, he reads and watches a broad and eclectic range of music journalism. Alongside that, a passion for videography and documentary making is clear from his most recent venture, filming the Fatboy Slim Documentary, ‘Right here, Right now” out now on Apple TV. Combining all these elements, Sound Affects was born. He described the event as, “Music where the topic is always different, where the genre is different, the era is different. The people who are speaking are always from different backgrounds. It’s not just metal or pop, it could be anything, hip hop, classical music, jazz. I thought that would be a cool mic to go to and then I thought, well, I’ll just set it up because it didn’t exist already.” 

Sound Affects at EST

Sound Affects events take place in a quirky Pub called East Street Tap, which is Brighton’s oldest boozer, dating back to around 1568. Although a lot has changed since then, the stained glass windows look just as old and the front door is perfectly framed by a vintage style door canopy. Trying to find the private events room upstairs can be another story, if you don’t know where to look. You can get upstairs through a small entrance in the corner of the pub, that looks like a wall but is in fact a door. A higgledy-piggledy staircase leads you to the events room that feels spacious and cosy all at the same time. 

These music-led evenings are based around three 15 minute talks from anyone about pretty much anything surrounding music and subcultures. The speakers are often from “different places, who are talking about different eras of music, different genres, and the speakers themselves are from different disciplines. Maybe they’re a musician or maybe they’re just a music fan, maybe they’re a filmmaker or a photographer, or maybe they just have an interesting experience that they want to share about music.” This type of diversity means it’s always an interesting event to go to, no one evening turns out the same. It also creates an open space for relaxed debates and conversations. From this, a community has naturally grown, where people can experience something different, learn something new and meet new friends. “People come and feel inspired. Then they go away, write a talk and come back. It could be anything from, this is my favourite album and I’m going to tell you why. Or it could be, I used to be part of an interesting fan club, a research project, someone talking about their relationship with a certain type of music or someone could bring an instrument in. So it’s really been really varied and I soon realised that I wasn’t the only person who liked music in general.”

Sound Affects at EST

The events have naturally evolved over time, starting with 15 minute talks and now expanding into the likes of demos on newly invented instruments and experiencing traditional Cuban singing. “The scope of what the talks could be or what the time could be used for has really grown and expanded. Some people come with a slideshow, some people do a Q and A with me on stage. I just think that the potential and the possibilities for this are really big for what the talks could be, and sometimes people play little snippets of songs and they just talk about how the song means something to them. Sometimes the night is very audio heavy. I just think that I genuinely believe that there is something there for everybody and that if you come with an open mind and an open heart, I really think that people can learn something and maybe make some new friends. It is not like a lecture because the people who are speaking are not academics usually. Sometimes we have academics, but usually they’re just everyday people who love music or subcultures and want to talk about those things.”

I had to ask Jak about any highlights from the past year that stood out to him?

“I did a rave special and that rave special was a photographer called Vinca Peterson, she was part of a travelling sound system in the early nineties, and she took photos of her adventures going around the UK and Europe, putting on these free parties and really being involved. So she spoke and she was amazing. Her photos were so personal and beautiful. But then at the same night, we also had an author called Ed Gillet, who’s a journalist and a dance music fan and he approached it differently, he wasn’t old enough to be part of the original rave generation, and he approached it from a journalistic social historian point of view, and to have them both talking from two different points of view was fascinating. One was a very personal emotional story and the other one was a contextual kind of political history of rave. And I think that worked really well. So that was one of my favourites.”

Sound Affects at EST

Most importantly, Jak said, “The stage is for everybody. So if you come to one of our nights and you want to speak at the next one, then come down and the stage is yours. I’ll just fit you in because I want it to be for everybody. It doesn’t have to be for academics or writers or musicians. It could be for anyone who’s got something to say about music or subcultures. So I invite everybody to come down and check it out.”

Sound Affects is on the first Wednesday of every month, but Jak is having a well deserved break this January. However, if you are interested in TV and film, then his sister event, Video Affects could be for you. It will be on as usual on Thursday 18th January, with an interesting roster from a film-lover talking about music documentaries, an overlooked 70s movie and what it’s like to act in a niche fantasy TV series. 

Sound Affects Slade Special

In February, you can look forward to Sound Affects being back on, starting up with a Rave Special PT 2 on Friday 4th, ‘Acid House Storytelling’ with journalist and best-selling author Kirk Field. 

On Wednesday 7th, Sound Affects with Iranian born but Brighton based artist Avije, Natalie Reilly AKA Thirteen Scorpios creates psychedelic art inspired by the sights and sounds of her favourite era. Lastly, a talk with N Leigh Hunt, an author, broadcaster and crime historian from South Africa. 

There are also tickets on sale for another special event on March 10th for aTwo-Tone / Mod Special” with Daniel Rachel, Eddie Piller and June Miles-Kingston.

Tickets for events

Video Affects, Thursday 18th Jan: www.ticketsource.co.uk/whats-on/brighton/east-street-tap/video-affects-3-caitlin-oryan-oliver-murray-stephen-bull/e-xgdogg

Rave Special, Friday 4th Feb: www.ticketsource.co.uk/whats-on/brighton/east-street-tap/rave-special

First Sound Affects of the year, Wednesday 7th Feb: www.ticketsource.co.uk/whats-on/brighton/east-street-tap/sound-affects-13

Two-Tone/ Mod Special, Sunday 10th March: www.ticketsource.co.uk/whats-on/brighton/east-street-tap/two-tone-mod-special

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