A Review of Shuffle Bar

I’m always on the look out for snazzy new bars to acquaint myself with. As a Brighton dweller this is fairly uncomplicated, given the plethora of watering holes. But as I’ve just graduated from University and am skint, these bars need to be kind to my bank balance too.

With holes in my pockets, I was recommended Shuffle Bar by a friend who told me about their 2-4-1 cocktails on weekdays. She also mentioned they had a clever WiFi set-up, which let you play your own music. With this in mind I dragged my fiend Lucy along with me, salivating as the Mojitos beckoned.

From outside, Shuffle may appear to be a relatively inconspicuous shop front. Inside, it’s a different story. The decor has an industrial vibe, which has been glammed up a bit with brightly coloured walls and an obvious but cheerful collection of pop icon prints. The clientele were mostly students, including a couple of Medics next to us, who were obviously involved in some sort of hands-free tonsillectomy.


With intoxication being key, we skipped the food menu and went straight for the spirits. I ordered two Berry Mint cocktails at £3 each. They had the delicious consistency of a slush puppy, with a generous glug of Vodka. Lucy ordered a Woo Woo and a Dark and Stormy rum cocktail, which were equally as gratifying.

Importantly, the bar staff were easy on the eye. They didn’t make us wait around for ages whilst they did pretentious mixologist tricks either.

However, after our 2-4-1s turned into 8-4-4s, we began grow tired of sitting on little wooden stools fit for Thumbelina. With numb bums, we wished there were some decent sofas to sprawl out on.

To add insult to injury, Shuffle’s namesake the ‘smartphone accessible jukebox’ was average to poor (i.e. it was very temperamental and insisted on repeatedly playing The Backstreet Boys.) Bad move Shuffle. Feeling hard done by, we headed outside. We were greeted by big wooden benches and heaters, which placated us a little. Way after our fingers turned blue, we finished our last round of drinks. On the drunken shuffle home, we agreed we’d return there someday.. maybe when they invested in bean bags.

cocktail blog


West Street story


A poem I wrote recently about an infamous street in Brighton. Constructive feedback welcome, since finishing it I realise the ending doesn’t exactly make sense 🙂


In his bed he lay listening to the pipes dripping

He nursed a heavy head and the lights were still spinning

Dark shadows climbed the walls, crimson lipped bottles marked his fall

from grace and a night of cheap thrills, lacy brief encounters and

bumbling sex on a memory foam mattress


They’d met eyes under the red glow of a slot machine

Sticky floors, locked jaws and 90’s cheese set the scene

She smiled at him with a mouth full of knives

Breathed: ‘Im Natalie, wanna give this a try?’


Two games deep in Trivial Pursuit and he’d forgotten his beau

Thought he’d take a gamble and grabbed their coats to go

He cackled at the West Street wonders: vomit, kebabs and inevitable shags

She couldn’t help feeling this was part of his act

Another Brighton lad, a cad lacking tact

He slurred: “This one’s on me”, clutching tins of cider for 99p

So she slipped his wallet from his jeans while he hailed a taxi


A scribbled rizla where Natalie had lay,

She wrote her digits plus call me, winky face, thanks babes

She’d left him with a red neck he’d deny for weeks

Who was he fooling? He’d always been a cheat

But this time it felt different, dare he say divine?

He’d fallen for the unravelling of minds, then bodies entwined


Natalie rolled home on a wave from the night before

Holes in her stockings and her mouth tasted raw

She thought of Dave and his slow sexy drawl

Wished she could recall if he’d seemed into her at all

Was he half way genuine?

He’s no gentleman, that was clear. But she kinda liked his whisper in her ear:

“You feeling a night cap? My place aint far from here.”


The sex weren’t bad but she’d left a fake number

Gone with his cards, cash and phone whilst he was still in a slumber

Skipping through the streets flashing her slice of knives

She couldn’t remember when she’d felt more alive

But to her horror his iPhone began to vibrate, up flashed ‘my babe’

She stopped dead in the street and gawped at his love’s face

She had a sinister smile Natalie knew she could place


Back at Dave’s the coin had dropped

Along with another fifty quid, he swear he’d been robbed

He shrugged the thought off and gave Natalie a text, said ‘thanks for a great night, when we meeting next?’

London Through Street Sleepers’ Eyes.

Ever wondered what a day in the life of someone living on the streets might look like?


CaféArt is a social enterprise which partners with independent cafes around the UK, who agree to display pieces by homeless artists on their walls.

Seeking to empower vulnerable people and recognize talent, CaféArt began their calendar project in 2014. In July 2016, 100 FujiFilm disposable cameras were given to rough sleepers in London. Participants were provided with a small amount of training from the Royal Photographic Society and provided with the theme ‘My London’ to document their lives. An incredible 2,500 photos were taken, to be narrowed down by the public to just 20 favourite images for the calendar.

‘Last year I nearly didn’t turn up for the project. I couldn’t even talk to anyone. I remember I arrived at the place, picked up a camera and I was gone. This year when we launched the competition I did a speech in front of 200 people… It’s amazing what a disposable camera can do for your self-esteem.’ David Tovey, Photographer.


Thanks to crowd funding website Kickstarter, over £17,000 has been donated in order to print the calendars. News of the project has been broadcast globally, on NBC Today Show and BuzzFeed to the Independent and Time Out websites. Funds generated will be used for a weeklong homeless exhibition in Spitafields Market from the 12th-18th October, which is open to anyone interested in learning more.

You can find CaféArt’s website here: http://cafeart.or.uk/





Play me I’m yours.

You may have recently stumbled upon a colourful piano in the street with the words ‘Play Me, I’m Yours’ painted on it. Maybe you drew up a seat and unleashed your inner Chopin? These mysterious pianos have been popping up all over the globe, from as far as Hong Kong to London and the US. But who put them there?

street piano

UK Artist Luke Jerram is the brains behind the ‘play me I’m yours’. A project starting in Birmingham in 2008 with just 15 pianos located around the city for three weeks. After its initial success, the project has received hundreds of piano donations from supporters worldwide, who wish their unused instruments to be used by communities.

Each piano donated is transformed with colour and illustration by a local group, school or charity. The piano then becomes an interactive piece to be enjoyed by the city. Although this may sound simple, the beauty lies in the pianos’  ability to build relationships between strangers:

The idea for Play Me, I’m Yours came from visiting my local launderette. I saw the same people there each weekend and yet no one talked to one another. I suddenly realised that within a city, there must be hundreds of these invisible communities, regularly spending time with one another in silence. Placing a piano into the space was my solution to this problem, acting as a catalyst for conversation and changing the dynamics of a space.’ Luke Jerram, Founder.

Each city has its own devoted website where the public can upload videos and share stories of their encounters with the piano and the players themselves. These websites help to integrate communities, by opening discussion and sharing the news with others.

The pianos also give individuals a chance to play what would otherwise be an inaccessible and expensive instrument. Many previously unknown players have come out of the woodwork to share their talents.

If you’d like to find a Play Me I’m Yours piano near you or read more, head to: http://www.streetpianos.com/