Inspired – Phil Jones Wired Sussex

As author Nigel Richardson says, ’How did England ever produce a town with the fizz and craziness of Brighton? It is a marvellous mystery – like a family of duffers producing a babe of Mozartian genius.’ Situated on the edge of the country, both geographically and spiritually, the good burghers of Brighton provide a daily dose of inspirational stimulation.

Welcoming of different ways of living a life since a royal prince built a psychedelic wet dream there to house his mistresses, Brighton people continue to celebrate taking ideas to the edge, then tipping them over to see what happens. When a church bigwig called Brighton the most godless city in the UK, the local rag held a poll asking people if they felt he was right and what we ought to do about it. A whopping 93 per cent came back and said they considered the label ’godless’ a compliment. That’s my kinda response.

Brighton has its fair share of inspirational famous sons and daughters, from Eric Gill to Anita Roddick, Nick Cave to Magnus Volk. They come for a weekend and never leave. Perhaps the archetypal contemporary Brightonian is Natasha Khan, aka Bat for Lashes. Creative, cool and claiming a smorgasbord of influences, she has to be the unofficial patron saint of Brighton people.

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