WHEN Stuart Campbell agreed to handle the sound systems at the newly revamped Grand Central, in Worthing, little did he realise quite what he was getting himself into.
But, six months on from being offered the opportunity to take on sole management of the live music venue, he’s loving every minute of it.
“I am sure some people have said I must be mad to be doing this,” said the experienced music engineer, who has worked on production duties for some of the biggest names in the business including projects with Paul Weller, Dave Grohl and Ozzy Osbourne.
But far from being fazed upon arriving at the venue, in Railway Approach, he is rapidly witnessing its fortunes revive as an oasis for emerging talent.
Beyond its core weekends, celebrating music from Mod-inspired nights through to blues and rock, it is enjoying success branching out into comedy nights which have given the place a new lease of life.
Then there’s the not-so-insignificant matter of the 400-capacity venue’s biggest night to date, having secured the services of chart act Dodgy, who arrive in town on Saturday.
“We want to put on music here that people really want to enjoy. I am really excited about being here it here and the bands we have had in have been fantastic,” said the 41-year-old, from Lancing. “It is great we have a band of the calibre of Dodgy. This is our biggest gig yet and hope it means we can bring other acts here, too.”
As for band themselves, they are making a welcome return to Worthing after an absence of more than 15 years.
Admittedly, a decade of that time was self-imposed due to the band imploding, but the recently revived original Dodgy line-up has re-emerged to a favourable reception from long-term fans and critics alike.
Armed with deftly-crafted new album, Stand Upright in A Cool Place, they may be among us again a little more worldly-wise than the laid-back image of old, yet they’ve lost none of their winning way with melody.