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Issue: 713

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Living In Brighton: Rory Cameron

Diana Frangi meets the multi-talented musician Rory Cameron

Rory Cameron is a founder member of the Brighton Beach Boys, and a highly successful composer and performer in his own right, often in partnership with another Brighton Beach Boys original, Steve Wrigley. Their film credits include the film score for A Small Miracle, which was shown two years running on Christmas Day on ITV, and various musicals and plays, including Bill Bryson’s Notes from a Small Island.

“Brighton Festival is always a crazy time of year for me,“ says Cameron. “This year I did the music and sound design for The First Domino at the Latest MusicBar, I produced an album for the club night, Vavavavoom, and I’ve performed Pet Sounds vs St Pepper at St Georges Church with the Brighton Beach Boys in Kemp Town. There were 16 of us on stage including strings, brass, woodwind and of course, all the vocals.“

How did you get started with the Brighton Beach Boys?
Back in 2001, a couple of the guys in the band used to play at the Dragon in Kemp Town and Ralph Brown got in the habit of singing a few songs with them. During one of the after-hours sessions at the Hanbury Ballroom, Steve Wrigley asked him why he didn’t play more often. He said the only way he’d gig any more was if he was in a Beach Boys band. A week or so later, he was.

The Beach Boys are known for their complex harmonies. How difficult is it to get them right?
It ain’t easy! We’re lucky in the band to have some top class musicians and singers and one of them, Glen Richardson, is the head harmony honcho. He spent a long time dismantling Brian Wilson’s work and then handed out the parts. 

Which are your favourite songs to perform live?
Ironically, one of my favourites is an instrumental from Pet Sounds called ‘Let’s Go Away for a While’. It is a beautiful panoramic composition and it gives me a chance to let rip on the guitar a bit.
I also love classics like ‘Good Vibrations’ for its power and ‘Wouldn’t it Be Nice’ for the luscious harmonies.

What do you think is the best and worst thing about living in Brighton?
Best – I love the tolerance and positive vibe of the city.
Worst – the traffic.

Do you have any favourite pubs and eateries in Brighton?
I am quite partial to a bijou drinkette in the Seattle Hotel bar – nice view over the marina and I totally recommend Bom Bane’s restaurant in George Street. Great food, terrific hosts, fabulous music and some unique tables!

My fantasy dinner party

Who would you invite ?
Carl Sagan: A brilliant mind and a total enthusiast. He once described the universe as being “Crumbly, like Mom’s apple pie”. Genius.
Gary Larson: the cartoonist, for his weird but brilliant sense of humour.
Ralph Brown and his wife Jenny Jules: because they are funny, generous and utterly fearless!
Salma Hayek: Beautiful, talented, intelligent and philanthropic.
And you Diana: because it would be rude not to.

Where would you hold your party?
The bandstand when it’s finished. A great view and it has to be an outdoor venue so we can smoke…

What sort of music or entertainment would you have ?
A selection from the eighties, rendered by the pipes and brass of the Welsh Marine Cavalry.

Is there anything you would want to ask your guests?
Yes: If Milli Vanilli fell over in the woods, would somebody make a noise?

Who would you go home with?
Salma Hayek and I refer to the answer I gave earlier.

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