Sometimes you stumble upon something that changes the way you do Sundays. Described by Harry aka that Midland DJ chap as “a true Sunday institution because of one simple thing; a deep love and knowledge of music and above all the joy of sharing it with friends old and new,” Chris & Dom’s Sunday Almanac began in a pub here in Brighton back in 2014. It went on to make friends and influence people until lockdown when the boys decided to take it to a certain streaming service with a live playlist curation. The resulting online social media love-in has rescued our lockdown weekends and we are so chuffed to have Chris Goddard and Dom Agius deliver some of their Almanac magic to our 1BTN show. Reflecting their astonishing ability to genre hop for their lives – when asked what kind of stuff they play, they answered anything from Fleetwood Mac followed by Blossom Dearie, Marie Davison followed by Tantra and Kraftwerk – Chris and Dom are providing the LGBTQI+ community a musical space so cherished it was declared “an enlightenment & ignition of musical memoirs, a constant excitement and wonder of what is to come” by Frankie Salt recently. A space we can’t wait to celebrate this Friday on 1BTN.
But before we get to share Chris & Dom’s divine and diverse selections this Friday on 1BTN how about they tell the tale of their Sunday Almanac? Just how did it come to be more than the soundest of daydreams?
“How to sum up 7 years of Almanacs?” say Chris Goddard virtually one day in lockdown as we counted down the days till we could play records to humans again. “Impossible really but on the 26th January 2014 at 2pm sharp we, rather nervously, launched the first Sunday Almanac at the St. Georges Inn, Brighton. Ever since Dom had moved to the coast we had been plotting and planning to do something musical together. Dom had been hosting a similar event in London and I had been doing regular slots in pubs around Brighton, so combining our talents made perfect sense”.
“We met up at the pub early in December 2003 and the penny dropped – it seemed a perfect space – tucked away in the side streets of Kemptown, two bars, an outside area and a lovely vibe. Dom approached the landlord at the time and made a proposal to him – that we would love to play records on a Sunday, once a month – he needed us, he said. We initially did it for a couple of drinks and a nominal fee. Once we’d begun, something clicked, it felt so right”.
“Once we’d done the first one it became clear that we needed a ‘brand’ – not a daft name but something more classy. Dom is an exceptional photographer with a massive amount of archived photos our artwork was easy,however, we wanted it to be uniform, recognisable and distinctive. Each of the 100 images reflects the mood, each with our own Almanac Font and produced on 12” x 12” card like one’s very own LP – we are thrilled to see the ripped from the walls and tucked under arms once an Almanac has finished. We also felt it important to document what we played so make sure we write everything down and post the track listings as an aid-memoir and, when Spotify happened, have posted all of the playlists from all of the Almanacs. It feels like a full-stop and we can then move on to the next event. It quickly became something to really look forward to and as we gathered momentum, recruited some more supporters and carried friends and family along with us”.
“It’s been just over 7 years since it started and despite lockdown, we’ve continued to play music and have now done 102 Almanacs. Each one has had a different complexion and appeal – as the Almanacs have progressed we’ve become better too – taking more risks, dedicating & theming sets and introducing the idea of a guest DJ – where our friends can play any records that they fancy & I KNOW how excited they have all been. Dom and I began ‘battling’ early on, trying to catch each other out whilst maintaining the thrill and watching the crowd. The Battles have caused much hilarity, CD’s strewn everywhere, one or two shots or Tuaca and plenty of sweat and occasional tears”.
“So, the Almanac stands for somewhere that anyone is welcome, sit and listen to our tunes in a safe LGBT+, dog friendly, non-discriminatory space for people who love meeting other people for a laugh, a gossip a sing-a-long and a dance. All on a Sunday afternoon (someone described it as the best Secret Disco Ever). Lockdown has taught us how important these fortnightly sessions have become to people”. A secret we intend to share with your dear listener this Friday on 1BTN.
The Wildblood and Queenie Show on 1BTN – now with added Chris & Dom selections. Friday 19th February 13:00-16:00 1010.4FM DAB+ 1btn.fm
For more Chris and Dom Record Box connections check out Facebook. The next virtual Chris & Dom Sunday Almanac Virtual Edition takes place on Spotify on Sunday 28th February 14:00-18:00
Photo by Dom Agius.