Rumour has it that Arthur Brown has set fire to more stages than any other artist. He’s also thought to be the inspiration behind Alice Cooper, Kiss, Peter Gabriel and Marilyn Manson. But at what age does the original god of hellfire plan to kick his petrol burning habits? Jem Collins finds out.
The Zu Studios in Lewes epitomise everything I expected of an Arthur Brown gig. Every surface is covered with artistic tat, piled together like a haphazard game of Jenga. Lava lamps, a candelabra dripping with pastel waxes, a 1960s typewriter and a painting of the Mona Lisa turned medusa all sit together in a beautifully chaotic mess. Giant paper butterflies hang from the ceiling and faux tree trunks swirl through the corners set off by flashing fairy lights, flickering candles and a Sanyo projector pumping out psychedelic colours.
Arthur Brown, the self proclaimed ‘God of Hellfire’, sets himself on fire in Lewes
Even the people look as if they’ve wandered off a film set. One man strolls past me in a lab coat. He’s holding two conical flasks and has a blue Turkish eye painted on his forehead. Another lady has opted for a heavy black cape and an ornate Venetian mask with a long nose and deep red gemstones. When Arthur finally arrives, he’s undeniably the most normal thing in the room. Continue reading