FOR husband and wife team James and Amy Walker, Brighthelmstone Promotions started as a hobby.

But now, a year on, the Americana-loving pair have established a dedicated venue at The Palmeira in Cromwell Road, Hove, have their own label At The Helm Records, and even represent a roster of artists, including Hans Chew, Small Town Jones and Peter Bruntnell.

Former school-trip salesman James and Amy, who still works a day job in the unrock-and-roll world of pensions regulation, got involved through Tony Humble – the landlord of The Palmeira.

“I used to work with Tony as a DJ and helping put on the [late lamented Brighton Americana series] Gilded Palace Of Sin shows at the King And Queen,” says James. “When Tony moved to the Palmeira he offered me the chance to do some live music there.”

Bruntnell was the first artist the new promotion company put on stage last April, with support from their future first label signing, Small Town Jones.

“We have a capacity of about 130 people,” says James, who helped build the stage and set up the venue. “We want to make the Palmeira Hove’s home for Americana. Our aim is to bring world-class musicians to Brighton.”

The past few weeks have seen Brighthelmstone host the likes of Old Man Luedecke and former American Music Club frontman Mark Eitzel at The Palmeira, and New Orleans’ Hurray For The Riff Raff at Brighton’s Green Door Store in Trafalgar Street Arches.

There’s more to come, including North Carolina’s Malcolm Holcombe, whose famous fans include Emmylou Harris and Steve Earle, at the Prince Albert in Trafalgar Street on Friday, September 21, and Cincinnati’s Wussy and the American Werewolf Academy at the Green Door Store on Saturday, September 29.

“Somebody said to us after one show, ‘Thank you for bringing Elliott Brood back to Brighton’,” says James. “There is no better feeling than a band you have booked going on for their encore and the people going mad.”

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“WE just bumble along and take the opportunities when they come.”

One Inch Badge founder Alex Murray’s self-effacing description hides the reality of how his label has grown in five years to be one of the most well-respected promoters in Brighton.

Having worked for major label Sony and the more DIY Southern Records, Murray saw both sides of the industry.

“Having seen how much Sony wasted it was nice to go somewhere where every penny mattered,” he says. “Southern was spending the artists’ money, so they wanted to know where every £100 went.”

One Inch Badge began in February 2007 when Murray’s friend and future promotions manager Todd Jordan was looking to release a 7in version of his band My Device’s new single.

“Our first releases were for people we were friends with,” says Murray. These included split 7in singles for the likes of Why?, Casiotone For The Painfully Alone, Lovers and Future Islands, who recorded a track that had been rejected by cult children’s TV show Yo Gabba Gabba.

One Inch Badge’s live promotions began at the same time, with a series of not-for-profit shows at the Prince Albert.

“It was an expression of our tastes,” remembers Murray. “It was about putting four bands we loved together, irrespective of genre.”

It’s a model One Inch Badge has continued with the launch of the annual Seamonsters Festival in January 2011 – featuring the best of Brighton’s music scene at the Albert in support of a nationally released compilation.

Now One Inch Badge programme live music at The Haunt in Pool Valley, and in November will host their 400th show. Former Concorde 2 programmer James Mckeown has helped One Inch Badge diversify into the dance world in a new collaboration with long-running breaks night Supercharged.

They even have a booking agency arm, responsible for The Computers, Nina Nastasia, B Dolan and Boat To Row, among others.

Future special One Inch Badge shows are College introducing the film Drive at the Duke Of York’s Picturehouse on Saturday, November 17, and The Tallest Man On Earth playing St Bart’s Church in Ann Street, on Monday, October 29.

And they have the hotly tipped Haim, Policia, Dan Deacon, Toy, 2:54 and Mike Skinner’s new project The D.O.T. all in Brighton soon.

The label continues, with the 12in vinyl version of Sons Of Noel And Adrian’s second album Knots, as well as the third Seamonsters compilation.

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TRU Thoughts, the label started by DJ Rob Luis and promoter Paul Jonas in 1999, was a series of club nights before their first signing – a bedroom DJ going under the name of Bonobo.

As the label grew though, the focus moved away from live shows.

“We couldn’t concentrate on both promoting the club and the label,” says Luis. “Over the past few years we do more one-off events.”

The label has grown year-on-year, to the extent they are now facing their biggest pre-orders to date with Hidden Orchestra’s forthcoming album.

“For us as a label, the physical sales have increased every year since we started,” says Luis, showing how Tru Thoughts is bucking the international trend.

“For the artists gigging it’s a good way to promote their music and get a little bit of extra income on top, as there are so many people downloading music illegally now.” The label picked up the likes of Bonobo and Quantic while they were still working on their music in their bedrooms.

“We didn’t pay Bonobo an advance when we signed him,” says Luis. “He hadn’t incurred any big costs and we could release his music without adding any real costs apart from manufacturing the CDs.”

Luis still DJs regularly, and hosts his own show on Juice 107.2.

“I’m always searching for new music,” he says. “I don’t want to be playing the same records I played five years ago.”

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A Battle Of The Titans: Ninja Tune vs Tru Thoughts, featuring Qemists, Zed Bias, Rodney P, The Herbaliser and Fallacy, is at Concorde 2, in Madeira Drive, Brighton, on Saturday, September 15, from 11pm. Tickets cost £10, call 01273 673311.