Sunday, 5 September 2010

Mashers Having Fun. Topcliffe + Chapeltown + Play On. And Other Stuff

It’s a busy time for everyone as the last of the Summer Festivals and rush of Autumn activities get underway.  Locally September looks to be one of the busiest yet – just look at all the good things happening HERE.

The Mashers have been busy to.
Last week we travelled North to The Angel Inn, Topcliffe, a sleepy North Yorkshire rural very picturesque village, where Stephen Mathew’s had put together a fantastic weekend of acoustic music at The Angel, with a fantastic list of Regional artists. 

Well done to Steve.  I know what a nightmare it is to put on just a half day event, so to put on a two day event was very brave indeed.  

So it’s sad to have to say that overall attendance for the event was not as one would have hoped, given the pre-event publicity it got on Radio and in the local media.  

Of course August Bank Holiday weekend is traditionally a hard nut to crack, especially for music events.  The Leeds Festival dominating and Whitby winding down tend to drain the available music minded folks of money and enthusiasm. 

But sadly, and if we are truly honest, it’s very rare these days not to head home from one these events feeling that one has truly widened one’s audience base beyond the other artists that were appearing.
As an aside, it was sad to learn from Ian Swinburn that because audience numbers had fallen away so dramatically that the Loftus Hiring Fairs had come to an end.  It was afterall the Loftus events that gave birth to Acoustic Rotherham.  So sad news indeed. 

Here's a thought though.  I feel as artists that sometimes we let ourselves down.  We tend to take these Hiring Fair type events for granted in as far as we give little publicity to making an appearance, and in some cases turn up just in time to do our set and then once done clear off.  

Perhaps we need to give more in terms of making sure people know about an event and then making sure that we give the time to listen to the maximum number of acts and network with those taking part.
But back to The Angel and it was fantastic to meet up with so many of our Myspace / Facebook / Reverbnation friends from “up North” again, and make some new friends.  In fact for Phil with his Mr Phillip Hartley hat on the Festival was a raving success as his solo set was just amazing, showcasing his brilliant songs superbly.   “And about time!”   Said Dickie to himself.

He didn’t let himself down in his role as a Masher either as we performed a typical Masher forty minutes or so.  

The jam session was really good.  In fact for Phil the whole afternoon might have been described as one big Jam session as he was recruited into nearly every act performing at some point.  Just check out the photographs from the afternoon to see what I mean HERE.  Masher Invoices for his services will be dispatched immediately………………………….   (lol)

So well done Steve.  A fantastic weekend of music, and I know, like The Mashers, all the artists appreciated showcasing their music.   Thanks to for the amazing hospitality.

Monday found us heading for The Chapeltown Music Festival, at The Commercial, the thirteenth, according to publicity.  No Masher songs though as Dickie could not get to the event before mid-afternoon because of work commitments and a shock surprise to the format of the event. 

No change to the Singaround format upstairs where many familiar faces could be found exchanging their songs, including Dave Kidman, who is always good value for a song or two – he’s at the next Acoustic Rotherham.

But downstairs it was all change.   The popular informal open session which made the event so popular with many musicians had been changed to an Open Mic format.   

I’m not sure that this worked.   I for one couldn’t hang about, and Phil had to meet his Partner from the rail station.  I also know that this applied to a few other people, and a few instrumentalists who had come along to join in with others only to find a “showcase” type format.   

A little re-think may be required on this one.   But then, it depends what the Organisers are looking for.   But the Masher view was that it was a pity that the informal session atmosphere was lost.
Pictures from the event can be found HERE

The week ended with The Mashers heading for the Play On Club at The Fat Cat on Kelham Island.
It’s hard to put into words the strange feeling I get going to Play On.   The Club will always have the ghost of Myke within the room for me.   OK it was my second non Myke visit, but the last time I was on Myke duty, this time it was as The Mashers, and playing with a new musical partner.   Very strange.

Despite throwing an error into each of our songs, I think we managed to get through this one. 

So good to see Phoebe out, and performing again with her new musical collaborations.  And there were some other fine performances on the night.  My apologies to one or two who followed The Masher songs, I had to go outside and get some fresh air and to clear the head emotionally, unfortunately missing some people I really wanted to hear.   

It’s been pretty lively for The Mashers on the Internet to, although I don’t know how or why.  Internet traffic has generally been slow over the last couple of weeks, it always happens at this time of year as folks get out and about.   We’ve now broken the 10,000 plays barrier on Reverbnation and reclaimed the local Number One spot from our good friends Jack’s Rake for a whole week and if that were not enough our National position at number ten is very flattering, perhaps too flattering.  

On Myspace it’s hard to tell what’s going on at the moment.  There are just so many changes that it’s all getting a little complicated. 

Both The Masher and Acoustic Rotherham pages on our main Web Site are undergoing cosmetic changes and updates.  Please let me know what you think of the look and feel of the site. 
Over the coming couple of weeks or so I hope to update all The Masher and Acoustic Rotherham “Profiles” on the various sites.  

The site also hosts The Myke Barritt Music Trust.  Here, you can find all the Myke Barritt stuff – rare exclusive downloads that help boost Trust Funds and all the latest News from the Trust. 
There is a little break in Trust News at the moment as the key players are all involved in Sylvie’s move to Rotherham.  She now has a date for the move and so you can expect things to start happening again from October. 

The countdown to Artisan’s visit to Hillsborough Folk in conjunction with Acoustic Rotherham is very much on.   The good news is that the evening is going to be completely acoustic which means that we’re in for some really special performances. 
If you’ve not reserved or booked your ticket yet head off HERE.  The problem with the On line Order form has now been sorted.

Tickets are limited and are currently going like “hot cakes” so the atmosphere should be brilliant. 
If you missed it – the brilliant Folk On Fire will be supplying the main support, with The Mashers doing a short stint as hosts.  Should be fun. 

The Mashers are out again next weekend at The Wirksworth Festival.  I think there’s a problem with my Email with the Promoter so watch the update Emails for when and where notification. 

Mr Phillip Hartley – as himself - will be performing a full Concert performance at The Woodland Hotel in Leeds on the 18th September – full details HERE

And of course you can keep up to date with the latest News as it comes in HERE

That’s it for this week.

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