Ho,ho,ho Christmas is coming upon us fast.
PANIC. No cards sent and no presents bought, not that I have any money; but then, who has?
Saturday night and what a cracker. Just about squeezed myself into The Bridge to have a listen to The Tom Killner Band. But first an honourable mention for Jesse Courts who produced one of the stronger female acoustic performances I’ve seen on a Saturday night in 2012. A great set of covers ranging across so many song genres – particularly liked The Queen number. I suspect we’ll be seeing a lot more from this young lady into 2013.
As for the Tom Killner Band…….. with a cracking atmosphere in the pub, Tom slammed out his blues; his guitar technique shows maturity beyond his years, and there were signs in this performance that he is beginning to find and experiment with his own sound more.
Make the most of the chances of listening to this amazing talent locally as it will not be long before Tom is heading off to more exotic venues………….
Next chance to spot Tom locally is on the 2ndt February when he Band at the Goat Leaf CD launch which also launches the “Live at the Trades” series of Rock Concerts.
The great music didn’t end there on Saturday. Mick headed off to take a look at The Charters where The Sons of El Roacho were in residence with their Psychobilly punk rockin’. Mick’s verdict, excellent music but what a pity about that not more were in attendance and where was the heating? Hate to say it, but all the signs of dyeing pub. The Sons of El Roacho have built a fantastic reputation for themselves locally and rightly so as they always produce a great show. It really does surprise me that they don’t get bigger Gigs to play, especially when you see some of the Bands imported by Agents from the North East that populate our Working Men’s Clubs for much of the year.
For me it was back to Rawmarsh Trades and Labour where Mike Burton and the Soulmen were plying their wares. Packed Club. Dancing all the way and a fantastic atmosphere. Simply fantastic entertainment even if one is being a snob, the harmonies were not that fantastic, and on one occasion they even started to sing the wrong song to the backing tracks…………. but no one cared. Particularly impressive was the way it was clear that the play list was altered to suit the audience and atmosphere at any one time, a trick that a lot more acts be they in the WMCs or on the pub circuit could learn.
A pointer to two look back videos of Rotherham Artists out and about. The Urban Piano project, featuring a special appearance by twinkle fingers Vicky Hilton ( a talent she has kept under her hat from me – probably frightened that she would be invited to become a Masher). HERE The second celebrates the brave souls who headed to the Imperial Building Winter Market, which the Masher could not get to as Son Number 1 was recovering from a hangover, (he has paid the price. (HERE - only just as I went to set the link the presentation disappeared from Facebook.)
And the great music just keeps carrying on into Christmas. Seasonal, hohoho, Leather Zoo set off on their Eurotrash Tour on Wednesday night and hits Rotherham on Friday. And what a show they have with the best of Euro Punk from across the Continent, supplemented with a few local bands and singers, including one of Rotherham’s young bubbling under Bands, Waiting for Eddie. The Rotherham leg of the Tour is at The Charters (hope the heating is on and it has some beer) on Friday 21st December, yes that’s this FRIDAY. The Tour is travelling the Northern Midlands, and Manchester.
If you’ve not caught up with Leather Zoo you can find their music HERE. It’s simply classic Punk and now has a togetherness that comes only from lots of gigging; and that is exactly what Leather Zoo do, continually touring Germany and other parts of Europe and even the USA. So for a real Party get yourself to the Charters on Friday. AND IT’S FREE
If you still have energy after this Christmas Party, then The Bridge on Saturday is where you will want to be, with Papa Legba’s, beating out their rhythms and causing much wriggling around the Town from 9:00pm
And also at The Bridge on Saturday evening, something just a little bit different with BOT, that’s Bunch of Thespians to you and I. From 7:15pm and for £3 to get into the upstairs room you’ll be treated to a potboiler of serious and comedy sketches entitled “Here Comes a BOT”. Worth getting into the Club a couple of hours earlier for one week to catch this show.
But a quick step backwards to Wednesday night 19th and the ROMPers will be having their last ROMP of 2012 at SNAFU; the atmosphere is bound to be Festive so get down to SNAFU for a poem or two, and everyone is welcome.
Another of the monthly events that is bound to have a great seasonal atmosphere will be the Davenports Ballads singers session at The Riverside in Sheffield. Bound to be an atmospheric night for the singers out there. That’s Wednesday.
Amongst all this activity though it’s sad to report the demise of The Cross Keys, Handsworth Club. The Club started as a mixed genre Club with a great mix of music, storytelling and poetry, with a monthly invited guest. Indeed the Masher has had several very memorial nights at The Club, where one was always assured of audience participation and, lump in his throat, appreciation. And whenever I’ve guested we’ve always had a good audience, but sadly the Land Lord has decided that recently attendances have not been at their best, and I know from experience myself, unfortunately, that Club nights have been cancelled, or moved, and while Roy has tried to call everyone it’s not worked, in the sense that he has failed to contact the full potential audience, sometimes involving people in long unnecessary round trips. It’s also unfortunate that he still feels unable to talk to me – so I can’t get the late programme changes out via the RAE / Acoustic Rotherham Networks.
The word on the Street is that Roy is currently out trying to find another venue for the Club. It would be nice if he felt able to keep me in the loop.
The Christmas Nellie Folk is confirmed for Friday 28th at The Bridge. Going to be great fun this as down stairs there will be an eighteenth birthday party rocking on – and I’m invited to both…… so it’s a guitar in hand job.
The first Nellies of 2013, 28th January will be in a new format; a new format for Nellie Folk that is; yes it’s going to Folk in the Round. A neat circle will be formed and acts will sing one song each throughout the evening. Sounds as if we might have to time our runs to the bar better. I can see why this has been done; to try and breathe some new breath into the Meetings, and I hope that it will work. We can’t afford to lose another Club in the area.
Speaking of which I see from the latest edition of Stirrings that The Rock is to go fortnightly, with each month having one, let’s call it, big name and the second Saturday for more local quality performers. While the programme is in Stirrings it has not yet made The Rock’s Web Site, fingers crossed that they will have it all sorted before January.
The full listings can be found on our listings page HERE. We will endeavour to keep things current over the Christmas period. Always check Web Sites where available during the Holiday weeks as every Club will be making it’s own arrangements to celebrate the season and unfortunately few will give changes to the norm wide publicity.
It was fantastic to see Pete Stone pop up on Facebook yesterday, showing that recovery from his operation is well underway. All power to you mate, and given that clearly your fingers have not been affected we hope to see you out there playing for Pam very soon.
Fans of Mike Harding who have been upset by his removal from the Radio 2 Folk Show will be pleased to learn that his view on the Folk scene will still be accessible via an On Line Radio Station and Podcast. You can find Mike’s new Show at www.mikehardingfolkshow.com from the 30th December at 5:00pm. It will then run for the week to be replaced by the new show. The old show will be put in a archive and made available as a Podcast.
Charity CDs and Christmas songs come to my Inbox, / News feed. Thanks guys. So let’s point you to some goodies starting with the Liverpool Hillsborough Fund’s “He’s Not Heavy He’s My Brother”. It’s available as a hard copy for £2 and 89p as an MP3 Download from our Amazon Store HERE
Being a complete snob, you will not find the XFactor recording in our store. Being a bit cynical or judgemental; finding it strange that Simon has decided to make the Xfactor recording a Charity Record.
Here’s something for nought – a performance live from his kitchen or shed from Germany Based Alan Moorhouse “Oh Sod It! Here Comes Christmas”, surely a must for next years NOW Christmas Album (you know that you’re getting old when you can remember the first twenty track version on vinyl – it’s now a three CD Collection!) Alan’s song is HERE While closer to home the Bar Steward Son’s of Val Doonigan have launched their Christmas video. Be afraid, as they launch into a typical BSS version of “Do They Know It’s Christmas” , it’s something I’ve often wondered about Bansley, indeed often wondered if Barnsley knew that there was life beyond Tesco. Find it HERE
There are also some excellent tracks released by good friends of Acoustic Rotherham and RAE. Dylan fans will be interested in young John McCullagh, yes, he who made his debut on stage during the Fringe Festival in Rotherham, who has recorded some cover versions of Dylan songs which he has put on SoundCloud HERE The recordings demonstrate the talent this young man has. I can also report he is already building a fine reputation for himself around the County.
Dylan Brierley another young gentleman who is building a fine reputation has his EP Black Sheep available. We’ve got it in our Amazon Store for just under three quid for the download. HERE It’s excellent.
And one from one of Yorkshire Folk’s unsung heroes of promoters and singers, Stephen Mathews of the Acoustic G String Fame has released a song of his very own “Albatross”. Great to see Stephen flourishing out there; and incidentally, he writes a mean News Letter as well. Check out his song HERE
And here's a bit of my favourite blues man from the North of the County, if only because he's let me play with his former girl friend's wooden leg. Chris Martin. If you've not had him at your Club, he's a must. Click HERE
And there’s still time, especially if you’re stumped for a Christmas present, to buy one of the astonishing Slamfest T shirts for the remarkable price of £4 plus bus fare to Rotherham Town Centre to pick them up. Details of how to order HERE
More Christmas goodies, and you might find some unique presents at the Swinton Lock Art Centre. Pop in, and there are some excellent bargains to be had in the Sale they have on. More details HERE
And who remembers our man from Germany Kurt. Back in April he played to a very select yet sensationally appreciative audience at The Bridge. Kurt has a new CD out, and he promises to have it in the post to you before Christmas if you order before 11pm on 24th December. When it’s delivered, that will be anyone’s guess. Email Kurt for more details
On RAE matters. The programme for “Live At The Trades” continues to take shape. This week we’ve added The East Street Band and DirtyDylan to the line-up for the year. Despite some dreadful shift patterns Mick has been grinding away. The difficult bit will be setting up the local showcase shows, so Bands please bear with him. We are also looking to put more feature nights on, let us know of Bands and music you would like to hear – Email HERE but more of that in the New Year I suspect.
Hope to get more of the Live at The Trades Web Site going before too long. Check it out HERE
We’d also like to hear from young folks who would like to help us with the Festivals and events during 2013. Perks, a T Shirt when we get to print them, free entry tom RAE events, the gratitude of two old men and if we get the sponsorship, who knows? food, water, and if you are big boys / girls beer. Duties will include all sorts of interesting activities – from ticket sales to fly posting, etc, etc, etc. If you would like to join us for a Meeting in the New Year Email HERE That includes anyone who would like to volunteer to work with RAE.
Acoustic Rotherham continues to consult about it’s future. If you’ve a view, or an idea that will make it sexier and more attractive to the none performer, please Email HERE
Yes times will be very hard in 2013, and for the Arts in particular. Before you cheer about Pickles pledge to freeze Council Tax for yet another year be very careful what you wish for, because when the freeze is put against the cuts that our Council will be expected to make and the current inflation rate many of the services we take for granted will be under threat – well not threat – they will simply have to be cut. WARNING once they are gone, they will be gone forever. Make it your New Year’s Resolution to make your voice heard, and protest against this so called caring Government.
I’m passing on this message / Facebook posting from Steve, and if you can help in anyway, please do:
“After a four year wait, Steve Rogers and Taiba Yasseen are embarking on the final play of The Kashmir Project – the “jewel in the crown” of Open Minds Theatre Company’s artistic work. The plan is to tour this next year to Rotherham, Sheffield, Huddersfield, Bradford, Luton, Oxford, Birmingham and Leicester.
Would you like help this happen? We have made an application to the Arts Council but, as many of you know, the Arts Council like match funding and we need to raise some.
Your support will make a real difference to help complete this unique work telling the story of the Kashmiri community in Rotherham.
Donations whether small or very big would be extremely welcome and acknowledged in the programme.” CLICKHERE
And from projects looking to get underway in 2013 the Justgiving site may provide you with an extra tool in your tool kit.
STOP PRESS: More bad news from the music side of things. I’ve just found out, probably well behind everyone else, that Andy Hoult of Toein’ In the Dark has done something nasty to his hand which involved a two day break in Hospital. My source tells me that he on the mend and we’ll be hearing him playing and singing in the New Year.
There’s exciting Toein’ In the Dark News coming our way in the New Year, so stay tuned.
That’s it for the moment – sorry I’ve left a load of stuff out, but time presses and I must get this Blog live.
OK, you’ve twisted my arm before I go. A picture, not sure where I collected it from, of our Rotherham Town Centre Team lapping up being over shadowed by the Guardsmen. I for one will not be deliberately upsetting them in 2013 given the friends they have.
Whatever you are doing this week have great fun, support your local artists and KEEP IT LIVE