Sunday, 11 March 2012

It's All Going On - Want to be Part of it Read On Poets, Artists and Musicians

Live stuff first this week, and a query, why were there not more of you in The Bridge last night to listen to Swansong?

They are undoubtedly one of the stand out Bands playing the local scene.  They are regular Giggers around the South Yorkshire area and a little beyond.  And they would get a lot more Gigs, only, as one Promoter said to me, “they don’t have a following”. 

Last night I saw them play an energised first set at The Bridge, edgy, skilful and full on, covering rock classics to the more rocky Beatles numbers.  They performed like true troopers and professionals to a handful of listeners. 

So why might this be the case?  Indeed why is it that many of our local Bands find themselves not getting the recognition they deserve? 

My own view is that it’s down to “profile”.  The musicians who play in these Bands do so because they simply enjoy playing and sharing their music.  Swansong very much reflect this, no frills, nothing added, simply good wholesome rock and blues. 

But these days to get a following it would seem that there has to be an added extra, audiences are looked for added value when it comes to investing their time in following or turning out to listen to a Band. 

Take for example Leeds Pirate Band Seas of Mirth, OK the music might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but they give much, much more, result, wherever they play, a near full house.

More locally the amazing Papa Legbas have by hard work and development of the Band’s character and staging have achieved the near impossible, popularity while playing their own songs, pulling audiences wherever they go.  It’s been a privilege to witness their growing fame.  But again the Band offer more that little bit of value added, be it the mix of instruments or the staging.

Now, I’m not suggesting that every Band should go off and develop silly things to do that might hold the attention of an audience, far from it, but what I am saying is that Bands do need to consider what their unique selling point might be.  What is it that they can do to create a following who will turnout in sufficient numbers to make a Band attractive enough to book on a regular basis or for Event Promoters to have at the top of their list for Booking into Festival events etc. 

And with my Promoters hat on, I know exactly how important this is.  If money is being invested then one needs to be certain that at least costs are going to be covered, which means Bands that attract an audience are always go to get first pickings.

As Artists of all genres discover, creativity and talent are not enough in a competitive market.  Luck and hard marketing graft is also required.

But let not this take away from a fine evening’s entertainment on one of The Mashers rare forays out this past week.   And if Jon’o thinks that the dark glasses and military hat will in some way disguise him enough to keep HMRC off his back, he can think again.  And to hear their great sound GO HERE

It was good to see ROMPers and other faces in the audience though and have a good chat with Karen, Swansong’s brilliant and attractive singer.  A Lady of many talents if ye go and search out the Web Site HERE

And another man of many talents got hold of the tunes on my phone last night, and the result……. He was clearly disappointed at what he found……

If you’ve not come across Chris Bilton’s work, go and take a look on his Facebook page HERE

But the BIG NEWS of the week is that Roy Blackman has declared himself fit.  It means we can now get down to being serious about promoting the CD.  “Roy Blackman – Rotherham’s Man of Memories”.   You’ll find Roy’s planned itinerary on his Gig list HERE.   PLEASE NOTEthis is not where Roy will be making “Guest Appearance”  it’s where he will be heading with a supply of CDs and the off chance that he might be offered a “Floor Spot”.

Roy’s CD is now also available via Amazon as an MP3 Download.  For reasons unknown it’s appearing only on their American site, I’m sure someone will tell me why, but hey, don’t let that put you off if you only want the songs or a song without the brilliant insert with all the lyrics.   His Amazon listing is HERE


Roy will be one of Guests taking part in the Words and Music Presentation as part of Banners High on the 2nd June.   We’re waiting for venue confirmation, but we have an excellent afternoons programme of music and Theatre developing.  I’m currently awaiting one or two final confirmations and then we will be able to publish the full programme. 

Tickets are already available for the full day HERE with a few special offers and the usual concessions.  You’ll also find opportunities to buy advanced tickets to each of the afternoon and evening sessions.  We’re expecting tickets to go quite quick so jump in quick and place your order.

Plans for Slamfest continue apace.   We have four key opportunities for people to get involved and take part in the event.

1.     1.  POEM IN PICTURES -   Get in touch with Vicky Hilton about this one.  It’s an idea that she and the afore mentioned Chris Bilton came up with.   Rotherham ‘s Artists are being invited to paint or sketch a picture including the words of a poem which we will Exhibit during the week.  It’s also our intention to continue this through to The Rotherham Open Arts Festival where the best will be selected for Exhibition throughout the month of October.    Contact Vicky HERE

2.    2. SCRIPT WRITING -  We’re looking for short scripts 15 – 30 minute max from writers to be performed by the FOF Theatre Company  in a 90 minute presentation during Slamfest.  Once again we intend to use the material during the Fringe of The Rotherham Open Arts Festival on a mini tour of the Borough.  If you want to enter your Play, Email the script HERE Closing date is the end of April.

3.     3.  FRINGE FESTIVAL CORPORATE IMAGE – This is a competition for Arts, Digital Artists and designers.  It’s open to anyone in South Yorkshire.  We require a full Corporate image for the Fringe Festival, a design that we can use on Posters, Communications etc. .  All entries will be exhibited during SLAMFEST and a winner selected on Saturday 28th July.  There’s a two hundred pound first prize and the top two entries will have an opportunity to exhibit a limited number of pieces during The Rotherham Open Arts Festival in October.   All entries must be submitted by 7th July 2012.

4.     4.  BANDS AND MUSICIANS – On Saturday the 28th July we intend to flood the Pubs and outside areas of Rotherham with music.  If your Band or act would like to be involved with this then contact Mick Hill HERE 

Keep your eyes peeled because there may well be other opportunities to take part.

All details of the above can also be found on the Slamfest page HERE

Following on from last week’s Blog Rotherham Arts Events now has a TAB on the Acoustic Rotherham Web Site.  You can find a very general introduction to what it’s all about and Team as it stands at the moment.

You’ll also find more detailed Role descriptions for the two key posts that we are seeking to fill at the moment, the most important of which is the role of COMMERCIAL FUND RAISER.  Check it out HERE

Any questions about RAE or any of the Events Email HERE

There will be no sitting back as we seek to produce some quality events.

Just a reminder that time is running out to get your name down for consideration to take part in the Wath Folk Festival “Silver Roots” Competition on Saturday 5th May at The Red Lion, Wath.  2:00pm.  A chance for emerging, if that’s the right word, over 45’s to go through their paces for a £50 prize and tickets to the remaining main event of the Festival.  Yes….. and a Cup.   A lap of honour of Wath upon winning is also mandatory, so you had also better be fit.  EMAIL HERE or HERE putting “Silver Roots Entry” in the Subject line.

Our good friends from Malvern, that’s Worcestershire, have a super new CDEP out “Nothing to Declare”.  You’ll find some fantastic original rockin’ blues, so nip over to their Web Site HERE and sample the great sound on offer.  Best of all it’s cheap…….. ish.

I was pleased to see that Cairan Boyle’s CD Launch at The Riverside last week was a fantastic success.  There’s some great a great clip that you can find HERE  and to find out how to get your hands of a copy of the CD you’ll need to go HERE

I’m sure I’m missing something important, but time presses on so we’ll head towards the good things coming this week. 

For those who live on the other side of the Hill in that other County, this week sees the start of the Manchester Irish Festival, which of course is giving our mate Dom Collins every excuse to drag out all his aged Irish jokes!    This year’s Festival looks to be as lively as ever with Parades and fantastic Celtic Music throughout. 

And of course there is the full range of activities throughout the week, and no lesser day than the 17th March, next Saturday, when The Mashers will be heading to The Cannon in Worksop, The Rogues will be doing their thing at SNAFU in Rotherham, and Mark Hearne makes his Annual pilgrimage to The George and Dragon at Wentworth.   You lucky, lucky people. 

You can check all the details out HERE on the Diary pages.

And of course, we’ve added more Festivals to the Festival page, there are more links on the Resources Page.

And thank you to all.  Last week the Acoustic Rotherham Web Site had a record number of hits for a non-event / controversy week.  Please keep spreading the Word, especially now that it has won Universal Approval as it now can be read on Phones, Ipads, Laptops and desktops.    We love you all.

So whatever you are doing this week, have a great one, enjoy yourselves and please support local music, especially next weekend, and KEEP IT LIVE.

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