Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Committment / Slamfest and Jack's Rake Reviewed.

Yes, the Blogs are reaching you all a bit late recently, my apologies but……….    Well you don’t want the excuses.

Much that one like to think that energy batteries will run and run, it’s not the case in reality and sometimes especially when submerged b y a load of figures and notes, one just needs to walk away and take stock.

And so it was. ……

First lesson of the week is that around every corner getting a Festival together lays a nasty hole, normally requiring that it be filled with money. 

Our Commercial Fund Raising Team are doing well given that Rotherham Art Events does not as yet have a track record, but there is little doubt that we are hampered by the big promises made by others not so long ago to deliver major music events in Rotherham and failed………  

Slamfest, with no public funding to date, will go ahead, of that Mick Hill, the Committee and I are determined.  Which is why the loved and treasured Mashing Machine is to be sold so that all the set up expenses of Rotherham Art Events can be covered meaning that we can push on.

The Mashing Machine is a Taylor 810CE, currently available new for £2,600 at  where you can also find the full spec of the guitar.  The only difference is that machine heads are black and not gold coloured. 

More details and ball park figures and deal can be got by Emailing Dickie HERE

And what a week of events is being planned  23rd – 29th July  from a Special Festival Nellie Folk with what we hope will be a great turnout of Rotherham Folk singers and culminating red hot Rock Rotherham Saturday (sixty + Bands, ten + stages plus loads of surprises) and Chill out Sunday at The Queens, Rawmarsh, with some cool chill out acoustic music.

The full Slamfest details are HERE, Rock Rotherham and Chill out Sunday details going up HERE, and all the information about Rotherham Art Events can be found HERE

It’s not too late to get involved.  Advertising from £25 and opportunities to Sponsor Stages and Events throughout the Festival.   You’ll need to speak to Lisa HERE

Volunteer to help us set it the Show up, everything from brain to brawn required.  Email your details to Jane HERE and she’ll put you to work. 

This is just the start folks, if this one all runs to plan – well happens – then we’ll be able to look forward to more in the Years ahead.

Rotherham Art Events backs Rotherham Artists with more than fine words, and what’s more we are all inclusive and our Door is open to all.

Now, while I’ve been doing my thinking, I’ve been listening to “Jack’s Rake”,  no don’t be silly, Masher Towers is not big enough accommodate the Band, I’ve had to make do with the CD also titled “Jack’s Rake”.   I’ve been looking forward to listening to the CD for Months and I’ve not been disappointed.

On the technical side, my congratulations to the sound geeks, they have managed to capture the big band sound absolutely perfectly, in fact it’s probably one of the best engineered CDs of it’s genre that I’ve listened to. 

The standard of playing was always going to be high, but the level of musicianship reflects the last two live Gigs I saw which were near perfection to my uneducated ear.  Even the vocals, often the weak point at live performances, (probably because the singers are straining voices above the Band to be heard) were relaxed and a delight.

The track list reflects perfectly the Band’s traditional Celtic roots yet infused by the more contemporary rhythms of the music contributed by Mark Pugh and Rob Whale. 

Well the CD certainly had my fellow dog walkers wondering what I was doing as I danced around my walking stick (don’t tell the DHSS).

I’ve been lucky enough to watch Jack’s Rake developing over the past three to four years, they’ve been fantastic supporters of Acoustic Rotherham and Dickie promoted events, and I have absolutely no hesitation in recommending that that you go out and grab this CD with both your hands, and pay the tenner I suspect that will be demanded.  The CD is worth every penny and there are a lot of mouths to feed.  Contact Mark HERE via his the Facebook page.

I’m keeping everything to the essentials for this one, so swiftly on into this week.

Yes, you’ve missed Nellie Folk, a typical high Summer gathering of the very best people I know.  So I didn’t stay to torture them with a song, leaving my handful of fliers and heading out again into the wilds that is Rotherham on a Friday night.

Thursday is looking a particularly heavy day of events.  The early reports from The Travellers at Brampton suggest that Left Handed Andy’s new Open Mic is finding a new audience.  I wish him luck.

And Friday, mustn’t forget this one, Chicago Innocence, with support from the Surrogates will be playing an event as a Rotherham Art Events Fund Raiser, at the Titans Rugby Club, from 8:00pm get in by 7:00pm if you want a moan or even find out more about RAE.  Tickets are only £3 so it should be a great old fashioned Friday night out.

And a reminder that this Saturday it’s Papa Legba’s Saturday at The Bridge, with a word for this month’s support, “Waiting for Eddie” a young Band with a big future and well worth getting in a wee bit early to listen to.

Check out the full week’s Dairy HERE

Whatever you’re doing this week, have great fun, support your local artists and KEEP IT LIVE.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Late but still Controversial in places. Slamfest spine Programme Published

Better get my finger out; I’m well behind with this week’s News Blog.In fact I'm well behind with everything at the moment.

It’s busy times; so busy that it’s becoming hard to keep up with myself. 

The backbone of Slamfest has now been published. HERE  Saturday 28th July is turning into something that might be very special for Rotherham.  A minimum of eight stages:  and to date over eighty BANDS from Metal to Folk all from Rotherham / South Yorkshire will be out and playing music throughout the Town.    The Special Web Site will be telling you more about the Bands and venues as the Day gets closer HERE  ROCK ROTHERHAM SATURDAY and it’s FREE

We also have some standout events throughout the week, featuring Rotherham Artists.  An evening of Folk Music to launch Roy Blackman’s CD “Roy Blackman – Rotherham’s Man of Memories”.  Keystone Acoustic will be hosting the night, with special guest Paul Pearson.  

We have a super evening fusing the musical satire and punk style of Pocketful of N’owt with the poetical talents of Mike Watts and Joe Hakim warming their engines for this year’s Edinburgh Festival, and Jon Barrington. 

At the end of the week Rotherham’s  FOF Theatre Company will be performing the work of some local script writers for an evening’s entertainment, and on a separate evening performing two of their own pieces also penned by local writers, but in house to FOF.

Friday 27th, being the man’s Birthday, we will be celebrating Myke (Masher) Barritt with this year’s  FREE Memorial Concert with Brain Bomb headlining at The Bridge in Rotherham.   Something a little different, there will also be a short burst of some classy blues from The Abbot of Unreason (joining us for the entire weekend from Worcestershire’s Southern climes) and Majority Vote.

Keep an eye on any late developments, ticketing arrangements etc and venues HERE

It’s fantastic to see more Sponsors coming on Board almost daily and a reminder that the deadline for advertising copy for the Official Printed Festival Programme is July 1st.

RAE can only promote these events with the goodwill and support of the local Business Community and if you want to get involved please contact Lisa HERE 

Another local Festival promoting local artists, with a Charitable aim is Beanfest.  For the second year the Festival will be taking place at The Park View in Swinton, (in my view even better as it’s taking the Bands out of the Town to show off their talent to audiences that may not be familiar with their work) and runs on 14th July.   This year they have a fantastic line up, including some amazing tribute Bands, which makes it even more remarkable that they have been able to keep the Festival FREE Full details on the their Web Page page HERE

Those with a keen eye will have noted that while interconnected all the various Web Sites are stand a lone addresses, and this has obviously meant that the rating of that had been our traditional landing address is dropping like a stone.  But it’s fantastic to report that RAE and the Acoustic Rotherham Web Sites already head of and are improving daily.  Great News for a local interest site. 

And so to move to the sad bit of this week’s Blog.  The release of the Statement and Minutes of what was the Myke Barritt Music Trust. 

You can find both HERE published along with the documents presented to the EGM.

Sad times.  There is so much that could be said but to be honest I’ve not got the energy to visit the questions that perhaps should have been answered at the EGM.  I would simply make the following observations.

The three people noted as having resigned from the Committee at the EGM, were, after of course Phoebe and Sylvia, the three most hardworking and active Committee Members of MBMT, what a pity that the EGM were not moved to thank Jane, Barrie and Sue for their work over the past couple of years. 

Looking at the assembled people at the EGM I was left scratching my head as to how a majority could make any decisions or be involved in the decision making process having not been privy to previous Meetings or the nature of the disagreement that led to half the former Committee resigning, and a fourth Member making it clear that he was unhappy with what had been going on.  But hey, that’s democracy at work………….   I think.  Indeed, much can be taken from the enthusiasm of the assembled “Members” that they could not find enough volunteers to form a Committee.

That’s it on the subject from me; I think the whole thing does a disservice to the memory of Myke, and leaves a really bad taste in my mouth.  Even the final Minutes, agreed they may be, (and my how we could tell stories about MBMT Minutes) can hardly reflect the near three hours of discussion I believe took place. 

Oh, and for the record I will give my thanks to Sue, Barrie and Jane for all their work on behalf of the Trust, sometimes they gave up entire days to set up various “Bashes” attending sessions etc. .   I’m lucky enough to have Jane as my Assistant at Rotherham Art Events, and Sue and Barrie will remain good friends and will be taking charge of the Folk venue for Slamfest along with Keystone Acoustic at The Exchange on 28th July.

I’d also direct you to details of The Myke Barritt Song Writing Contest, judging will be part of the Fringe Festival in October, HERE

I came across a really interesting Web Site serving Barnsley, called Alternative Barnsley.  Now there’s an idea!  Take a look and let us know what you think of the content.   Alternative Barnsley is HERE

Son number one spent his weekend at Donnington Park for The Download Festival texting regular updates of life on the mud flats.  It seems that for Festival goers it’s going to be one of those years, this past weekend has not been good and the weekend ahead is looking a bit dodgy too.

And so to this week. 

TONIGHT WEDNESDAY it’s ROMP at SNAFU, should be a good one this, with the usual top guys performing.  Gav is crying out for a few more musicians to pay a visit.  Last Month Phil Sinclair popped in and really enjoyed himself, so why not you.  

Also this evening, The Sheffield Ballad Club at The Riverside in Sheffield, a fantastic traditional Club.

Tonight at The Chequers in Whiston a new Showcase evening, where regulars at their Monthly Open Mic Evenings are being offered a chance to perform longer sets.   A bit like Acoustic Rotherham  events.

This Saturday.  FOF Theatre are doing two performances of their two play Presentation at St Anne’s School.   "Tea & Kisses with Lover Jane” written by Bill Doran and "Twin Reich" written by 'Papa Legbas' percussionist Chris Cooper.  Tickets £4 for the 4:00pm performance and £5 for the 7:30pm performance.  Take it from me, it’s well worth paying these two plays a visit.

The Bridge, Rotherham, have Djinn in House who have dedicated the Show to Scott Johnson, the sound man who lost his life in that shocking accident when the stage collapsed in Canada before The Radiohead Concert.   They say that Scott was a founding member of Djinn.   All credit to the lads and our commiserations to Scott’s family and friends.

And on Sunday slightly further afield, The Cricketers at Hornbury to be exact, where our good friends Keystone Acoustic will be hosting another of their fine evenings of music.

And two heads up for next week.   Monday it’s Nellie Folk at The Bridge and on the  Friday we have a great night of music coming up where Chicago Innocence are playing a Fund Raiser for Rotherham Art Events at The Titans Rugby Club in Rotherham.  They play a magic mix of music, so get along and have a great night.  Better still tickets are only £3.  Great music – great beer and great company.  You can reserve or buy a ticket HERE

Before the Chicago Innocence Gig, there’s an Open Meeting of Rotherham Art Events for those who might like to come along to find out more about what we are about and contribute to the development of the business.

The full listings can be found HERE

Monday, 11 June 2012

All a Bit Wet. But Everyone has a Smile (In Public)

So what day of the week is it? 

Damp rot of the brain, well what part of the brain was left after the wind blowing through my ears; an extra Bank Holiday; and enough plays of “God Save The Queen” on the television to send the song to number one in the charts for years to come, all have had a negative effect upon my powers of time negotiation. 

I suppose I may not have been helped by entering my third tobacco free week and / or an hour’s radiation during Thursday’s scan.

I suppose I would have to admit that recovery from the Ed Tudor Pole Gig also figured high in the brain scrambling.  In fact I’m still not sure that I’ve fully recovered from Banners High.

A couple of bits of house keeping following Banners High.

The limited edition T shirt proved to be very popular and Mick was over joyed that his plastic bag was empty before the first act on Saturday night had started.  This of course meant that some people missed out on an opportunity to buy a T Shirt marking RAE's first event and of course Ed's visit to Rotherham.  So if we can get 25 orders we'll do a new print run of the T Shirt.  All sizes - and a quality garment for £10.  Go HERE to place order. 

And we've also got a very few Brochures available from the whole event you can buy them at this link HERE

I had sorted myself out just enough to make my way to a Meeting with ROAR’s relatively new CEO, Sharon Gill on Wednesday morning; our first, and very constructive it was to.  Personally I think there was a general meeting of the minds and a general understanding of where we currently are at. 

The keen eyed will have spotted that ROAR has undergone a bit of re-branding recently which is part of the plan to sharpen up the Web Site and services, I really hope that Sharon's enthusiasm and brilliant ideas are not to be lost on the alter of a zero budget and lack of dedicated time to the organisation. 

There's Arts Network Meeting on Thursday 21st June with something they are calling a Pecha Kucha Night, an experience that has me by in life up to now.  All kicks off at 7:30pm at The Arts Centre, Westgate.

We also had a very constructive meeting with the Clifton Park Manager on Friday, finalising the Band Stand for 28th July and looking forward to an event in mid-August that we hope to soon be able to announce. 

Should we get a Summer, Bands / Acts may like to spend a lazy Saturday or Sunday afternoon playing on the Band Stand in Clifton Park for a couple of hours, (yes, it has power, you electric boys), to be considered contact Alistair Far the Park Manager by Emailing HERE

A bit of bad news.  Su Senior slipped on her decking during the week’s dreadful weather and chipped her shoulder.  Ouch!  Sounds very painful to me, but critically she is not going to be able to put the Slamfest Brochure together, so, anyone out there who fancies helping us out by becoming our Brochure Editor, with added Portfolios if desired then please Email HERE

If I didn’t plug Papa Legba’s enough in last week’s Blog, let me give them another big shout this week.  Not only did they have a busy Saturday playing the Town Centre Street Party, the Imperial House Vintage Tea Party AND the Banners High Festival evening event supporting Ed Tudor Pole, but on Tuesday they could be found in the middle of a field in Ravenfield playing at another Golden Jubilee Party, warming up the sixty or so souls who had braved the elements.   Stamina of the highest levels chaps and chapettes, and my Masher hat off to you.  Mind you, Tim looked to be sleep walking when I bumped into him on Saturday night. 

Great to see a packed Bridge on Saturday night.  A big turnout for a rare visit from local Band Goatleaf to The Bridge.   I’m glad that I made the effort to get down as the first support Band of the night The Mudcats Blues Trio were a real treat.  A relatively new Band these young gentlemen will fast be making a huge impact on the local music scene.  Rumour has it that they have already made the Bill of the National Blues Festival. 

A mention to for 6 Needles, for a brave effort in what for their music was difficult conditions.  I’m not sure that staging the event facing into the room really worked (normally Bands face towards the bar in The Bridge) as the sound seemed to bounce off the walls creating a tidal wave of sound with little musical notation, that even I found difficult, so it wasn’t surprising that they lost a few during then set.   I’m told we’ll get a much better idea when they are unleashed in a bigger venue.

But never fear Rotherham friends, Rockin’ Mick was on hand and expect to see details of The Mudcats doing a full set in Rotherham very soon.

With only the only a bit a dusting and tidying to be done after Banners High, it’s now onwards towards Slamfest at the end of July.  We hope to be making all the key announcements over the next couple of weeks, but for those who can’t wait you can check out the line-up of over fifty Bands that will be taking part in the Rock Rotherham Saturday on the 28th July.  Keep an eye on the RAE Web Site and Facebook page status updates. 

I think we’ve left the admin fairly open on the RAE Facebook pages, BANDS do feel free to put your Gigs onto the page. 

Over the next couple of weeks I hope we’ll start to see a further knitting of the Folk / Acoustic listings with the Rock listings and a new site that will turn the spotlight on emerging and gigging Rotherham Rock Bands from across the genres.

The coming week see’s all the usual weekly and monthly sessions.  A mention for new Open Mic Sessions, both on a Thursday!    Left handed Andy will be hosting one at The Travellers, Bramley, while The Masons at Wickersley will be seeking to cash in on the demise of the Vascos night (the poster says a free pint a song, but I think it really means a pint for everyone contributing to the night, however if it is a pint a song The Masher will be heading the way of The Masons very soon, complete with his heavy song book of three hundred songs………. ) 

On Wednesday there is an interesting Festival of Documentaries starting in Sheffield.  Sheffield Doc Fest runs from the 13th – 17th June at various venues.  Full details can be got HERE

A shout to for the start of the 2012 Worcester Literary Festival.  OK it’s a bit out of our normal radius, but this is a Festival I have heard nothing but fantastic reports about, and this year’s programme looks really interesting.   Full details HERE

As it happens The Masher will be down in Worcester this weekend, taking South Yorkshire music to the unwashed of Malvern.  I’m on stage on Sunday, directly after O2 Unsigned Finalist Sam Eden:  really looking forward to that……………….   It will make for an interesting clash of cultures, he laughs.

Saturday at The Bridge has the return of The Bar Stewards Sons of Val Doonigan fresh from their sell out tour of Elsicar along with Pocketful of N’owt new drummer in tow.  It will certainly make for a great night of music.  If you can’t get down to Malvern to see the Masher this is where you want to be.  Last time the Doonigans appeared the audience was rather disappointing, so come on, there is something  for everyone, comedy, folk, acoustic, punk  and pure rock and roll. 

My attention has been drawn to a newish but growing wheeze by some people looking to make a quick buck off the back of artists.  

Create a music Web Site, import music content from Web Sites throughout the ether, Myspace etc, without any reference to the Artists and song writers and use the tricks to push the site up the Google listings.

The first the artist knows of their music being available is when they Google themselves and the Site page is thrown up.  Once on the page you are invited to take ownership of the page!!   So how does that work?    What it looks like to me is someone making money on the back of real artists via advert sales.  Not good.  The general recommendation from good friends of Acoustic Rotherham is tell them to take the page down.  

I really don’t want to promote this site, but many of the acts around Sheffield and Rotherham can find their work on this site.  HERE   Make your own mind up.

Getting your material off the site will be a bit of a battle I’m afraid.

And that’s it for this week.  All the listings etc.  Can be found HERE and expect to find a few changes on the Web Sites in the days ahead. 

Next week’s News Blog will be late because of the trip to Worcestershire.  

Whatever you are doing this week, have fun, support local artists and KEEP IT LIVE

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Rock and Roll with Banners High and More

One big Party.  It’s been a fantastic way to end the week, and we’ve an extra day to recover from the hang over, so Monarchist or Republican, there has been something for everyone to join in on in Rotherham.

I was talking to the Speaker from Republic, the Republican action Group, Ray Evans after his session at Banners High on Saturday morning, and saying how difficult it was for lads of certain age not to have a sneaking respect for The Queen, having gone through the mill of Scouting, Church, and Cadets, where respect for the Crown was paramount; especially in a Garrison Town like the one I grew up in.  But the bottom line is that in Modern Society perhaps the weekend’s celebrations in London are just a bit over top, especially in a time austerity.

But an excuse for one big Party it was.  It was fantastic to see the Town Centre full of people, having fun.  Even better to see people getting up as far as the Imperial Building, thanks to their day long Vintage Tea Party. 

Rotherham Art Events contribution to the day was an alternative celebration "Banners High" Festival.  It was also a positive first step for RAE as an organisation.  From the business side of things we were able to identify our strengths and weaknesses and the logistic problems we face mounting multi genre Art events. 

We split the day into three parts, discussion in the morning, music and words in the afternoon and a rocking Party in the evening / night, in celebration of Art as a tool of Protest.

The whole day was kicked off by the fantastic Rotherham Red Choir.  There is no better way of bringing people to order and concentrating minds than a Choir in full harmony.  There is also no better way of making sure that you have an audience for the first speaker than having a full choir in attendance. 

The first speaker of the day was a Representative from Amnesty International, bringing us up to date with the work being done in Syria and the Middle East in particular and pointing towards the contradictions in UK Government Policy, and the way the current celebrations have highlighted our links with so many unsavoury World Leaders.   The Amnesty site can be found HERE

Ray Evans from “Republic” enlightened us as to the growth in his organisation with Members coming from all Political Parties, the armed Services and public Services.  The question, as to whether a Monarchy was the best way to organise a modern Nation was central to his contribution.  You can find their Web Site HERE

Updated on the need and importance of the October General Strike The Rotherham Red Choir performed a rousing programme of Song.  All I can say is Wow.  For a morning performance, and singers amongst us will know what I mean by that, this was choral songs par excellence.  Our thanks to the Red Choir for a wonderful interlude in the discussion.

Corinna Lutz would the mornings discussions up with a really interesting analysis of the collapse of Capitalism and offering alternative ideas to the established left as to what will need to follow.  Her Book and growing which is strongly aligned to Occupy “A World To Win” are well worth exploring HERE.

What better way to kick off into the afternoon session than by way of Rotherham’s own alternative to good taste with a revolutionary twist to their lyrics, Pocketful of N’owt.  The boys were making their debut as a quartet having added a drummer to their sound, and by gum did they sound good.  My thanks to Mick and the boys for squeezing us in; a band in great demand as no sooner finished and they were off to Elsicar to join in additional alternative celebrations.   If you’ve not yet checked out their Web Site pop over and pay them a visit HERE

Roy Blackman added a bit of his own magic to the event with a taster of his song and poetry.  As ever he inadvertently forgot to mention his CD, so I’ll mention it here and send you to his CD page HERE where you can get your hands on a copy.

We were then treated to a sketch performed by FOF Theatre Company called the “Twin Reich”, a brilliant surreal discussion between Hitler and Winston Churchill.  The Company were also having a busy day, performing their double bill presentation at Rawmarsh High Street Centre, the second play being “Tea and Kisses”.   There’s a second chance to see this production, at the end of June at St Anne’s School, that’s the 22nd and 23rd.  Ticket prices likely to be around £5.  On the evidence of what I saw on Saturday it’s well worth getting to the full Production.

More music followed, provided by the majestic Mr Paul Pearson.  A fantastic performance accompanied by Chris Treebeard.  Paul provided us with a demonstration of the power of the quiet word in song as a protest, using in the main the work of Ron Trueman-Boarder who in his own right is a fantastic song writer and other contemporary writers.

The centre piece of the afternoon was the full production of “A Poor Prospect :  Tales From The Workhouse” written and performed Tina McKevitt and Matt Hegarty.  I’d not had the privilege of seeing the full production before so this was a bit of a treat. 

Tina took us for a tour of a Sheffield Workhouse through the eyes and experiences of various characters, ranging from the Governess through to the poor souls at the receiving end of Victorian understanding and justice.   Through the words and music Tina has managed to capture some of the atmosphere and sociology of the period.  Played out as a one hander one cannot praise enough the performance of Tina, an hour and ten minutes of pure concentration.

I’d certainly recommend this Show to all, and if you get a chance to see it take it with both hands.  We will be featuring the Show again in October as a stand-alone during The Fringe Festival. 

To wind the afternoon a performer completely new to me, Chaz T and The Ersatz Jazz Sextet, who naturally enough were a duo. 

A lively mix of upbeat tunes, with jazz influences, in a very professional set, not made easy by the accompanist suffering the order of the twanging busted string early.  I shall ignore the fact that he didn’t enjoy playing the Mashing machine!!.  

Highlight of the set was listening to MC for the afternoon session, Gav Roberts, doing backing vocals to the song , “Methinks We Don’t Protest Enough”.  Great fun.  Chaz T has a CD “Accidental Life of an Anarchist”.  Check out the Rotherham backing band HERE

The performance was a fine way to wind up the day event.  

And what a pity there were not more people to enjoy the debate and superb entertainment on offer. 

OK taking on the Monarchy is probably not the most popular thing to do in a full face off.  And we were not helped by the rain not coming along until the last half hour of our show.  So the Town Centre was full of Union Jacks and street partying revellers, while the united front of Rotherham’s left evaporated into thin air.  He chuckles to himself. 

As an experiment it was a good thing to do, as said earlier many lessons have been learnt.  Those who came along will never forget the spectre of Hitler bouncing an inflatable atlas around, while explaining that everyone was subordinate to himself, and I must say the fetching net tights reminiscing of Hitler in The Producers, will be fixed in the minds of some.  I’d a good mind to send him around to sort out the Rotherham Trades Council.

 We’ll put the financial considerations to one side, after all we’re aware of just how short of cash Rotherham’s Trade Unions are as apparently they could not even finance the Insurance for the May Day March, so a £25 advertisement would certainly be out of the question.  But the pre warning for me was when the Chairman at the May Day Rally turned to Gav Roberts who had given a motivating speech, and recited one of his powerful poems, and said “Ah thank you Comrade for that, despite the poem”. 

Me thinks we have much work to do.

This was an attempt by some of Rotherham’s artists to show some political solidarity with the “left” one clearly ignored.  We all have things to learn from each other, but I suppose one can take a horse to water, yet it doesn’t mean that it is likely to drink. 

I suppose the most disappointing failure of the “left” groups of Rotherham to think outside of the box came in the evening.  Here was a packed event, with an audience made up of a cross section of young to us more experienced rockers.  Not one Group could be bothered to use the evening to promote themselves, even though they were invited to do so. 

I’m sure that this is an experiment that will not be repeated without massive guarantees beyond the fine words of encouragement that are not translated into reality, which is a great pity. 

And yes the Evening section of the day was a massive success, both in terms of numbers and in the quality of the music produced by some top local Bands who played in support to “Ed Tenpole Tudor Pole”, seen here at Rotherham's new Rail Station.  (no it's not finished yet).

Having met one or two rockers and musicians who have survived their era and now live upon their former reputations I was not sure what to expect from Ed.  Well I can report that a nicer chap you couldn’t wish to meet.  Accessible and a true musician’s musician.   

But building the atmosphere was down to the great work of first Brain Bomb, classic Punk played at it’s very best, driving guitars and a beaten out rhythm far better than anything I've recently seen attempting Punk tributes on the WMC circuit.

Papa Legba’s provided some brilliant blues based tunes.  Not much one can say about the Papa’s other than that in this wild and more intense atmosphere they were easily at their best, reminding me in many ways of a slightly stripped back early Dexy’s Midnight Runners.  Great mix of original and covers.

Winding up the support came The Son’s Of El Roacho.  Rockabilly, that’s what it was called in my day, but this is called phsycoRockabilly, an interesting mix of punk and classic rockabilly rhythms: really original work coupled to some classic covers.  

And then the main event.  Well. 
Having played events like this myself I know how exposed one is when facing a full house of excited wound up folks with nothing more than an acoustic guitar, let alone one that looks as if it is being held together by chewing gum and string.

But Ed “Tenpole Tudor” Pole is a true entertainer from the top draw quickly winning the audience over with his brand of rock and roll; original songs based on his experiences, and some quick fire Chuck Berry and other classics. 

Where the hour went I’m not sure.  And when he finished off with three from his Tenpole Tudor days it just made the evening.  And Ed can still do the jumps in “Swords of Thousand Men”.    The “Wunderbar” finale was just perfect. 

If you’ve not yet checked out Ed’s more recent material you can check it out on Utube HERE This links you to “You’re Not a Punk”  a song I personally found hilarious.  Especially as I had spent much of the evening being told that the evening was not a Folk night, so why was I doing the introductions.  Ed’s own Web Site can be found HERE

In fact I had a great time………….   I could throw in all the bits I can’t do after a Mashers set like “do you want more?  You’ll have to shout louder than that!!” 

A good night to end a good day.  And now we have a clear direction for Rotherham Art Events.

My thanks go out to all the RAE Team for doing everything asked of them and more.  

We had a limited run of T Shirts printed for the occasion.  We could have sold loads more on the night, so if you were one of those who missed out and would like a T Shirt to remember the night by and RAE’s first big event, then Email me HERE or go HERE to find out how you might be able to get your hands on one.

We’ve also some Souvenir Brochures of the Day left over.   Available for only .75p + postage   Worth it for the original cover art from Karen Gilmore alone.   Order HERE

Additional photographs from Linda Gamston and Mick Hill.  All the pictures can be found in Slide Show HERE  and the still Gallery HERE

The week was full of music though.  On Monday we had a really pleasant Nellie Folk session at The Bridge in Rotherham.  Fantastic to see some recently missing folks making it back to the Club.  Well done Roy and Rob.

Friday found me with my bevy of young ladies at The Rockingham in Wentworth.  Oh wow, music back in the Barn Bar.  And it was packed to see local blues band Black Toad rock it out.  I like Black Toad because they are so laid back and accomplished in what they do, and I have to admit I’ve seen them have to perform to some disappointing audiences, but this was something different with no seats left in the House. 

There is an appetite for quality live music out there, it’s a matter of getting the positive messages out there. 

And if all that was not enough my lady spies headed off to Swinton to see Swansong, also on Friday night, and also had a fantastic audience to play to. 

Maybe it was the celebratory nature of the weekend that brought people out, or maybe these are venues either starved of live music or know how to promote it properly.  We will see.
And behind the scenes much “stuff” was being dealt with.  But more about that at a later date, maybe. 

What I will say is this.  Fine words, good intentions, and platitudes, may sound great, they might even provide encouragement but if they are not followed up by positive action, or deeds then it means nothing at all.  Over the past nine months I’ve heard many fine words yet seen very little evidence of anything else. 

RAE has a lot of great events coming up in the future, Slamfest in particular.   23rd July – 29th July.  And what a day 28th July is promising to be with over fifty bands playing in and around Rotherham Town Centre.  It’s going to be day to hear the very best of local Bands.

RAE is growing it’s activities quickly, often too quickly for me to keep up with, because of this we need someone who can concentrate their efforts on “Public Funding Applications”, especially now that the Board has agreed a major new Project.   Anyone interested in helping us, please check out the note HERE

Our Commercial Fund Raising activities are beginning to show some fruit, particularly following the successes of Banners High and the high profile that involvement with Slamfest will have.   We also have a number of fund raising Concerts being lined up with local Bands taking the lead, and we’re also helping local Bands by finding venues or recommending their services to venues.  

There will be more about all this in the weeks ahead.

Looking ahead to this coming week. 

All the usual weekly and Monthly Clubs will be meeting and you can find all the detail HERE

My brain is currently all over the place, so forgive me if I forget at this stage of the week to mention something that I should not forget.  However, for a top Saturday night of live music, hit The Bridge in Rotherham, where locals Goat Leaf are being supported by 6 Needles and Mudcats Blues Trio.

So I’m currently twelve days off the smoke.  OK I’m using those electric cigs, but in the words of the boring convert, I’m no longer inhaling four thousand nasty unwanted chemicals. 

Also this week Scan number one.  If you see me glowing around Town on Friday give me a wave.

And that’s it for this week.

Whatever your plans are post Diamond Jubilee, have great fun, support your local artists and KEEP IT LIVE