Monday, 12 August 2013

Time Travel Around the Ramblings of a Music Lover + some boring stuff

Wow three weeks gone.  I’ve been busy..........   and now everyone is away on holiday or raiding their wardrobes and filling rucksacks ready for Whitby – judging by the weather forecast Winter woollies at the ready I fear – and water proofs. 

With that happy thought I’ll move onto 2014.  Yes – they should have made me the new Doctor Who!  The phone call never came though.


Following talks with RMBC Slamfest will be back in 2014, and we promise surprises and it will still be Rotherham’s biggest celebration of the Borough’s musical talent and FREE.  The date for your Diary is July 5th and 6th. 

Bands wanting to play need to Email Mick HERE

And of course if you want to be involved in the organisation of the Festival at any level contact Richard – that’s me – by Emailing HERE or trying to catch him at the RAE Drop In Centre in Wellgate.


From 2014 back to 2013 and our link up with the other Art organisations in Rotherham to create a day of Arts Carnival, for the Rotherham Street Arts Festival (Ferretstival) on 31st August in Rotherham Town Centre.  There is so much happening throughout the day that it would take up a whole Blog – so all I would say is that we still need Buskers / we still need volunteers, Email me HERE go on, you know you want to - but if you can’t make your  mind up don’t worry the door is open right up to the day – all you have to do is call in at the Old Market Gallery on the 31st to Register for Insurance purposes–If you’ve got an art that can be performed or demonstrated during the day EmailHERE  


Two brilliant nights Live at the Trades last week. 

We were very lucky to be offered the opportunity to feature German prog. Rock Band Vibravoid who were on a short tour following their appearance at Kozfest, and RAE who are keen to feature top overseas talent snapped their fingers off.  

This was prog rock of the highest standard, as one well known name on the Rotherham scene said, “we’ve got a lot of practice to do”, hoho.  But yes it was that good, brilliant keyboards supporting an amazing guitar performance, plus and a bonus a tremendous performance by the drummer who did a lot more than keep the beat.  

If that was not enough, in support we had Spiral Navigators, who must be one of the best prog Bands in South Yorkshire, who provided some interesting sounds and rhythms and superb improvisation.  

Not the best turnout though, but for the time of the year when people are having barbeques rather than wanting to go out and see a Band. 

I really hope that we get the opportunity to bring them to Rotherham again and that more folks will come out and dip their toe in the water.

Three days later RAE brought Led into Zeppelin to Live At The Trades.  “Close your eyes and it’s like the real thing” said at least two really big fans of Led Zeppelin that I know.  And wow, yes the level of musicianship was out of this World.  This is a Band that is going to become huge on the circuit; in fact, they are already in negotiations with another top Overseas Tribute Band for a full UK Tour in 2014. 

What a pity that so few decided to come out and support them.  There were also those who came along only to decide at the door that £7 was too expensive to go into The Trades.  In fact some were moaning that they were being asked to pay at all.  It seems to be a thing about Clubs in South Yorkshire that Members expect the entertainment to be provided free of charge.   I refer these people to the closure or change of status of The Rycroft, Eastwood, The Trades (Rotherham), and many other WM Clubs across South Yorkshire.  Beer sales alone can no longer cover the cost of good quality live music and entertainment, it’s a fact that the North Eastern Clubs sussed out a few years ago.   Those Clubs who do retain the free entertainment / low beer price formula either have to compromise on the standard of the entertainment, or up their beer prices. 

The Trades is no longer a WMC – it’s a Music and Entertainment venue offering a fantastic range of entertainment into which RAE has fused it’s Live at The Trades program.  Indeed our program for Autumn / Winter  2013 is amazing for the breadth of music and entertainment on offer.   Yes we are charging for it!  This is because there is no magic fund of money out there on which we can draw to pay the Band’s travelling expenses plus maybe something for their talent, to pay the sound engineers, the lighting crew, the publicity, the tickets etc, etc, etc.  

Our musicians have just given us one fantastic weekend of music free of charge at Slamfest, I think they should expect that their talent should get some minimal reward if only enough to buy some guitar strings.  And I can assure folks that they’re not on any fancy fixed fee, like those that brought down so many Clubs, they are playing for percentages and having to back themselves on pulling an audience. 

I’d also point out that the quality of the acts is on a par with those being offered at The Civic for almost £10 a ticket more.

So less knocking on this score and let’s get behind our musicians and dare I say the Promoters of Live Music and trying to keep an offer viable in Rotherham.

Sorry went off on one there.

To return to the Zeppelin Show.   The support for the night was also fantastic, Swansong Acoustic, oh wow the power and range of Karen’s voice is huge and with Nigel’s guitar playing is so understated.  Wish I had that talent.   The full Swansong Band will be playing Live At The Trades in December, and I promise if the performance is close to that they gave at Slamfest it’s not to be missed.

Oh and having said that Swansong are of course playing Music In The Park at Clifton Park on 1st September.

Our Live at The Trades final offering for August was a five Band free special.  Hearts, Waiting for Eddie, Naked Punch, Habberdash and Sneaking Stupidity proving just how fantastic our local music scene is. 

Unfortunately, I missed the early Bands having been locked into The New York Stadium where I was paying £3.40 a pint or £1.60 for a bottle of tonic water at a wedding reception.  How do they get away with it?  It’s not even if the rooms are attractive, blank white blocks of plaster. 

But I did get in to see the real debut of Sneaking Stupidity a Band made up of 50+ oldies, provided us with a set featuring some classic Dr Feelgood and one or two other rocking surprises.  It was fantastic fun to watch and listen to and my guess is that they will have many more local Gigs the weeks ahead.   I also got to listen to Habberdash, who sort of headlined the event – I say sort of as I think all these Bands could be called local headliners for the standard of music produced. 

Habberdash are a young Band, and playing original plus a couple of covers with really superb musicianship.  They came on at a difficult time, but more than held their own.  Another Band we will be seeing much more of.   They work exceptionally hard around South Yorkshire playing all the venues and the rewards are already coming their way, having won the Radio Sine contest to open Doncaster Live on 7th September. 


RAE Live at The Trades kicks off the Autumn Program with what should be a fantastic night when Chris Slater the former AC / DC drummer will be bringing his Timeline Show to The Trades.   Chris has played alongside some of the all-time greats in Bands like Asia, The Firm, Manfred Man’s Earth Band, David Gilmour, Uriah Heap, +++.  So for some rocking music  and a fantastic exhibition of the drummers art it’s time to get your tickets £8, from The Drop In Centre / Online at We’ve Got Tickets / or from the venue.

On the 7th September we have another amazing local show, with Dave Woodcock & The Dead Comedians being supported by Searching for Silvia, Mudcat Blues Trio and Phil Sinclair.  WOW and a special appearance from Dwain Reads, all for £4!! Can’t be bad.  Online tickets available at We’ve Got Tickets

News hot of the press, we’ve just been told by The Trades that they had forgotten to tell us that 14th September had been booked for a Party, therefore the Roger the Mascot / Blind Drivers Indie Gig has had to be taken out of the program.  We hope to be able to place this night elsewhere in our Winter line up.  Stay tuned for details. 


Yay – the late July edition of Acoustic Rotherham, the eighteenth, took place on 28th July on a steamy Sunday afternoon at The Bridge. 

We had a fine gathering of artists from around the Region as well as some home grown stars. 

Chris, who has been playing the local sessions for some-time now and of course featured at the opening of The Drop In Centre, provided us with some well-crafted blues to kick the afternoon off.

Making a return, nearly two years after making their AR debut was Rum Doodle who had travelled down from West Yorkshire to play some of their own songs for us – there were some great songs. Since I last saw them in action Rum Doodle have become even slicker and certainly more confident in their material and performance. 

 Also from West Yorkshire we had that fast developing young musician and song writer Dylan Brierley.  WOW.  I think the time has come for him to start thinking about his performance, and replicating the songs as they sound on his albums.  This performance was confident and well within his comfort zone, but, to sell his songs he has to slow things down a bit, and get some eye contact with the audience.  He should be moving on from the shy young boy stage.   That said – time is on his side and I wish that I had just a little of his talent.  

Yes, and even The Masher reached into his gander bag and pulled out a guitar.  The 27th July was Myke Masher’s birthday, and so it just seemed right to play through three of his most favourite Masher songs in his memory.   And so I did, accompanied by the massed chorus of the AR18 singers.  Thanks guys. 

And making her come back in Rotherham following her time out to concentrate upon her A Level results,provided us with one of her punchy and slick sets, along with a demonstration of some fine guitar playing.  I'm sure we are going to see a lot more of her, both in solo mode and with her Band Waiting for Eddie.  Yet another young person with so much potential.  The good news is that it's quite possible that we may not be losing Em as if everything goes to plan she will be going to Uni locally. 

Naked Punch made their Acoustic d├ębut.   This is a work in progress, yet I take my hat off to Sam and the Band for taking their music out and showcasing it wherever they can.  The music is inventive and does not fit any category and the more performances they play the more confident they will become in both the material and their musicianship.   Look forward to having them back again.

And to wrap things up we had the amazing Rachel Barley.  Oh how I love her voice and the style of song that she sings when in solo mode.  She is a Rotherham Gem, an open secret, and it’s a pity that we don’t see more of her in concert as a solo artist.  That said she is a busy girl as female lead singer with top Rotherham Band Papa Legba’s which I know she really enjoys doing, so I can’t be selfish……….   Or can I?  Can’t wait to have her back at Acoustic Rotherham in the New Year. 

I think the shorter run time of the event makes for a more Manageable and comfortable event, and it’s an experiment that will now become a fixture.

And great thanks to Tony at The Bridge for the wonderful Pizza at half time-ish. 

The Next Acoustic Rotherham is 27th October 2013 at The Bridge.  We already have a few names on the list, hooray, but if you would like to be added please Email HERE


The tie in with the Titan’s continues.   Work on the Acoustic Sunday nights from September continues, but we can report that the first of the Friday night specials was a qualified success with Lee England headlining.  Coming up Swansong will be playing on Friday 24th August and the amazing Tom Killner Band  will be playing on the 30th August.  Two rocking Fridays for the end of August.


Two dates to remember for the Diary 7th September Dwain Reads will be doing a short set at The Drop In Centre, to launch his new Book.  I’m hoping that it will be the first of a short Tour of Rotherham, with performances at The Rotherham Show and of course Live at The Trades in the Evening. 

On Monday 16th of September RAE will be launching it’s first sort of serious Exhibition with the best of the photography from Slamfest on display the Exhibition will be called “Slampics”   The pictures were taken by a team of photographers from a local photography groups and individuals. 

The Get Creative Team are building on their early success with the Workshops.  The team have already started to Branch out and are providing a few classes at Myplace to the youngsters throughout the Summer.   The next workshop open to all is 6:00pm at The Drop In Centre on 21st August. 


The first Sunday in the Month Music from the Bandstand events we help to run with RMBC Clifton Park went ahead as planned on 4th August, with South Yorkshire legends Haze giving us a fantastic two hour show based mainly on their latest CD The Final Battle.  

They had a good audience as well despite the threat of bad weather and it's great to report that the electricity supply held it's own.   

It's a pity that the program was broken in June because of illness to the booked Band and our thwarted attempts to get another Band on with only twelve hours notice.  

Next up Swansong, with their play list of rock covers on the 1st September.  


There is no Nellie Folk this month.  The first time in my memory that The Bridge based singers Club has ever cancelled a Meeting.  I suspect it has to do with the clash with Bank Holiday again, but that has never stopped them in the past – but Roy has taken another of his Executive decisions!   The last time it happened resulted in the closure of the Handsworth Club at the Cross Keys.  I don’t think that will happen at Nellie Folk.

Based on an Email I received the Listings page temporarily showed the Barnsley Club as being closed for the Summer break through August.  It turns out that there is a skeleton Club running by some of the Members who enjoy a good sing, while the Committee are away doing their thing.

I haven’t been told about any other Summer breaks – but as I always suggest check Club Web Sites especially during Whitby week. 


We were disappointed to see that the Metal dominated Khaos Festival had to be abandoned after one day. 

No Promoter can get it right all the time, however, the basics do need to be applied, e.g. keep to your contracted times, and if it is likely to overrun speak to the Land Owner and request an extension.  

Let’s hope the Promoters have learnt a few lessons as we have had to do in mounting Slamfest, especially when it comes to security and stage management. 

On a more positive note our friends from Sheffield’s bluegrass scene Aprille and the Shower caused quite a stir by playing the most unusual venue of a Pizza Express during a lunch time -  read the full story HERE  

The recent ROMP meeting has moved the ROMPERs a step closer to becoming a recognised Organisation with a structure.   It’s great to see that they have plans to outreach more as ROMP and to start publishing the best of the ROMPERS.  

You can find some of the work created by the ROMP community in the Word Pit HERE

The Rotherham Show 7th / 8th September will again be featuring the Folk Tent on the Saturday and Jazz on the Sunday.   The Folk line up is Flossie Mallavaille, Bill Whaley and Dave Fletcher, Hannah James & Sam Sweeney, and Full House.  You can find out more about these acts by going HERE

And that’s the Blog –

You can find the Live at The Trades program HERE

Our normal listings service currently August / September HERE

And RAE updates HERE   - expect a lot of updates in the coming weeks. 

Pictures from Slamfest can be found HERE along with some links to even more pictures. 

To keep right up to date make sure that sign up for the News Letter, and “LIKE” and follow us on Facebook.

Live at The Trades HERE
Slamfest HERE
Acoustic Rotherham HERE

So whatever you are doing between now and the next time, have fun, support your local artists and keep it live.