Saturday, 13 December 2014

And the Diary Gets Fuller. Rotherham at it's Best.

Well it’s been a busy time.   Finishing the Workshop element to the British Council Active Citizen Course, various Meetings and taking in some Gigs as well. 

We’re start with the Gigs and of course Live at The Trades.  Mama really are the top Genesis Tribute Band in the UK.  The show they put on for us was absolutely amazing, with faultless musicianship, lighting show and a vocalist who was able to manufacture the sound of both Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins.  It was such a pity that the Band performed to an audience of only 50 inclusive of Mama’s stage team.  Very sad.  But The Trades was not alone, there was an eerie atmosphere around Town and all venues reported being quiet.   Maybe it was the quiet before Christmas as advance sales for the Christmas Party and Seig Seig Sputnik are better than buoyant.

Hopefully we can convince Mama back to Rotherham next year and hope that the word gets around about what a super night it was. 

Then again everyone may have spent up on Friday night as two lively Gigs were on the go in Rotherham with Sneaking Stupidity playing the Titans Club and a rammed Cutlers for the much anticipated EP launch of Be The Revolution. 

I could be found at the latter.  Pinned to the wall at the back.   For support Band Round Our Way it was only their second outing as a unit.  The set list was made up of the basic fare of Punk / Indie covers.  We all have to learn, but one of the basic rules for a new Band seeking opportunities to play has to be play only what you feel comfortable with, and play reasonably well.  Unfortunately they chose three of my most favourite songs to completely destroy, “Teenage Kicks” being just one.   This was mainly due to the vocalist lacking confidence in his voice to reach the high notes of the song, which made for a strange delivery of the song as he switched from normal pitch to a rather low pitch which he struggled to hit.   I had to ask if I was missing something and whether they were putting their original arrangement to the song, but unfortunately my original fears were confirmed, they really couldn’t do the song.  By the end of a Sex Pistols classic that was given similar treatment there could be no doubt.          

While the Band were new to Gigging, it is made up of musicians with experience of the music scene, which makes it even more surprising that their set list included these songs.   If you are going to cover classic songs they need to be played well, or not at all.

Luckily we were in for a musical treat when Be The Revolution, playing songs penned by Ian Huddleston in the style of late sixties psychedelic rock, came on stage.  The songs reflect the political need for “change” in the face of the heartless and relentless attach upon the traditional working class.   I feel privileged to have been a small part in the development of the songs, having early access to the rough cuts before they were mixed.  

While the keyboards led, Royce on his cornet provided additional depth, and Ian has the vocal ability to pull the chant nature of the songs together without being tempted into over-elaborating either the guitar line or vocal.   The EP is available from Ian direct or HERE as a download.  
It was a super night of local music making, and while my comments concerning the support maybe harsh, I hope they will be taken in the constructive sense with which I made them.   And yes I did make the points to the Band via their bass player during the interval.    

A word about the Dickensian Day in Rotherham Town Centre last Saturday.   Unfortunately I was doing my Training so missed much of the day and events. 

I’m told that everyone taking part had a fantastic time, a real Christmas feel to the event especially for lots of excited children.   With fire eaters, and other Street Circus + of course a wonderful market it was a treat for the shoppers.  

There were a few critical voices who were either too early or late for the main events of the Day.  They may have a point though, e.g. perhaps there needs to be more intensity to events, either shortening the advertised hours or involving more acts / performers / mini events.   

None of that undermined the enthusiasm of all those taking part though. 

On Sunday Evening / Tea time the Button Tin special had a good attendance of hardy souls at The Imperial Building.   The building makes for a special atmosphere that we have exploited at Slamfest and other events in the past, but the weather and the temperature has to be right.   I would dearly love to come along for a few performances, including Love Comes First, but hanging around these Winter nights is for the hardy folks only.    Roll on Spring.    The picture on the right I like to think demonstrates the beacon of life and and hope offered by the Imperial Building.   Picture Barrie Jones a Wath based artist who's studio / Gallery is well worth checking out if you are in Wath.

On Wednesday tea time I was lucky enough to be amongst those at ROAR Talk where Walt Shaw had been invited to talk about his work.  What a remarkable artist.   Walt works in so many arts, from his Assemblages (probably recycled art might be a more descriptive label), paintings, experimental percussion music, collaborations and so much more. 

I find it fascinating listening to artists talking about their work, especially when the work is so abstract.  Walt had so many internalised motivational factors underlying his work that the casual observer may have missed completely………………..   and this applied to his music as it did his visual work. 

Most of interesting of all was his experimental performance work which employed not only his love for musical experimentation but his feeling for all performance genre including dance and use of the audience to create an “experience”.   

Walt has an excellent Web Site, why not go an explore the work of an exceptional artist HERE

Plenty of food for thought.  

My spies tell me that Quiet ROMP / ROMP TOO   at the New York is growing by the month.   Music and Poems from some very talented people.   Look out for details of their January gathering.

On Friday it was off to The Monkwood to take in a set from Crimson Moon a Band that never disappoints.  Playing classic Rock and Blues, we were treated to who’s who of Rock as they played through Zed   I particularly like this Band because they don’t always play the usual suspects in terms of the songs they select making it a real selection box of music.    Superb musicianship complimented by some bang on vocals.   I’m told that they will be playing all the usual venues in 2015 with bookings at The Bridge, The Cutlers and The Flying Scotsman in Doncaster already on the Diary.  Add to that Slamfest (fingers crossed) and maybe a support spot at Live at The Trades and the future is already looking great for this Band.   
Zepline, Cream, Fleetwood Mac, Black Sabbath and many more.

I hope to have some dates for the Foundation Records Saturday afternoon audition events very soon.   What I can say is that the events will be spread out over late January – March.   These are not X Factor type events.  We hope to have some “old buggers” on hand to help provide support and advise.  There will also be opportunities to register for the sound / lighting training at the same time, along with song writing and Graphic Design and Music Marketing.   Stay tuned. 

We would like to hear from musicians interest in what is labelled experimental music from the Rotherham area.   We would like to bring people with an interest in this genre together with a view to creating a performance piece that might be performed at Slamfest and other Arts Festivals around the Region.   Email HERE

On a more traditional musical note, let’s take an A  (poor musical joke)  I’ve been asked by Rupa to bring your attention the Rotherham Sangeet & Choir group.  The Choir is to be led by Kamalbirji and the music will be multi-cultural with a view to performing later in 2015.   You can contact Rupa HERE.  The next practice session, complete with tea / coffee will be held on 14th December at 5.30pm at Yoga Sanctuary.   If too late for this week why not contact Rupa for details of additional dates.

Love Comes First hole another of their Saturday evening gatherings at the Imperial Building this Saturday 13th December with another line up of top local talent.   Don’t be a light weight like me and let the cold get to you, go down and show your support.   I’m told that some of the Love Comes First plaques will be available at £25, you can now order in any colour, along with some croqueted buttons and Christmas Tree stars at £1 each.   It’s fantastic to see the Imperial Building being used in this way, and yes, behind the scenes we are trying to sort something out about heating the area for these events.   Please go and show your support.   I believe that Love Comes First will be a regular monthly feature at The Imperial Building through 2015. 

Also all the Love Comes First Merchandise can be ordered or purchased from Brian's Shop in the Imperial Building six days a week - or indeed the Button Tin.

This Saturday 13th December is also the Live at The Trades Christmas Party with healthy dose of cheese.   The Neurythmics will be performing both their Tribute to the Eurythmics and their fantastic general eighties show while, Elvis is said to be coming to life like a true Christmas ghost story with our good friend Nigel on the desks playing the best of his seasonal eighties record collection………… HELP.   Should be a great night – tickets have sold well, so get yourselves down for a knees up and sing song. 

Next week’s Live at The Trades with Sigue Sigue Sputnik, supported by My Periott Dolls and the Thurminators should be another amazing evening.    Don’t miss out on the final pre-Christmas session of quality music.   Nothing more until February, so get your fill now.   Tickets from the usual Agents, Mezmerize, The Trades and The Cutlers and Online HERE

Our friends from Kinkids will be at both events making a collection, adding to their Christmas fund for the children that their Organisation help.  Look out for a Jive Bunny Single that has been specially produced for Kinkids – I believe it’s available for download somewhere.  All profits go to Kinkids.

With the RAE Web Site looking fairly stable, work has started on updating the Acoustic Rotherham site.  It’s all very time consuming so patience please.

Don’t forget that the Listings page is updated regularly HERE

And that’s it for this week.    Apologies for not having got this Online earlier, but – yes, it’s that time of year and the Diary seems to get very full. 

So whatever you are doing in the lead up to Christmas, have great fun, please support all the events going on in the locality and support the local Traders and KEEP IT LIVE

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Busy times around Rotherham. Are you part of it? Chit Chat and News

Having the UK Subs in Town on Saturday night was simply fantastic.  Quality.  What a night at  Really big thanks to The Sons of El Roacho; Cambodia; Sneaking Stupidity; Shambolix; and Reasons to be Cheerful. 
Live at The Trades, with a support Bill made up of Bands that could have all headlined.

Rotherham turned out on mass to support this amazing night of Punk Music making for a very special atmosphere. 

What’s more the evening went off without a hitch, a near miracle given the number of Bands playing, so big thanks to Jason on the knobs for a great job. 

Once again it’s worth reflecting on just how genuine the guys who make up the UK Subs were; nothing too much trouble, they autographed just about everything!  This is me and Charlie after the show.

You can find some great pictures taken by Snapper Graham HERE

Kinkids, the Charity that RAE are supporting, raised £103 on the night as well as making some very useful contacts for the future.  Excellent work, and super generosity from you the Live at The Trades audience.  Kinkids will be collecting at some of the other Christmas promotions – your donations have already helped towards the New York Stadium Christmas Party and the purchase of gifts.   These Children are being cared for by surrogate parent Family Members, and receive no help from the State – and a number of the Children are the result of the CSE cases highlighted in the Jay Report.   The ladies on the door are Volunteers and are passionate about an organisation that provides support to the Surrogates who quite often are Grand Parents.  

Another magic night all round.  

Saturday night was an amazing night for live music and audiences in Rotherham, with bumper crowds at The Bridge, supplemented by Real Ale Punks, where 6Needles and Papa Legba’s were in full action and at The Cutlers where the Racoons were rocking the House, and even SNAFU had a good turnout for regular Band Tush.   With the full house at the Trades it was a great night.  

Magic nights are not exclusive to “Live at the Trades”.  On Wednesday night I made it out to take a look at the new RCAT facility in what used to be known as The Charters.  From a Public House that used to retain customers by sticking them to the carpet to a new fresh looking facility that will be used by the students on performing arts Courses.  Wednesday was the first night of what I believe will be series of events showcasing the work and talent of the students. 

Sorry about poor picture but my new phone had not arrived and I forgot the camera!!!

The evening opened with Band made up from the first year students performing a set of standard covers.  A demonstration of raw talent to be admired.  While there was some exciting guitar work, and on occasions some wonderful individual vocals, the harmonisation was not quite there yet.  But the promise was obvious, and it’s not easy putting eight musicians together and in short time produce a perfect 45 minute set. 

The second Band, and I really ought to know it’s name as they have performed as support for us at the Trades, were of another standard.  Simply brilliant.  The musicianship demonstrated was second to none both in terms of writing and performance.   This is what makes real talent standout from the rest, a mix of self-penned pieces mixed into some interesting arrangements of standard covers. 

It was a pity that either the mixing desk / PA was not quite up to the task.  Several times vocals were drowned out by backing from the instruments. 

Well done to them all.

More reasons to celebrate the development of former RCAT student’s.  Tom Kilner, the superlative blues guitarist and improving vocalist has negotiated a Recording Contract with an American LA based label Cleopatra Records.  We offer Tom are congratulations.

This brings me to a couple of negatives. 

Being a promoter is not an easy task and quite often breaks in communication can lead to difficulties.   For example there is one Band in Rotherham who believe that we renegaded on a payment for a support spot that they performed.   RAE/Live at Trades do not pay support acts, and in this particular case they had been invited to perform by the headline Band and not us and any promise of a fee would have come from the headline band.   However, the Band has chosen to blame us.  Sad. 

If communication between Bands can sometimes drop us in a black hole, then what we find it difficult to understand is the failure of communications between Band members.  Recently Mick took a verbal and a Facebook hammering from a Mum upset that her son’s Band were unable to play at a venue.   The Band had asked to play, Mick said fine, and the Band member then said he would check with the other Band members and confirm – the confirmation call never came!  Yet the Band turned up at the venue!! 

Please Bands communicate, it really does help.  

Young Bands – up to age 24.   If you would like to take part in some auditions in January, to be a part of the Foundation Records, recording project then please Email HERE

We aim to run an Acoustic Rotherham in February 2015.   Seems a long way off.   The intention is to take it back to it’s real roots.  The venue will be The Cutlers, and we will run across a Sunday afternoon.  We would like to feature some new people, as well as welcome some of the events close friends.  

As a mostly desk bound music jockey, I rely upon all you regular Open Micers and Folk Clubbers to bring new performers on the scene to my attention.  Please if you know of an act that would benefit from the exposure of an Acoustic Rotherham then please tell me.  Thanks.

For both wanting to play and or inform me of performers new to the scene then Email HERE

The British Council’s Active Citizenship Training is underway.   The first two sessions have been really revealing, especially about one self.  Essentially we have been asked to examine what we believe and know of ourselves and how we use the internalised values to assess what we are seeing or other people, and how often we can be completely wrong.

What I cannot understand is why the Course is so under-subscribed.   But this is not the only VAR Training that for some reason has had difficulties, a Course on Volunteer recruitment / retention was also under subscribed and postponed as a result.   

Both, Active Citizenship and Volunteers are going to be so crucial to the ability of social Organisations and Companies especially in the delivery of projects and services to the Community as the Government cut public expenditure even more. 

News of telecommunications.   Never got my old telephone back, lost into the big black hole where mobile phones gather, especially those locked from further use.   However, a new one has been purchased, beating the “yes Sir we’ll replace it but you will have to take a new two year contract”.   I have to say I was quite surprised when researching a new mobile at what you can purchase.   From Ebay I bought a “Happy Life” Smartphone, offering all the tricks and features of a Samsung Note 3 for less than a fifth of the cost.  It’s worth shopping around.   The good news is that I’m back on air using the exactly the same mobile number. 

Web Site watchers will have noted a new look to the RAE Web Site this week, with all the usual glitches.   The latest upload has cleared some of them.  We hope that the pages will load quicker and also lighten up the pages.   If you find a link not working then please let me know by Email HERE

 It’s worth again boasting that we have well over 100,000 hits on the site with an average of around 950 hits per week.  This is great news for our sponsors and advertisers.

A couple of top Festivals have invited applications and closing dates.  Top of my list would be Worcester a full weekend of music.  However this Festival normally offers places to Bands or performers based in the Worcester area.   Exceptions are made, indeed the Masher played the Festival twice.   It’s a fast developing Festival and in line with the RAE ethos of being a free Festival to the public, which means of course you would have to finance the trip yourself.   But if you or your Band are looking to break into new areas this is an excellent place to start.   Details HERE

The second is the Shuttle, Shuffle Festival.  Don’t know much about this one you can get all the details HERE

And of course there is the open invitation to play Slamfest4 in July.   Apply by Email HERE   Mick, Dick, Dan and the Cutlers are cooking up another whirlwind of stress.

This weekend it’s another bumper week for live music in Rotherham. 

It starts on Friday, when what I think is the pick of the weekend when Ian Huddleston’s “Be The Revolution” launch their heavily trailered EP.  Copies of the CD will be available on the night as will a specially brewed beer by Chantry Brewery.   The event kicks off at The Cutlers around 8:30  but you know how these nights work.  

At the Titans Club on Clifton Lane you’ll find our chums Sneaking Stupidity bouncing on the floor boards as they deliver their mix of Dr Feelgood and others music.    Always a great night.   Starts around 9:00pm

Poets – don’t forget that it being the first Friday of the month ROMP will be in full voice at The Bridge from 8:00pm.

Saturday finds the top Genesis Tribute Band, Mama, Live At The Trades.   This promises to be a great night of classic soft rock, with the Band playing the best numbers from across the various eras of the Band’s life.   Walk up and of course the way we prefer it pre- booking at all the usual Agents, The Trades, Mezmerize on Wellgate, The Cutlers or Online HERE

Saturday is National Small Business Day, and to celebrate there is Dickensian Christmas theme in the Town Centre for the day.   Be amazed by the singers, the Victorian Characters walking around the Town and much more.  So come on down to Rotherham and support your local businesses.  

At the Cutlers on Saturday Mantra will be rocking the House.  

Sunday see’s another of the Imperial Building saris, this one strangely entitled, Don’t Miss Out.  The event starts at 5:00pm and runs to around 8:00pm.     Chesterfield Band Ichadbod will be on hand to provide the music along with local favourites.   

There is a general shout for musicians who would like to play the next Love Comes First at the Imperial Building on the 13th December to volunteer.     

Sunday also has the opening of Chantry Brewery’s latest project, The Flying Scotsman in Doncaster.  I’m told that The Sherlocks are down to play the night, but since the original announcement I’ve not seen much. 

And next week there is barrel load of goodies as well,  Walt Shaw will be the guest at ROAR Talk on Wednesday at 4:30pm, with the Christmas Project, Project continuing – it’s your chance to play with the ROAR toys, everything from carvers to 3D printing………………..   and while you’re at it find out how ROAR might be able to help you with your creative endeavors.  

Links to all the above can be found HERE on the RAE listings page.

Just a quick heads up to the next weekend.   Tickets for the Live at The Trades Christmas Party are selling like hotcakes.  £7.50 for an amazing night that includes Elvis coming to life, the Neurythmics who are back by public demand after their great show last year and of course no eighties based night  would be complete without Nigel Beasley at the turn tables, with music late into the night. 

And that’s it for this week.   So whatever you’re doing have a fantastic pre Festive time, support the local artists and traders, and KEEP IT LIVE.  

Friday, 21 November 2014

Negative Impact of RMBC + Foundation Records News + the Chit Chat

Apologies for the lack of pictures - still struggling to get Browser settings right in Windows 8.1   If you know how to fix this problem let me know!  

 The new Mashing Machine is installed, only took three days!  Lol    Let it be a warning to you that when downloading essentials like Flash And the Adobe Reader, make sure you go to the Official Web Sites – there are a whole number of sites out there with misleading addresses who’s only aim is to infect your computer with as much rubbish as can be thrown at it.  I had pop ups coming up all over the place and then once I had sorted those it became clear that certain system files had become corrupted.  The only thing to do was to mount a rescue through the full recovery facility, and that took an amazing ten hours to complete.   Then despite having all the programmes and serial numbers prepared, it took another full day to load the machine, despite the machine zipping through processes. 

But we’re into full or near to full action now!

So the Minister of Education thinks that Art is luxury! Reducing options at the end of University.   She has no solid evidence for this just a gut feeling, one that has little basis in the real World.   In fact it’s the artists who are trained to be flexible and imaginative, and have been driving force behind our social development and much that is good in our Society like music, paintings, sculpting, crafting and so much more.

It would appear that this is a concept shared by RMBC, who having guaranteed GBP 20,000 to help mount the Shakespeare Festival in 2015 suddenly decided that they had changed their mind.  Yes, yet another kick in the teeth for the young people of Rotherham.    What’s the Shakespeare Festival?   It’s a festival that is taken out to the schools encompassing 1,500 children in drama and the works of Shakespeare, culminating in a series of performances at Magna – sometimes the attendance at these can reach 2,000.

The Festival has received recognition not only the UK where it is recognised as a “best practice” methodology for teaching literacy, drama and bringing Shakespeare into the 21st Century, it also has enormous international recognition, with Katherine making a pilgrimage to Zambia to provide essential training, indeed in 2014 there was a video linkup where the performance were streamed into Zambia.  

The Council decision throws planning for 2015 into complete chaos.   Arts Council Grants depend upon support from local Councils, and Rotherham have withdrawn that support.  Steps are being taken to try and find other sourcing for the 20,000 GBP 

There is a Text fund raising appeal as well, and you can find the number on the RAE News page HERE

In my humble opinion is that RMBC should be hanging their heads in shame.  Their decision hardly demonstrates a commitment to Young People at a time when they are being blasted for having a Children’s policy that is somewhat lacking in its execution.  

There is some talk around the corridors of power that the Council be taken into special measures – they deserve it and I hope that the people who made this decision are made to pay for their short sighted approach to the arts and the children of Rotherham.  

This is not a case of not being able to afford to cover the 20,000 GBP.  The money had been budgeted and earmarked.   So well done RMBC, your decision making is once again flawed and nonsensical, and having seen the acting Children’ Head in action on the telly tonight I can see why such a short sighted decision was made; a pure I will because I can, mentality, and just you try to change my mind.    

 There is still time for RMBC to change their mind.  Find you Councillor HERE and send them an Email – and of course you shouldn’t let your MP escape either. HERE

And yet more Reports are published in the give Rotherham a good kicking Campaign.   The first, the Commons Select Committee blaming the Police and a one Party Council and a new organisation to be drawn into the argument OFSTED.  Then a couple of hours later OFSTED themselves publish a report blaming the Children’s Department of the Council. 

Of course the Council is telling us that everything is changing, that there is more transparency, yet we’re told that none of the known victims have been contacted by the Council or the Police – so no change there.  We’re told by RMBC that the Police and Social Workers now all work out of the same Office sitting side by side; all that means to me is that one floor of Riverside is now full of inactivity. 

OK Dicky is being a bit Nelson, seeing with only one eye, but I just wish that the Council would keep their mouth shut.  Confidence is not going to be gained by “words”, it’s the visible signs of ACTION that will count.

In equal measure the same applies to Police.  Based upon word of mouth evidence, it would seem that there is no obvious change in Police practices or patrolling.  

But let’s be clear, while Rotherham takes the kicking, there are shock after shock Reports to come from Towns and Cities throughout the UK.   Rotherham is the tip of a very deep and big iceberg.

Confused?   You certainly will be by the end of the year, we’ve still got some big ones to come, and none of them will be good news for the Town. 

Roy Blackman is a South Yorkshire / Rotherham treasure.   He’s not going to be about forever.   So on Tuesday it was a pleasure to go along to the launch of Roy’s second CD “A Northern Life” at The Bridge.   Rather a disappointing turn out again with poets and some expected musicians missing.  It’s such a pity for whatever the reason for any falling out we need to support song writers of Roy’s genre, stories and political statements of South Yorkshire. 

We had a number of guest appearances: John Young who produced this CD, Ray Hearne, Paul Pearson, and of course that man of song David Kidman who did his usual fantastic job as MC.   I did have some nice pictures but they were on my phone, which I have lost.  Not a clever boy.  

Sat listening to his songs, some performed by the other artists appearing on the Bill, I was struck by the pictures that his lyrics paint, to the point where if you close your eyes one is watching a video, no more so than the “Bonny Reds of Barnsley” sang to the tune of match of the day and a celebration of when Barnsley won the FA Cup.

You’ll need to contact John Young or hunt down Roy for copies of the new CD. Baring three songs it’s all new material, and the three old tracks are taken from his first CD “Roy Blackman Rotherham’s Man of Memories” and you can get them HERE  The CD has nearly all the lyrics in the sleeve booklet.    Until the end of November, both CDs can be bought for 5GBP each with “A Northern Life” going up to 10GBP from the 1st December.   So make sure you snap up a bargain.

Wednesday was manic, with an ArtNav Meeting, Rebecca Moss at ROAR Talk and of course the ROAR Board Meeting.   It never rains unless it pours.   Lol   The ArtNav session was held with Culture Partners to pin down a few more guidelines for the Consultation Process that they are under taking.   I have to say I was disappointed by the number of practitioners who took the trouble to come along to the Meeting.  Indeed it was mainly the key organisations and a huge representation from the Youth Organisations, which was fantastic and added an angle that is often overlooked during these exercises. 

IT’S NOT TOO LATE to have your say.   If you would like to Interviewed during the consultation process contact Sharon Gill (The ArtNav convener) HERE

I really cannot under emphasise the importance of this Consultation process for the Arts in Rotherham and I’m saddened by the number of Arts related Organisations that are not yet engaging with the exercise.  Some the people are those who for various reasons don’t engage with the current Art Groups or for various reasons moan about the so called Rotherham Art Establishment.    Being a musician (loose term lol) I am most disappointed not to see representation from what appears to be the secret society called the Music Hub.  Two people have told me they were going to invite RAE – and over a near four month period I have heard nothing!   Rant on that one over. 

I really enjoyed the ROAR Talk given by Rebecca Moss.  Her work is to say the least different, and so detailed.  I always admire people with the talent to organise the brain to organise a concept into a reality and this Rebecca clearly does in the very finest detail.   One of her pieces of work was a poem written on the stem of a swan’s feather, so small that with the naked eye you stood no chance of reading it.  It was done, by hand, the finest of custom nibs bought from Japan.   It was a feature of the recent Exhibition at the Old Market Gallery.  More recently her work has centred upon experimental photography, her perception of a smashed up alarm clock has to be seen to be believed. 

I got out on Saturday night with Mrs Masher in tow.   It was good friend’s birthday, 60th, God how time moves on.  Somewhere between Masher Towers and Rawmarsh Trades and Labour / taxi to Fitz and the Fitz Bar my phone picked itself up and went like the clappers to a place where no one could see  / hear it!!   So a great start to the night out.   Mrs Masher of course was really useful by not having any credit on her phone!!!   Looks like an Insurance claim. 

Having suffered the Karaoke at the Fitz, some of the voices were excellent he adds in haste - we returned to Rawmarsh to catch the last set of the “turn”.   The second set started with a bit of Stevie Wonder, moving straight into the Fu Fighters, at which point Mrs Masher announces, it all sounds the same lol.  We headed home.   

Folkies, watch out for a number of top nights coming in the New Year.  The purpose of the concerts will be to raise funds to fight UKIP at next year’s elections both Council and General.  We’re hoping for one very special night where one and hopefully two of the lefts legends will be appearing.  That excludes The Masher, who might go into pain killing overload to make an appearance at one of the concerts.  

There are series of warm up concerts coming at St Jame’s Hall on the 29th November, featuring John Young, The Young O’ Two’s, The Ley Brothers and the Choir of Singing for Fun under the the Leadership of Phoebe, + other special guests they say.  

All funds raised will be spent on Campaigns against those organisations that seek to divide the people of Rotherham.   Rotherham’s strength lays in it’s unity.  

We also hope to have a rock event featuring Rotherham Bands, the last at the Rugby Club, while successful, I believe, could have done with one or two truly local Bands.    

Mick has been rubbing shoulders with the likes of Robert Plant in Leeds but has reported that Sunday afternoon’s outing with System Of Hate at The Cutlers proved to be a great afternoon of music.   Keep an eye out for the Sunday concerts (this coming week it is Alvarez Kings, back by popular demand).   If you’ve not yet sampled a pint of Chantry Real Ale on a Sunday afternoon this will be as good as any to give it a try.   Good Ale slips down a treat with good music.

Some good news.  RAE have successfully joined up with MyPlace in Rotherham to put together the Foundation Records project.   Keen readers will know that we’ve been working on this for some time and having been directed up a couple of dead ends we’ve finally pinned it down.   Watch this space for how you / young people can get involved.   We will be looking to have auditions in the later part of January 2015 with the first recordings happening soon after that, so watch the RAE Facebook and RAE Web Site for the details as they become available.  

The final total going to the Royal British Legion from the efforts of the Something Special Hookers, reached a magnificent figure in excess of 700GBP.   Brilliant work as I never get tired of saying.

And so we move to the weekend ahead.   It’s the last weekend off for Live at The Trades before heading towards a fantastic four Gig build up towards the Festive Day.   Tickets for all four events are selling well, mainly because we have something for everyone.  Punk, Classic Pop Rock, the eighties and classic electronic eighties sounds.  We start with a real cracker, the UKSubs returning to Rotherham, and we have an amazing support, with The Shambolix, Systems of Hate, The Sons of El Roacho, Cambodia and Sneaking Stupidity all up for a real Party.  Check the poster for stage timings, and if you want a seat you’ll going to have to be early for this one.   Tickets are 11:00 GBP and can be bought from on Hotline Number 01709 719296 (Dickie lost his phone), the Trades (we still don’t have their number), Mezmerize on Wellgate, The Cutlers, and of course at Online with WegotTickets by following the appropriate links in The RAE Box Office HERE

This Saturday the Old Market Gallery is hosting a Makers Market, where amongst the stalls you will find Minx.  The Market opens between 5pm and 10pm.   Sonnet will be playing The Cutlers, while Resurrection will be playing SNAFU. 

Monday has Nellie Folk in it’s regular spot starting at 8:45.  

At ROAR Art Space, Westgate the Christmas Make is underway, you’re not too late to join in on the Christmas crafting ideas running on Wednesdays between 3:00pm and 7:00pm.  Not only do you get some great ideas and the opportunity to make them, but you also get to learn how to use all the equipment that ROAR has available.     This is the seasonal version of Project, Project.    

Also at ROAR the scribble walls are still very much in use, extending ROAR’s celebration of the Big Draw. 

All the events we know of can be found on the RAE Listings page HERE

And that just about sums it up for this week