Monday, 13 October 2014

Golden Oldies / Slamfest4 / Books + Something for the Weekend

The Masher has had a nice week, thank you.   It was fantastic to get out of Rawmarsh for a couple of days and take in the sea air and Charity Shops of Skegness.  

Took in some music too, a sixties throw back Festival thing.   

It was interesting to see some of the top teeny bopping bands of the early seventies doing their stuff -  they must have all been knocking on the door seventy, but who’s counting.   Edison Lighthouse bashing out “Love Goes where My Rosemary Goes” for the millionth time, but not in psychedelic flower shirts to my disappointment. 

 In fact Edison Lighthouse are now a top Cabaret turn, specialising in songs from sixties and seventies dressed in white dinner jackets.   Great entertainers for a certain age group, and given that they are probably the best known one hit wonders, I suppose it’s little surprise that they have gone off and found their niche on the Cruise circuit and sixties  / seventies Festival scene.    

I managed to not be bottled by The Bee Gee’s Tribute Band or Slyde (Slade Tribute Band) both having appeared at Live at The Trades to down beat audiences, and pay.   The Bee Gees were again superb, slick and professional, while Slyde again disappointed as they did at The Trades, by first the lead singers attitude and secondly by throwing non Slade songs at the wrong moment in the set, e.g. the end when all you wanted was a good stomping Slade song to see them off.   And surely – they must be experienced enough to know that an audience in a Club type environment are not going to wave arms, stand up,  or even dance at 8:30pm, not enough petrol will have been taken on board.   (That’s why the lead singer was p***ed off) 

We should have had Elvin Stardust to finish off on Saturday night, but his Zimmer frame had tripped him up and he was in hospital recovering.  Instead, and I think probably a far better show were The Rubetts,  white Masher hats and famous for “Sugar Baby Love” although in the early seventies they had a run of major and minor hits, while wowing the young girls in the Top Of The Pops studio.   Having only seen them mime, first it was astonishing to see that they could produce the sound and the fantastic harmonies that were a feature of their performances, LIVE.   The hour long set had only three or four cover songs in it, the rest was their material, some of it new (a dated sound though) was all their own work.  I have to say that I was well impressed with their Show.  They stayed true to their roots, performing in their trade mark white suits and for Sugar Baby, the white peak caps.   This Masher takes his hat off to them   Really enjoyed it.  (Thus demonstrating his often suspect musical taste) lol   Oh and yes – all the high notes were hit with precision.  

Yes it was a throwback, but there are many lessons to be learnt from the original acts from the sixties who are still bashing it out.  They are still performing for their sheer love of the music, (maybe a bit of cash as well), why else would they be putting themselves through the rigours of hour long sets.  How refreshing given the instant success being sold by X Factor that says nothing about hard gigging and musical enjoyment.   How many of the X Factors acts when interviewed talk about their enjoyment of singing or playing music? 

Couldn’t stop for Complete Madness (be good to see them in Rotherham again) and the Blondie Tribute, mores the pity.   Oh and an honourable mention for Club Land Band Fourmost who did their sixties and seventies tribute set, and that really says it all. 

We’re a step closer to launching Foundation Records, although the Kickstarter Crowd Funding exercise is a little flat.   I’ve been learning one or two things though, and I hope to sharpen things up in the coming weeks.    If you’ve not already checked out the Foundation Record’s –page and to pledge go to the Kickstarter page HERE

If you are a young Band, or spoken word artist who would like to be involved in the Foundation records project t please get in touch.  Any genre of music will be considered.   Also if you are interested in learning about how to play with sliders on the recording equipment, or learn something about recording production we would like to hear from you.   Email HERE

We are making progress on a number of other fronts, all of which need to be kept under wraps for the moment.

We are currently looking to finance a 6 Meter X 4 meter  portable stage for use by all Arts Groups in Rotherham.  The likely cost with cover will be approx.  £8K.   We will be thinking of the best way to finance this in the short-term.  Such an addition to the facilities in Rotherham would in the mid-term save a considerable amount of money. 

Another group though headed up by Graham Riches is the Rotherham Art Events Photographic Group.  This Group replaces the Snappers which fell into disrepair.   All RAE Photographic Group business will be carried out on Flicker, as this is thought to be the best place to place photographic work.   The link to the new Flicker page is HERE   

I was really pleased to hear that ROMP Too which has been running for near on a year continues to flourish.  Big shout for Bob for founding the informal and quieter version of ROMP.   A great place to try new material out along with the odd song, last week provided by Paul Pearson.  

Chris Bilton, editor of the Word Pit will soon be putting out his claws to capture the very best of the Christmas verse from local poets for our Christmas issue – watch out for his “shout out”.  You can Email Chris HERE with your entries. 

A mention for some of local writers.   Music Social Historian Tony Beesley’s new book “Sawdust Caesars.  Original d Voices” can now be found on the bookshelves.   A great read for people who are from the era, and those who enjoy the music and would like to discover more.    It can be found HERE   Tony’s book  “Away From the Numbers” featuring a lot of people on the Rotherham music scene is for a limited time available at Half Price for a limited time.  HERE   Tony has been prolific writer about music and has a fantastic back catalogue all of which are still available.  

Another writer / performer who has been working hard recently at Festivals around the North and making a name for herself is Carol Robson.   Her book, ”Words of Darkness and Light” which has been under constant revision is available on Amazon HERE   The book will also be published by Thynks Publications Ltd sometime this year.   

A slim volume from one of Rotherham’s much loved song writers / clairvoyant / and sings Mike O’Brian.  It’s called  “The Great British Poets: Vol XVIII:”  It’s hilarious in places and sad plus insightful in others;  a real treasure to add to one’s poetry collection.  It’s available from Amazon  HERE costing only £3.99

Singing from the Floor: A History of British Folk Clubs - With JP Bean and John Tams is exactly what it says on the cover, with plenty of references to Sheffield base Folk Clubs during the “folk revival” period.  It’s another important Social History of music book to get your hands on.  The book is available from Amazon HERE On Wednesday 15th JP Bean will talking as part of the Off The Shelf Festival.  DETAILS HERE  

Want to be part of the Slamfest Team?   We certainly need you as work starts to put together the 2015 Festival.  The more volunteers the more ambitious we can be in the staging of the event and the number of venues we might cover.   Email HERE If you are a Band or artist and would like to be considered to play for the Festival then you need to contact our Booking God Mick HERE for rock and electronic or Dickie HERE if you’re an acoustic or folk act. 

We’ve also  started the fund raising for 2015, even though one major sponsor has not yet paid for 2014!!!   If you are a business and would like to be part of Slamfest 2015 then please get in contact with us for a chat.  We are pleased to say that Chantry Brewery will again be significant sponsors in 2015, we are so grateful, as without their amazing support in 2014 the show would quite simply not have got off the ground.   For all our Commercial Partners check out the slide show on the RAE Home Page and the Slamfest Home Page.

Off the Shelf Festival continues on the other side of the M1, until the 1st November, keep an eye on their page HERE for the highlights.    There are some really interesting events coming up so it’s worth staying in tune.

On Thursday CHOL open their new Office in the Imperial Building in Rotherham dedicated to their new project 'The Mix/It Can't Happen Here'.  The significance of this project for Children given recent events cannot be under estimated.  The Office launch is between 5:00pm and 7:00pm if you would like to find out more about the project.   More information about CHOL can be found HERE  

It’s Musicport weekend at Whitby from Friday evening, for all the details follow the link on the Listings page.  HERE

And it’s a top night in Rotherham on Saturday.  Live At The Trades bring you Livewire, widely tipped as the number one AC/DC tribute Band in the UK.  Tickets have been flying out, both from the ticket Agents (The Trades, Mezmerize, The Cutlers) and our online agents.   To be sure of a seat get in early and buy your ticket now.   During the evening Kinkids (see previous Blog) will be making a collection to raise money for the Children’s Christmas Party.  Please show your support for this amazing support Group. 

At The Cutlers, Crimson Moon who did a fantastic spot at The Trades for us will be in full cry.   Who’s on at The Bridge?  

At the Orient Express there is a Girl’s Night for Gazza, organised by British Muslim Youth.  I’m sure everyone will be made welcome.

Keep checking out the Listings page HERE as I’m sure there will be late additions in the days to come. 

Please take note that Lovehunter and Dirty Dylan tickets are now available at all the usual ticket Agents.   Both are already selling quite fast so best pick yours up while you can.  Live At The Trades Tickets from HERE

So whatever you are doing this week have a great time, support the local music scene and KEEP IT LIVE. 

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