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

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