We’re heading to another Bank Holiday. This part of the year always confuses me as I tend to forget what the Holiday is celebrating. This one is May Day. For young ones who may not remember, this is about remembering the battles of the Labour Movement that gave us so much that we now tend to take for granted.
To celebrate this year why not pop down to the Imperial Building on Rotherham’s Corporation Street around 7:00pm and join in the Party that will be going on. Details HERE
That is just for starters. This is probably the busiest weekends of the year, with Festivals and Open Events throughout the Town. It’s often shouted out that nothing happens in Rotherham; this weekend proves that lie to this and once again it’s the arts lobby that leads the way. So SHOUT IT OUT – there is no need to sit at home moaning of boredom this weekend.
You can find just some of the top music and visual art events on the RAE listings page HERE and I bet there are even more things going on that have slipped through my net.
Here are a few pointers.
Top of the list has to be the Wath Folk Festival. I’m told tickets are still available for the Concerts, but don’t think you have to pay to be involved in the atmosphere, pop down to Wath centre on Saturday morning and listen to the music and watch the Morris dancers – it’s a great show. Many of the pubs host free sessions throughout the weekend and there is the Marquee on the Park where you can normally listen to some of the top local musicians and poets. Find the link on the listings page HERE
The Cutlers has a top weekend of live music starting Friday night with Just Before Dawn taking to the stage. Saturday it’s Dan and the Mavericks and Sunday afternoon a Rockabilly special with The Sons of El Roacho taking to the stage. Real Ale, sunshine and more.
The Imperial at Mexborough is having an in House Beer Festival over the weekend, to accompany it there is some brilliant music going on. Top of my list is The Colin Robinson Band on Friday evening. Colin leads top Club Rock Band Wizz Kids and Whitesnake Tribute Band Lovehunter, so you can be sure of a great rocking night. Sunday, another of my favourite local Bands Sneaking Stupidity will be taking to the stage.
Live in Rotherham present Dizzy Lizzy at one of the new homes, Silverwood Miners Resource Centre, on Saturday. This promises to be a great night with support coming from top local originals rockers Carnival of Thieves. Tickets can be purchased Online HERE, or at Silverwood. Buy in advance and save yourself £2 on the Door price.
For those seeking visual and fine Art, the Open Sheffield event kicks off. Artists across South Yorkshire open the doors on their studios giving a fantastic insight into the creative process. In Rotherham artists using the ROAR Art Space on Westgate will be opening their studios. Go take a look at some of the fantastic work being done by local artists.
It’s also the weekend of the Filey Folk Festival which has a top line up of the best of Northern based artists. I’ve got some great memories of having played this Festival myself and can recommend the event, and true to RAE principles it’s FREE giving everyone the opportunity to taste folk music old and new.
At The Commercial at Chapeltown, Sheffield, on Friday evening Alan Gill launches a new monthly Folk session, First Friday Folk. We wish you well Alan and hope that we’ll get to visit the Club in the not too distant future.
Also on Friday we have Big ROMP at the Bridge. Go along and read your work or simply take in the work of some of Rotherham’s top poets.
Value added of Saturday includes The Mix’s Taking Back the Town event in Rotherham Town Centre at 12:00pm. Fun for all the family, and will include music and theatre.
The Bridge features those stalwarts of the local music scene Searching for Sylvia, on Saturday night.
And yet another of my top to see bands The Shambolix will be playing The Flying Scotsman in Doncaster.
Sunday and The Imperial Building on Corporation Street, Rotherham has it’s monthly Sunday Market. Crafts, cakes!!, music and much more.
I don’t usually point people towards religious events, but this one caught my eye and may be interesting. The Liberty Church in Rotherham entertain The Watoto Children’s Choir. A treat for the ears I am told.
Conisbrough Open Mic will be holding an extra session from 8:00pm Sunday night at the Castle Bar, while veterans of the local scene Tush will be playing at The Titans Rugby Club.
So a great few days ahead - links to the events where they exist, can be found on the RAE listings page HERE
So to the out and about section. Well I’ve not been out as much as I would have liked, but a couple of weeks ago I was taken to the Pitman Poets evening at the Concertina Club in Mexborough. It has been many years since I had last crossed the threshold of this establishment and very little had changed. My last visit had been for a Pub Quiz Cup Final, representing The Sportsman, Swinton. Wow how time flies.
The Pitman Poets are lead, if that’s the word by Tony Goodwin, yes, The Pitman Poet himself. In fact it was Tony who dragged me out.
He should be very proud of the group of poets he has gathered together, with everyone getting the opportunity to recite two or three poems on the night.
Special Guests were the fantastic Rotherham Red Choir who under the baton of Phoebe performed three wonderful numbers.
Then it was the turn of The Masher to earn his pint. Only my second performing outing in 2014/15. Aided by the mass choir of the Red Choir who strangely knew the songs (lol) it turned into a really lively set.
If this were not enough, Mr Gooders then dragged me, along with his young lady, to The Imperial to sample their Open Mic Night. Great to see the Storm Trees duo in situ – my they work hard – and one or two others I recognised. I repeated the set to an interested audience. Nice Open Mic, welcoming and a great atmosphere – if you’ve not yet checked it out well worth a visit.
Unfortunately planned other outings had to be put on hold because of ill health. However, great reports have come back to me about Love Comes First 4. Well done to all involved. Best of all there was a truly culturally diverse mix to the entertainment.
You can’t get away Tony Goodwin at the moment – he’s only gone and released a CD of his work entitled Poems of Love and Loss, which features many of his more recent poems.
I’m to blame for the CD having nagged and nagged at him. It is the first recording project of our Community Record Label, a project that has not been without it’s problems in communication and missing technical men. In the end Tony has produced a sample of his work which those who enjoy his poems will enjoy. It’s true to the Pitman Poet in that the CD has no airs and graces and some will say under produced, but this is the way he wanted it, rough raw and to the point – indeed The Pitman Poet.
The CD is £5 direct from Tony - PM on Facebook, or grab him if you spot him in Town or better still catch him at one of his many live appearances across the UK.
On Friday 1st The Hurriers launch their CD, From Acorns Mighty Trees at The underground in Barnsley. From the tracks I’ve heard this is a gritty collection of songs reflecting the Socialist principles of the Band. If you can’t make the Gig you can find out more about it and order it HERE
Unfortunately Jam and Slam took a knock back, the last gathering unfortunately not taking place because of a lock out at MyPlace. Communication is the word, and clear lack of it resulted in the error. However it has got me thinking about what we are trying to achieve with the Group. So we are going to have a short break while we get the project back on track.
Slamfest and the call goes out. We need Young Bands average age has to be under 24 to appear on the Slamfest Youth Stage as part of the main Festival, if you are interested please EMAIL HERE We also need Acoustic performers of any age to fill potentially two acoustic stages. EMAIL HERE
Recent Sponsorship deals with other Festivals have not gone under our radar. We absolutely applaud the work of the Festivals and their organisers, however Mick and I were left wondering where were these Sponsors when we needed help and support for Slamfest in Rotherham Town? I know it sounds sour grapes, but the fact remains that at least one sponsor is often highly critical of the lack of events in Rotherham, let’s hope that their support of Beanfest marks a change in policy.
The Cutlers Sunday sessions take on an upgrade in June when on the 8th our good chum Ed Tenpole Tudor will be making an appearance and this time supported by The Shambolix. AND on the 28th June Tom Hingley the former lead singer with Inspiral Carpets will be making an appearance. You can buy your tickets for both these concerts from the RAE On Line Box OfficeHERE
So nothing happens in Rotherham? Perhaps some businesses and local Newspapers need to get behind and celebrate the positive and creative images of Rotherham.
So whatever you’re doing this Bank Holiday, have great fun, support your local shops and artists, and above all KEEP IT LIVE.