Tuesday, 21 July 2015

News, News, News + Reviews

Top news, The Trades is to open again.   The new Management team of Ashley the owner and Johnny the venue Manager met with Mick and Dickie this week to discuss a role for RAE.  

I shall be honest we didn’t know what to expect and given previous experience our expectations were to say the least low; to say that we were blown away by what we saw and heard would be an understatement. 

It was refreshing to see that many if not all of RAE’s suggestions (see previous Blogs) for the venue have been listened to and acted on and we were over the moon that the new  Management Team made it perfectly clear that The Trades was to become a primary music venue. 

The Trades is so important to Rotherham, it is the second largest venue we currently have and this reincarnation of the venue with an aggressive commercial approach has the full support of RAE.   Yes the product has to be right; the price has to be right; but for the operator there has to be a positive bottom line.    

Currently major refurbishments are taking place, from new colour sc   There’s to be a new reception area, and the whole concept of the business is to change moving completely away from the traditional Working Man’s Club model that had so plagued the previous operators. 
hemes for the two Bar areas, and the snug is being converted into a service area.

The venue plans to open for only two or three evenings per week, probably Friday to Sunday, with a programme of top music from across the genres, with some specialist entertainment events like the very popular Night Train Burlesque shows returning to the venue. 

There will be no television etc or traditional Club activities like bingo…………..    

But the main difference is in the overall organisation which will be more like the old Boardwalk / O2 venue set up.  On ticket night no one will get into the venue free. 

RAE have been offered one night a month to promote our shows.   We hope to bring you some of the very best Bands available over the Autumn, Winter and Spring starting in September.   Watch this space for news of the programme.   The programme will be based on what we know you want from the tickets you have bought for our shows in the past.  We will of course look to throw in something different from time to time.  

The Venue re-opens on 8th August 2015 just in time for the first Millers Home match of the season with a Rock and Roll spectacular to launch the Saturday night programme. 

Full details of the advance programme will appear on the RAE Listings pages and Live in Rotherham pages when known.

BUT the basic rules apply – USE IT OR LOSE IT my friends – this I think is the very last chance for the Trades.

Preparations for Slamfest 4 Part 2 are well underway.    Another FREE party for the people of Rotherham and again it’s music by the people for the people, helped by Queen II and The Vibrators who headline Saturday and Sunday respectively.   Make a weekend of it – and BOOK MONDAY OFF, so that you can enjoy the full Party and not leave mid evening.  

We are emphasising the FREE as some Land Lords around Rotherham were suggesting that Slamfest 4 Part 1 was charging £12.50 for entry, a complete fabrication of the reality.   

Once again The Cutlers will be playing host to the event - and we are really hoping that the canopy will be on for this one – with Bristol Street Motors (Chesterfield) and Chantry Brewery sharing the main Sponsorship.  

We do need more Sponsorship or advertising for the event so if you are interested in reaching the people of Rotherham with your message and would like to find out more Email us HERE

We also have vacancies for a limited number of Bands to play on the MyPlace Youth Stage – a stage especially for young people to experience LIVE MUSIC - we have space for three upbeat Bands.    There will also be an Acoustic Stage at the New York Tavern again.   This time the PA will be O 
K – I’m told.

You can find a list of the Bands appearing HERE

Final bit of Slamfest Part 1 news.  Your generosity raised just over £500 for The Rotherham Hospice, which is brilliant.   

We hope to at least match this amount at Slamfest Part 2

Mattfest proved to be a brilliant Party night at The Cutlers despite the bad weather on the night.    Opening the evening on the outside stage was Shock of The Fall who warmed the growing audience perfectly, rocking everyone a set of their original numbers.    Always difficult to open, but a job well done.  

Unfortunately the only rain cloud in South Yorkshire decided to pay us a visit and after a bit of hiatus we eventually decided to move everything inside.  Full marks to Jason for completely shifting the PA and setting up the sound inside so quickly.

Elvis entered the building for forty odd minutes of classic Elvis.   Cheesy, yes, but as always very popular as our Elvis belted out all the     Great fun – so much fun that Rotherham’s very own Elvis fanatic Mr Mick Hill got up to give us a song.  He really has a good voice (don’t tell him that I said so though).  
hits accompanied by The Cutlers Chorus Choir.

Finishing the night came some classic Mod set from Handsome Dan and The Mavericks.  Two of the very best sets of Party music that had the revellers jumping around and dancing.    They two managed to find a song that the afore mentioned Mr Hill knew, and for one number it was Ugly Mick and The Mavericks.  

Again the generosity of the audience raised £200 for the Matt Cryer Appeal which is good news indeed.  

That’s a total of £700 raised in donations over the two events.   Thank you on behalf of the recipients. 

 Another major event in Rotherham on the 11th July was Rotherham Pride, held at Clifton Park.   Pride is fast becoming one of the popular Summer events on the calendar in Rotherham, providing a range of entertainment from the sublime singer song writer that is Nic Harding to tribute acts including Lady Ga Ga.  Besides the music they also have an extensive range of stalls providing Community, Health and other advise.    

Well done to the organisers.  

11th was also the day that the 40s came to Rotherham Town Centre with a BANG.   Stalls, music and Dancing throughout the Town Centre what more could we want for.   It was great to see the Town Centre buzzing with activity in a celebratory mood.   A great success for the Town Centre Team that organised the event. 

And yes - there was even more going on in Rotherham on the 11th as Something Special opened their brand new Tea Room in the Old Mayor's Parlour.  

This is a brilliant addition to Rotherham's offer, with cakes and teas and more to get the taste buds going, all in the surroundings of some fantastic Rotherham Craft Work.

Next time you're in Town, check it out.

Sorry to say you’ve now missed the chance to see the thought provoking and challenging multi-media Exhibition from ROAR members at the Old Market Gallery.  I really hope that you managed to get into see it, if for no other reason than it was the last Exhibition to be mounted at OMG who now transfer their activities to Kepple House, that’s the building behind OMG and runs along the riverside.  

Old Market Gallery has been purchased and will become a Wedding Super shop – a one stop for wedding planning.   Ouch, but demonstrates how Rotherham is starting to attract inward investment again.  
I’m told the new building will have toilets, lighting etc., I’ve yet to establish if it will also have heating.

One of the first things the new building will be hosting, I think, is Dangerous Drawing, a new weekly art school for young people for the summer holidays.  There is an initial meeting on the 20th July and the School starts the first Friday in August.   Email for more details HERE

Watch out soon for news of The Exchange (formerly Yates) re-opening soon.   It’s another venue currently undergoing major changes.  That should really make the chappie in the flats who appears to have nothing better to do with his time than complain about The Cutlers sound really happy.   Strangely, as far as we know, SNAFU has escaped the moans yet is right on his door step.  

Also now two / three weeks in is The Big Bang, the weekly drumming School for young people at MyPlace.   Once a month Amy from Rotherham African Drummers will leading a workshop, with practice and skill development sessions taking up other sessions.   From my experience this is a very lively group of young people meeting at 5:00pm each Monday and the plan is to run it through to Jam & Slam from mid-September, all as part of encouraging young people to participate in music from across our Communities.


A word for Chris Matthews who painted and presented to me a magnificent portrait of Dickie in his Slamfest garb.   Thank you so much my friend and it's something I will treasure always.   

Sad to say that our Town was again invaded by a group of chanting morons disrupting normal business in Rotherham.   I’m all for the freedom to demonstrate, but this is not demonstrating, it’s an excuse to bring hate to our Streets and the Police, rather than disrupting Town folk by over policing these events would be better served and would go up a step in my esteem if they arrested some of the morons shouting hate slogans rather than march them around the Town.  

It’s a shame that instead of the hordes of shoppers and revellers seen in Rotherham the previous two weeks / three weeks, we instead saw only the hearty bothering to come to Town.   Let’s hope that not too much damage has been done and we’ll all be back on track again next week.  

Beanfest 2015 has passed over with 3,000 claimed to be in attendance, and if the speed at which the bar seemed to run dry, if you had the patience to queue for an hour, then I can well believe it.   There were also car parking issues with disruption to locals.   Apparently the organisers were caught by surprise and intend to put it right next year, which is exactly what they said last year.  

That aside it was another fantastic success for the Beanfest Committee with an estimated £2K being donated to Charity.  

Clearly we like to support other Rotherham Festivals like Beanfest, although it would sometimes be nice to see that support returned, lol   and I was intrigued by a number of comments on the event page that totally ignored the existence of Slamfest.   Anyone would think we were in competition, when in fact we are music Festivals with slightly different priorities as far as the music goes.   That said, many of the Bands appear at both Festivals. 

And let’s also go back in time to give the Conisborough Music Festival a big shout of congratulations.   All reports coming into my Inbox suggest that this was a great success.   It was also great to see a Local Authority in the form of Doncaster giving full support to the event from Council and Art Organisation Funding + some great Sponsorship from the local Community.

Dare I say what a pity that Rotherham cannot do the same? 

I should add it was a ticketed Festival – SLAMFEST CONTINUES TO BE FREE          

Coming up this next weekend Tramlines in Sheffield.    Another Festival that benefits from great local support.   So good to the Venues booking Bands and competing with each other to provide a top Festival experience.  The main Stage looks good, but I’m told that wrist bands are selling fast and a word of warning the drink and food regulations that caused problems last year are again in place.   Do not take food and drink into the main stage arena.

It's worth noting too that Online booking costs an additional Booking Fee of  75p  Not bad as things go for booking fees - but..............................

Don’t forget to visit the Folk Forrest, it’s free, and they have some great performers listed.  

All the Tramlines details and News HERE

On Saturday 1st August amongst all the great live music in Town, One Direction will be appearing at the Civic.   Ah that’s a One Direction Tribute Band -  One for the young Teenagers – I think it’s a Dads beware weekend.  

That’s it for this quick catch up.

Whatever you are doing until the next time, have fun, support your local artists and business and above all KEEP IT LIVE

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