Monday, 23 July 2012

HERE WE GO INTO SLAMFEST


A busy week ahead……………………….  As we run into Rock Rotherham Saturday

BUT let us not forget, Slamfest was originally to be a week-long Celebration of the Arts in Rotherham.  We tried to make this a reality –  but

We do have music throughout the week though. 

On Monday, Mr Masher and Folk cohorts will be found at The Bridge Nellie Folk.  Starts 8:45pm

The rest of the events take place at Myplace Youth and Community Centre run by the YMCA at St Anne's RotherhamWe will be using their little theatre facilities, please come along to the following events and check out the facilities.

Tuesday,  Roy Blackman will launch his CD at Myplace – for those remaining in total blissful ignorance as to where this might be, it’s the modern looking Youth Building on St Anne’s Road in Rotherham.   Supporting Roy will be Keystone Acoustic and Paul Pearson.  Starts 7:30pm  The CD will be available on the night £10 or £9.99 for cash.

Wednesday 25th Pocketful Of N’owt will be appearing at Myplace.   Unfortunately, Mike Watts and Joe Hakim have pulled out at short notice, but I believe Jon Barrington is still going to provide some poetical thought to the evening.  Starts 8:15pm. 

Thursday 26th  For a whole number of reasons we’ve cancelled the show at The Rugby Club.   Bad day etc.  with the weekend looming

However,  the FOF Theatre, will be presenting their evening of Theatre at Myplace two plays from local authors.   Starts 7:30pm


A reminder to all those writers from Rawmarsh and Crystal Peaks who sent in Plays – these are currently being worked on by FOF Theatre who because of holiday commitments and work could not get the rehearsal time needed to do justice to the Plays.  This was announced some time ago but just a reminder that you have not been forgotten and that there will be at least two Shows of your work during The Fringe Festival in October.

If one senses a degree of impatience with regard to this part of the Festival – you would be correct, further comments when wounds are not so raw.

And so to Rotherham’s Rockin’ Weekend………………….   It all starts with The Myke Barritt Memorial Concert – a NIGHT OF THE BEST LOCAL PUNK + a bluesy softie……….  At The Bridge on Friday 27th July.   Brain Bomb, Majority Vote with support from Gazz.   A night of FREE music not to be missed.

The weekend’s raffle starts here too.  Booze and a bit more + an Accord Guitar (second hand, but in lovely condition). 

Saturday – well go head to the Web Site for all the details, simply far too much going on to do justice to in the Blog.  


This whole event has been financed privately – not a penny of public money has been offered or gone into the event, which makes it even more remarkable that it it’s all going ahead according to plan.   Let’s face, our Main Stage Sponsor  Ziggy’s Workhouse Gym’s contribution really helped to get us up and working, our considerable thanks to them, and indeed to all our Sponsors and advertisers.  However, Mick is not sure that this is what the Sponsors quite had in mind for advertising their services.  I'm told that Ziggy is sending a team of his boys and girls to do a mini work out to the music in All Saints Square at some point during the day - keep your eyes open.

Then on Sunday it’s a chill out at The Queens in Rawmarsh, where some of the best of the Regions acoustic musicians will be doing their stuff, everything from chilled blues to traditional folk at Acoustic Rotherham 16.   There will be a prize for the person who can keep Dickie Masher awake for the longest time. 


The whole weekend could be buzzing – I know the Bands have being doing their thing at Tramlines to awake people to Slamfest,  and there have been a few things going on in the background which may also have an impact on the attendance.

The hearts of both Mick and I went out to the organisational team at Bomfest over at Barnsley who have had to postpone their event from 28th July until mid- September.   Apparently a combination of weather and Council Cuts has lead to a few misunderstandings with the Local Authority.  But the good news for ticket buyers is that it goes ahead in September.

Also off on 28th July is the Rosehill Park, Rawmarsh, “Party in The Park”.  Always sad to see events go down, but if you read my review from last year; just maybe it will not be a big miss.

There is also the Volkswagen  Festival at Hooton Roberts.  As we go to press (always like using that term) we have been told a final decision will be taken on Tuesday as to whether or not the ground will be dry enough to allow the Festival to go ahead.

Slamfest then, might well end up as the only show in Town, and with the sixty plus acts and Bands, on the nine stages, there’s room for everyone to come to Rotherham and have a great day out.

And there’s more bad newsThe Rotherham Trades Club has eventually closed it’s doors as a Working Men’s Club despite the fine efforts of the Committee to keep it going.   It shows that in these days of austerity even one good night a week is not enough to keep the Clubs going.

The Trades Club has always been a supporter of Club music, and I will admit to having had some great nights out ther, unfortunately though, the cost of acts playing to handful of drinkers has taken it’s toll.

PLEASE NOTE THE TRADES CLUB IS STILL ONE OF THE IMPORTANT VENUES FOR SLAMFEST ON SATURDAY 28TH JULY HOSTING THE INDIE BANDS AND IT WILL BE OPEN and serving it’s normal range of beers etc. 

The future of the Club which is already under new ownership,  is a little uncertain at the moment the usual host of rumours doing the rounds.  Rotherham Art Events will be looking to be in the mix though, and we’ve assured that nights we have booked for the Fringe Festival in October will be honoured by the Club no matter what.

And even more bad news I’m afraid.  The Domino at Kimberworth Park closed it’s doors a couple of weeks ago, yet another fine supporter of live music, in the form of the Friday Jam session.  It seems that the Pub is to be sold.  I’ve heard rumours of all sorts of complications concerning the use of the building and land, and the distress this has all caused to Land Lady who has fought the sale tooth and nail. 

Martin and Mike have taken the Jam night up the road to The Haynook, and it joins the Thursday night rush of Open Mic Jams events.  So for Domino boys and girls you have a new home until the old one is sorted.

Summer Breezes, and I’m not talking about the dreadful weather of the past months, I refer of course to the weekend 17th / 18th /19th August, at Clifton Park.  RAE along with Clifton Park are promoting a fantastic evening in then Walled Garden, where the famous Dirty Dylan and Band will be giving us an evening of Bob Dylan.  Tickets are £10 and can be obtained from the Information Centre in Town.  Rotherham’s own Phil Sinclair will be providing the support.

After Slamfest we hope to be making an announcement about an honorary  President for Rotherham Art Events…………….   It’s a great name from the music scene.  Watch this space.

I did eventually manage to get to The Old Market Gallery to check out the exhibition of Fabulous Sound Machines.  It really is an intriguing collection of creations that make sound and can react to human interaction to make tunes.  You could spend hours, learning how some of the machines work so as to play a tune.  Everything from wind power to clever electric and laser light power.  Super stuff and well worth the couple of quid to get in.  If you’ve got a few minutes pop in and take a look.

Only got out on one night this week and was Saturday to Rawmarsh Trades and Labour Club where Coyote were rocking the house.  Lacking a bit in production these veterans of WMC rock played to a packed house, so packed that at 9:00pm there was not even standing room in the Concert Hall.  Great to see at least one Club organising a WMC programme that has people using the Club through the week and packing it on a Saturday.  

Next week, if I did not have Slamfest duties I might well have been tempted across to Herringthorpe where Here’s Jonny will be rocking it out, but I suspect I’ll be in The Bridge for 77 who also have some great support on with them, once Goat Leaf have finished on the Main Stage, that is………..   lol

Is the Masher playing at Slamfest? – YES HE IS – Mick has very kindly found a spot for me on The Exchange Acoustic stage!!!  And I should think so to!!  I will be playing with my new (much cheaper, very much cheaper, Mashing Machine, which is due to be delivered tomorrow)  So come along and see me when I kick it all off at 12:00 noon – yes, the warm up spot again.

There’s loads going on next weekend, so I’d send you to the Listings page HERE

Really hope to see as many of you in Rotherham as possible next week, it promises to be brilliant. 

But whatever you are doing, have a great time, support your local artists and KEEP IT LIVE.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

SLAMFEST NEWS: LIVE REVIEWS FROM MUSIC AND THEATRE: PICTURES


I'm late - but I hope it's worth it to the reading public.

Once again we have a whole lot of stuff to work through again………………   all of it I hope will be of some interest to you. 

Let’s start with SLAMFEST and would you believe it, we’re less than a week away from when the Festival is due to start, and less than two weeks from Rock Rotherham Saturday!  Yikes.   Most of the hard work has now been done, we could do with more cash, but we can fight on.

OK what do we need – BANDS  BANDS BANDS WE NEED YOU TO READ THIS BIT we need you to get the word out there, you’ll find am link to some fliers that you can download – the front is the general announcement – the rear relates to the various venue line ups.  Please down load and where ever you go, especially Tramlines next weekend pass them out. GO HERE TO DOWN LOAD THE FLIER

I know, I know, it would be nice to have you come and collect loads of pre-printed fliers, but I’m sure that you would much rather have our resources used to promote the Bands of Rotherham and District by staging more Festivals like this than printing tomorrows litter, especially when everyone could print twenty copies or so and the impact would be just as good.

Check on Facebook for the Event that includes you and share it with your friends and fans.  BELIEVE IT OR NOT YOUR COMPUTER WILL NOT BLOW UP IF YOU PRESS THE SHARE BUTTON ON FACEBOOK

If you are playing Tramlines next weekend, please give Slamfest numerous shouts during your performances.   Let’s have the Town buzzing with live music and music lovers.

And finally, Bands please check out the information that is for you HERE it would be helpful if you know your on stage time.

We still require Stage Managers for a few of the Venues.  If you would like to help out and get the Festival flowing then please contact Mick urgently HERE

WE NEED VOLUNTEERS.   Bucket collectors – Programme Sales people – and just generally helpful people.  There’s a T Shirt in it, for those who come forward and discounted burgers.  You need to contact Jane HERE – and again it’s urgent.  What a way to enjoy a day that promises to be a day that musicians and the music lovers of Rotherham are going to find hard to forget.  

Volunteers may be lucky enough to get one of these T shirts

Mick is a qualified First Aider, but it would be good if anyone out there who is a Qualified First Aider or a member of the St Johns Ambulance Brigade and could put themselves on duty throughout the day as a Volunteer could come forward. 

Yes Slamfest Rock Rotherham Saturday and Chill Out Sunday at The Queens in Rawmarsh is really taking place – it’s going to happen – we don’t know yet how the music lovers of Rotherham and district will react but it’s down to us all now to make it all work and for the Bands to make the most out of the event.

We also have a range of stunning T shirts to celebrate the various Stages and the artists performing, including a special one to celebrate the Myke Barritt Memorial Punk Concert at the Bridge.  Check them out HERE

Any questions then please contact Richard direct at 07805699476.

But let us not forget the other events in the week.  The FOF Theatre Presentation ; Pocketful of N’owt and the other Guys from Hull in a special show ;  and who knows Roy Blackman might turn up for his CD launch Party as well:  ALL THESE EVENTS AT MYPLACE + all the usual sessions.

And if you’re not playing Slamfest there’s an Open Mic thingy going on at the Woodland’s Club, Clifton, for Charity.  It runs all day.  In fact if you’re looking for a chance to play then you can also get to play at The Exchange and or The Imperial Building.

As you might expect the sceptics and the knockers are winding up their criticisms which all makes for an interesting life.   Mick and I are aware of the weaknesses, and we’ve gained valuable experience for next time, but for now let’s just enjoy the FULL WEEK not just the Saturday.

So what have you missed?

My weekend started on Friday night at The Bridge where Rotherham hosted a World Premier.  Yes a World Premier that received all the usual publicity that Arts events in Rotherham get, on Facebook.  

Stan Skinny’s “The Tesco Chain Store Massacre” was one of the best one hander productions I have seen, and that’s fine praise indeed, and includes “Shirley Valentine”. 

Fifty minutes of laughter with well observed comedy set to verse; no longer will I be going to the “fresh foods counter” or the bread department without wondering just what the assistant has done to my food and I’m sure we have all come across the Little Hitlers called Team Leaders, Section Heads, Department Manager etc . who create their whole World from their Retail life role, and consider themselves “hip” by using a word like “comprehendie”

Closer to home of course we witnessed Gav Roberts doing the Penguin Dance, and most impressive it was too. 

I take my Masher Cap off to Stan Skinny, assisted by his Brother, for a fantastic evening’s entertainment.   With a decent Sound System and proper lighting in a Theatre environment, this is going to be a big hit, and should be taken on the road to the Edinburgh Fringe –  this show would certainly not be part of the dross which makes up much of that Festival.

And if he doesn’t bring the show back to Rotherham soon, perhaps I’ll be able to twist his arm to bring it back for the Rotherham Fringe in October.

As it happens I was in need of cheering up on Friday.  Yes, the Mashing Machine left home.  For six years we have travelled the County and Country together, and not once did the Taylor complain to me about my making it sound like a Littlewoods Catalogue Special.  A sad day indeed.  But the price to be paid for wanting the Slamfest dream to happen.  The good news is that it has gone to a good home, and as a special treat you can hear the first song written and performed on the Mashing Machine by the new owner can be found HERE and HERE


Saturday and it was off to Beanfest.   For those who don’t know Beanfest has been around now for four or five years.  The early events happened at The Star in Rawmarsh to celebrate the life of Rob Crook  - they even allowed the odd acoustic act to play in those days – but now it’s all solid rock with a bit of roll.  The Festival which remains a free event and all money collected goes to Charity, now plays at The Parkview in Swinton which offers a perfect setting for Festivals.

Forward thinking meant that the boys of the Festival had arranged for a big marquee so even the weather couldn’t put off hundreds of Rotherham and district folks coming out to support their Bands. 

I was told that the name of the Band playing when I arrived was The Masturbators, the programme says that they were Mask of Virtue – so was the person who told me making a statement?  Whatever they certainly had the folks bouncing up and down.

On the inside stage I got to see View from S62 – ah lads it’s good to keep our youth yay – not sure if much of the audience were old enough to remember  many of the classic rock songs played.  Great version of Gino (Dexy Midnight Runners), even I was singing along.
Back outside and a Band that I had been wanting to cross the path of for some time.   The East Street Band.  I’ve seen Steve Gasgoine, (the lead singer) in a few guises, solo acoustic blues, folk  to name but two,  but this was a different Steve – and how he found the energy to bang out forty minutes of this high tempo Bruce Springsteen tribute.  Brilliant stuff.

But back to the reality of the future and the creativity of the new bands and before risking a soaking, I caught some Volume Zero.  Super heavy metal – heavy.   Not pretending to know anything about genre, but the musicianship was brilliant and despite the apparent anarchy of the music – it was together!   Am I supposed to say that?  

Congratulations to all at Beanfest for an amazing day of Free music.  All power to you and I’m already looking forward to 2013 when who knows, they might just let the Mashers do a spot again.

More pictures HERE

All this activity was having an effect, even by the time the Sutherland Road Crew had turned up to pick the Masher up on Sunday morning for the trip North to The Natures World Festival, the ankles and pain in the legs had not passed.  But hey – perhaps I should suffer a little for my art.

From Noon until 6:00pm a great afternoon of high quality Folk music and a dance to. 

And of course it’s great to meet up with so many Northern based Acoustic Rotherham folk……….  Love it.

The Mashers had a full complement of two, with John Masher bravely standing in following our usual extensive rehearsal of just five seconds – but I don’t think anyone noticed – the lack of rehearsal that is. 

Of course no Masher performance is without it’s drama.  This time the “make do” do guitar while a plug in, does not have a pre-amp so the sound system could not pick up a thing from me……….. so Pete from Keystone Acoustic sacrificed his own guitar to be Mashered.  Yes, we were half way through “My Old Guitar” when it became clear there was something wrong with the tuning.  Laugh, I nearly died when Pete came forward at the end of the song to inform me that the guitar was tuned to dropped D!!!  which is a bit like talking in foreign language to me. 

But it was fantastic that apparently the audience knew my songs, a sign I believe that we need more new material!! 

Great times and a lovely afternoon.   And I got to rub Sue’s knee all the way there and back in back seat of the car………….  What more could I wish for.   I don’t think Barrie noticed……  or did he?

More pictures HERE

So that’s what you didn’t see…………………….   Or most of you.

There’s a new kid on the block, one who has already made a laughing stock of yours truly amongst certain members of the Arts Community in Rotherham – one Opus Hatch.  You can find out more about this very ambitious person HERE it's the link on the listings page on the right.

It seems that Opus needs a few things to make his life complete, so if any of you have any of the items  please get in touch


OPUS HATCH – THINGS APPEAL

Hello everyone. This is an appeal on behalf of a very good friend of my good friend Opus Hatch. We need props. We are trying to purchase what we can, but we are on a very tight budget. So if you could find it in your hearts (and in your cupboards) to have a quick rummage and see if you have any of the items in the list below which you could donate, we would be eternally grateful until the end of time and beyond. Please message me if you have any of what we’re looking for and I will send you details of where to send or drop off. Thanks.

The list:

• 5 old mobile phones – non functioning for prop use
• 2 Police style Notepads with pencils
• Hawaiian Shirt, brightly patterned preferably yellow, size medium.
• Sunglasses – cool ones
• Plastic Fried Egg or plastic fish fingers
• 2 x 6 pack 12 oz disposable coffee cups + lids
• Clip Board
• Cardboard parcel boxes – used various sizes
• Plastic brinks glasses
• Plastic plates
• Lap top bag
• Small Bouquet of plastic flowers
• Auctioneer's gavel
• 3 or 4 Auction paddles – ping pong bats will do
• 10 ping pong balls
• Blank canvas box framed
• Playing cards
• Around 100 coloured plastic counters approximately 1 inch round
• Handbag
• Photo frame
• 2 non functioning laptops or netbooks for prop use
• Laptop bag
• Tacky pimp style fake gold jewellery – with chunky rings and a dollar sign medallion if possible
• Security arm bands

Message Opus HERE   

 So looking ahead to the coming week – all the usual sessions and Clubs are in play, and next weekend, well, once again we’re spoilt for choice.  Seafest over at Scarborough, and the Folk Festival at Stainsby while if you live in the Huddersfield there is a great Folk Against Fascism Concert on Saturday night starring my old mates Cracktown and Three Sheets t’ The Wind + many others. 

And Papa Legba’s are busy this weekend.  On Friday they play the Harlequin in Sheffield and on Saturday play The Bridge (a week early because of holidays).   Rock on!!!    

And of course closer to home over in Sheffield it’s ………………………………………………..    Tramlines Festival………….  Wow the music just goes on and on and they have a fantastic and well financed and supported City Centre Festival.   PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE – if you’re going, down load and print off a few of the Slamfest fliers and leave them around the venues that you are visiting

You can find links to all the coming week’s fun on our listings page HERE

And please stay tuned to the News Letters and the rest as Slamfest gets under way next week.  All the news will appear HERE

So whatever you’re doing, have fun, support your local artists and keep it live.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Slamfest Gets Closer - Panic Strikes/Masher Out/Two Pubs and Sessions Lost


Once again we have a lot to get through.

First and probably most important the latest Slamfest News. 

We’re start with the only negative so far.  Unfortunately the wonderful scripts submitted to FOF Theatre by some fantastic local writers require a bit more work to them if the Actors are to do them justice.  Therefore after much soul searching and thinking of alternatives we’ve decided that it fairness to the writers we will hold the show over until October and produce a couple of evenings entertainment and more during the Fringe Festival.

I am really disappointed about this for the Festival, as the original concept of Slamfest was that it be literary based, and essentially because of the lack of interest from the literary community it has not materialised.  Perhaps more consultation needs to be done and we’ll have another go for The Fringe Festival.

FOF Theatre will be performing their dual Theatre “Tea & Kisses with Lover Jane” written by Bill Doran and "Twin Reich" written by 'Papa Legbas' percussionist Chris Cooper on Thursday 26th at Myplace tickets £5, or £2.50 for the unwaged.  Pay at door.

Also on the 26th July – that’s the Thursday for those not paying attention, we’ve confirmed an extra music event, with Swansong, Crafty Jack and Cracktown coming together for what promises to be a great nights entertainment at The Titans Rugby Club from around 8:00pm  It is a ticketed event at £5 and £2.50 unwaged, pay on the door.

The Music Community have been fantastic in their support for Slamfest, organising themselves, and helping Mick and I to create something that looks like a Festival.  The amazing FREE events we can include as part of Slamfest from Friday’s Punk Extravaganza at The Bridge in Memory of Myke Masher Barritt through to Chill out Sunday (Acoustic Rotherham 16) have only been possible because of the musicians and the Venues. 

We won’t make any bones about it, Mick and I have been on a fast learning curb.  Around every corner lies another form and more expense, and it never ceases to amaze me how offers of help etc all seem to evaporate the moment something actually starts to happen.   We need one additional major Sponsor, contact us HERE, or if you’re one of the rare breed with an eye for a value for money bargain then the Mashing Machine (Taylor 810CE Guitar) remains on the market to go to a trusted home for one more week before going to Ebay – Full details HERE

Advertisers for the Programme need to get their Copy to Chris HERE by WEDNESDAY AT THE LATEST.

Unfortunately the person we asked to run an Open Mic Stage in Town during Rock Rotherham Saturday, has turned us down, if anyone knows of someone who might like to take this task on then please get in contact HERE

Just to say that the Rock Rotherham page acts as fantastic resource for find Bands and listening to locally made music.  Where possible all Bands have been linked to their Web Sites.  Check that your link is working HERE

ALL BANDS AND ARTISTS TAKING PART IN ROCK ROTHERHAM SATURDAY PLEASE KEEP AN EYE ON THE RAE FACEBOOK PAGE FOR THE DETAILED INFORMATION PLEASE HERE

The Web Sites are all just about being kept up to date.   Slamfest.netRotherhamrocks.com Acoustic Rotherham.com   and of course Rotherhamartevents.com  The good news is that all the sites are scoring high for hits and interest which is fantastic News for our Commercial Partners as well as all the Bands and artists involved in the Festival.

All work and no play makes Dickie Masher a worse Guitar Player than normal and so it was good to be dragged out by the Masher Crew to play on Thursday.  I have to be honest, I’m not sure where they took me in terms of the travel plan, but we ended up in what seemed to be the one road Village of Owston Ferry.  Now, one would have thought that in such a far set Folk Club the Masher would be playing to a completely fresh set of ears, so I was rather surprised that I ended up playing to only three pairs of new ears!!  Less than 50% of the gathering.

Personally I think it was a plot, the Pub sat on the River Trent River Bank, and with the rain pouring down it was a little disconcerting watching the River level rise, and of course I can’t swim!!

It was a really nice evening though so thanks to Kath and Dermot for organising such a fine Club and of course to Sue and Barrie for the travel arrangements.   

Think I may have discovered someone for a future Acoustic Rotherham.



Saturday found me dragging myself down to The Bridge, again the River level played a part in my late decision to make my way down to the Pub.   Pocketful of N’owt were in residence, with a slightly new line up, so welcome to the new Guitarist. 

The boys of the Band were also joined on stage by a strange person dressed in shorts and a Ronald Regan mask, even on a stuffy Saturday night!!  playing Guitar, and if Scott Doonigan thinks that being introduced as Brian May will stop the Tax man from chasing him he’s in for another major rethink. 

Super set guys, and I hope you won’t mind if I single out Mike O’Brian for a special mention as it’s his performance which makes Pocketful of N’owt stand out for me.  Let’s hope the Band line up can settle down and produce more performances of this standard in the months ahead.

Supporting Pocketful was Ted Key whose claim to fame was having been in The House Martins before they were famous.  He had an amazingly deep repertoire of self-penned humorous songs. 

Now, one of the early lessons I learnt as a Masher was that while one might find a song funny or amusing two basic assumptions are being made, 1. The audience has a limitless amount of laughs inside of itself and 2). Everyone is listening to the very clever words in the Pub environment.

You guessed it one hour and twenty minutes of nonstop funny songs does not work well, and in fact I can now see just how irritating it must have been for Masher audiences six years ago.  Sorry.    Enough said I think.

The citizens of the North East will be relieved to learn that I shall be limiting my performance to the fifteen minute slot allocated for the Natures World Festival next Sunday.  Yes the Road Crew and I are really looking forward to our return performance……………..   however, we do hope that the weather guarantee clause in our standard contract has been read and passed on to the weather makers responsible for Middlesbrough and district.

Two sad notes to be made. 

The Red Lion Braithwell is to be sold as residential property and the Folk Club Meeting last week was it’s last.  John is working hard to find an alternative venue for the Club.  

I’m told the same selling fate has fallen upon The Domino at Kimberworth, and so the highly popular Friday Blues and Jam night is no more.  Once again I’m told that the organisers are looking for an alternative venue.

Sad signs of the times I’m afraid.

I have to say, travelling around various venues I am surprised that any local Pub is surviving.

A heads up to August.  After a bit of interesting banter Rotherham Art Events will be linking up with Clifton Park for a super Concert as part of the Summer Breezes Weekend 17th – 19th August.  Other details HERE  On the evening of 18th in The Wall Garden area we will be presenting a Bob Dylan night, featuring a Band recognised as one of the best Dylan Tribute Bands in Rotherham, “Dirty Dylan”.  Tickets will be £10, Bar and a Rare Breed BBQ amongst other delights, including Phil Sinclair as the support on the night.   You can expect all of Bob’s best songs and a lot more besides.Concert details HERE

Keep  those eyes peeled…………………   one of Myke Barritt’s former Bands is preparing to launch a CD.  ‘Tyburn’ is a 4 piece Sheffield-based band which plays original rock music with a folk edge. Their songs include stirring tales of highwaymen, vibrant political commentary, haunting ballads of bittersweet lost love, and current urban comment: in short, songs about ‘Heroes, Villains, Lovers’ – the title of their 2012 cd release. Copies of the cd plus individual track downloads will shortly be available from the band’s website www.tyburntheband.co.uk.

“Tyburn” are available for gigs anywhere with a power supply and a penchant for electric mayhem!

Watch this space for release date details.

So we move to next week.  And what a week.

Next weekend musical madness as our top local Bands start upon a month of Gigging heaven. 

We start with Beanfest Saturday 14th, which for the second year running is being held at The Park View, Swinton.  A free Festival it relies upon your donations which all go to the Bluebell Wood Children's Hospice.  Help make it another great success.  Starts around 11:00am.  There’s a fantastic line up, with Rage Against The Bean, View From S62 and Goatleaf jumping off the page as must see.

On Sunday 15th a rare opportunity to have a listen to Albert’s Skiffle Band who are appearing for free on the Band Stand in Clifton Park.   Hard to get these lads out of Derbyshire, but I can promise you a super afternoon’s entertainment

Running over the Weekend 14th and 15th is The Coalfields Festival at Darton, just North of Barnsley.  Another great line up of Bands can be found there.

On Friday 13th July at The Bridge, Rotherham is home to a World Premiere.  The popular Stan Skinny will be presenting his brand new one man show which he has called The Tesco Chainsaw Massacre.  IT’S UP STAIR’S at The Bridge, FOLKS.  £3 on the door.   An evening of laughter is guaranteed.

Storm Trees are out again, very busy band, this time at The Butchers at Woodsetts.

And of course for you readers in the North East over the 14th and 15th July it’s the annual Natures World Folk Festival Folk Festival.  Two days of amazing music in a super setting and all for FREE.  What’s more the cafĂ© makes good chips………………    As David Kidman will testify.  Masher time is mid-afternoon on the Sunday, just before the break David says, realising that ears will need a good rest after fifteen minutes of a Mashering.    It has been suggested, that as it’s Nature World I should go nude, but I didn’t want to frighten people.

14th July is also Durham Miners Gala Day.  Oh for the great days…………………….     But an event well worth supporting.

Everything we know of and links to the above events can be found HERE on the Acoustic Rotherham Listings page.

Whatever you’re doing this week have fun, support your local artists and KEEP IT LIVE

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

It's Live!! And Mainly about Music and Slamfest.

So let me see if we can get this week’s News Blog out on time.  

I’ve got to say the end of this past week has been especially good musically, and certainly for me, underline the fantastic talent that we have in South Yorkshire.

Friday evening performing for a Fund Raiser for Rotherham Art Events was two young Bands, Chicago Innocence a young Rotherham based Band, whose idea the event was and in support from Doncaster came The Surrogates, performing away from home for a “proper Gig” for the first time.   

Chicago Innocence served up a diet of mainly covers, with the odd self-penned Indie song thrown in for good measure.  They have a fantastic big sound with brass and keyboards mixing nicely with the traditional guitar line up, and a very strong lead singer.  I know that the boys and girls play what they enjoy leading to what I’ve been told is a variable play list and also making for an entertaining listening experience. 


The Surrogates provided a total contrast serving up a set made up of their own material.  I love to hear original material, especially from young Bands.  But it’s not easy for Original Bands to get the Gigs or develop that following so essential to finding Gigs.  Confidence is the key, and The Surrogates five piece guitar and keyboard set up certainly gave the impression of total confidence in what they were doing.   The music itself suggested to me a fusion of Human League and Blur.  From talking to the Band I don’t think this was contrived, but merely reflected the music they enjoy listening to themselves, and the lead singer has a voice to kill for and so much like Phil Okey making a perfect fit for the music.   However, a bit of work needs to be done on the vocal musical arrangement and the use of harmonies – not easy, but if the Band can produce work of this high standard then I’m sure that the vocal work will come.  

The Saturday night I was at the Bridge to hand out some fliers…………    job done…………….  But really to take a look at Waiting for Eddie.   As it happens it would have been a long wait on Saturday as Eddie was away, working, he told Rachel.  
But Waiting for Eddie.  This was one of their first Gigs together as a Band and what can I say, they simply blew me away.  From the first chord they attacked, and didn’t stop for half an hour of high energy punk.  What makes the performance so impressive was that 85% of the songs played were their own work, what’s more the songs all worked wonderfully with biting lyrics to fit their biting guitar work.   And also for ones so young they were bursting with confidence although I know they must have been eaten by nerves inside.   And there is room for growth and development. 

A mistake often made is that Punk is an undisciplined music form, but yet like anything that looks or sounds so simple the drive and rhythm needs to be “together” if it is to work and produce the right sound.  Waiting for Eddie are almost there, but need a little work especially in getting the bass and drummer to listen to each other – it will come with experience though.  The undoubted stand out was lead vocals / guitarist Em, a talent that needs to be nurtured and encouraged – full of confidence – and full of creativity.  The brilliant delivery reminded very much of the early Pretenders and Chrissie Hynde in particular – with that I don’t need to say more, stars of the future, who will be in great demand around the music venues of South Yorkshire.

The starring role of a former Gill owned Les Paul Copy was also very impressive and was played with expertise produced a sound that even Gill probably didn’t realise it could produce.

To keep Mrs Masher happy I had to miss Papa Legba’s and head back to Rawmarsh and the Club.  Oh dear.  There we had “The Future”, The Advertiser says.   It’s a Band I’ve seen several times in one format or another and to be honest I’m not sure that they are called The Future, as it’s a name that does not fit with a tribute / 80 /90 Band except with considerable irony. 

The key feature of the Band is that one morning the singer woke up and discovered that his PA had an effects knob and so heavy effects on the vocal mic; reverberating so much that the band clearly had to slow some of the numbers down, just to cope.  The first set, and I didn’t see this one is normally Phil Collins and Genesis based, while the second set is full of Eurhythmics and Erasia, AhHa etc: a guarantee of getting someone to dance.

Some of the numbers were brilliantly executed, but how much was a live performance and how much was back tracked will of course remain a mystery.    Sadly from my perspective 60% of the second set was close to dire, and was only kept alive by the talented keyboard players as the vocalist forgot words, and worse, basic melody lines……………..   and why was he losing melody lines?  He was singing to the accompaniment.   It was really quite funny. 

The best performed song of the night was the very last one, (no not for Masher reasons), having started to break down, they had turned off some of the effects on the vocals, and he had to work, proving that he didn’t need to use all the clever electronics.  Another example I fear of how a diet of second rate stuff can become the best thing since sliced bread in Club Land, as quite clearly the evening was enjoyed by all.  Three call backs.  All down to the play list and back tracking or keyboard playing.

The programme for Slamfest has taken shape and you can find the full week of special events HERE  Besides these special events there is the usual host of Clubs and sessions going off around Rotherham, and you can find those on our Listings Page HERE.   

One additional Concert has been added to take place at The Titans Social Club.  Thursday 26th July  when Cracktown will be coming to Town joined by Swansong and Crafty Jack.  Tickets available HERE

All the Stages and line ups are available for Rock Rotherham Saturday, 28th July and we’ve created what we think is a super Jukebox of Rotherham and District Bands on the Web Page HERE

Mick will be publishing appearance times and general instructions to Bands for the day very soon watch the Facebook Page HERE

The line-up for Chill Out Sunday at the Queens on Sunday 29th July should be available by the end of this week.

I’m sure most of you will have seen the coverage that we got in “The Scene” on Friday as part of The Rotherham Advertiser last week.  Brilliant, is all I can say and so refreshing for the local music scene in Rotherham to get such a fine write up in the local paper even if it was spoilt a little bit by an inappropriate photograph of Mick and The Masher.  Given past moans from myself about the policy of The Advertiser towards local art events, credit where credit is due.

Stragglers have until Thursday to reserve Advertising space in the Programme.   If any of the Bands is actually reading this, if you would like a small write up about yourselves in the programme please also send them in by Thursday. 

Sponsorship of Stages or donations can be accepted after that date…………….   Lol  

I don’t make light of our need for funds to mount this week long Festival and the Month long Fringe Festival coming up in October.   The more Partners joining us the better.  And besides the huge amount of time that has been invested in the project, The Mashing Machine is also up for sale to help finance the event.  Last call before we head for the dreaded Ebay, anyone wanting to talk around £1,300 will be listened to.  Email Dickie HERE

I’ve seen posters with the timings for the various Stages today; I don’t think it will be long before Mick feels confident enough to publish.  We’ve both decided that on publishing timings we’re going to escape Rotherham as quickly as we can for two or three days while everyone fights it out. 

I would ask all Acts and Bands taking part in Slamfest / Rock Rotherham Saturday and Chill Out Sunday to please help publicise Slamfest by listing in Gig listings, and Mailings to their supporters.

And a reminder that our Bands will be very busy over July with many appearing at Beanfest and Tramlines in the weeks running up to Slamfest, OK and a mention for Bombfest to who were short-sighted enough to pick Slamfest Rock Rotherham Saturday for their expensive day at the Mill.  (he jests). Check out the Listings page for links to the main Festival site HERE

For the acoustic and folk artists who think that I have deserted them.  We’ve two stages as part of Rock Rotherham Saturday, The Exchange (Used to be Yates Wine Bar (remember them?)) and of course across the road at the Imperial Building, plus there is Chill Out Sunday at The Queens on the Sunday. 



John McCullagh, he who is living on the other side of the World has a new CD out entitled “Working Class Low Life”.  If you can’t wait until John performs at the Fringe Festival in October to get your hands on a copy of this Album, then you can buy them on Ebay HERE or link up with John at Facebook HERE and PM with your wish. 



Another of my favourite local Bands has an a CD out.  We were lucky enough to get Garforth and Myers to appear at an Acoustic Rotherham where they were very generous in handing out their demo EP CDs and now the full product is available.  It’s another of those CDs that I want to get my hands on – hint, hint – for passing onto Mr Kidman of course for him to run his ears over what I know will be a masterful product.  £10 HERE

A bit of funding politics.  ROAR have announced that they were, well we were, unsuccessful in our bid to the Creative People and Places Fund.   This is very disappointing, especially for those who did the hard work at pulling together all the threads to write the Bid.  Apparently feedback is being sought from the Arts Council as there is a round two. 

I appreciate that for some there was a big intake of breath when RAE announced that a Concert would be dedicated to the Memory of Myke Barritt on his Birthday during Slamfest on 27th July at The Bridge, and that it would be of the very best Punk Music.   But never fear those who might wish a quieter / or the Myke Birthday Bash type gathering, Roy has told me that one is to be held at The Nottingham House, Broomhill, Sheffield.  Not surprisingly The Masher was not invited, but then the organisers may have thought I was busy elsewhere lol.   

The eagled eyed might have spotted that Slamfest features the Official Roy Blackman CD Launch.  This is taking place at Myplace on Tuesday 24th July with Paul Pearson and Keystone Acoustic providing the support.   Should be a fantastic evening of music.  Tickets are available HERE or can be reserved by using the Email address you can find on that page. Listen out as Roy will be on RotherFM at some point over the next couple of weeks.


Busy week a head folks.  It’s The Red Lion, Braithwell, Folk Club tomorrow night. (Tuesday)  John will be in the Chair to guide you through another fine evening of Folk Music.

On Friday night at The Bridge the ROMPers will be out and about, despite many heading to London for the Marxist Weekend and at the same venue on Saturday my old mates Pocketful of N’owt will be doing their thing in another fine evening of entertainment. 

Over the weekend, fine supporters of Acoustic Rotherham and Rotherham Art Events, Storm Trees are on tour lol, playing the Woodlands Club on Friday and The Yellow Lion Greasbrough on Saturday.  No excuse for missing this fine Band in their Electric line up. 

Also on Friday it’s Play On at The Rutland, and the start of the Clerkheaton Folk Festival which will run through the weekend……………………………..  I have not forgotten this year!

And all the excellent live music can be found on our listings Page HERE

Until the next time, have a great week, support your local artists and KEEP IT LIVE.