A fairly tired young man sits to tap out a few words about an excellent week of activities.
My thanks to Mark Hearne who again dragged me out for a bit of a sing at The Black Bull. Apparently the Open Mic has been suffering from a few low attendances recently, but there was no sign of this on Tuesday; the place was packed out, and acts were down to two songs, the Masher demonstrating his rustiness to the full. However, it was great to see so many of my old mates out and about and in such good voice.
It was a great evening and included CHIPS and stuff…… but don’t tell the Doctor. But Oh dear, the free pint is no more, a pint of stones requiring a £1 top up. A sign of the times I fear.
Friday and Rocker Mick tells me that I need to get to The Bridge for an evening of Underground Metal. A Gig that was clearly a big secret as I’d not heard about it. The guys behind it are normally found at the Skaters Shop in Rotherham and have been actively involved in various Festivals locally and have been very supportive of RAE work. Of course, Mick couldn’t make it! He was working and I took the 108 to Town not really knowing what to expect, and to throw a few fliers around for our Indie Night and Psychedelic Warlords event.
This was a young person’s event, big time, and it was really so good to see so many young people in one place enjoying LIVE music. And enjoy they did; I was exhausted by the end of the night just watching the walling and body surfing, Yes, it was a very physical event.
You would really have to give them top marks for their musicianship lyrics and pure entertainment value – unusually for ones so young they worked the audience and drove the music on in a classy traditional “underground” performance reminiscent of the early glory days of Punk and Ska. Exciting stuff that for me had everything.
Hey Joni are a Band from Kent doing what I assume is a half term tour along with Rotherham Band Cast Ashore. These two Bands had played Nottingham on Thursday night, and following the Rotherham Gig were heading South to play in Brighton. Dedication from Parents and Band alike.
But to Hey Joni who started their set with three really driving songs and then appeared to run out of energy, I’m sure that was not the case, more that they were looking to down tempo, but unfortunately the songs were simply not standing up. To down tempo this sort of music and make it work is extremely difficult, there are very few Heavy Metal Ballads, let alone this version of the genre. There was a rousing end to the set though.
On technical ability Cast Ashore shone out on the night, while perhaps lacking in the driving entertainment stakes. Thirty minutes of frighteningly energy draining music and some good lyrics as well. The audience were responded in fine style and how they survived the night without any bones being broken only he above knows. Great stuff.
So here was the young people that many of us have been searching for, demonstrating a love for LIVE music and playing it with no lack of technical skill. Indeed, and it has been a long time, I would say that general standard of playing and performance was much better than what was often served up during my youth.
And it was certainly much better organised – RAE are often viewed as a commercial but hey, we could learn a thing or two from these young people. All the Bands had T shirts and CDs to sell, and give aways as well – I can think of one or two more senior Bands that really could learn a thing or two.
Congratulations to the promoters and everyone who took part. And sorry, no Masher pictures, my phone’s Battery had ran down.
To another closely guarded open secret. Saturday night and the visit of The Banner Theatre to Rotherham Trades for an event organised by Rotherham Trades Council, for Rotherham against the cuts and Save our NHS. Given everything that is going on at the moment in Rotherham, hundreds of jobs threatened the Health Trust; the massive cuts to front line services by Local Authorities in Rotherham and Sheffield; Workfare; Benefit Cuts for extra bedrooms in the public sector; and the changes to the benefits system that will affect almost everyone at some point in their life, the turnout could be said to be a little disappointing.
I do hope that the guys in the decision making department have learnt one or two things about promoting an event from this experience. The Posters were inadequate, there were not enough posters put up, there were no fliers printed, no advertising taken out, and the Trade Unions who professed support towards the aims and purpose of the event demonstrated little support. Now where have you seen that in one of my Blogs before.
If the audience was supposed to come from the fringes of the left in the arts community, a worse night could not have been chosen for the event, with Papa Legba’s and Stan Skinny promoting events in the Town on the same night. In retrospect the question had to be asked if this was really an entertainment that was suitable for a Saturday night.
Finally, no local performer to draw local interest. All lessons I have learnt over the past five years of putting events on in the Town. I did try to help but the dye had been set by the time full reality of the situation had been realised.
That said, well done Tom and the boys for the show together and having the imagination to bring The Banner Theatre to Rotherham. Banner Theatre were heavily involved in South Yorkshire during “the strike” providing motivation and doing fund raising events across the County. So their connection to Rotherham is already well established. The performance has gone through many reincarnations and the show on Saturday night was one of song supported by interludes using screened News and film clips to illustrate the destruction currently being undertaken by the Condem Government in the name of Austerity and Deficit Cutting. The best bit for me was the connection of the dots between Thatcher and all points to Cameron which demonstrated how the power of Capital had engineered the situation we currently have.
The music was cutting and contemporary, played with a mix of electric and acoustic guitar plus keyboard.
I could really see this show going down well as part of a rally or as an ingredient in an evening of entertainment for the Trade Unions.
Supporting were Barnsley newbie Band The Hurriers. It was good to see three young lads playing with a couple of more experienced heads, even if it had been sometime since the older members had last played in a Band.
As the band develop I can see The Hurriers creating quite a following for themselves with the Punky / Ska feel to their music ringing out. The guitars need to be a little more ringing though, and the vocals need a bit of fiddling on the reverb / other knobs just for a bit more depth for the style of music. Note to drummer – “smile”.
But all hail to the Band who I hope will be bashing their songs out around the County and getting that stage experience that is so essential and on their way I know that they will be making many friends.
Onto a packed Bridge where Papa Legba’s were again crunching it out. No review here, my love of the Band and it’s members are well known, but hey can’t leave it without mentioning Rachel’s red shorts – wow lol And if anyone is not sure just how good they are, Rockin’ Mick only went into The Bridge for a swift pint before heading home, three hours later he left to find a taxi…. Lol I was a good boy and did manage to catch the last bus home.
Finally, can’t personally comment on The Stan Skinny’s Wordsmack Cabaret at the Old Market Gallery as obviously I was down the Hill, but my spies were out and about and reported a fantastic turnout by fans of the spoken word. They also said the performances were simply hilarious, but, for one or two even laughing from start to finish could not keep them warm enough to stay in the building. Oh dear. But well done to Vicky for all her hard work on preparing the Gallery.
Speaking of the Old Market Gallery I’ve picked up that there is event on Tuesday which forms part of the Rotherham Gay and Lesbian Month long exhibition, one of the artists you can expect to see is Carol Robson who’s poetry is getting considerable interest, especially within the Women’s Movement.
Mick picks up the keys to what will become the RAE Music Drop In Centre on Wellgate this coming week. As I have a week of medical and allied things coming up we’ve decided to wait until after our Rock Weekend with the Psychedelic Warlords on Friday night and the Indie’s Revenge + Punk on Saturday night both LIVE AT THE TRADES (Good job it’s pay week, even if the beer is cheap). Tickets remain on sale to the days at Mesmerize on Wellgate, The Trades and on line at WegotTickets.
Towards the end of the week we’ll put a time table towards full opening in place, including “Cleaning Day”, can’t wait to see Mick with his feather duster. Also an offer has been made to help us with Office Furniture, more news about this later. But it would be good to get a few pounds in donations to help – use the Paypal button or go to the Go Fund Us page for full details of how to help.
One of the little helpers is Amanda from Minx Designs, who will also be seen with a duster but has also donated a Fan Heater to the Centre – thanks Amanda. Minx designs can be found at some Live At The Trades events, look out for her this coming Saturday in the foyer, and she now has a Facebook Page/Shop where you can find much of her work. You can see what she does HERE look out for the Man Bags which I think is a very clever idea.
I was chatting on Saturday night to the leaders of a well-established Band playing the local Pub venues around the Borough. Unfortunately no prizes for guessing that they have been having problems getting Gigs, like so many. They have a double frustration as band members don’t want to go onto any of the Internet Sites, despite having some top quality video and recordings to show. Unfortunately or just by the hard roll of progress, Bands need to be creative, as per the HM Underground Bands on Friday, or downright commercially aggressive by using all the Social Media and playing the Open Mics of the various Music Venues. The days of dropping off a CD, and waiting for the call for an invitation to pick up a couple of hundred quid have long gone. I really hope that the Band sort out their modernisation differences because they are true hardened semi pros in the area.
Some good News though, The Rogues are coming out of hibernation, not surprising as we head towards St Pats day – yes already – on the 16th March they play The Roundwood Golf Club, and on the 17th they play SNAFU.
What a week. I had a ball.
And there’s another full week coming up, not least the Rotherham Beer and Music Festival at Magna from Wednesday night. Now when The Mashers played the event we were told that it was primarily a Beer Festival, yet the posters around Town call it a Music Festival – interesting, or maybe not. Heard loads of unrest from local Bands about the music line up, only View From S62, who have picked up a subscription spot at 7:00pm each evening seem to be in favour. No room for last years big hits Papa Legba’s or Crafty Jack, Black Toad, Swansong , Goat Leaf, Tom Killner, East Street Band, Soulmates or others who regularly sell out venues. The Organisers seem to have turned to an outstanding range of Tribute Bands few of whom have Rotherham connections. Maybe those of us who have played the frozen wastes of Magna know the drawbacks……… lol More seriously, if the fantastic live music scene in Rotherham is to continue to grow then locally organised Festivals need to use the talent within the Town, or at least make sure the proportions make sense.
At The Bridge the week starts with Nellie Folk on Monday and of course ends with ROMP on Friday. Just heads up that there is a special ROMP session at The Bridge on Saturday 9th when Mike Garry will be conducting a Workshop from 5:45pm with ROMP following on at 7:30pm.
On Tuesday Sheffield OXJAM is holding an organisational Meeting to get their Committee together for this year’s Event. All volunteers check out the listings page for the where and when.
There is a new Open Mic Session next Saturday at The Bay Horse, Scholes with Barnsley’s musical Chuckle Brothers in the chair, Bar Steward Sons of Val Doonigan, while Blacktoad play the Bridge, which I think is first outing for their new guitar player.
And of course it’s the Rockin’ Madness Weekend. Psychedelic Warlords Live at The Trades, who are they?
“ Psychedelic Warlords a band made up of former members of Hawkwind and Hawkland will headline a two night Rock orgy Live at The Trade Venue in Rotherham
This is a chance for those who may have missed the seventies to experience the fantastic technical musicianship that created one of the most acclaimed psychedelic genre performances and recordings of the era, “The Space Ritual” and played by a Band that in part were celebrated for being in the original Band line up.
It’s rare to attract a Band of this standing to perform in Rotherham outside of Festivals and RAE are proud to host the event as part of the Live At The Trades programme.
Nice T Shirts will be available as well.
And on Saturday night the Revenge of the IndieBands + Punk as five bands entertain throughout the night. It’ll be a late finish and Tickets are only £3 in advance or a £5 on the door.
All the sessions and Open Mics can be found HERE
For me it’s a week with the medics – looking forward to the weekend already.
Whatever you are doing have great fun, support your local artists and venues and KEEP IT LIVE.