Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Acoustic Rotherham 17 / Easter Listings / Revolution

Apologies for the three week or so gap down to all sorts of reasons, hopefully normal service can be resumed. 

We’ve missed a bit, a couple of music and Spoken Word events and the excellent and all too short run Exhibition of the acceptable face of the Garden Gnome at the Old Market Gallery.

As for me, I’ve not been able to get out much.  It’s a long story but I did for myself in one day and I’m still recovering 18 days later.  Not fun. 

We are still waiting for the Furniture to be moved into Wellgate, hence we still do not have an opening date for the Drop In Centre, but I promise that you will be the first to know when we are active.

I may have been locked away but my spies have been reporting in on well attended Gigs, Promotions and Spoken Word Events and sessions.   Spoken word in particular, with the mini Festival out of The Pop up Story Shop and the Mike Garry Workshop and Special ROMP were fantastic successes, really establishing Rotherham as a hot bed of writing creativity.

Musically I’m told that the Metal Real Underground Event at The Bridge was a resounding success this month and there has been a strong start for Memory Lane, Rotherham’s new Northern Soul and Retro Club.

I did manage to get out to the Creative Network Meeting and the Opening of the l39!ON  Exhibition at The Old Market Gallery last Thursday.  “Anonymous”.   The Exhibition is put together by a collective of artists known as the “Legion”, their names are unknown and the group is loose and open to anyone who turns up.  The work is put together as a collective, and the anonymity allows artists to experiment and show work that might not normally be associated with them. 

For those interested, I did dig around to find out more, and this Blog HERE explains more about Legion who state their mission as :

Legion is an unknown group of artists, unknown in number, unknown in identity.
Legion meet and create, together or alone but in the same place.
Legion has no leader, Legion is whoever turns up.
Legion is not for money or fame but for creativity and shared experience.
Legion believes that more is possible in numbers, for we are many.

Personally I found the Exhibition really interesting, providing many different visual experiences from the traditional paint to the contemporary use of light and photography. Best of all it challenges the brain and the senses.  Thoroughly recommended. 

The Exhibition runs 10:00am to 3:00pm until the 29th March. 

If you with us for the first Fringe Festival, nearly two years ago, you may remember that Paul and Liz Davenport presented a fascinating evening of songs and local history surrounding a collection of songs called the Gatty Collection.  These were songs collected from workers living in Ravenfield, Hooton Roberts and other rural parts of the Borough and later North Yorkshire by the Rev. Gatty accompanied on occasions by Vaughn Williams between 1907 and 1910.   The collection was originally in a number of note books and Paul and Liz have lovingly pulled all the pieces together with an appraisal.  The plan was to publish in 2012, but as with all such projects it all took a little bit longer than was originally planned.
The GOOD NEWS is that the book has now been published, “Down Yorkshire Lanes” and is available from the Hallamshire Traditions Shop HERE for £17 including postage and packing. 

There will be full reviews on the Spoken Word events in the next edition of the Word Pit – coming soon, I think.

The Web Sites have mostly been updated, however, my powers of concentration have not allowed for the upgrading that I have wanted to do, that will have to happen in time.   However, interest in the Web Sites and Facebook Pages continues to grow which means the RAE message is going further.

Acoustic Rotherham 17 is on Sunday April 7th starting at 2:30pm at The Bridge, Rotherham.  The Pub opens at around 2:00pm.   We have a fantastic line up with artists coming in from the far reaches of the County.  You can find the full line up HERE It’s free, it’s acoustic and there will be a free buffet to keep us going at that slagging moment around 5:00pm.  It will also feature the last live acoustic set from our good friend Phillip Hartley before he completely hangs up his guitar to concentrate upon his “Electro” music under the Suphusion label, which is well worth a listen, find it HERE. 

I can tell you that the plan for Slamfest are progressing.  Mick will be contacting Bands very soon with regard to stage and appearance times.    The mid-week events have been dropped for this year, but the Sunday at Clifton Park should more than make up for this, with plans for a family day of music on three stages are being put together with RMBC Parks.  

It’s not too late to Register your interest in Playing during the Slamfest weekend, be you a Band or a solo acoustic artist.  Preference will always be given to Rotherham based artists, as this is what the Festival is all about.  Email HERE

And we have linked up with RMBC to provide music on the first Sunday of each Month from May through to September on the Clifton Park Band Stand.  Mick is looking for Bands who would like to play.  Email him HERE

We are searching out Sponsors, advertisers and volunteers for all RAE promoted Events, from Live at The Trades to the main Slamfest and Fringe Festivals.  If you want to get involved on any level then please Email us HERE

And so to the week ahead – and it’s Holy Week, which means Easter is upon us. 

Top of the Festivals over the Easter Weekend is of course the Sheffield Sessions Festival which is a celebration of all the sessions, mainly folk based, available to musicians in Sheffield.   There is an extensive programme of events all around the City from Friday through to Sunday.  If you fancy a sing or play get yourselves over the hill to Sheffield.   Links to the programme can be found HERE on the Listings page.

At The Chequers on Good Friday, Ian Huddleston will be in the company of resident hosts Makeshiftz for another quality evening of music.  I know that Ian has been in a rich vein of song writing and I’ve had the privilege of listening to some of the demo tracks – I can promise you a revolutionary treat.   

At The Bridge on Friday night Formbys will be performing a lively set and on Saturday, it being the last Saturday of the month, it is of course wriggling with Papa Leba’s.  Be there or be square. 

I seem to be working backwards here as we move to Thursday and in Wakefield Tony Wright has arranged a Fund Raiser for UNISON’s Strike Fund.  The line-up includes the Glavins (an elusive band with Rotherham connections that we are trying to get onto an RAE promotion) and the magnificent Cambodia.  You can find the link to the full details on the listings page HERE

And of course we have the full programme of sessions and Clubs – BUT as it’s a Bank Holiday please check with the Web Sites etc. before venturing out, just in case they have closed for the duration. 

Heads up -  Live at The Trades rocks into life again on the 6th April with the East Street Band headlining.  One of Britain’s top Bruce Springsteen tribute Bands and what’s more a Rotherham Band and not to be missed, especially as in support we have The Tom Killner Band and a new band based in Rotherham Replay.  Tickets are £5 available in all the usual places, Mesmerize, Trades, Members of The Bands and on line HERE

On the 13th April we feature another of our fantastic local Band Showcases for only £3 when Havana Rocks leads a bill that includes the amazing Diamond Velocity (who incidentally have a new single out -  have a listen HERE) and For Pete’s Sake.  Tickets available as above and on line HERE

We’ve a really exciting programme of quality Rock Music coming up at the Trades plus an evening of Burlesque.  You can find all the details HERE

And that’s it.  Whatever you are doing this week – have a fantastic Easter may it be peaceful, support your local artists and KEEP IT LIVE.

Monday, 4 March 2013

Psychedelic and Exciting Times

Well, last week went at a bit of a blur.   Visits to medics at the start of the week and the RAE dual promotions at the end made for a tiring time. 

Friday night, with Darkness playing The City Hall and with the Rotherham Beer Festival in full flow, and a promotion requiring twelve pounds a ticket may it might not have been the best time for Rotherham Art Events to promote it’s most ambitious event of the year so far, but in blissful ignorance when we made the booking we ploughed ahead Live at The Trades.  Result – weeks of worry, washed away by a fantastic night. 

The World Premier of The Psychedelic Warlords tour of their Tribute Show for the 40th Anniversary celebration of Hawkwind’s album “The Space Ritual”.  Quite a feather in Rotherham’s cap to attract this Premier and despite the other distractions going on in The Town the good Psychedelic Rockers of Rotherham turned out in forced.

And there few complaints from the audience especially given the great support Bill in the form of local Bands Fallen Trees and Goat Leaf set up the ‘Warlords nicely.

Given the cheering at the end of their set I didn’t think that Fallen Trees would be allowed off the stage at the end of their truly rocking set of original music, while Goat Leaf following on from their sell out at the Trades in February had the audience jumping to highlights from their newly released CD that has been doing fantastically well in the download charts where they reached the heady heights of number seven.  Well done to them.

The Psychedelic Warlords once warmed up produced a super non-stop eighty minutes of music taken from the Space Ritual Album.  This was their first live performance of the show which required considerable technical expertise as well as some great musicianship and vocals.  I listened to the original early in the week, just so that I could make a comparison, and there was a large chunk that I was not really looking forward to as it was highly repetitive, but Masher cap off to the Warlords who did a clever bit of editing, taking that section out. 

The atmosphere during the performance was fantastic with dancers doing their thing throughout, (perhaps egged on by the young lady dancing on stage as part of the performance), quite remarkable really as the average age of the audience had to be forty plus. 

It really is a pity we couldn’t pull in more youngsters, but my guess is the price may have put people off dipping their toe in water. 

The real Hawkwind are appearing at the Prog Rock Festival at Manvers on 6 / 7 April.  I’ve checked the promoters Web Site HERE and they have sold out of the expensive weekend packages they do have around 300 tickets for each day on sale.  I think the price is around £55 for each day.  Hawkwind top the Bill on Saturday and Caravan on Sunday. 

On Saturday Live At The Trades had the revenge of the Indie / Punk event with four local Bands taking to the stage to support RAE funds for Slamfest. 

A really interesting line up of original rock from.  

Mark Jackson’s Criminal Waist of Talent were in fine irreverent form.  It was the first time I had seen them live and they did a marvellous job setting the evening off, not easy for their poetry punk genre material, but they had both edge and passion in their performance. 

Young Band Idiots in Stereo had a great time.  It took them a couple of songs to warm up, but once into their stride they were into their element.  The music was raw and the lyrics reflecting contemporary issues.  I really enjoyed the set,  as did much of the audience, and they took three call backs, something as a support Band they need to understand might not be the done thing…… lol perhaps youthful exuberance explains this.  For me, it was great to see three young lads enjoying themselves on stage.
Cambodia provided us with a fantastic short set.  They were typically manic as they played through some classic ska and punk numbers, punctuated with a couple of original songs.  The dance floor did not empty the entire driving set. 

Curry Quiche provided the finale to the evening.  Wow, an education in musicianship on it’s own.  But there’s much more to this Band than simply being clever.  The original songs were put together expertly drawing the audience into glimpses of their World as they observe it.  The audience were certainly drawn into music.   I’m sure that this is a Band that have a real future  and will go from strength to strength beyond the local scene.  Looking forward to seeing them again.

And best of all, I popped my head around the door at The Bridge where my old friends Black Toad were playing, and that Gig also got a good audience.  We’ve noticed that there is plenty of walking between venues going on, and this has to be good for everyone. 

Next Live At The Trades  are the East Street Band with their amazing Bruce Springsteen Show, support is from Tom Killner Band +  and the following week on 13th we have Havana Rocks, with Diamond Velocity and for Pete Sake.   Tickets etc  HERE

My bit on the Beer Festival bookings last week ruffled a few feathers.  Apologies – however, at the time of going to print the week before last the list of acts appearing did not include many of the local Bands going on, indeed amongst those who eventually played are Bands that were complaining to us and whose views we were simply reflecting. 

Unfortunately most of what has come back as far as the musicians experience is concerned has been negative with a couple of notable exceptions.  I’m afraid that there is an issue with the freezing cold temperature that the musicians had to play in and the quality of the sound. 

Not having been there myself I’ll make no further comment other than something I spotted on Facebook posted by a performer playing a Theatre venue where the heating had not been turned on, reflecting my experience of “cold” venues, namely for the artist it can be a complete distraction trying to keep warm oneself while also worrying about the comfort of the audience;  that’s beside the technical stuff like getting the fingers to move over the strings and frets.    

We must also apologise as Mick and I were going to pop across to see some Bands, especially the Youth Stage on Saturday afternoon.  I’m going to be honest – being old buggers we were simply too knackered to get over to Magna.  We will spend a year at the gym, and taking our Vit C and Cod liver Oil to make sure our energy levels come up to take in more Gigs around our own Promotions. 

RAE have picked up the keys to 25 Wellgate, and very soon we’ll be cleaning it up and importing furniture, and the Drop In Centre will come to life.  We’ve got it on a four weekly basis, but it does give us an opportunity to Test our ideas and not get too canned financially.  More details will be with you soon.

All the Web Sites will be going through the beginning of month make over, so check in regularly over the next week or so.

We’re asking our friends to go to the relevant Facebook page and make sure you’ve liked it.  That way you can keep up to date with whole range of activities in and around Rotherham.

Go on then

 RawmarshMashers        lol

And so to the week ahead. 

Tuesday it’s The Butchers Arms Monthly Folk Club at The Butchers Arms in Braithwell.  The spies tell me that it’s lively little singers Club with plenty of good stuff happening, much as The Red Lion Club was until the Pubs closure.

Inspire Rotherham have a number of events going off over the next couple of weeks out of the Pop Up Story Shop on Corporation Street in Rotherham.  Monday (that’s tonight) Ray Hearne was leading a Workshop to produce an Anthem for Rotherham.   Check out the programme HERE

Isn’t it exciting that Land Lords seem to be supporting the push to get the vacant properties in the Town Centre used, providing Arts based organisations like RAE, Inspire Rotherham, Open Minds Theatre, Point Blank Theatre etc, to provide a shop front to their activities. 

Good news out of ROMPs Meeting last Friday, the serious bit before the poetry.   ROMP are putting in some structure that should allow for slicker Communications with other Arts Groups.  I had a quick word with Gav on Friday night and all is well. 

But back to what’s a happening –

Friday and The Rock has Beggars Banquet at the Welfare Club in Maltby, while in Rotherham at The Bridge, the Hangman will be checking his knots ready for the Hangman’s Corner, who have Leg of Lamb and Mug Shots of Criminals and opening proceedings will be Mr Bob Humphries providing the musical entertainment.   I’ve searched high and low to be able to tell you something about these Bands to no avail – so I’ll be as interested as you as to whom makes up these two Bands.  We all know about Bob (he’s got some brilliant new songs in his gander bag)

On Saturday there is a FREE Workshop for writers with Mike Garry at The Bridge in Rotherham at 5:45pm, which will be followed immediately by a special Saturday ROMP at around 7:30pm.  I’m guessing that this will be upstairs in the pub.

You can find all the listings we have for the week HERE

Looking ahead to Saturday 16th at The Bridge.  There appears to be another clash of genres, with RHV Promotions putting on a “Real Underground Showcase” upstairs while Djin will be playing on with classic rock covers down stairs.   Last month a similar clash occurred, but the RHV event failed, so Papa Legba’s and BOT Theatre gave a sigh of relief. 

That’s it for this week guys, oh dusters at the ready – if you’ve got a spare hour or so on Thursday 7th there will be a cleaning squad at 25 Wellgate from around 11:00am  Bring own duster and spray stuff.  

And also on Thursday - there's a new Acoustic Night meeting weekly at the Imperial in Mexborough.  It's already building a reputation for itself so if you're stuck for somewhere to play here's another option.

We hope to move furniture in end of week or early next week and to start skeleton activities soon after.  An Official launch – well we have to have one eh! Will be later in the month, Holy Week probably, when all the heavy drinkers will be on holiday.  Watch this space.

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