Monday, 16 December 2013

Great times. More to Come. News Blog

Can you believe it?   Two months have passed since the last Blog!  Yikes……….  And so much has happened.  

Where to start to catch up with myself?

Let’s start with Live at The Trades.   The Autumn / Winter programme has gone from strength to strength, with amazing support from the music lovers of Rotherham, whom have bought tickets to see some of the best Regional Bands around.  Good news for the Live at The Trades project is that we have averaged well over the targeted audience numbers demanded by the Club Management.

Week nights are not good though, our two arm twisted experiments on a Friday night with well-known and established Club acts were not rousing successes and Internationally acclaimed Billy Walton Band drew very few people on what was a wet Tuesday night. 

RAE have promoted under the Live at The Trades an amazing range of music, from the Staying Alive Bee Gees tribute to the hard rock of Hellbent Forever’s tribute to Judas Priest.   We’ve promoted commercial covers rock with Lovehunter’s tribute to Whitesnake, through to an evening of local bands Headlined by Goat Leaf.   All with equal success.

Of course we have been hindered by the fact that we have been unable to publicise our events affectively as the Club had consistently refused until very recently to allow adverts in The Advertiser, broadly recognised as the place to be seen.

Our evaluations of the evenings show that there is a hard core of around 15 – 20 who will come to most of our events, but that in the main, unlike the normal Club audience, we bring in a majority of new people depending upon the music or act appearing.   Another strange thing is the number of people coming who thought that The Trades was closed!!   It shows that we need to double our efforts to get our message across. 

We are mindful that our evenings have to be of the highest quality as we are the only venue where the public is being asked to buy tickets – we do not have the luxury that other promoters have of bar revenue to subsidise any mistakes we might make.   However, when we have put on a free event on, and there have been several throughout the year to meet our commitment to the venue’s Management they have fallen flat on their face in terms of audience numbers. 

We finish our Autumn / Winter programme on Saturday 21st when we host the second of our Parties, an extravagant 80’s night with fantastic Tribute Band, The Neurythmics and former Adam and Eve (a legendary Rotherham venue of yesteryear) DJ creating a great Christmas atmosphere.  Tickets available from The Trades, The Drop In Centre and Online – but book quick because the tickets are going fast.  I am holding only a limited number for on the door sales.  And there’s a raffle – top prize a Season Ticket to our Winter Spring Programme, worth £60 (£75 without season purchase discount) , and there are some top nights coming.

After the Neurythmics we’re taking a short break for the Christmas and New Year festivities but we’re back in mid-January with “1MASSIVE  An evening of epic enjoyment”.  Once again RAE is at the cutting edge of music with this fund raiser as it falls outside of our normal demographic and genre expectation.    Tickets are £3 and will be available from the Drop In and Trades just before Christmas or Online HERE from next week.  

And then we’re into our Winter / Spring Programme – wow.  We kick off with arguably the best Queen Tribute Band on the European circuit; tickets have been priced at “bargain” levels to celebrate the start of the Live at The Trades new season.   We have some of the best local Bands, only amazing tribute Bands, and some vintage class in the form of a return visit from Chris Slade’s Time Line and Lena Lovich making a Rotherham debut.   The full programme can be seen HERE and some tickets are already available from the Drop In / The Trades and Online HERE

In fact on Saturday nights the transfer of audiences between The Bridge and The Trades and visa versa has been great to see.  

While I’ve been away from the key board it’s worth noting that SNAFU has closed and then relocated and opened again.   A visit from me looks a little unlikely, in fact any disabled person is going to have the devil’s own job to get in (unless they have a muscular friend who can carry them up numerous flights of stairs)  I feel sorry for Bands who have to get their kit up to the new venue.  But it’s great that Rotherham has not lost a venue. 

In fact we’ve gained one, as the Mail Coach is to feature Bands on Friday nights – and by all accounts when The Cutlers re-opens that too will be featuring live music. 

And well done Tony Gooder’s Goodwin, whom has successfully launched the Pitman Poets Open Mic Night at the Mexborough Concertina Club.  The next time that the Club will be coming to the surface is  16th January.               Full details HERE

Acoustic music – yes acoustic music.    Those  who have been with me long enough will remember those days when this Blog was full of nothing but Acoustic news as I travelled around terrifying the Open Mics and Folk Clubs of South Yorkshire.   Well I have news.   Touch wood, but someone has volunteered to take over the organisation of Acoustic Rotherham – more news about that soon.  The other good news is that the monthly Acoustic Warm Down at the Titans Club, featuring the brilliant Swansong Acoustic as hosts is gaining in popularity every month.  December 29th the Club will be functioning as usual with the Special Guest being Jake Sharpe. 

If you would like to be considered to play at the Acoustic Rotherham 26th January, then please contact us HERE.  According to my fingers we have around three places left.

There’s been another influx of fresh blood into the RAE general organisation, the result, changes galore. 

The Drop In Centre, 25 Wellgate is now open SIX days a week.  Hours remain 11 – 3, although on Tuesday and Wednesday it will open and close a little earlier, and on Saturdays, it may close at 2:00pm on Live at The Trades nights. 

Besides our now established Craft Workshops, we now offer budget Guitar Lessons and other Workshops.  We also have a serious Amateur Photographic Club, “Snappers” who will meet on occasional Saturdays.  

The look of the Drop In will be changing quite a bit over the Christmas / New Year period.  We hope to have Phil Padfield’s excellent  spray painting work created during the Rotherham Street Arts Festival up onto a wall where everyone will be able to admire it.   Who knows we might even have a bit of a Party when it is done.

And that’s not the only thing that will be changing.   Our network of Web Sites will be undergoing major surgery and a facelift.  While the look of the sites have changed from time to time I’ve not weeded the sites very much nor organised information into a more obvious home.  Don’t worry you’ll be introduced to the changes as they happen –  if you have a favourite or useful page that you would like us to keep then please Email us HERE

In the meantime, for those searching out that perfect stocking filler for the “folkie” in your life are bound to find something to tickle the old ear buds amongst David Kidman’s bumper Christmas Review Collection which you can find HERE

Our association with the wordsmiths of Rotherham continues and you’ll find a magnificent Christmas Word Pit HERE – we even have contributions from the USA…………….   Word Pit goes International

Slamfest planning is well underway.   Our detailed guide to advertising at the event can be found HERE or if you would like to become a sponsor of the Event you can find out about the packages available HERE

We have already announced the headline acts for the Clifton Park stages.    Ed Tenpole Tudor Pole and Eddie and The Hotrods and I can promise that our line up for the Saturday is just as exciting, but you have to wait for our Mick to make the announcement.   These folks are supported by one of the best line ups of local Bands that we one can imagine; in fact we have been so inundated with requests to play that it has been hard fitting everyone in.   Mick tells me that he’ll be finding a stage for those not on the main stages though so never fear, any Rotherham Band wanting to play at the Festival will get the chance.

We need volunteers though to help with the Management of the event so contact us HERE if you want to be part of this great weekend.

We have a full Volunteer Training Programme under development, which we hope will cover all the major events with which RAE will be involved in during 2014.  Amanda’s Blinds will be Sponsoring Volunteers in 2014.

The Rotherham Culture Group has undergone some changes following it’s AGM.   Chair for 2011/13 Sameer has run away to Manchester, and will be greatly missed amongst the Arts community in Rotherham; Dad Hamid has a new time consuming project at work and so has surrendered the Web Site duties; and Nameer had resigned his Treasurers role earlier in the year.  All had done a super job in moving the Culture Group forward. 

ROMPs Sharon has taken up the financial role, Sylwia (RAE / Diamond Velocity) has taken on the Secretaries job and I’ve taken the Chair until the Group has settled down again.

This transition period for the Rotherham Culture Group is going to be crucial to it’s future viability and also in defining through the dissemination of services to the multi-cultural art Communities in Rotherham. 

The next meeting of The Rotherham Culture Group is on Monday 6th January (2014) at 4:30pm at MyPlace on St.Annes.  It’s open to all and the Agenda is already looking towards The Diversity Festival at The Rotherham Show in September. 

If you think that you would like to be involved in a multi-cultural Group forging artistic links across the Communities in Rotherham then we want to hear from you then Email HERE for more information. 

As suggested above, RAE are launching a Season Ticket for the 2014 Live at The Trades Winter / Spring Programme.  The £60 price tag represents a 20% saving on ticket face values – so a worthwhile investment.   Available from the Drop In Centre. Or Email HERE

Everything that I know of pre and post-Christmas can be found on the December listing page HERE, including a link to the excellent Rotherham Civic Pantomime, Beauty and the Beast, ticket Office.  Tickets appear to be selling very fast so I’d get my booking in now.  

And that just about wraps it all up, except to push you towards shopping local for those Christmas gifts, remember it’s FREE PARKING in Rotherham up to Christmas.  Why not also pop in to Drop In, we’ve got CDs for sale from local Bands, and Poetry Books and some great Art, + NEW in the Old Town Hall building many of the crafters associated with RAE are selling their work in Something Special, along with some other fine craft gifts. 

That’s it for this one. 

Whatever you are doing, have fun, support your local artists, and KEEP IT LIVE