Con£ribute

We were told about a brand new idea recently, an idea that may well help bands get paid for gigs, instead of them having to play for nothing, or even ‘Pay to Play’.

The idea is called ‘Con£ribute’ and is the brainchild of local promoter John Knowles. John explains his ideas below and we at Pierless Music would like to know what you think about them. We think this has the potential to be a great idea, but what do you think?

Incidentally, the first local Con£ribute gig is being held at The Roomz, St Leonards on Sunday, 27th April and features ‘Dead Belgian’, playing the songs of Jacques Brel.

CON£RIBUTE:

Imagine the scene, the gig has been great, everyone loved the band and encores have been played, the bar looks at the takings and gives up the 10% it promised to the band and low and behold it’s a staggering £30… which as the band has come down from Liverpool via a gig in London, is something of a slap in the face. So doing my promoter bit, I go round and shake the bucket and watch as people drop in silver coins, no notes and then a handful of copper coins… Really! That’s it? Copper coins for a band you’ve just made do an encore, whilst you hug your pint of ‘nadgers old peculiar’.

It won’t be the first or last time that despite having paid for the posters and offering bed and board and food to the band, that I’ll also be chipping in with my own cash to make the offering a little less embarrassing and it won’t be the last time that I take out the copper coins so at least the band doesn’t see the shameful offering, but it shouldn’t be like this, should it.

Why is it when we go to a gig, in this, one of the most musical towns in the UK, do we expect to pay the band nothing, or as good as, why are the musicians who have entertained you for the night worth less than the price of a pint. Why don’t we / you Con£ribute.

Many venues do of course pay the bands and whilst those of us on both sides would like the fee’s to be better, we respect that it’s a tough environment for publicans and compromise is the middle man. But for many venues, paying a decent amount for a band, an amount we know would be fair, is just not a working possibility. For many bands and promoters we’d rather be out there playing than doing what we love than not. But there has to be a better way, a fairer way, a way in which the band gets more than a pint and a derisory hand full of coins.

Con£ribute is an idea, a simple way to signal that the gig you are at needs your support. It says this venue loves live music and supports bands, but can’t give them more than 10% from the till, it says, if you like the music you heard then Con£ribute.

Con£ribute is not a get out for venues to pay nothing, it’s a support for hard working bands and musicians and a help to venues and promoters who are genuinely trying to do their best by the musicians. So when you see the sign in the window CON£RIBUTE, it means when the bucket comes round put in the price of a pint £2.50 / £3.00, it doesn’t mean pull out a handful of copper coins.

CON£RIBUTE is an idea and we welcome your views; is it workable, do you think it’s fair, as a punter would you honestly put in a fair amount or would you be tempted to just shrug your shoulders, lets start a small revolution, pay the piper the price of a pint?

Con£tribute is an idea from Fetch, a local company specialising in live events:
Contact them via: theneverplayed@gmail.com
http://theneverplayed.wix.com/fetch-productions

So, what do you think? Please let us know.

Pierless Music and Hastings Rock

We are very pleased to announce that the Pierless Music Gig Guide will be the official gig guide for this years Hastings Rock radio broadcast.

Hastings Rock, which returns to the local airwaves on Saturday, 3rd May, will use the Pierless Music Gig Guide within most programmes during their 28 days on air.

Because of this, and also because of the size of the Hastings Rock broadcast area, we have decided to include more gigs than usual in our online gig guide.

Usually, we only allow gigs from within the traditional ’1066′ area, which doesn’t include Eastbourne for example. But during the month of May we have extended that area to help listeners find out what’s on in their own town.

Please see our updated info page for details of what we will and won’t include:

http://pierlessmusic.co.uk/calendar/about-the-pierless-music-gig-guide/

Don’t forget, if we don’t know about your gig we can’t include it in the Gig Guide. So email those gig details to: gigs@pierlessmusic.co.uk

You can listen to Hastings Rock locally on 87.7FM and also online via their website at:

http://www.hastingsrock.co.uk/

Enjoy the music.

Local Music on Hastings Rock Radio

As you may already be aware, Hastings Rock radio station will be back on the local airwaves, for 28 days, from Saturday, 3rd May 2014.

During the broadcast I shall be doing my usual Local Music Shows on Sunday evenings between 8-10pm. But, I need some original local music to play….

This is where you come in. If you’d like to have your music played on Hastings Rock, please let me know.

The usual conditions apply:                                                                                                  – No cover versions, all songs must be original compositions                                               – Songs must be of broadcastable quality                                                                             – Songs must contain NO swearing                                                                                     – Music must be on CD (preferred), or an mp3 (not WAV)                                                     – The band, or artist, has to be from the Hastings Rock radio/FM broadcast area                 – There is no guarantee that your music will be played

Your music doesn’t have to be ‘Rock’, but the nearer it is to that genre the more chance it has of being played.

On the Local Music Show I’m happy to play Blues, Folk etc, but please don’t send in Rap, Dance, or R and B, as it won’t be played.

When sending your music, please include some kind of biog, social media links, gig info etc.

Contact me via email for more info about sending in your music : andygunton@hotmail.com

Find out more about Hastings Rock at their website: http://www.hastingsrock.co.uk/

PS: I’m sorry, but I won’t be doing interviews with bands or artists, and neither can I do live sessions during my Local Music Shows. I’m afraid there isn’t the technical support, space, or time for that to happen.

Stallion – Back In The Saddle

You wait 30 years for a gig by local prog-rockers Stallion and then two come along within the space of 9 months.

We wrote about Stallion here at Pierless Music back in August of last year, just before their comeback gig at the Big Green Cardigan Festival: http://pierlessmusic.co.uk/stallion-ride-again/

I was lucky enough to be at that gig and very good it was too. Obviously Stallion themselves must have enjoyed it as well, as they return for another gig this Friday, 11th April at The Carlisle, in Hastings.

Here’s the Facebook Event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1389746621247897/

So, if you missed, or were unable to attend, that comeback gig, this time it’s all happening rather closer to home. It’s free entry too.

Keyboard player Phil Thornton told Pierless Music, “To play in Hastings again, the bands hometown, is a dream long overdue. It will indeed be a special occasion”. I’m sure many of the bands fans from back in the 1970′s feel the same way.

If you don’t know Stallion, or maybe you’re a bit too young to remember them first time around, here’s a video shot at that Big Green Cardigan Festival gig last year:

Friday’s gig is being billed as a one-off event once again. But I’m told that the gig is being both recorded and filmed, which rather suggests that Stallion mean business and that more gigs are on the cards. I have also been reliably informed that the band are even writing new material together.

I’m sure all of this is very welcome news to Stallion’s many fans from yesterday. And who knows, after Friday’s gig maybe there will some new converts?

Here’s the Stallion line-up for the upcoming gig:

Julian Carter – Vocals and Guitar                                                                                     Phil Thornton – Keyboards                                                                                            John Petri – Guitar                                                                                                           Phil Gill – Bass Guitar                                                                                                    Miles Gill – Drums

Six Great Hastings Pier Music Videos

With the welcome news that Hastings Pier has passed its £500,000 funding target this week, we take a look at six of the best music videos that feature the old structure. There’s still time to buy shares in the rebuild too, with the cut-off point being midnight this Saturday 5th April. Visit http://www.hpcharity.co.uk/ to make your investment.

1. Dollar – ‘Oh L’Amour’ (1987)

An unlikely comeback and final Top 10 hit for 80s hitmakers Dollar, ‘Oh L’Amour’ was a cover of an early flop single by Erasure. Professional irritant David Van Day is better known as a love-to-hate TV personality these days, eclipsing the often wonderful pop he and former partner Thereza Bazar once made. We’re not sure how much influence this video had on Erasure singer Andy Bell’s own move to Hastings.

2. Kingmaker – ‘Queen Jane’ (1993)

Kingston upon Hull trio Kingmaker had a string of hits in the early 90s, falling out of favour with the public just as Britpop took hold. Taken from second album ‘Sleepwalking’, their Top 30 single ‘Queen Jane’ finds singer Loz Hardy rocking the Richard Hawley look a decade early. Hardy later turned up lending a hand on Elastica’s oddball album ‘The Menace’, while Kingmaker reformed without him in 2010.

3. Squeeze – ‘This Summer’ (1995)

Recent subjects of a BBC4 documentary, Squeeze can still pull a devoted audience live, although the cheery ‘This Summer’ turned out to be their final hit single. ‘This Summer’ packs two none-more-90s moments in one, with comic actor John Thomson (then enjoying fame in ‘The Fast Show’) in the video, and a timely cover of Blur’s ‘End Of A Century’ on the b-side. Despite many bust-ups, Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook have managed to get Squeeze back on the road again.

4. Pullover – ‘Holiday’ (1996)

All but forgotten today, Pullover were huge fun live, as anyone who caught them playing The Crypt in its Britpop heyday may recall. They had three 7”s out on Britain’s indiest indie label Fierce Panda, before signing a bigger deal and reissuing the third, ‘Holiday’, with this video. It got on ‘The Chart Show’, but wasn’t a hit, and the band split a while after. Singer Carol Isherwood is now a music lawyer.

5. The Seahorses – ‘Love Is The Law’ (1997)

Having quit The Stone Roses after their disappointing comeback album ‘Second Coming’, guitar hero John Squire licked his wounds before returning to capitalise on Oasis’ success with the more trad rock of The Seahorses. Fronted by singer Chris Helme, ‘Love Is The Law’ was The Seahorses’ first and biggest hit, but the band weren’t built to last. Helme’s still recording and performing, while you probably caught wind of The Stone Roses’ reunion the other year.

6. Ash – ‘Tracers’ (2009)

Punk-pop titans Ash have a long association with Hastings, playing their first gig outside of Northern Ireland at The Crypt in 1994 and returning to the venue many times, including for their Glastonbury Festival warm-up in 1997 (the year they ended up as late replacement Pyramid Stage headliners when Steve Winwood dropped out). Never short of tunes or fans, they also packed out St Mary In The Castle in 2000. ‘Tracer’ was one of an ambitious series of 26 7” singles (the ‘A – Z Series’) the band released from 2009-2010, a period which saw them playing The Crypt one last time. Hastings Pier had closed down when they shot this video, just a year before it caught fire, making this perhaps the final appearance of the original structure in a pop video.

Stuart Huggett

Basement 26 – Blues Nights

Well known local musician Mike Raxworthy has taken the plunge as is promoting a brand new regular Blues related night at West Exit, the old Crypt, in Hastings.

Under the name of ‘Basement 26′, these nights are taking place every other Monday, from 24th March.

Here’s what’s coming up, complete with Mike’s own comments:

Monday March 24th – The Dave Jackson Band
Entrance £2 – Members FREE

The Dave Jackson Band gigs all over Europe and he’s made his mark on the live Blues scene. His appearance at the 100 Club was voted in the Top 5 gigs of 2012 as well as top 5 albums of 2011 in ‘Get Ready to Rock’. There is no set list, no contrived over rehearsed renditions, only spontaneous ‘in the moment’ Blues poured from the heart and soul.

Monday April 7th – Nicky Moore and Danny Kyle – Support: Emma Harwood and Andy Neate
Entrance £2.50 – Members £1

Nicky Moore has stayed at the top of his game since the sixties. Most famed for his Blues Corporation Band (I once saw Mitch Michell and Keith Emerson playing with him) he appears at Basement 26 with Danny Kyle where they will be showcasing their latest album as well as a whole host of classic blues. Both these guys were winners in the Best Musicians / Singers 2013 category in Blues Matters.

In support you’ll a rare chance to see Emma Harwood performing her ‘Blues with Andy’ set

Monday April 21st – The Nigel Bagge Band
Entrance £2 – Members FREE

Nigel returns to the club with his fantastic bunch of musicians. These guys have worked with Chicken Shack, Desperate Dan Band, and Shakin’ Stevens.

Monday May 5th – Buick 6, with support from Scott Free
Entrance £1 – Members FREE

Buick 6 are always a treat – non-stop authentic Blues from passionate musicians who give their all.
In support we have a young band from Lewes ‘Scott Free’ making their first appearance in Hastings.
They come with recommendations from top players so I’m looking forward to welcoming them to the club.”

If you want to get free entrance to most of the gigs and 10% off food, you become a member. It’s free to join….just check out their website: www.basement26.co.uk or contact Mike via Facebook. He will then make sure you have a membership card waiting for you when you arrive at the club.

Well done to Mike for starting this regular night of music. Coming just after the recent announcement of the ‘Bare-Faced Blues’ Festival, in September, it looks like the Blues scene in Hastings is finally getting some well deserved exposure.

Buick 6 – Live Video

Our last post mentioned the ‘Bare-Faced Blues’ Festival, which is taking place over two weekends in September 2014, at Gecko Bar in St Leonards.

Read more about it here: http://pierlessmusic.co.uk/bare-faced-blues-festival/

One of the acts booked to play at ‘Bare-Faced Blues’ are Buick 6. Because of that, we thought we’d share this recent video with you. It comes from Harvey Summers’ video series ‘The Live Room’, recorded at his own Broadoak Studios.

If you don’t know of Buick 6, or have not seen them play live before, you really ought to watch this live session. It’s classy stuff.

Enjoy.

Bare-Faced Blues Festival

Hot on the heels of the news that Hastings is to have its own Folk Festival in May 2014, comes the launch of a new Blues Festival in St Leonards.

To be called ‘Bare-Faced Blues’, the festival is being organised and promoted by local man Barry Taylor. For the uninitiated, Barry is the man who booked the Sex Pistols to play on Hastings Pier back in July 1976.

‘Bare-Faced Blues’ will take place at Gecko Bar, on St Leonards seafront, on Sunday’s, 7th and 14th of September 2014. The whole event is being organised to raise funds for St Michael’s Hospice, a very worthy cause I’m sure you’d agree.

Local acts already lined up include Buick 6, King Size Slim, Goo Goos and T Chest Blues, with more to be announced.

Barry would like to hear from any local Blues based acts who are interested in playing this charity event. You can contact him via email at: barry.taylor145@gmail.com

If ‘Bare-Faced Blues’ is a success, Barry hopes to make it into an annual event to add to the Hastings musical calendar.

We wish him well.

SXSE 2014 – A Judges View

A musical recipe.

Take one stage, seven bands, five and a half hours of music, four judges, two sound engineers, several photographers, and countless enthusiastic observers.

Add one pre event band break up, and one last minute replacement act.

Mix all those ingredients together in The Union Bar, and you get SXSE (South by South East), supported by The Stinger magazine. Just one of the many events that took place over the weekend of Hastings Fat Tuesday 2014.

All seven bands were competing to fill the prestigious final slot on the Fat Tuesday Tour, which would see the ‘winners’ play three gigs, in three different venues, over the course of one evening.

First up were The Piercings, who various judges said reminded them of both The Housemartins, and The Lightning Seeds. Not a bad thing.

They were closely followed by Great Snakes, another of the recent surge in guitar and drums duo’s. Passion, energy and solid drumming.

To showcase the variety of the acts, next was Tom Cole, who was described as a ‘1960’s style protest singer’ by one judge. Good guitar work and a nice rapport with the audience too.

At this point, it is worth mentioning that the acts were judged on three main criteria. Musicianship and Tightness, Lyrics and Melody, Stage Presence and Charisma. All acts were given a maximum of ten marks for each category. They also had a twenty minute time slot.

Next, and upping the ante, were Wax. A tight quartet with an 80’s feel, sound effects, and even electric drum pads. Stage presence, and a sound described by one judge, and not in a bad way either, as ‘The Pet Shop Boys with guitars’.

Keeping up the quality were Irie Method, another quartet playing what they call ‘Skindie’ (Ska and Indie). Lively, fun, catchy and with audience participation, these guys got the toes tapping.

Last minute replacements Xup Sup got the house rocking. Tight, energetic pop-punk, a phenomenal drummer, and a great cover of ’99 Red Balloons’. One judge said ‘Xup Sup would not be out of place on a bill with the likes of Green Day, or Blink 182’. Praise indeed.

And so to the final act, Riddles. An air of expectation was apparent and they certainly didn’t disappoint. A trio creating a tight, intense, relentless (in a good way) sound, not unlike Hawkwind, this was a perfect way to end a musically rich afternoon. Half the judging panel said Riddles were the band they would personally choose to go and see again tomorrow.

But, there could only be one ‘winner’. There were several contenders, and no clear front runner. Advice was sought on exactly what was being voting for. Was it the best band on the day, the act with the most potential, or (as it turned out to be) the most suitable band for the Fat Tuesday Tour.

Any one of those options would probably have produced a different result. But, after much debate, Irie Method were invited to play the Fat Tuesday Tour, and by all accounts did SXSE proud.

It’s a bit of a cliche I know, but on the day local music was the winner.

The judges were very impressed with the quality of both the bands and the musicianship.

Unique among the judges, I’d seen most of the acts before, and thought I knew what to expect. But even I was pleasantly surprised by the standard of the music, and the performances on the day.

That can only be a good thing.

(All photo’s by John Powell: http://www.johnnypowell.net/)

Hastings – A Musical Town

You may have already seen the news that Hastings has been voted the most musical town in the UK.

I’m sure that comes as no surprise to most of you anyway and it certainly doesn’t to me. So, I thought I’d make a quick video giving my thoughts on this ‘award’.

Let me know what you think.