Good question and a very valid one too.
I had been toying with the basic idea of setting up, what has now become, Pierless Music for a few years before the idea finally got off of the ground.
My original thoughts were for it to be for all local music and musicians, regardless of whose music is actually being played. But, over time I’ve come to realise that there is already much out there locally that caters for bands, artists and musicians who play purely cover versions of other people’s songs.
Now, I’ll say right away that there is nothing wrong whatsoever with people playing cover versions. There is a definite demand for that kind of music and a big audience locally who like to listen to it, especially with a few beers in a crowded pub on a Saturday night.
Hastings is blessed with many great musicians who play nothing but other people’s music and the best of luck to them. We have some great bands in the Hastings area who provide a great service to those who want to hear those familiar songs.
In fact Hastings probably has more gigs, by more bands/artists, than just about anywhere of a similar population size in the whole country.
Any night of the week you can usually find someone playing music you can sing along to in a pub, or a bar and long may that continue.
If you’re one of those musicians who are happy playing cover versions and don’t have the slightest inclination to write your own music, that’s perfectly ok. Best of luck to you.
But, apart from all of those talented local musicians playing other people’s music, there are many more writing, recording and attempting to play music their own music locally. Quite often, those two sets of musicians overlap.
I know of several local musicians who regularly play in covers bands, but who are frustrated and talented original performers. So, why do they carry on this way?
Sometimes it is for the money, to help subsidise the production of their own music.
Sometimes it is because they just love to play live, whatever the origin of the music.
But, sometimes it is also because they just don’t feel that there is a real opportunity to play their own music locally.
There are, of course, many other local musicians who battle on and only play purely original music.
So, here at Pierless Music we’d like to help give all of those musicians a chance for their own original music to be heard.
Yes, we fully realise that any band, or musician starting out on their musical journey usually starts by playing other people’s music. That’s a route that even the biggest bands in the world have taken over the years and there are very good reasons for that. Everyone has to start somewhere.
But, all of those world conquering bands then started to experiment and write their own songs. After all, they wouldn’t have become a success otherwise.
Here at Pierless Music we want to see bands and musicians take that step and sooner rather than later too. We know that the talent is out there, so let’s help make sure that it gets heard and exposed to a wider audience.
So, there you have it. That is our reasoning.
One exception to our “Rule” is with certain musical genres.
The worlds of Folk, Blues and Jazz have always relied on the playing of a certain amount of ‘standards’ among a bands repertoire and that is fair enough. Many of those ‘standards’ go back several decades, or even further and they are often revised and updated by the performers anyway.
Having said that, we’d still like to see those bands/artists writing and recording at least some of their own music, as some already do to great effect.
We do also understand that the odd cover version thrown into a bands set, or even on an album is often a sign of a great love of, or personal attachment to that song. It might even have been the first song a band played together. But, please choose wisely.
What we don’t need, in my opinion anyway, is yet another band performing or recording yet another version of “Paranoid”, or “Don’t Stop Believing”.
After all, if people don’t continue writing new songs, where are all the cover versions of the future going to come from?
PS: This post was originally written in November 2012, but for some reason was never posted, until now.