One of the main things we discussed when Richard and myself were throwing ideas around prior to the launch of Pierless Music, was the idea that we wanted to encourage new local talent.
Whether that be by encouraging someone to pick up a guitar, sing into a microphone, or bang a drum for the first time, we didn’t mind. Just as long as they at least had the chance to set off on that road to starting a band, or writing their own music and who knows where else.
After all, new talent has to come from somewhere and what better place for it to emerge from than Hastings. That raw talent then needs to be encouraged onto that road and shown that there may well be a future pursuing their dreams.
So often, talent is stifled at an early stage and once it is, it may never be recovered again. Or, valuable years may be wasted to indecision, or a feeling that there is no-one around that really believes in that talent and are willing to give it a chance to shine.
We know that there is plenty of raw talent out there. We’ve both seen and heard it ourselves, but i suspect that there is far more just waiting for a chance to be heard.
But, the one thing that is potentially holding that talent back, possibly more than anything else, is that chance to be heard. It’s one thing to practice with your mates in a bedroom, or garage, but it’s quite another to actually get out there and play some gigs. And, therein lies the problem….
Richard mentioned in his recent blog post about the new Open Mic evenings at The Havelock. They may well attract a predominantly young group of musicians and give them somewhere to get together and socialise. But, that’s still not quite the same thing as actually playing a ‘proper’ gig.
In conversations i’ve had recently, one topic has raised its head probably more often than any other. That topic being that young bands just don’t have anywhere to play live around Hastings these days. And by young bands i mean those with members under 18 years old.
I heard of a local gig recently that had to change venues because one of the band members was under 18. Yes, i know that under 18 year olds are technically allowed into a pub, or club that sells alcohol. But, these days many venues are very careful about who they let in and what if band members are only 14 or 15? What happens then?
This is not a criticism of those pubs and clubs by the way. After all they have their alcohol license to protect and we can’t really expect them to suddenly stop selling alcohol for an evening can we?
If, for some reason, you don’t think that it’s important for the under 18’s to be playing gigs. Just remember that when The Beatles first went to Hamburg in 1960, George Harrison was only 17 years old!
It certainly didn’t do him, or The Beatles any harm did it? And if he hadn’t have had that opportunity, the whole history of popular music would probably have been very different indeed.
I was recently interviewed for a piece on a new local website called ‘Famously Hastings’ (http://www.famouslyhastings.com/live/residents/)
One of the questions i was asked was “What one thing would i like to see in Hastings?” My answer was a small gig venue, or club that bands could play in.
I mentioned that Hastings has not had anything like that since the demise of The Crypt in early 2011.
One thing that The Crypt used to provide for back in the noughties, were gigs that were aimed at, but not limited to, under 18’s. I even went to a few myself, even though there was a strict no alcohol policy!
They were great evenings that gave both the young bands a place to play live and a whole different audience for them to play to. I bet many young local bands played their first ever gig at those early evening events?
Let’s not forget as well, that apart from giving young bands a place to play live. These evenings also gave those teenagers and audience members a place to go. Even if it was just for a few hours.
Instead of potentially roaming the streets, they were being exposed to live music, quite possibly for the very first time. Some of them might even have been inspired to pick up a musical instrument and start their own band because of that experience.
It was a real win win situation.
So, what can be done to try and change the current situation?
Well, we at Pierless Music would love to be able to put on evening gigs like those mentioned above. We are in discussions with some like minded individuals to try and make this a reality. But, firstly we need a venue and preferably a nice, central one too.
If you have any ideas, or suggestions as to how we might be able to go about this, please let us know.
As i said at the start of this post, Pierless Music want to encourage and support new local musical talent and we feel that this could be a perfect way to kickstart that process.
We hope that you agree.