The Pierless Music Gig Guide

Regretfully, the Pierless Music Gig Guide will be closing up shop on New Years Eve 2015.

There are a number of reasons for this, one of them being that maintaining any type of Gig Guide is a thankless task. There are also many other Hastings based Gig Guides ‘competing’ for your attention.

A Gig Guide is only as good as the information provided and then listed within it. As hard as you may try, getting that info is not easy, as anyone who runs one of these services will tell you.

Some venues and promoters are good at providing gig info, but many are not, therefore no online Gig Guide is ever complete and definitive.

With that in mind The Stinger magazine have created a crowd sourced web based Gig Guide, called Gig Stinger, which is now ready for launch. You can access that Gig Guide via the link at the bottom of this post.

The idea behind Gig Stinger is that anyone, be they a band, venue, promoter or fan, can upload gig and event information to the site. This gig info will then be available for all to see, via an interactive map.

Suppliers of gig and event info will need to create a, free, account which will then enable them to upload that info. Those persons can then include extra info about their band, venue, event or gig, including social media links, photo’s etc.

Gig Stinger is already ‘live’, so why not have a look and create an account? It can be accessed via your computer, tablet, or smart phone.

We are intending to create a ‘User Guide’ to help anyone who may need it, but hopefully Gig Stinger isn’t too hard to use. We have already created ‘pages’ for a few local venues, but you are free to create your own, or add to those, once you are signed up.

There will be a submission process, to try to stop spurious info being uploaded.

The idea behind Gig Stinger is that the onus is put onto the band/act, venue, promoter etc to upload info about their own events and gigs, and promote them, this cuts out the ‘middle man’.

If Gig Stinger is not a success that will be because people haven’t uploaded and supplied information about their events. We will not be doing that on your behalf.

If Gig Stinger is a success, we already have ideas about how it can be expanded for other, non musical, events, and even for towns/cities further afield too.

So………………..

Thanks for your support for the Pierless Music Gig Guide over the past few years, it is much appreciated.

The Pierless Music website will remain, although at present I’m not sure how much new content will be uploaded to it, as The Stinger magazine will take preference.

For future gigs please visit Gig Stinger: http://www.thestinger.org.uk/gigs#.VnVKb_mLTIU

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all.

Touring – Two Views

One of the main reasons that Pierless Music exists is to try and help local acts get out of the Hastings area and into the wider musical world.

There are, of course, several different ways in which this could happen. It might be via a video posted on YouTube, hence why we’re happy to showcase those videos when we can.

Then there’s the chance of an act’s music being played on a radio station, either local, national or international.

But, another main way by which a band starts to attract new fans is by touring. Many local bands play one off gigs in places such as Brighton, or London. But not that many venture further afield, playing several gigs in a row – a tour. Once again, there are a number of reasons for this.

Some bands are happy to stay local, but others are more ambitious and want to expose their music to a wider audience, hopefully kickstarting a musical career as they go.

Even if you are ambitious, there are still obstacles to overcome, before you can get out ‘on the road’.

We have come across two blog posts that highlight some of those obstacles, both for a band starting out and also one a bit higher up the pecking order, but still taking the DIY approach, which is what you’re likely to be doing.

The first is from a very good UK based website called Sentric Music. They often have very relevant, useful information and blog posts, including this one. It is a part of their ‘Fund Your Future’ series of posts and is called ‘Ask the Tour Manager’.

In it an experienced tour manager answers seven questions about touring, which are especially relevant to a band starting out, taking that DIY approach. It’s well worth a read if your band is thinking of gigging further afield:

http://www.sentricmusic.com/blog/2014/november/26/ask-the-tour-manager/

The second post is by the American band Pomplamoose. In it they explain how they went about booking and playing a recent 28 day tour of the USA.

As mentioned earlier, they are a more established band, playing to 1,100 fans at the Fillmore in San Francisco for example. This is obviously a USA centric post, but we feel it is still very relevant and an interesting, eye-opening read as well.

The post is written by one of the band. See what you think:

https://medium.com/@jackconte/pomplamoose-2014-tour-profits-67435851ba37

If this has whetted your appetite for playing gigs outsdie of Hastings, then we may be able to help you. The Stinger magazine will shortly be announcing some exciting news for both new and more established acts in the Hastings and St Leonards area.

Part of this will involve helping one act to get out ‘on the road’. More details will be revealed shortly, so keep your eyes peeled.

Maid of Ace – Tour Movie

It’s good to see any of our local bands playing gigs outside of the Hastings area, especially if those gigs happen to be in mainland Europe.

So, we thought we’d share this 12 minute home movie of the recent tour of Germany and Belgium by Maid of Ace.

It was filmed by the band themselves, with a little help from Mike, and was edited by Mark Richards.

It looks like they had a lot of fun too, despite a broken down car.

Rumour has it that Maid of Ace may be off to the USA for a tour in the not too distant future.

Let’s hope they blaze a trail for other local bands to follow in their footsteps.

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.

Hastings Fat Tuesday 2014

It’s very nearly time for another one of those highlights of the Hastings year, Fat Tuesday.

It all kicks off tomorrow, Friday 28th, and details of events across the whole five days can be found on the official website: http://www.hastingsfattuesday.co.uk/2014/

There is plenty to enjoy over the course of the celebrations, but one of the best aspects of Hastings Fat Tuesday is the opportunity it gives for local original musicians to showcase their talents to a wider audience. Fat Tuesday brings visitors from far and wide to Hastings. After all, everyone likes a party don’t they?

So, I thought I’d highlight some of the events, within the five days of celebrations, that help to showcase that original musical talent.

Friday evening brings the official Launch Party at The Jenny Lind, with The Cajun Dawgs sharing their authentic Cajun and Zydeco sounds, straight from the deep south of the UK.

There’s just time to catch your breath, and shake off that hangover, before The Unplugged Tour on Saturday afternoon between 1 and 6pm. 30 acts, performing 150 gigs, across several venues in Hastings Old Town.

This is only the second year of The Unplugged Tour, but it’s one of the events that I’m looking forward to the most. Many of our best local acts will be performing acoustic versions of their songs, quite possibly for the first time. So it’s a great opportunity to see those bands in a different light and often out of their comfort zone too.

Sunday afternoon see’s the return of SXSE at The Union Bar: https://www.facebook.com/events/261077317383850/

This showcase features 8 local bands aiming to claim the final slot on Tuesday nights Fat Tuesday Tour. I’m lucky enough to be one of the judges for this and it promises to be a great afternoon.

Monday gives you a chance to catch your breath a little with Slim Monday at the Brass Monkey. Performing on the night will be the appropriately named King Size Slim, and if he’s anywhere near as good as the last time I saw him play, this is another gig not to be missed.

Tuesday evening brings us to the highlight and climax of the whole Hastings Fat Tuesday celebrations with the Fat Tuesday Tour itself. 8 venues, and 16 bands playing 3 gigs each.

2013 set a benchmark with Skunk Anansie playing to excited crowds at the Dragon Bar, Lord Nelson and The Carlisle. So, 2014 has a lot to live up to, but I’ve no doubt that the levels of excitement and quality of music will be just as good.

See the official Fat Tuesday programme within the first issue of The Stinger magazine for full details of all the events.

Overall, Hastings Fat Tuesday 2014 will feature over 250 performances, by 65 artists, across 25 different venues. Now that’s quite some party!

And possibly the best thing about all the events I’ve mentioned here, is that they’re all absolutely free.

We’ve never really needed an excuse to party in Hastings, but if one was ever needed, Fat Tuesday is a far better one than most.

Happy Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday everyone. See you there.

Pay To Play

If you’re an aspiring band or artist and have ever attempted to get some gigs further afield from your home town, you’ve probably come across the phenomenon that is known as ‘Pay To Play’.

You know the kind of thing where the promoter, or venue says that they can’t or won’t pay you for your performance and tell you that ‘it will be good promotion for your band’ and that ‘that’s just the way things are these days’.

This may well suit you under certain circumstances, but…..

Well, you might be pleased to hear that it’s not just the new, up and coming artists that have to put up with this kind of thing. It seems that even the biggest acts in the world are spun the same rubbish as well. As this blog post by the very readable Helienne Lindvall shows:

http://www.theguardian.com/media/media-blog/2013/dec/17/music-acts-radio-events-free-katy-perry

Of course this is not something that just happens in London and other big cities, it happens in most smaller towns as well. Thankfully not all venues and promoters do this, but many do.

This is a big issue, with several sides and varying points of view and one that I could probably talk about for hours, so I don’t intend to go into it all here.

What I thought I would do though is to point you towards a couple of Facebook groups that talk about these issues. If nothing else it proves that you’re not alone and that it’s not just the ‘little people’ that are affected.

Here’s a link to a Facebook group started up to highlight and discuss musicians being asked to play for free. The group was actually started after problems with the London 2012 Olympics. You might have to join the group to get involved:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/NUMAO/

Of course, this doesn’t just affect the music industry. It has become an issue across many fields too, such as journalism.

Here’s a link to another Facebook group called ‘Stop Working For Free’, this time started by respected music journalist Barney Hoskyns. It’s aimed at journalists, musicians, photographers and others as well. Once again you may have to join to get the full benefit:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/263804607094399/

Why not share your own story?

 

From Hastings To The World

One of the aims of Pierless Music has always been to see original local bands make that transition from being a local band, to being one that spreads its wings and starts to play outside of the area. Even if that means not playing locally as much anymore.

As if to emphasise this the Pierless Music slogan is ‘From Hastings to the World’. Hence the title of this particular post.

Well, three of our younger Hastings based bands are now doing just that.

Hornet, Maid Of Ace and The Kid Kapichi have progressed far enough for them to now be headlining London gigs. That can only be good news.

Recently, Hornet headlined the O2 Academy 2 in Islington.

On September 27th The Kid Kapichi are returning to headline the Barfly in Camden.

And on the following day Maid Of Ace are headlining the Black Heart venue, also in Camden.

This is of course no guarantee of any future success. But it does at least show that all three bands are both good enough to hold their own in London and that they all have the ambition and drive to move forward.

Let’s hope that Hornet, The Kid Kapichi and Maid Of Ace will be just the first three of many more local bands that make that transition. I know that there are already at least a couple more bands waiting in the wings to do just that.

London first, next stop the rest of the world?

Blog Post – Ragged Trousered Folk

Tony Streeter has written a new blog post for Pierless Music all about his ‘raggedtrouseredfolk’ gigs that take place at the Jenny Lind pub in the old town, Hastings.

These gigs feature artists from across the world, as well as the best local folk talent.

Read more here: http://pierlessmusic.co.uk/blog-posts/tony-streeter/ragged-trousered-folk-2/

Well done to Tony for putting on these gigs and for persuading international artists to come to Hastings. Tony is also one of the people behind the annual RNLI Hastings Beach Concerts, which will place just over a week’s time, so he’s a busy man. Well done.

Sorry about the colour of the writing in Tony’s post, but WordPress didn’t seem to like using black this time around.

Hastings Beach Concerts – Line Up

Pierless Music can now reveal to you the line up for the 2013 Hastings Beach Concerts.

The gigs will take place on Saturday and Sunday, 3rd and 4th of August. They will be held in their usual spot, just next to the Lifeboat Station.

As with any event like this, the line up is subject to change.

Saturday 3rd August – 1 to 9pm:

The Rhythm Section – Ugenix – The Vindickers – Dead Rabbits – King Bathmat – Anita Jardine – Tusk – Harry Osborne.

Sunday 4th August – 1 to 7pm:

Blair – 90% Proof – Under The Covers – The Fabulous Red Diesel – Star Scream.

As usual, there will a collection for the RNLI and there will also be a bar provided. Because of this, gig goers are asked not to bring their own alcohol.

Also, because of insurance restrictions, no BBQs are allowed on site. Please respect this.

At Pierless Music we are very happy to see so many local acts who write and perform their own music included in the line up this year. That’s great to see and let’s hope that it becomes a regular feature.

You may remember that Tony Streeter wrote a blog post for this site some time ago explaining what went into putting an event like the Beach Concerts on. It was certainly an eye opener. You can read it here:

http://pierlessmusic.co.uk/blog-posts/tony-streeter/rnli-hastings-beach-concert/

Tony mentioned in that post that it costs approx £4,000 to put these gigs on every year. This years Beach Concerts have been made possible by donations made by Bob Faulkner of The Carlisle. So, many thanks to him for helping to enable these 25th anniversary concerts to go ahead. Happy silver anniversary.

Of course, any post about the RNLI Hastings Beach Concerts is a great opportunity to watch, once again, the late and great John Martyn performing there back in 1991. Great stuff. See how many people you recognise.

Thanks to Tony Streeter and everyone involved with the Hastings Beach Concerts for all their hard work in helping to bring Hastings these wonderful gigs every year. They have become a fixture in the local calendar and long may they contune to be so.