Local Musical Meet Up?

Part of the recent Hastings Fat Tuesday celebrations was a two day music seminar/conference called Un-Convention, which was held over two days at St Mary In The Castle.

This was the 73rd Un-Convention event and the first to be held in the South East of the UK, that’s quite a coup. Musicians, promoters, writers, movers and shakers travelled from as far as Manchester to take part and share their own personal stories, experiences and wisdom to an engaged audience.

You can still see the aganda for the two days here, just in case you want to know what you may have missed: http://www.hastingsfattuesday.co.uk/2015/un-convention/

One of the panels was titled ‘Local Scenes – Collaboration, Co-Operations and Making It Happen’, which I chaired, and was focussed on the current music scene in Hastings, with the panellists sharing their observations of local music scenes across the UK, all with a view to attempting to see how Hastings can learn from those towns and cities and move forward itself.

One idea that came out of that session was the setting up an informal regular meet up of interested parties, whether they be musicians, promoters, venue owners, producers etc etc…

Past Un-Convention events have encouraged this idea, as getting all those people together in a room, in an informal way, can help cement and grow a local music scene. Something that Pierless Music, Fat Tuesday and The Stinger magazine are very keen to do.

On the day, people in the audience thought that a regular meet up was a good idea and that they would support it. But what about you?

Is this something that you would want to get involved with and how should we go about it? The initial suggestions is for a monthly meeting, maybe on a quieter Monday evening, in a local hostelry.

If that sounds like something you would go to, please let us know by sending an email, and any suggestions, to: contact@pierlessmusic.co.uk

As some of you may already be aware, Hastings Borough Council hosted a meeting recently all about the local music scene here in Hastings, as a part of their cultural policy.

Although this was very well attended, and the suggestion of a regular meeting was raised, many in the audience felt that any such meet up should be independent of any ‘official’ involvement. Hence why we are suggesting this idea of our own now.

Here’s your chance to get involved with the local music scene in Hastings, put your suggestions and ideas forward and maybe help make that scene even bigger and better than what it already is.

After all a collective voice is far better and more effective than a lone one.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Pierless Music – What’s In A Name?

If I had a pound for every time somebody has asked me what we’re going to call this site once Hastings Pier has fully risen from the ashes, I’d probably be able to buy you all a drink.

The logic being that once the Pier has re-opened, Hastings will no longer be a pierless town, which is a fair point. I must add that the vast majoirty of the questioners have asked this in a serious manner.

Hastings Pier has certainly changed, for the better, since we started this Pierless Music site back in October 2012.

The eagle eyed among you may have noticed that I have changed the main image for the website. I took this new photo recently, after noticing that all those old original buildings at the end of the Pier had now gone.

If you compare this new photo with the one I took back in late 2010, you can see how much has changed.

So, to go back to that original question, what are we going to call this site once Hastings Pier re-opens? Well, the site will be called………… fanfare please………… Pierless Music.

Yes, we’re keeping the name the same and there is more than one reason why.

- Firstly: What would you then call the site? Piered Music?, Pier Music? etc etc.

- Secondly: The aims of this site will remain the same as they’ve been since day one. Namely trying to help promote, encourage and celebrate original local music from the Hastings area. So, why the need to change our name?

- And thirdly: It’s what we’re known as and we’d have to change our website, Twitter and email details to reflect any new name. That would only confuse people, including ourselves, so why do that? And, as I’ve pointed out to some of those who have asked, keeping our name reinforces the fact that this site existed before Hastings Pier was rebuilt.

That third point above also raises another issue that is relevant to local bands/acts and indeed Pierless Music itself. You are a brand, whether you like it or not, and your name is a part of that. It’s the way that most people/fans know you. It’s what set’s you apart from all other bands out there, so why mess with your name?

After all, if you did change it you’d effectively have to start all over again. That’s why some successful bands are still touring, under their original name, when the band of today contains none of the members that you remember and who played on those records you bought. Without that name, nobody would go and see them, as they’d just be a tribute act. You could argue that that’s what they are anyway, but that’s a topic for another day.

(I wrote a post for this site, some time ago now, about your band/act being a brand. You can read that here: http://pierlessmusic.co.uk/blog-posts/andy-gunton-2/brand/)

So this was all a long winded way of saying that Pierless Music will remain Pierless Music for as long as this website exists.

Thanks for asking though.

(PS: Do you think we should keep the new photo, or go back to the original one?)

‘How To Get Ahead As A Musician’

As a part of the recent Battle Festival, there was a music based expert panel discussion, followed by a question and answer session. The theme being ‘How To Get Ahead As A Musician’.

We managed to get a recording of the event and have uploaded it to Pierless Music’s Soundcloud page. You can listen to that recording here:

The panel on the night were: Tim Rice-Oxley, songwriter and keyboard player with Keane – Tom Williams, songwriter and main man behind Tom Williams and The Boat – Anna Moulsen from Melting Vinyl promotions in Brighton and Melita Dennet, DJ on BBC Introducing The South. The panel was chaired by Andy Fyfe, a music journalist.

Many topics were covered during the discussion, including: how to get your music played on BBC radio, gigs, your fanbase, mailing lists, social media and how to use it effectively, your band as a small business and much more.

If you are in a band, or act and are trying to move ahead in the music business, this is well worth a listen as these people have been there and done what you’re now trying to do.

Hopefully it will give you some tips and ideas for the next stage of your musical career.

New Local Music Videos

It’s been a while, so we thought we’d bring you some of the latest local music videos that have come to our attention.

First off are Kid Kapichi and the track ‘Take It Slow’, which comes from their upcoming EP of new songs. We’ve been lucky enough to hear the whole EP and it’s a cracker.

Kid Kapichi recently played the The Forum in Tunbridge Wells as a part of the venue’s ‘Showcase’ series of gigs.

Find Kid Kapichi at: https://www.facebook.com/TheKidKapichi

Next a new band that have connections with Kid Kapichi. The band are Bosco Rogers, who are Del and Barth. They label themselves as ‘flower punk ruffians’ and who are we to argue with that?

Bosco Rogers are already making an impression, as they’ve recenty been played by both Steve Lamacq and Lauren Laverne on BBC 6 Music, among other places.

This track, ‘The Middle’ is taken from their upcoming EP ‘Googoo’. Once again Pierless Music have got our grubby hands on a copy already and it’s well worth looking out for.

Find Bosco Rogers at: https://www.facebook.com/BoscoRogers

And last, but by no means least, are Dorey The Wise. The track is called ‘Rise and Fall’ and it’s the title track from their recent EP. Their new single, from the same EP, called ‘Brave New Light’, has just been released.

Since this video was made the band have added a new bass player to their ranks.

Dorey The Wise played a storming gig at Flairz last week, as headliners for the first ‘Off Axis’ gig in the South of England.

Find Dorey The Wise at: http://doreythewise.com/

Three great videos, from three great bands who are making an impression outside of the local area.

Good for them and long may that continue.

As always, if you know of any good local music videos that we may have missed, please let us know. Thanks.

New Local Music Videos

We’ve spotted two brand new videos from local acts this week, so we thought we’d share them with you here.

First we have what we believe is the first ever video from Sand Rabbit.

The song is called ‘In The Corners’ and it comes from their album ‘The Panther Blade’, which was released in 2013.

As a friend of Pierless Music, Stu Huggett, said about the video, “Skating and drinking feature. It’s a Hastings thing”

Sand Rabbit: In The Corners, Official Video from Sand Rabbit on Vimeo.

Secondly, we have a new video from Claire Hamill. The song is called ‘Trees’, which originally featured on her 1988 abum ‘Love in the Afternoon’, although this is a reworking of that song.

The video can only be described as ‘kaleidoscopic’.

As always, if you see any new local music videos that we may have missed, please let us know.

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.

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

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.

The Stinger

February 19th 2014 see’s the official launch of a brand new, free, independent local music magazine for Hastings and the surrounding area. Called The Stinger, the magazine will be published every two months.

The Stinger will include coverage of original local music, bands and artists, across different musical genre’s and age groups. There will also be gig and music reviews, local and national music news, comment pieces and much more relating to the local music scene. Another aspect that will be covered is the musical history of the Hastings area, something that is well worth talking about and reliving.

You can keep up to date with The Stinger via its website: www.thestinger.org.uk and also their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/thestingermag

The Stinger is the first project of the newly formed Hastings Fat Tuesday charity, which we’ve talked about here at Pierless Music before.

As you may remember from previous posts, Pierless Music, and especially myself, are joining up with the team behind the Fat Tuesday and Voodoo Fest events to help with the running of the Hastings Fat Tuesday charity.

I am pleased to say that I am now the Managing Editor of The Stinger and my Pierless Music colleague Richard Lock is a contributor, so you may see some crossover between the two projects in the future.

When Richard and I created Pierless Music, back in late 2012, one of our initial aims was to start up a local music magazine/fanzine for the Hastings area. But, for several reasons, we weren’t able to fulfill that ambition. So, in many ways, The Stinger is the realisation of that dream.

Sometimes things take a little longer than you’d like, and as Tom Petty said, “The waiting is the hardest part”.

But, we got there in the end and we hope you’ll agree that The Stinger has been worth that wait.

PS: We now have an official launch party and you’re invited. For more details visit the Facebook Event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/801133736579983/