Calling All Local Acts.

Our colleagues over at The Stinger magazine have just announced a great opportunity for two separate local acts.

This involves grants they have been given by the Hastings Foreshore Trust which will enable The Stinger to help two lucky applicants.

Here’s what they told us:

One of the primary aspirations of The Stinger Magazine is to help deserving, hard-working local acts, by mentoring fledgling music projects through the initial development and recording process and promoting more established acts outside of the region and across the UK and Europe.
We are therefore delighted to announce that The Hastings Foreshore Trust have kindly awarded us a grant in order to support two unsigned local music acts. This fund will be split into equal parts in order to support two separate acts at different stages of development.

Core Development Fund: The exact nature of the support to be provided will depend on the needs of the act that is chosen, but in principle this will include: the recording, mixing and mastering of at least one song under the guidance of a professional producer; assistance in producing a music video in order to promote the song(s); the production of an EPK (Electronic Press Kit) and general support and advice with branding, website and social media development.

Concert & Touring Fund: The second half of the fund will be used to support a more established local act with a proven track record in live performance. The chosen band will be helped to coordinate and promote a series of UK and possibly (northern) Europe live dates. We will assist with the scheduling, promotion and logistic costs (travel, accommodation and general expenses), and provide an experienced tour manager.

In order to be chosen, you will need to prove that as well as being talented, you are ambitious and determined, which will need to be fully demonstrated during the application process, in order to satisfy the Submissions Panel and The Hastings Foreshore Trust, that the money has been wisely spent.

Applications for the grants close at midnight on 6th January 2015 and the ‘winners’ will be announced in the next issue of The Stinger magazine, due in mid January

Full details about the grants and how you can apply can be found here:

http://www.thestinger.org.uk/mentoring

Best of luck with your application.

The Sound of the Crowd

As many of you will no doubt already know, making music can be an expensive business and in these times of austerity, cut backs and the general decline of the record industry, it has become ever harder to raise the money to produce a decent recording.

Yes, music can now be made on just about any PC, laptop, or phone using various apps and computer programs, but there is still no real substitute for a decent recording studio, a good mixing desk, a producer/engineer and then the mastering of a finished product.

All of that costs money, which is one thing usually in short supply, especially for unsigned acts, or those on the lower rungs of the musical ladder. But never fear, hope is at hand.

Crowdfunding is increasingly coming to the rescue and is helping many acts get their music recorded and released.

For the uninitiated this works by friends, family, fans, or anyone else for that matter, pledging money to a particular project, via a website. There is always a funding target to be met and a closing date for giving pledges. Pledgers are then given various levels of funding options, all of which usually come with their own ‘reward’.

Services such as Kickstarter (https://www.kickstarter.com/) and Pledge Music (http://www.pledgemusic.com/) are even being used now by local bands. For example, local rockers Hornet have used Pledge Music to help with the costs of recording their debut album and their upcoming EP.

Now two more local acts are turning to crowdfunding to raise funds for future projects.

First we have Edd Blakeley, who is probably best known for his work with The Tabs and his father, Garry Blakeley. But he is now turning his attention away from Folk and towards something more Classical/Orchestral, ‘The Rosetta Suite’.

As Edd explained to Pierless Music, “The Rosetta Suite will be a full length album of orchestral music inspired by the Rosetta comet mission success.

The resounding success of the Rosetta space mission and its emotional impact on the world was truly inspiring. So much so that I picked up my pen, and started writing some orchestral music.

Over the next 6 months, I’ll be finishing this orchestral album of between 30-50 minutes of music. Much of it is already written, and follows the story of the Rosetta mission, its characters, successes and setbacks; all of it painted in vivid orchestral colour.”

You can find out more and listen to the opening movement of the Suite here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1611410447/rosetta-an-orchestral-album

Pledging packages for ‘The Rosetta Suite’ run from just £2, right up to £1,000 which would give you a Producers credit on the finished album and much more besides.

Edd is looking to raise a total of £2,500 and the closing date for pledges is 9th, January 2015. He is nearly 50% there already!

This sounds like a great idea and a very interesting project too and if the opening movement is anything to go by, the full Suite will be well worth listening to.

The second funding campaign is from one of the more recent arrivals to the local musical community, Tom Williams.

Tom’s band, The Boat, are currently taking a break so Tom is intending to release a seven track mini album of more acoustic based songs written on his battered Martin guitar.

Tom explained some of the reasons behind this new project: “Two years ago, just as the band were starting to record Easy Fantastic, I bought a new guitar. At the time I had never bought such an expensive instrument before and it scared the spit out of me. It was a beautiful battered and bruised Martin acoustic from 1971, and as soon as I got it home songs started falling out of it.”

You can find out more and listen to demo’s on Tom’s Pledge Music page here:

http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/tomwilliamsminialbum

Pledging packages run from £6, which will get you a digital download of the finshed album, right up to £200, which will give you the chance to write and produce a song with Tom himself. He’ll even bring his portable studio to your house to do so!

Tom has already raised 75% of his total and you still have 98 days left to pledge.

Crowdfunding is now being used by all sorts of different enterprises and it’s easy to see why. From a musical point of view one great aspect of all this is that fans of the various acts get to be involved with their favourite artists and help them release new music that might otherwise never see the light of day. It’s also one more way of reinforcing that personal bond between the artist and the fan, which can only be a good thing for all concerned.

Pierless Music wish both Edd and Tom all the best with their own projects and look forward to hearing the finished results.

Why not get involved yourself and help these two exciting new local music projects get off the ground?

Diversity

Walking along the seafront on Saturday evening, on my way home from another music event, I was struck by the variety of both the music and the venues that I’d experienced over the past few days.

I know that this is probably nothing new to most of you, but let me explain.

On Thursday afternoon I’d been lucky enough to go and see The Kid Kapichi doing some recording locally. I even managed to take some photo’s of the band ‘at work’ as well.

Thursday evening saw me at The Roomz, in St Leonards, to catch the first set by singer/songwriter/guitarist Keith Foster. He really ought to play more gigs you know.

On Friday evening I went to The Union Bar, formerly The Tubman, to watch Barb Wire Dolls and Maid Of Ace. And very good it was too.

And finally, early Saturday evening, I went to the launch of the new Book Buster bookshop in Queens Rd, Hastings. Apart from giving away free cake, and who can resist free cake, they also had an instore gig featuring both Tim Hoyte and Otti Albietz (plus Thad).

All the gigs were enjoyable. But, it was the diversity of both the music played at the gigs and the venues that they took place in that struck me on that stroll home along the prom.

Yes, I know that seeing The Kid Kapichi in the ‘studio’ wasn’t something that was open to all, but hopefully you get the idea?

From soft rock to loud punk rock, Indie rock to folky guitar tunes.

From a bookshop to a bar, a recording studio to a sweaty pub.

From being the only ‘gig’ goer to being one of nearly 100, including a man with no clothes on!

If you ever wanted to try and sum up the Hastings music scene, those few days would be a great place to start.

Enjoy.

Going Into The Studio?

We came across these two videos recently and thought we’d share them with you.

If you are in a band, or even if you’re a solo act and you’re going into the recording studio any time soon, they are well worth watching.

They may well save you a lot of time, effort and money.

Warning: Both videos contain very strong language!

Another word of warning. He’s not very complimentary about bass players. So, if you’re a bass player, you might want to cover your ears at certain points.

Part 1:

Here’s Part 2:

Now, go and make that record.