It’s been a busy couple of months for both of our artists playing all round the county and at some new venues too!
The beginning of the month started out with an interesting proposal (not of that kind, sadly) from a local band going by the name of ‘The Balancines’. I’d featured them on my Cambridge 105 show several times and they approached me with the concept of offering, through the radio show, the opportunity for a young singer to record vocals for a track which they had already written and produced but felt was too ‘contemporary’ for them to release themselves. The track titled ‘Monsters’ is great, a real pure pop track and was an instant love with me so we’ve launched a competition for anyone wanting to try their hand at record it – the lucky winner will get to work with Chris and Simon from the band (who themselves have had Top 40 chart hits in other bands down the years) in recording the vocals, producing and mastering the track and then I’ll come along and help them market it. Entries close at the end of April so if you’re interested, visit their Reverbnation page – www.reverbnation.com/thebalancines
Cambridge 105’s NMG Sessions are going well, both gigs in February and March made a profit and valuable funds for both Off The Chart Promotions and Cambridge 105. Chasing Melfina, Forest and Stonesoul played The Portland on 14th February whilst last week Violet Bones, Tiger Blue and Phoenix Calling performed. The next date is 25th April and i’m already advanced in a line up for that one which will be an Acoustic special.
Our Acoustic Nights at The Bath House are also going well and i’m looking forward to the next batch which include sets from our acts (28 Boulevard and Lucid) as well as Scenario, Jon Hart, Ellie Jamison, Two Intents and Christian Smith. They’re fortnightly on Thursdays from 9pm at The Bath House on Bene’t Street in Cambridge – the next one is this Thursday (28th March).
28 Boulevard have been busy playing gigs over the last few months, they’ve now performed over 10 gigs since new lead guitarist Cameron Gipp joined the band at the end of last year, I’m pleased he’s fitted in to the band really well. Venues they’ve played lately include The Avery in Cambridge, Red Lion in Soham, Black Bull in Godmanchester, Pig n Falcon in St Neots, The Lord Protector in Huntingdon and The Cornerhouse in Cambridge. Two of those gigs (Huntingdon & St Neots) were part of the MMG Cambridgeshire Band Competition and although they didn’t reach the final, they did themselves proud with two strong performances – something which was picked up by the judges present as they won one of only two wildcard slots to progress to Heat 2 and have been offered a slot on one of MMG’s Takeover events at another location outside of the county later this year. You can see photos from these gigs on our Facebook page.
I’m excited to see the band play as a five piece over the next month as original lead guitarist Lewis Lloyd Kinnings is back from University for Easter, I’m told it’s going to sound good! The band are actually playing live on my New Music Generator show this Wednesday (27th) from 7-9pm ahead of gigs in Bury St Edmunds, Cambridge and their headline slot at the Cambridge Junction on 19th April. Their new single ‘Logistics’ will be ready for release next month, I also can’t wait for their video to be released, it’s looking really impressive!
Lucid have just last weekend played the Cambridge Junction themselves for the first time, they headlined the Acoustic Fiver Night in J3 along with a line up of really talented artists but their set really was excellent to the extent that they got a lot of positive feedback afterwards from those in the room. It’s difficult to translate songs written to perform electrically into an acoustic set but they did a great job, it’s the best I’ve seen them perform yet and sets them up nicely for when they support 28 Boulevard in J1 in April.
Speaking of new members, Tom Brown joined the group a couple of months ago as a bassist – considering they were just a duo when I first knew them, within a year they’ve come a long way and are now a proper band! Tom’s settled in really quickly, which is important – and his arrival has sparked a new direction for their music which you’ll hear soon on the material they are about to start recording.
My mission at the moment is to secure both bands slots performing in London and in other parts of the country, I’m making progress but it’s a slow process but by the next blog I should have something to share! It’s important to get both bands experience in performing to new audiences in locations which are completely alien to them, it’s all part of their development if they want to be mega stars one day (Tim Lloyd Kinnings of 28 Boulevard has already started discussing tour busses..)
On a personal level, I’ve enjoyed being a judge at 3 of the Strawberry Fair Cambridge Band Competition heats over the last few weeks and really excited for the final on 5th April at the Cambridge Junction. I’m secretly pleased (and a bit relieved!) that all 3 of the acts I gave the most marks for in the heats all got through – which shows I know something!! I’m especially pleased my mates Dan and Nathan aka Music and Spies got through to the final – they’re top guys and very good at what they do, I’ll be cheering them on for sure.
As I write this, Off The Chart Promotions have been approached by DoubleTree by Hilton in Cambridge to provide artists for a series of summer outdoor acoustic nights at their hotel from March through to September so if you fit the bill and want to play, drop me a line! It’s satisfying to know that even in it’s infancy, Off The Chart Promotions and myself through my work on the radio are gaining a reputation for championing music in Cambridge – and even further a field.
Well that’s a round up of what’s been happening over the last few months, no doubt I’ll have more to share next month!
Off The Chart Promotions Founder & Director