Hello and welcome to the May update from Off The Chart Promotions.
It’s June already?
I can’t believe how quickly this year is flying past, and I know it’s something we all say every single year but really? It’s June already?! It’s odd that things have come round so fast because June is a month I’ve been planning and building up to since January and it’s here before I’m even ready for it.
So, 6 weeks since my last update but things have been reasonably quiet around here and that’s down to the good old British education system keeping most of our bands busy with GCSE and A Level exams but fear not, good times are ahead!
In keeping with tradition I’ll run through what each band has been up to since the last update and the order in which I do so is by no means determined by favourites.. 😉
28 Boulevard‘s EP has still been receiving critical and public acclaim despite being out now for almost two months, the stand out of those is the lead single ‘Electric Feet’ being featured on Spotify’s Hot New Bands list and has resulted in over 20,000 users streaming it. It’s also received almost 2,500 plays on Soundcloud and the video is almost at 1,000 views on Youtube. So that’s almost 23,500 people who’ve checked the track out – and not including iTunes and other pay to download services. That’s almost Norwich City’s whole stadium filled to capacity! Wow. Stadium tour next, lads?
Other websites to feature the EP include SupaJam (http://www.supajam.com/review/show/28-Boulevard–Sunclouds-EP), Don’t Need No Melody (http://dontneednomelody.com/2014/04/24/28-boulevard-lets-get-uninspired/), Pulse Rift (http://pulserift.com/2014/05/21/track-of-the-day-21st-may/) and it’s even winning fans in France! Thanks to Sound of Britain (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sound-of-Britain/129890123822924) Fantastique!
Of course, if you’re not one of these people who’ve even heard it yet then I’ve linked the Soundcloud stream to this blog
Gigs have been few and far between because of exams but the band did find the time to put in an appearance at Stortfest in Bishop’s Stortford at the beginning of last month, performing as a four piece. Stortfest isn’t a festival I’d ever been to before but I really enjoyed the few hours I spent there, the weather was nice and it was well attended with a really receptive audience who really enjoyed 28 Boulevard’s set – so much so they had some young ladies waiting outside the performance tent to meet the band afterwards and lots of new followers on Twitter. They still don’t quite know what to do in those circumstances, bless.
The band have come on a huge journey over the last 18 months, it’s coming up to 2 years since I started working with them and I hope they’re as pleased as I am with quite how much we’ve achieved together in that time. 2 EPs, 2 videos, soon to be 2 UK tours and most importantly an ever increasing group of people who are following the band for the love and appreciation of their music. 4 of the lads are dedicating the next year to the band and I hope we can continue to open new doors and discover new opportunities in that time so that they can realise their dream to play on even bigger stages and ultimately fulfill every young bands dream of being signed – and even if they don’t, they’ll have had an incredible 3 years and experiences that will live with them for the rest of their lives.
Exams will soon be over and approaching ever closer is their second UK tour. We’ll be off again for a week from 20th June taking in Norwich, Sheffield, York, Durham, Nottingham, London and Bury St Edmunds and there’s a radio appearance for Stephen Bumfrey at BBC Radio Norfolk tucked in there somewhere too. Last year’s tour was an absolute joy so who knows what’s in store this year – last year it was a journey in to the unknown, this time we’ve got some experience under our belts and will learn from the difficulties and issues faced last time although this time we’ve arranged everything ourselves so if things do go wrong it’s my fault! The band are teaming up with a Norwich band Loco Motif for the gigs in Norwich, Sheffield and Nottingham and with Nudists for York and Durham then finally playing with our other bands Flux32 and Lost Lungs as well as The Facade in Bury St Edmunds. I hope every night is an enjoyable one with a good crowd and most importantly that the lads play well and with a consistency throughout all 7 dates. I won’t get to write a blog before we go away so you’ll hear all about it when we’re back – but follow them on Twitter (@28boulevard) for updates during the week.
The Staycations completed a very busy time gigging during May with appearances at the Bury Songwriters Competition, Night of the Artisans at CB2, a Strawberry Fair Fundraiser in Mildenhall, at the Hunter Club in Bury and at Strawberry Sundae at the Portland Arms last weekend. They hadn’t performed so many gigs as regularly at that before so it was a good experience for them, they’re always received so warmly wherever they are, I get so many positive comments about how great they sound and how people can’t believe they’re as young as they are – but if someone else comes up to me and says they’re a mini Mumford and Sons I won’t be responsible for my actions! The highlights for me of those gigs was the Hunter Club where they battled numerous mini power outages during the set to keep their concentration and deliver a faultless set to an appreciative audience but most recently last Sunday at the Portland Arms – the sound was great, the order of their set was spot on and the vocals were on point – aside from the Junction which was special in it’s own way, that was their best performance to date in my mind.
They’ve got a busy summer coming up with gigs most weeks when they’re not away on holiday – the next two dates for the diary are this Saturday at the Strawberry Fair where they’re playing twice (in the afternoon on the Wigwam Stage and in the evening headlining the Emerging Talent stage) and on Thursday night we’re going back to the BBC to record a live session with Tom Simkins at BBC Introducing which will be broadcast on Saturday night too. Two BBC sessions in 2 months – that’s something most bands I know would chew arms off for.
Plans are afoot for recording of a new EP at some stage too, so with that and performances at the Cambridge Folk Festival, Race for Life and Lodestar on the horizon there’s lots of things to look forward to.
Lost Lungs have been particularly quiet over the last couple of months – in my last blog I wrote about their experiences recording their debut EP. That EP is in the process of being mixed at the moment and we’re starting to get tracks back now. The plan is to release the record at the end of July – hopefully with some sort of EP launch event but plans are still in the air on that so watch this space.
The word I would use to describe the track I’ve had back off the EP at the moment is ‘Epic’ – I expect the others will sound equally good!
Gigs wise they’re back in action at the end of June with 3 gigs in the space of a week. A third appearance in a row at Stowfest (now known as Stowfiesta) on 21st June followed in the afternoon by Suffolk Pride in Ipswich and then headlining 28 Boulevard’s last tour date in Bury St Edmunds at the Hunter Club on 27th June.
Last but not least, Flux32 had appearances at Bury Songwriters Competition, Stortfest (where guitarist Graham went through 3 guitars before the end of the first song) and the NMG Sessions and are building up to yet more with a support slot at the Portland Arms this Thursday, the Strawberry Fair on Saturday and a set at the Hunter Club at the end of June.
Aside from the bands, I can’t begin to describe how much I’m looking forward to Strawberry Fair this year. It’s Cambridge 105’s fourth year at the fair, the third running music and our first being an officially recognised area with a stage containing live music for almost 12 hours of the day. I am biased but I really do think I’ve assembled the best stage line up of the whole fair so if you are coming to Midsummer Common on Saturday you’d be a fool not to check what we’ve got to offer out. If you can’t make it, we broadcast everything live on the radio.
That wraps up this month’s update, more from me in July.