Pheww! With a day and a half to spare I managed to get a blog in whilst it’s still May.
I’ve spent more time this month working in the office programming various gig line ups and showcase events rather than seeing live music, that’s because June, July and August will be filled with live events and I’ve been using the quiet period of May whilst the bands are all busy working hard on their exams to get things in place for the Summer.
The Bath House Acoustic Nights are still going well, in the last month we’ve been treated to The Pickering Brothers, B Sydes, Will Clark, Sarah Louise, Patrick Sneezum and Lewis Edridge. The nights are every other Thursday at The Bath House on Bene’t Street. Next Thursday (6th) will play host to Rupert Stroud, Alice Rayner and Cogo Music. If you’re an acoustic artist or band who can flip your electric set into something a little more stripped back, get in touch!
I’ve been working on programming a few outdoor music events for the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Cambridge. The first two take place on Friday, 7th June with 28 Boulevard and Grace Sarah and Saturday, 8th June with Elliot Porter & The Missing Pieces and Chasing Outlaws. All sets are to be performed in the outdoor bar area of the hotel which is situated on the bank of the River Cam. There are other dates towards the end of June which I am still booking.
Something I am particularly looking forward to is a NMG Showcase at the Town and Country Show which is an annual event which takes place on Parkers Piece in the centre of Cambridge. I was approached by one of the tent organisers to put together a 3 hour showcase of some of the best young up and coming music talent in and around the Cambridge area. Ollie and Will, Lucid, Sarah Louise, 28 Boulevard and Chasing Outlaws will all play sets between Midday and 3pm on Saturday, 8th June.
So, 28 Boulevard have had a very quiet month but June is the busiest in the bands history with 8 gigs in the diary including their upcoming support tour with Room Service. I’ve been working behind the scenes arranging all the logistical (funny pun there..) elements to the tour and soon the band will get together to start rehearsing their set for the tour. Their first gig of June is at the Hilton Hotel in Cambridge on 7th June.
Lucid have been pretty busy this month – they played a gig in London for the first time on 19th May at the Acklam Village at Portobello Market. I don’t really know what I was expecting to find when we got there, having never been to Portobello Market before but I guess my mind conjured up images of Covent Garden – it was nothing like that! It was a very artisan environment, the stage is under a main road flyover and the market itself off the main street in Notting Hill comprising of lots of lovely food stalls serving just about every type of food you could wish for. The good thing about where it was is that it attracted a very appreciative crowd so Lucid picked up a fair few new fans off the back of that gig which stands them in good stead for the next London gig on 22nd June at The Garage in Highbury & Islington.
I mentioned in my last blog that I was about to spend a Bank Holiday Monday in the company of our newest signings Lost Lungs filming a promotional video. Well, thankfully despite a trip to the fun fair and punting – everyone survived the experience (I did get sunburnt) and the video looks great. Thanks to camera man Leigh Last for his work! That video will be released over the Summer so look out for it. I also said in the last blog that I’d never actually seen Lost Lungs play a live gig at the time of writing – well that’s changed now, I’ve seen them twice. I could instantly see why they won an award for ‘Best live performance’ at the West Suffolk Music Awards, their sets are extremely energetic! They are very ambitious lads and have a lot of potential but equally have a long journey to embark on to maximise that potential – that’s what I’m working with them to do – and we will get there. They’re playing Stowfest this Saturday, 1st June on two stages and have other gigs coming up in the summer in Bury St Edmunds, Ipswich and Cambridge. They will also be spending a large part of the summer recording a debut EP.
In radio land, I presented an ‘Ultimate Unsigned Chart’ on the most recent Bank Holiday which comprised all 68 tracks which have entered the chart to date since it’s inception in March 2012. It took quite a lot of work to count up all the votes each track had received for each of the 61 weeks it had been going but I got there and the end result was interesting. The winners – Keltrix – were well deserved but special mentions should also go to Motor Tapes, The Abstracts and Bemuzic who were all in the Top 5. 28 Boulevard were a very respectable 11th too.
I’ve recorded two Star Talent shows to date, the first with Lewis Mokler and the second with Gary Hellman. Both are great lads and extremely talented – they were a pleasure to interview. I hope that they will find their way on to the airwaves very soon, they’re stuck on management’s desk waiting approval at the moment but as soon as I get a broadcast date I will let you know! Grace Sarah will be on the third show, I record with her next week.
Finally, the bulk of my work this month has been programming and organising the Cambridge 105 outside broadcast from Strawberry Fair. This is the third year I’ve run this event and I have high hopes that we will match, if not exceed the success from 2012 which I felt was one of the best outside broadcasts Cambridge 105 had done at that time. I’ve managed to get some really great artists to perform and I hope to wander around the rest of the fair at some point to catch some of the other brilliant local talent playing the other stages. If you’re coming to the fair – come and say hello! Look out for the mass of lime green and you’ll be heading in the right direction.
I think my next blog will be a 28 Boulevard tour special – can’t wait for that!
Thanks for reading.