A few weeks into lockdown I had the pleasure of promoting Ella and Missing Promotions for a Friday evening live session that she organised called Isolation Station. There were fans missing going to live music gigs and artists missing performing them so to have a chance to watch a local talented band or musician play while sitting on the sofa with a glass of wine appealed to me!
Focusing on the music industry this week was important to me as anyone that knows me understands not only my love of music but also that I have watched my son grow in his band for the last 3 years. Part of watching him grow was picking him up from pub car parks at 11pm at night to watching him build a following in small venues in the city. These venues are what makes a musician or band grow and any success of where they go always comes from local roots, a local following of fans.
From being a Portsmouth DJ, a nightclub promoter, record shop, and record label owner, through to being involved in chart successes with Lou Reed and Nina Simone plus working with major record labels as a marketing & brand agency, the move into Artist Management in 2013 seemed a new, exciting and logical step.
Supporting your local music scene from bands to venues, promoters, rehearsal spaces, recording spaces and beyond has never been so important. Before lockdown, Portsmouth’s music scene was flourishing and the strongest it’d ever been regarding live music with gigs happening left, right and centre. There was a point that there were so many gigs happening that we’d be torn between splitting our time between up to three gigs over one evening!
Pie & Vinyl as an idea that would probably not have made it very far on Dragons’ Den but it just works. The idea for Pie & Vinyl was conceived in 2011 and the shop opened in April 2012.
I had this idea of my dream shop (that lived in my head), built around records and music but offering quality food to create a unique experience. Borrowing from the past to create something modern and human. Comforting and real. something that would touch your soul, and make you happy.
Isolation Station starts tonight for a wknd of music supporting local artists like Fugitive Orchestra and Dutch Criminal Record as well as Raw Kids from Berlin (Who I can’t wait to hear live!) In such strange times it’s great that music can still be promoted for us to listen to. Ella from ‘Missing’ Promotions really wanted to do something that involved a live stream that could showcase artists in a fun way and make us feel like we are having a cool wknd! I am totally up for that, are you? This means you can dance along in your kitchen and even get your friends to do the same at their house.
The end of January saw Icebreaker come back as the South Coast’s biggest unsigned band festival. Offering a huge array of talent, from all across the UK, and packing it into a small geographic area means you don’t have far to walk to see great bands over the 2 days. Covering just two streets in Southsea and now in its 7th year, I went along to support local musicians as well as unsigned bands from near and far. At £12 a ticket, the value is fantastic for such talented musicians – you’d normally pay that just to see one act on their own!
For 3 years we have been attending Victorious as a family. Always attending on the Saturday as it offers a great day out for the children as well as brilliant acts on the Common Stage! Plus, a big bonus is that you can buy day tickets, yay!
Having Victorious fever and thinking about what musicians are playing this wknd it got me thinking about Tom Bryan who kind of blew me away at the Southsea Folk Awards. He came along and played a half-hour set during the break. Out of all the people that were there watching him, nearly half of the crowd came to me after to ask who he was and how incredible he was to watch!
Tiny coffee shop universe. If you listen closely, you can hear all the little sounds connecting in harmony creating a melody of their own – their own daily music. Beans being crushed in the coffee grinder, the thud of the tamper and a soft whiz of milk being heated up. Quiet murmur of people looking around with curiosity and anticipation, lighting their cigarettes and puffing on them as they pass the time in conversation. Someone says ‘five minutes’ and so the back room of Hunter-Gatherer, cosy as always, with the fairy lights woven through a leafy ceiling and set up with colourful bean bags and wall hangings, slowly fills up.