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Showing posts from February, 2018

The Orielles ...Ready For Take Off....

2018 may be barely two months old, but has already given us some fantastic music - Hookworms' excellent 'Microshift', Field Music's 'Open Here', but heading the pack is the brilliant 'Silver Dollar Moment' from The Orielles.
The Orielles originate from Halifax, and got some of their first gigs several years ago courtesy of the local Doghouse Promotions, run by Michael Ainsworth, and so when it came to the launch of 'Silver Dollar Moment', it was an easy decision for them to hold it at Michael's bar in the town, The Grayston Unity, as he had given them their first break.

And so on a cold February Friday afternoon I headed to the Grayston for yet another special event. The place was busy, but not ridiculously so. The band were due just before 1, but were slightly late, having been performing in Glasgow the previous night. They didn't play, but we had the album playback as the band signed CD's and vinyl. Someone produced a bottle of Si…

The Art of Selling Beer....

Things were a lot simpler when I was a lad....

When I first started to visit pubs, choice for a beer drinker was a bit different than it is now. You had bitter, or best, or you had mild. If you wanted something different, you could, at your peril, opt for one of the kegs, maybe a Youngers Tartan, or a Whitbread Trophy. Or you could have a Guinness, or lager, or a bottle of brown ale off the shelf, served at room temperature. If you didn't fancy any of that, then it would have to be a spirit....

Lack of choice meant that the breweries didn't have to spend too much time thinking about the design on their pump clips. In those days, the big brewers like Whitbread and Watneys owned so many pubs that they could do more or less what they wanted. And so much of their focus was on marketing lager and those awful watery keg monstrosities like Tartan, Trophy, and the dreaded Watneys Red Barrel that dominated the bar with their garish fonts. With their frequent appearances in TV ads (hard…

Shouting Out for the Independents....

It was Independent Venue Week last week, and over that time, in and amongst a few beers here and there, I managed to visit the odd gig. Here's my reflections on the week....

A few years ago, Sybil Bell had an idea.

Having run a venue in Bath for a while, Sybil realised its importance to both the local community and the local artists and those from further afield who performed there. The fact that there were countless other places up and down the country where similarly dedicated people were working very hard doing the same thing helped her decide that something should be done to celebrate the contribution of these local venues, and the people who work in them. Much-loved venues which have helped to launch and nurture many a musical career. Venues without which there would be no music scene as we know it today.  Venues which, sadly, all too often, have ended up on the wrong side of planning decisions. And, sadly, many much-loved places that have closed over the years for a myriad of …