Posts Tagged ‘Guildford’

Guildford hip-hop. Hip-hop. Upset.

December 2, 2017

At its best rap / hip-hop is fantastic… funky, witty, intelligent, experimental… let’s go back, WAY back, early 80s, Brooklyn, the four elements – DJing, MCing, Break-dancing and graffiti art… as Scroobius Pip puts it on the MIGHTY “Thou Shalt Always Kill“… “Thou shalt remember that guns, bitches and bling were never part of the four elements and never will be.”

[As an aside, any track that can reference Hollyoaks, open mic nights, Lethal Weapon, Stephen Fry, Minor Threat, Led Zeppelin, Pop Idol and Lostprophets – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg – deserve massive respect].  [As a second aside… you really need to listen to shit loads of Dan le Sac vs Scroobius Pip if you haven’t before].

Anyway, some of the reason that I do not pay more attention to hip-hop –

(1) Songs about gangster life – in the projects or in the gated mansion on the Hills – do not chime with my life.

(2) Songs that celebrate UDWs (Unnecessary Displays of Wealth), greed, shallowness and appalling taste are depressing.

(3) Songs that require 50 practically-naked, large-breasted, bouncy-butted young ladies in the video in order to sell in order to acquire big shit and shiny shit that means one can engage in massive UDWs are fucking depressing.

It seems to me that whilst hip-hop could and should be about education and elevation, it is usualy lowest common denominator, borderline-evil, shit. And it is basically mainstream crap – it is supporting the status quo which sexualises and patronises and denigrates women; which promotes a nasty, extreme, unequal form of capitalism; it promotes violence.

Of course, anything that reaches the mainstream is destroyed, and of course there are a million and one artists out there fighting the good fight, just I don’t know them cos I’m too busy working, watching Scorpion and listening to fuzzy guitar shit.

But FFS, I need to get on the case… Dr Dre Chronic 2001 is one of my absolute favourite albums of all time… and shit’s happening in G-Town.  Upset (and others) put on nights, artists make tunes…

Cappa – Jacket – love it…

Tony Humphries – For Sure – nice –

I have to say though, I can’t really get 100% behind hip-hop unless / until I can really get my head around  what the artist is trying to say, and how… so much of it has so much negativity and bullshit that I am really reluctant to say “so and so artist is a fucking genius” because I more than half not quite fully expect to soon hear BS from them, or, kinda worse, realise the bullshit in what I have already been listening to and enjoying.

Which is I love Dan le Sac vs Scroobius Pip.  They are fighting the good fight, no doubt, no fuzziness – MISSION TO MAKE THE WORLD BETTER.  FACT.

The Jacket remix is fine fine fine too.

Rodsuit – Part Of Me – Nice –

https://rodsuit.bandcamp.com/track/part-of-me

That’ll do for now.

 

 

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Moper, Bops, Joe Booley, Burrito Loco, Guildford, Sunday 5th November 2017

November 27, 2017

So, do I remember fuck all about a gig I went to three weeks ago?  Do I remember much about gigs I went to half an hour ago? Do I ever have the half a pint and no more that would enable me to judge the music at my best?  Is my best good enough? Questions, questions questions.

Joe Booley, missed at least half his set… electric guitar, singer-songwriter thing, not bad at all… he does a full band thing with Parachute For Gordo… his music online goes from very simple acoustic / vox simplicity (pretty good as it goes) to more electronic elements more recently (not convinced yet but gonna keep an eye because too few bands locally have electronic elements – which is partly cos doing it well is so damn hard).  Aiming to play 10 gigs in a day very soon, interesting guy with an interesting take, not 100% my thing, but I approve, and I trust his intentions. I don’t expect him to give a fuck what I think, but half the battle is pursuading potential fans that you have something that can be bought into.  I’m not 100% convinced that the music’s for me, but I am convinced – by what he does and how he comes across – that he’s on a righteous path. Worth keeping an eye on at the very least… but then I knew that the second I knew PFG were working with him.

Bops – album out on Rose Coloured.  French.  Would be very very easy to dismiss them as far too retro, and to be honest I am just not in a position in my life right now to really fall for a band like them.  But their very poppy, slightly psych-y take on sixties guitar pop, energetic, melodic, the accent really worked on the vox… really good.  My other half’d love ’em I reckon.

I really ought to check the album out and make sure she does too.

Moper – they really are an amazing band.  They’ve got the best songs out of just about any band I’ve seen around here in years… Johnny’s a fine frontman, great guitar sound, awesome volume. Job’s a good ‘un if that’s all the positivity I could find.

Image may contain: 1 person, indoor
[Photo credit – https://www.facebook.com/Holloway-productions-1871146373100894/]

Then you have the rhythm section, they just work, they rock, they groove. Such an intimate space, so close to Ben’s bass, one bit he gave Adam on drums a look and a smile… I might be reading far far too much into it, but the second I saw it I thought “he’s thinking – and telling Adam with the look – that he knows that what Adam just did was deliberate, that he know’s Adam’s trying to keep him on his toes, but no, he ain’t fucking up, in fact he’s gonna step it up another level and relish the challenge”.  I’m probably reading far too much into it, but what I am not reading too much into is that there’s a real groove, chemistry, funk and superbity or something.

All of which occurred in a tiny burritto bar.  A squeezed in three-piece with enough power for a considerably bigger venue took up almost half the floorspace, the audience squeezed in the rest.  Utterly ridiculous place to host any event, let alone a gig, I approve, thoroughly approve.

Hats of and thanks to Andy at Rose Coloured.

https://www.facebook.com/rose.colouredpresents

 

Pascagoula, This Is Wreckage, Space Church, Grits, Star Inn, Guildford, Sunday 19th November 2017

November 26, 2017

First up, Grits. I can’t help but have some reservations. I find it hard to buy into what they’re doing 100%, there’s something about them that makes me doubt their motives and remain a little unconvinced by them.

Flip side is that I feel that is harsh, even as I type it. Three great musicians, some really decent songs, and a furious energy that reminds me of the chaos of rock n roll at it’s best… I’m talking early 70s, Raw Power era Stooges, proto-punk, that properly fucked up all over the place rock n roll from when rock n roll was still at the cutting edge and punk had yet to seize the mantle.

They are getting better, and they’re also taking more of a stoner influence which is no bad thing… but then maybe I’m back to paragraph one, is this stoner influence a natural progression of the band, or is this an attempt to capture a part of what is kinda en vogue at the moment?  I am all for bands progressing, just I hope it’s natural and I hope it’s not an attempt to find a market.

I’m being so harsh, they’re a fine fine band, great energy, I’d happily go see them any day of the week.

Up next was Space Church. I’m back on an upward curve with them.  I loved the noise and the madness in the variety when I first saw them… to what extent did they mellow and to what extent did I just get my head around them so I wasn’t so mind-blown?  Either way I think they’re getting better, though I’ll never get that “first time” feeling again.

Phil’s a brave performer bringing a bizarre take on theatre to the party, I appreciate anything that puts a smile on my face and is wilfully different. Why has no-one else thought of forming an easy listening-influenced, performance art-influenced, Slinty-Albini-y thing like Space Church? It’s such an obvious thing to do.

Pat and Dan hold it all together… the bass kinda always adding something at all points in the set, the drums more ticking along in between the real highs.  Really good band.  Fucking good.

This Is Wreckage.  I’m a total hypocrite… or am I?  I like stuff to be reasonably original.  I don’t like old fashioned punk bands – or most modern ones for that matter.  It’s old hat, and it takes a bit of a spin and a real energy (see Freakouts locally) to make it good.  This Is Wreckage are kinda the noise-rock equivalent.  I think.  I don’t know enough about all the [late 80s, early 90s maybe, US] influences to know how much they’re bringing to the table that hasn’t been done before.  Why don’t I reject it as old hat?

But… noise rock is just more interesting than punk, it sounds better, it doesn’t have quite as many miles on the clock, and it has not been done to death in a mainstream way and become part of a fairly conservative consensus like punk has.

And even if it hadn’t, This Is Wreckage just nail it.  Drums get hammered, absolutely hammered.  Bass get’s abuse at high speed.  Guitars fizz and vocals shout.  Go see them.  Put them on.

Check ’em out here – awesome – buy it –

https://thisiswreckage.bandcamp.com/album/q-y-c

Onto Pascagoula.  They’re not that similar a band but they did kinda remind me of Wytch Pycknyk [are both bands from Brighton?  Wytch Pycknyk played the Star recently] in the level of chaos and genuinely fuck-up energy.  If you could combine Grits professionalism with the sense of danger and fucked-up mess from Pascagoula you’d have an awesome awesome awesome beast of a band.

Pascagoula reckon they’re sludge doom metal drone or summat, judging by their bandcamp.  Not sure they sounded as heavy or dark as what I checked out online before the gig.  They’re a bit all-over-the-place, and that’s no bad thing, enjoyed them, definitely the band I’d like to see again.

It’s almost getting embarrassing… the Buffalo Club guys, literally, genuinely, do not put on bad bands, and I am literally, genuinely not sleeping with any of them, that is the truth.

This Is Wreckage – QYC – Star Inn Sunday 19th November 2017

November 17, 2017

A whilst back the Buffalo Club put on Welsh Noise-Rock act This Is Wreckage.  I thought they were the best band of the night, and they were up against Porch from the US and Buzz Rodeo from Germany, neither of whom are slouches, and local legends Space Church.

They’re back on the Sunday 19th November, Buffalo Club at the Star Inn, Guildford.  Go fucking check ’em out.

It’s been out a while now, but finally I get round to reviewing the album… not long after release…. ahem… only I don’t too busy, too much other shit to do, and someone else said just what I’d want to a more eloquently…

From their US label’s Bandcamp page –

From the U.K. comes THIS IS WRECKAGE. Heavy does not describe the sound these guys are laying down. Bass and drums are the driving force here, while the spikey guitar and savage vocals weave in and out of the abyss. It’s like an all night drinking binge with the reanimated corpse of Bon Scott. This is the one that gets stuck in your CD player for a month. It truly rocks in the vein of early Touch and Go acts. Released on compact disc exclusively by Forbidden Place Records, This album is Fucking essential. Limited to 100 copies.

Check it here, and check ’em on the 19th

https://thisiswreckage.bandcamp.com/album/q-y-c

Gigs in Guildford / SW Surrey and NE Hants November 1st 2017 onwards

November 1, 2017

This gig list is stuff that get’s the Wild Eye seal of approval, especially if the band or promoter are in bold.

If you look to your right you should see a page marked “Gig Listings on the Net A to Z” where I have linked a couple of local Facebook listings pages.

Let me know what I am missing.

Oh yeah… always worth checking out the Boileroom and Aldershot West End Centre website as well.

 

Thursday 23rd November 2017
Freakouts and more TBC at the Electric Theatre in Guildford
https://electric.theatre/acm-winter-festival/ or download the press release here –
https://electric.theatre/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Press-Release-for-WInter-Live-Events-30.10-04.11-For-Marketing-Editing-and-Release.docx

Friday 1st December 2017
Tuskar, Morass of Molasses, Slug13, The Grey (TBC) at the Facebar in Reading (The Swamp)
https://www.facebook.com/events/316946622109714/

Sunday 4th February 2018
Witch Tripper, Morrass of Molasses, Slug 13 (Leafy Incline Promotions)
https://www.facebook.com/events/1965125827096664/

17th March 2017
Tera Melos, Tangled Hair, Let’s Swim Get Swimming at the Boileroom, Guildford
https://www.facebook.com/events/1781426372148607/

Sunday 29th April 2018
Line-up TBC (Leafy Incline Promotions)
https://www.facebook.com/events/295928310907206/

 

Gigs that have already happened –

Wednesday 1st November 2017
Syd Arthur and Vinyl Staircase at the Boileroom, Guildford.
https://www.facebook.com/events/1900143626975066/

Thursday 2nd November 2017
XERO, Toon Komodo & Freakouts at the Star Inn, Guildford
https://www.facebook.com/events/487568421629780/

Thursday 2nd November 2017
Who Saw the Light, Blanc Shine, Gryph, Lonely Ocean at the Electric Theatre in Guildford
https://electric.theatre/acm-winter-festival/ or download the press release here –
https://electric.theatre/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Press-Release-for-WInter-Live-Events-30.10-04.11-For-Marketing-Editing-and-Release.docx

Friday 3rd November 2017
Death and the Penguin / Fuzzwalker / Atlantic Fire at the Star Inn, Guildford (Jasta 11)
https://www.facebook.com/events/512449615761998/

Friday 3rd November 2017
Valerian Swing, Dialects, The Glowing Juniper and Cody Noon at The Sanctuary, Basingstoke
https://www.facebook.com/SanctuaryLiveUK/

Friday 3rd November 2017
Silverchild, Morass of Molasses, Stone Soup at the Facebar in Reading (The Swamp)
https://www.facebook.com/events/1375695992528398/

Sunday 5th November 2017
Moper, Bops, Joe Booley at Burrito Loco, Guildford
https://www.facebook.com/events/1474076869356050/

Tuesday 7th November 2017
Sun House, Revelry, Boken Dollars at The Star Inn, Guildford
https://www.facebook.com/events/138783443415286/

Saturday 11th November 2017
Who Saw The Light, Bloodrush, Praecantator at the Star Inn, Guildford
https://www.facebook.com/events/375464609575713/

Saturday 11th November 2017
Only Echoes Remain, Codices, For Astronauts and Satellites, Analogue Divide (Trial n Error Productions)
https://www.facebook.com/events/1460395220716122/

Sunday 12th November 2017
Holywoodfun Downstairs, Swords of Thought plus more TBC at The Sanctuary, Basingstoke
https://www.facebook.com/events/1945420982373966/

Friday 17th November 2017
DARKO / Almeida / Sombulance / Revolution Summer at the Star Inn, Guildford
https://www.facebook.com/events/118376995523942/

Sunday 19th November 2017
This Is Wreckage, Pascagoula, Grits, Space Church at the Star Inn, Guildford (Buffalo Club night)
https://www.facebook.com/events/1644920612216088/

Tuesday 21st November 2017
Return To Rome, Freakouts, Ivy Bay, Casey Lake, Close To Call, Typical, Zarina at the Star Inn, Guildford
https://www.facebook.com/events/125073584923347/

 

 

 

The Baby Seals, Moper, Swords of Thought – Star Inn – Tuesday 24th October 2017- Guildford

October 26, 2017

I didn’t get Jasta 11 at first.  I like to know where something / someone is coming from, and I couldn’t really see past Jasta 11 being pretty random and pretty hit or miss.  Then I basically realised it wasn’t that complicated… it’s kind of an old school, open-minded indie mindset – my background really – whereby guitar pop, punk, a bit of rock maybe, is the staple, whilst slightly noisier or dancier or more experimental stuff sometimes gets on the bill.

There’s plenty of stuff they put on that doesn’t overly interest me (I can’t like everything, I can’t go to every gig), but I love them because –

(1)  They put on lots of gigs
(2)  They try to get people out to gigs – their own and others
(3)  They put on some great local bands
(4)  They put on more touring bands than probably any other local promoter (in-house promoters maybe excluded)
(5)  They seem to make a particular effort to put on female bands which is a VERY GOOD THING (Nova Twins deserve a special mention for being fabulous).  [Wild Eye daydreams silently…. mmm… Skinny Girl Diet are a really great band, it’d be great if some local promoter were to book them… pretty sure they’re based reasonably close in the scheme of things.  Or the Tuts maybe.  mmmm… be good to see them again…]

Follow them – https://www.facebook.com/jasta11gigs/

I really liked Swords of Thought when I first saw them… less so last time out.  Tonight though they were back to their best thanks to a second new bassist in quick succession who’ll hopefully last a lot longer than the last.  I think there were at least a couple of new songs alongside older favourites… I really like their energetic, noisy, poppy, 90s, American-sounding indie-rock thing.

[Have you checked out my A-Z pages which are accessed via the top right (ish) of the page… most local bands that are decent, half decent or interesting / heavy are listed with links galore… let me know what I’ve missed, links, bands, promoters, venues etc etc.]

Moper rock… dunno, maybe I preferred ’em a touch more last time I saw them, but they always seem to play a slightly different set in a slightly different way, keeps it interesting… but fuck me, WHAT A BAND basically. Two things, a huge percentage of top bands are actually pretty funky when they put their mind to it.  They have that swing, they have that funk.  Tuskar do, I think, somewhere in their brutal sludge-doomnation.  So do Moper.

Hip-Hop.  Johnny had his Wu Tang T-Shirt on, he said something about hip-hop I think… kinda sarcastic, but you know what he’s onto something… Moper are a rung or two above the masses because there is a lot more to the music than you might assume if you simply took the quiet misery and the noisy aggression (combined with more fucking misery) at face value.  Come to think of it that was probably the schoolboy error I made the first time I saw them.  Idiot.

The Baby Seals were on last.  I’m gonna do the complete reverse of what I normally do. I normally try to make an absolute point of not mentioning when there are women in a band – it doesn’t matter.  But this is about them and female bands more generally.  Here goes.

All-female, guitar bass drums three piece.

The music was rudimentary indie/garage/rocknroll.  When Billy Childish makes such music I worship at his feet.  When most other people do it I say “nice enough, but give me something more interesting or heavier or newer”.

If you’re not going to be as good as Billy Childish then you’d better do something different.  It is no shame not being Billy Childish… not many people can claim to have written books, published poetry, had their art exhibited at the ICA and knocked out 100-plus albums in their career.  Top top musician and artist.  I digress.

Depressingly, in 2000 and fucking 17, being an all-female band IS doing something different.  I’d find it much harder to enjoy an all-male band playing the same set.  Is this my prejudice?  Is it my reverse-prejudice?  Or is it that however much the music might be on the face of it the same, there tends to be an intrinsic difference between the way men and women approach the instruments, and if you’re tired of what you normally hear (a male approach) then a female approach is going to sound a bit different even if you can’t put your finger on why.

I think it’s maybe a bit of all of them, but quite a lot of the latter.  AND you obviously have the lyrical content which in Baby Seals case means songs explicitly about a female experience and explicitly for a female audience.

I really enjoyed the set.

For the band’s sake it’s a real shame that there weren’t more women in the audience.

Really good night.

Princess, Camcorder, Big Gruesome, Bent Ref and Silent Mode at the Star Inn, Guildford 10th September 2017

September 17, 2017

I’m gonna go random and try to write quick.

Bent Ref were great. Absolutely no idea about what to say about them other than the guitarist had a nice guitar, practically no pedals and the sort of tone that screams “I know what the fuck I’m doing. Worship at my feet mere mortal”. The only band they reminded me of was Sebadoh, but (1) I am not an expert on Sebadoh, and (2) I think they only remind me of Sebadoh because Bent Ref sound a bit like a band that could have been around back then and I think both bands share a kinda song-based but quirky enough that it’s hard to pin down thing. Superb technicians, interesting artists, I like.

Silent Mode rock and I love that their sound is somewhat modern without being somewhat shit (there’s a lot of bands around now that don’t seem to give a shit about their tone, or they want a tone that will alienate people like me who grew up with all sorts of really warm / retro / analogue / valve / sounds). Definitely prefer them at their rockiest / hardest / fastest; they sound a bit like they’re undecided whether they should focus on the heavier, or whether they have enough in the locker in terms of song-writing and talent to be crossover-desert. I don’t have a problem if they stay where they are or go in either direction.

Big Gruesome. Loved the Trematron. Their Facebook page lists the following influences “Black Sabbath, Metallica, Van Halen, The Doors, Pink Floyd, Deftones, Bloc Party, Letlive, AC/DC, Funeral For A Friend, The Cult, Pearl Jam, Motorhead, Led Zeppelin, The Stooges”. NOT MY THING – aside from FFAF and Deftones and Bloc Party and Letlive (bands I know fuck all about and have no desire to learn) you have the sort of tedious mainstram rock shit that is unacceptable as an influence – Lep Zep, Doors, Floyd, Metallica, AC/DC, Cult, Pearl Jam. Plenty of people love this kinda thing. NOT ME. SUE ME.

Princess. Oh Princess. My first gig with new, reasonably good quality ear-plugs… sounded so much more refined that I am used to from them, but what I lost in edge I gained in clarity. The consensus is they’re improving… nothing to blow my mind (not every band can be Who Saw The Light) but their 80s-influenced noise rock hits some lofty heights and never disappoints.

Camcorder are like Princess in that I’ve previously kinda thought it’s the abrasiveness that is the greatest selling point, but I might be coming round to the idea that it’s not. I’ve long wanted to see Camcorder in the quieter and more refined sonic space that is the Boileroom… but I think aforementioned ear-plugs had the same effect.

The Lemonheads were a great band. I’m a sucker for the poppier end of what they did (Mrs Robinson), and especially the rockier stuff (Lick is a proper album). Camcorder are a bit like Bent Ref in that I can’t pin them down but do like it… but if anything Camcorder remind me of what Lemonheads could have been had they dropped the rock influences and gone straight to the pop whilst making sure the guitar fails to sound poppy. This is probably utter horseshit as a description, but I know what I mean. Either way I kinda get the feeling I’m listening to a really poppy but noisy American early-90s grunge-influence indie-pop band. I’m not sure how poppy the songs really are, they all just flash past in the blink of an eye leaving me with a feeling of “I’m not sure what that song was like, but it felt like it was over in an instant so I can safely say it didn’t bore me”. I am shit at this reviewing thing.

Special props to Nick Holland who get’s my “closest thing we had to the promoter turning up” award for the night.  Not a great crowd but not a bad one either, pretty good for a Sunday night in fact. Cheers Stef (allegedly).

The scene is fucking healthy, apart from a few more people through the door would be nice. Four really decent bands for a sum total of fuck all, plus Big Gruesome who I am simply not in a position to judge – I don’t do hard rock.

Andertons and Always The Sun and the local music scene

September 10, 2017

This is a post related to the other one.

Always The Sun – thank you for putting on local bands, giving them a chance to play.

Andertons – thank you for being a superb shop – great for mail order, very helpful when you go in, great videos etc etc.  Thank you for sponsoring the local band stage at Always The Sun.

But, I have to have a moan. Why did these bands agree to play the Andertons stage? It is presumably a combination of –

(1) the cash they are being paid;

(2) the job of simply getting on stage and blasting their music out is one they love and therefore they’ll do it any time they get a chance (leaving themselves open to being exploited);

(3) the ability to play in front of new potential fans;

and

(4) the general publicity that they will get from appearing on the Always The Sun website and associated marketing materials.

To address each of these points in turn –

(1) I do not know what the bands are being paid but I strongly suspect that the agreed fees are not sufficient on their own to justify the bands playing.

(2) If bands want to get on stage under any circumstances then fair play to them.

(3) Bands and promoters share a responsibility to get as many punters through the door every single time an event is on, though arguably it is primarily the promoter’s job to promote. I have no idea how good a job Always The Sun have done promoting the event, but I do know that I would definitely not have gone had I simply looked at the posters and the Andertons blog posts, that I nearly did go as a result of the promotion that some of the bands did personally, and that I ultimately chose not to go as a result of the response I got when asking ATS some questions.  Questions about set times which are entirely reasonable and normal questions according to every single person I have asked.

(4) I think Andertons let the bands down a bit. They did post brief profiles of some of the bands – well, four out of about 25 – but I really do think that they could and should have made the effort to try to cover all of them over the last month, partly to ensure higher numbers at the festival, and partly to do the bands a favour. It does leave a slightly sour taste in the mouth. Andertons have no obligation to support their local scene, but by sponsoring the stage they are clearly hoping to appear like they are supporting the scene, but only bothering to profile four bands kinda makes it look like it was a token effort rather than a genuine desire to help. I am sorely tempted to suggest to Andertons that they really ought do a proper job next year, or, if they haven’t got the time or inclination to really try to do something for local musicians, not to bother sponsoring the stage at all.

And a similar thing could be said of ATS.  If all the bands are listed on the website then I couldn’t find them. Fair enough if the bands are all being paid £50 towards petrol plus £100 per member as fair payment for the hours of work getting there setting up, playing and getting home. If – as I suspect – they are not getting this sort of money then the least ATS could and should do in return for the bands playing is publicise all of the bands to help boost their profile. Not least as this can only help encourage people to come along to the event.

All in all a little disappointing from both ATS and Andertons.

Always The Sun Festival

September 10, 2017

I know I can be a pain in the arse.

The organisers of Always The Sun can do exactly as they please (on the assumption that they get absolute no council subsidy whatsoever – if they do get council support then arguably they do have a responsibility to do what is best, not what they want, and to answer my questions as a Guildford council tax payer.)

I believe that consumers have not only a right but a duty to give feedback to companies, and to do their best to avoid handing over money to companies that let them down.

I saw the advertising for Always The Sun… a few bands I’d like to see, but overall not my thing – I’m not up for 10 hours straight of live music; you can’t guarantee the weather; small venues have much much better acoustics than fields.  Then, as the weekend drew closer a few bands I like a lot posted that they were playing the Andertons stage.  I was really busy and up for the Star in the evening, but maybe a few hours at ATS would be good if I can see a few bands I love.

The ATS website is not very user friendly. I couldn’t find evidence that all the bands that said they were playing actually were.  There was no full line-up posted for the Andertons stage, let alone stage times. I really did not find the ATS website user friendly, though maybe if they had the programme for all stages clearly listed any other deficiencies would not have bothered me.

I kinda did two things.  Someone posted on Facebook asking about stage times and then someone from ATS replied saying that there will be free programmes at the festival with stage times (followed by a smiley thumbs-up emoticon). I asked a couple of follow-up questions and got no response whatsoever.

Yesterday I went along to the ticket office to ask if they would provide stage times and explain that I am only willing to go if I know what I am paying for (I have other commitments and cannot be there all day) and to cut a long story short I learnt that all the bands are on the website, that there is a very good reason why they are not giving out stage times but that it would take far too long to explain and that they have plenty of customers [1] and don’t need to listen to feedback from the public. I am not certain any of those things are true. Sometimes I think I can be a right pain in the arse, over-demanding and over-opinionated… but I was somewhat reassured by a lady in their 60s behind me in the queue butting in to back me up that it was hard to get the information potential customers wanted.

I phoned my cousin who used to drum in a little band.  I spoke to someone I bumped into at a pub. I messaged a few musicians. I literally could not find anyone who could come up with a plausible reason why they were being so secretive and refusing to provide set-times.

ATS can do what they want – as can I by refusing to pay for a ticket as a matter of principle because I do not like handing money to organisations who I feel do not show me the respect I deserve as a potential customer. I feel that giving full stage times ATS would be doing what is normal in the industry, and they would be meeting customer expectations. I can see massive upsides to this and no downsides. I do not think that it is unreasonable for a punter to ask a promoter why they are withholding information and being left entirely unsatisfied with “we have a really good reason but it’s too long to share with you” as a response.

But the mystery gets ever deeper.  I was doing some googling and it appears that ATS does publish stage times!  Or rather Get Surrey do –

http://www.getsurrey.co.uk/whats-on/family-kids-news/always-sun-2017-stage-times-13584750

Why why why was I not told (either on Facebook or when I gave ATS a second chance by taking the trouble to go to them in person to request information) that this page exists? Saying that here is the listing for the day that I was interested in –

Sunday

Drug Store Romeos – 9pm-9.30pm

itoldyouiwouldeatyou – 7pm-7.30pm

Drones – 6pm-6.30pm

Fables – 5pm-5.30pm

No mention of who is on between 11am and 5pm, or at 8pm.

I have lots of questions of ATS, but my main one would appear not to be “why not publish stage times for the Andertons stage?” it would be “why not publish full stage times for the Andertons stage, and why say that the stage times are not available until inside the festival on the day when some of them are published in the Get Surrey in advance?” Very odd.

The Wild Eye Wild Speculation Paragraph.  The only thing that I can think of that makes any sense at all is that ATS have done an exclusive deal with Get Surrey to publish stage times and then failed to get complete stage timings to Get Surrey in time, and that has left ATS too embarrassed to refer potential customers to Get Surrey’s page, and unable to publish stage times themselves because of the exclusivity deal. This does sound far too bizarre to be true, but it’s the best explanation that I can come up with.

Please please please ATS – let me know why. I write this blog to try to get behind local bands and the local scene – I list gigs at the Boileroom on my blog and try to encourage people to get out more often to see live music. I don’t expect thanks not least because I’m probably not actually making any real difference… but as someone who cares about the local music scene and who would like to do my little bit to encourage higher numbers at all live original music events – especially an event with some decent bands like ATS – it is a real shame that ATS have left me with an overwhelming feeling of “fuck ’em”.

[1] Based on photos on the net from the Friday and Saturday I am genuinely curious to know attendance numbers, but I strongly suspect it wasn’t a sell-out.

Gigs in Guildford / SW Surrey and NE Hants September 1st 2017 onwards

September 1, 2017

This gig list is stuff that get’s the Wild Eye seal of approval, especially if the band or promoter are in bold.

If you look to your right you should see a page marked “Gig Listings on the Net A to Z” where I have linked a couple of local Facebook listings pages.  There will be further A to Z pages up soon covering local bands, labels, promoters and venues.

Let me know what I am missing.

Oh yeah… always worth checking out the Boileroom website as well.

Tuesday 19th September 2017
Joy Room, Fuzzwalker, Warp Rays at the Boileroom, Guildford
https://www.facebook.com/events/433234143725578/

Saturday 30th September
Lo!, Thuum, I Saw The World Burn, Negative Thought Process, Praecantator at The Sanctuary, Basingstoke
https://www.facebook.com/events/477385599292291/

Sunday 1st October 2017
Thuum, Wytch Pycknyck, Slug13, Newts live at The Star Inn, Guildford [Leafy Incline Promotions]
https://www.facebook.com/events/1839197016332731/

Friday 6th October 2017
Trevor’s Head, Morass of Molasses, Heinous Pianist, Silent Mode at the Swamp at the Facebar.
https://www.facebook.com/events/164401130779858/

Saturday 7th October 2017
False Advertising, Silent Mode at The Sanctuary, Basingstoke
http://www.bandsintown.com/event/15119244

Friday 13th October 2017
Crisis, Deadcuts, Holy Faction at the Holroyd Arms, Guildford
https://www.facebook.com/events/449174145438567/

Saturday 14th October 2017
The Grudge, Heinous Pianist and Stone Soup at the Lounge Bar in Alton
https://www.facebook.com/events/782076291974860/

Tuesday 24th October 2017
Baby Seals, Moper and Swords of Thought at at The Star Inn, Guildford
https://www.facebook.com/events/1750740838558322/

Wednesday 1st November 2017
Syd Arthur and Vinyl Staircase at the Boileroom, Guildford.
https://www.facebook.com/events/1900143626975066/

Friday 3rd November 2017
Valerian Swing, Dialects, The Glowing Juniper and Cody Noon at The Sanctuary, Basingstoke
https://www.facebook.com/SanctuaryLiveUK/

Friday 3rd November 2017
Silverchild, Morass of Molasses, Stone Soup at the Facebar in Reading (The Swamp)
https://www.facebook.com/events/1375695992528398/

Sunday 19th November 2017
This Is Wreckage, Space Church more TBC at the Star Inn, Guildford (Buffalo Club night)
https://www.facebook.com/events/1644920612216088/

Friday 1st December 2017
Tuskar, Morass of Molasses, Slug13, The Grey (TBC) at the Facebar in Reading (The Swamp)
https://www.facebook.com/events/316946622109714/

Sunday 4th February 2018
Line-up TBC [Leafy Incline Promotions]
https://www.facebook.com/events/1965125827096664/

Past Events –

Friday 1st September 2017
Still Wave, Parachute For Gordo, Analogue Device at The Sanctuary, Basingstoke
https://www.facebook.com/events/1964523520502717/

Friday 1st September 2017
Bloodhoney, Naked Aces, Camcorder at The Rowbarge, Guildford
https://www.facebook.com/events/315773242216231/

Sunday 3rd September 2017
Punk Rock BBQ at the Star Inn, Guildford – All dayer
Spoilers, Screech Bats, Captain Trips, Emergency Bitter, Kilter, The Landings, Freakouts
https://www.facebook.com/events/323545878074179/

Monday 4th September
Train Robbers, Luna, Lupus, Stu Brootal at Komo in Guildford (UpSet)  Hip-hop / rap / etc
https://www.facebook.com/events/114926529210171/

Thursday 7th September 2017
Freakouts, Spit, Xero, Revelry and Hydrocele at the Boileroom in Guildford
https://www.facebook.com/events/1446526652049559/

Saturday 09 September 2017
Febueder, Ash The Author, Catgod, Figures of Speech, Cody Noon, Vienna Ditto at Oakford Social Club in Reading
http://www.songkick.com/concerts/30997889-febueder-at-oakford-social-club

Sunday 10th September 2017
Princess, Camcorder, Big Gruesome, Bent Ref and Silent Mode at the Star Inn, Guildford [Trial n Buffalo pt 2] – FREE
https://www.facebook.com/events/1599945420039344/
https://www.facebook.com/Trial-N-Error-Productions-1511711255801880/

Tuesday 12th September 2017
Who Saw The Light, Tuskar, Loxdown (?!?!), Daisy Chain at the Star Inn, Guildford – should be a very good one.
https://www.facebook.com/events/114455422598504/

Friday 15th September 2017
Atlantic Fire, Fainites, Andy Ruddy, Dead State and Soeur at the Boileroom, Guildford
https://www.facebook.com/events/325039217919761/