A forum for local issues concerning the local free live music scene. Please note that most of the events listed in this News section are ticket only. Please e-mail me if you have a news item you wish to post.
Please check out google calendars, you can keep track of all your appointments and by sharing my calendars you can find all the Events, Festivals, Gigs, Karaoke, and Open Mic Nights for next year. You can choose to add just the one you want or all. You can also display more than one at a time, to get the complete listing. Simply click the the link below.
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Does anyone know of a better shared online calendar?
I have started a campaign for a Permanent Bandstand in Woking Park. At present I only want to guage the public opinion of Woking Residents, and indeed the music lovers of Surrey, to the idea of creating a Permanent Bandstand in Woking Park. For anyone else out there who lives in Woking, Surrey, and loves good live music, and has often wondered, what it would be like to have free open-air concerts in Woking Park. You only have to visit Farnham or Godalming Parks, or Guildford Castle on a summer Sunday afternoon. All of these local Parks have recently invested in Permanent Bandstand structures, with power connections to provide a perfect stage for local musicians to perform.
filler I know that Public Bandstands have been strongly associated, in the past, with Brass Bands, but this new structure should also be used for Folk, Jazz, Rock, Soul, or even Blues, indeed any other genre of music that will draw a crowd. There has to be a period of consultation with local musicians, residents, and other interested parties in order to finalise the plan.
The best way to express your support for this idea is by sending an e-mail to Hannah Smith, Arts Development Officer at Woking Borough Council. I have already been in contact with her, and was informed that in 2009 the Summer Sounds Season had included some performances in Woking Park. This was news to me, although I've been running a local live music review and listings website, called Inhibition for the last four years. It seemed clear there had been a lack of good publicity as is often the case.
They have a database of bandstand performers, though at present this does not include any Rock / Pop / Folk artists. So if you'd like to be considered send in your details. The Council have also been cosidering hiring a temporary bandstand, but were unable to find one that could be safely left on site. I have set up a facebook page to find out if anyone else in Woking feels the same.
I think that the perfect site would be the hillside grassed area bordered by the miniature golf, tennis court, and footpath up to Constitution Hill (proposed Site 1) on the Google map under facebook photos. If this is not available then on the Putting Green, bordered by the Bowls Green, Pool in the Park, and the Cricket pavillion (Proposed Site 2).
This folk-rock band form Dorset have released a special E.P. called "Christmas 'Round Ours", to celebrate the season of goodwill and bring some relief from the dreary X-factor, which seams to dominate the charts and media. It contains 5 tracks, starting of with the single mix of the title track. Next is a cover of the classic "Failytale of New York" with added spice from husband and wife, Alan and Charlie Rose. Then comes the haunting and tranquill "Christmas Truce / Silent Night" based on an article by Simon Rees. Please note the seamless transition between the German's singing Stille Nacht and the English Silent Night, demonstating the close links between the two languages, and the futility of war. Then there is a new recording of "Take me to the leader", a track from one of the bands earlier LPs, written by Peter Foster. The final track is an extended mix of "Christmas 'Round Ours".
Reviews:A Christmas single you can like…? There’s a decent enough tune here (with a strummy guitar bringing to mind The Jam’s, That’s Entertainment) and enough oomph to power a sled, but no cliché is left unturned in the lyrical department. Amongst the extra tracks I enjoyed the zesty cover of Fairytale of New York. GM
What a fantastic idea, have 3 bands playing 3 shows at 3 different venues, and all for free. Make the venues just far enough apart to provide a little bit of exercise, either as suggested by the organisers by bicycle, on foot or using public transport, as it was the audience and not the bands that had to move. Each show started at 2, 4 and 6pm, and lasted about an hour. So your could choose between 6 possible running orders, giving everybody a different experience of the same event. Soweto KINCH played in the bar at RichMix, a community-based arts centre and cinema complex. The London Gypsy Orchestra played at the Bethnal Green Working Men's Club. Indy band Sweet Billy Pilgrim played at Toynbee Studios. There was no pre-booking, you just had to get there early and all squeeze in somehow. After much deliberation I decided to see the London Gypsy Orchestra first.
On arriving at the Working Men's Club, a lovely old building now surrounded by a modern housing estate, I could hear the end of the soundcheck. The hall upstairs had high ceilings and was about thirty foot square with a proper stage and bar. I was lucky to find a seat, but in a matter of minutes the room was full. There were people standing at the back, sitting on chairs in the middle and even sitting on the floor at the front. All age groups were represented. There was a spontanious round of applause as the Orchestra made their way through the crowd to the stage. The full Orchestra has about 30 members, but this was just the professional ensemble. Even so there was 6 violins, 2 flutes, oboe, guitar, lute, and a women sitting at a table with strings and she hit them with little hammers kinda like a dolcimer. There was total hush in the room while they were playing, apart from a couple of tunes where we all started rhythmically clapping. At one point the lead violinist jumped down off the stage and sauntered through the crowd while still playing her instrument. The time seemed to fly by and it was on to the next show.
I had checked out on the internet where all the venues were, and so had a general feeling of the right direction, but also had my sat nav to guide me, as I got closer. Although it doesn't have a walking mode, and gets a little confused as you quickly change direction, and misses out alleys and footpaths that might save time. Thankfully it was a glorious sunny spring day, perfect for walking the city streets. When I got to Toynbee Studios the cafe area where we had to wait was packed, though I think that many of them had come out of the 2pm show. The performance was in a charming auditorium with a twenty rows of seats and a big stage at the front. We all clapped as Sweet Billy Pilgrim were introduced. They had 2 guitarists, an accordian/keyboard player and a drummer. One of the guitarists had to retune between almost every song, but this couple of minutes gave the drummer a chance to joke with the audience and inform us what the next song was called. They write their own songs including Bloodless coup and Kalypso. They created some wonderful harmonies with all four singing on some of the tracks. Lastly I ended up at RickMix, where Soweto KINCH was playing in the bar. Another large room with concrete at glass, and a balcony. It was already full, but I managed to find a chair. I'm not sure, but it felt like the majority of them had been there all afternoon. They were also serving food which made it smell like a canteen. He started off playing the saxophone, accompanied by a double bass and drummer. But after a few numbers, he started to rap, and invited some of his friends to join him on stage. Although I'm not a great fan of rap, I did like the Notorious BIG and Eminen, but I don't think I was the only one in the room who would have rathered hear him play the sax for the whole hour.
The venue was packed with musicians and music-lovers for the last night of the Cyder House Players. Over the last 18 months this has become one of the regular weekly highlights on the local live music scene. The evening started with a couple of numbers from Susie Clarke, who has been personally responsible for both hosting the event and inviting/organising the musicians who want to play. Maxine? - COLEGATE, Laura - AUSTIN, Rich - ALLCOTT, Graham band - SEUME, Tristan - TABBUSH, Anna - flowers - SC & RA - Dave.