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.
Have the keys on your Yamaha Clavinova electronic keyboard started sticking in the down position, or lean to the left or right? If the answer is yes, then is likely that you have one of a rough batch produced using the wrong kind of grease. Yamaha have been quick to recognise this problem and are offering a FREE repair of your affected keyboard. Even if the equipment is out of guarantee, or warranty, or has changed hands from the original purchaser.
All you have to do is contact your local Yamaha service engineer, just make sure he's qualified for keyboards and not motorbikes.
For anyone visiting a pub last Sunday, it was a great relief to finally be able to breathe. Yes, its true that many past patrons were missing, but that can easily be blamed on the sunny weather and the concert on TV. It felt good to reclaim all these public spaces for those who like to be able to see what you're drinking and whom you are drinking with. The publicans will eventually gain more business through this, and untill that happens they can console themselves by selling all the branded ashtrays and smoking memorabilia on E-Bay.
Its amazing to think that its already 25 years since the creation of one of the epic songs in music history. Forget American Pie and even the wonderful Stairway to Heaven, are only minos by comparison, we are talking about a seventeen (yes 17) minute long masterpeice of prog-rock genius. It started out as many song lyrics do, as a poem written by the Band's lead singer Derek Dick, what do you mean you've never heard of him?, well ok, he was better known as Fish. He called the poem and later the song Grendel. His inspiration came from the legend of Beowulf, a story also told in poetry and dating from Anglo-saxon times. Grendel, a demonic monster from the swamps, has been attacking Heorot, the Danish King's "Hall of the Hart", killing and eating anyone he can find. Beowulf comes from Sweden, to defend the hall and succeeds in slaying Grendel, when no-one else can, along with the beast's mother, and a dragon, just the good measure. The Song begins gently with whispered lyrics, and gradually builds up to dizzy heights with pumping guitars, pounding drums, and shouted vocals, then fades again. It does this again and again thoughout its four parts, Heorot's plea and Grendel's awakening, Grendel's Journey, Lurker at the Threshold, and Finale. filler To hear the whole song in all its glory, you can find it on Marillion's "B'sides themselves". filler You can watch Fish perform the song complete with mask and face paint on ITube.
Questioner: Mr Peter Gordon (Head of Programming & Breakfast show host Eagle Radio)
This was a very interesting discussion about the local live music venues available in the Guildford area. Topics included, how to attract big name bands to play, smaller venues for new bands, the refurbishment / redevelopment of the Guildford Civic Hall (circa 1961) that has been closed for 2 years, gig pricing and venue hiring. Invited speakers included Anne Milton MP (Guildford), Mr Greg Melly (University of Surrey), Sue Doughty (Former MP for Guildford) and Mr David Williams (Chief Executive of Guildford BC). The main conclusion of this first session that there was definitely a problem with the provision of live music in Guildford, or maybe all of Surrey. More small venues should be made available for new local bands to play cheaply, and the options for the GCH should be re-examined. It was also agreed to meet again in the Autumn in greater numbers to find out what has changed.
Please let me know your views by adding a comment or send me an e-mail to start another News topic.
This 2nd meeting of the forum was in the Main Hall at Guildford College (Stoke Park Campus) on Wednesday 25th October 2006 from 7:30pm. It was an opportunity to hear about the progress made since the last meeting in April, and for those who missed the first one to express their views on the future of live music in Guildford. seating Capacity was 216 though it was only half full.
On the Panel: were Albert Jack (local Author), Chris Bunting (head of Culture Services at Guildford Borough Council), Andrew Hodges (Guildford Borough Council), Tony Scott (Guilfest and local band promoter), and Michel Harper (local nightclub owner).
Questioner: Peter Gordon (Head of Programming & Breakfast show host Eagle Radio)
The discussion started with an update on some of the new initiatives started since the last meeting. These included a funding donation of £4,000 from the Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM) for the PA system at the Boileroom, the spirit group, music lessions on fridays at harpers. This was followed by a short presentation by Jim on the guildford civic hall refurbishment / rebuild. Estimates as to the cost had been agreed at £18m, with a completion date of mid 2009. He was asked by Tont Scott "why a simple health and safety upgrade of less than £5m wasn't being considered, to reopen in less than a year". Jim replied that this option was not viable, and Andrew hodges stated that there were other considerations such as sound proofing and disabled access that had ruled this out. 100 companies had applied to carry out the work, and this had been shortlisted down to 5. A final decision will be made on 22nd Nov 2006. This issue is a hotbed of controversy and will run and run. Other matters discussed included Music for the under 18s, new music on offer at the Boileroom and Guildford University, and free promotion for gigs. Among the invited guests were Guildford's Mayor (Cllr Angela Gunning), Anne Milton MP, and David Williams (Chief Executive of Guildford Borough Council).
Although the forum was open to the general public, there were very few if any ordinary people with no link to the music industry or decision making authority.
At last someone (the guys at Flaming Pear) have found the time to put together a 94min long DVD documentary tracking all the highs and lows of the 2006 GuilFest. With the appropriate title "GuilFest - Grass Roots", it features performances by (in alphabetical order) Blimus, Donovan, Kovak, Lightning Seeds, Morning Runner, Nizlopi, Gary Numan, Stereo MCs, The Stranglers, Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, and The Wonderstuff. It is directed by Colin Arnold, and includes special features such as Making of... and programme archive and production stills.