Not so much a review as a quick round up and a putting to bed of 2015. I fully intended to do far less shows in 2015 but again ended up doing 13 shows of my own and 1 co promotion with Tees Music Alliance.
The year started & ended with shows by the ever wonderful Fallen Leaves. The first show at The Westgarth with local heroes Pellethead as ever supporting in every sense of the word was probably the stand out show for me this year. That’s saying something when you consider the competition! The (promotional) year ended again with a Fallen Leaves show but this time my first show at The Cumberland Arms in Newcastle & very successful on all accounts. A wonderful room full of unique character, hopefully I’ll be doing further shows there in the future.
2015 was a difficult year in many respects. Definitely a down turn in people spending their cash on going to live music events. Very understandable when you consider the difficult economic times we live in. There just isn’t the cash for people who are struggling to make ends meet to spend on shows featuring bands who aren’t always well known. As ever I’m eternally grateful to anyone who came to any of my shows. Support of the public is tantamount to promoting live music.
Another difficulty this year was the plethora of live music in our area. It’s incredible that an area the size of Teesside has generated so many venues & independent promoters bringing live music to the area. Sometimes that works against us all though as dates clash and we’re back to the problem of people only having so much to spend on events.
Other highlights of the year were shows by The Len Price 3, Theatre Of Hate, Martin Stephenson & the runner up in the gig of the year stakes, Penetration with The Band Of Holy Joy. I was lucky enough to go to an album launch party at Penetration’s Polestar Studios to hear the new album Resolution get a playing. On first listen I knew it was a classic and the show in September was the first show by the band to feature ex Buzzcock John Maher on drums and to hear tracks from Resolution played live. It was one of those shows where I stood with a grin on my face all night. I know the band were apprehensive/nervous about the show but it went brilliantly from an audience view point. Ok it wasn’t note perfect but hey, it’s live music, it’s not meant to be. The crowd carried the band through the show and 99.9% went home happy.
Evil Blizzard produced one of the other stand out shows of 2015. having tried to get them on earlier in the year I sort of gave up because I couldn’t find a suitable realistic sized venue for them. They then played the Georgian Theatre on an all day event promoted by Tees Music Alliance and went down very well. I approached TMA about a joint venture sharing the risk/costs & not expecting a particularly big turn out for what was considered a “niche” act but we were over whelmed to get an almost two thirds capacity crowd on the night and it has to be said the band were tremendous.
This year I discovered Stereogram Records (home of James King & The Lone Wolves) and not only discovered a raft of bands making great music but some truly committed people running the label who were fantastically helpful & friendly. The Band of Holy Joy were releasing their new album on the label and I decided to put on a Stereogram Night featuring BOHJ with support from The Cathode Ray and Lola In Slacks, an adventurous attempt at trying something new and soon to be copied locally. Unfortunately Lola In Slacks had to pull out late in the day but 2 fine bands still put on a fantastic show to a very appreciative audience.
That’s enough really of 2015. A difficult year at times but I can honestly say that I have enjoyed dealing with and watching every band I have put on this year. When I can’t say that I’ll be stopping.
As for 2016? 3 shows announced but I’m definitely taking it easier this year in terms of the number of shows. I’ll never put on bands just for the sake of it, its got to be bands I like or would want to see & to be honest I’m running out of those kinds of bands. There are certain bands I will always be willing to put on but I’m not going to do stuff for the sake of it and I’ve no aspirations to do shows for the sake of it and be seen to be a “promoter” Another thing to take into account in 2016 is the major upgrade to the Georgian Theatre. At the moment it’s not clear when that will be begin and what the availability of the venue will be through the year. Time will tell.