True culture,about wild nights in the pub,
when the Gaelic music and ambiance have been been fantastic.When I first read about this, I felt a little wistful. I would love to experience such culture, but how does one find it? Yet now, the first Wednesday of every month finds me in the pub, amongst friends, soaking up the fantastic ambiance and enjoying live music played by a motley selection of musicians who turn up and join in.
We are incredibly lucky that the owners of our local, The Hafod are keen to promote this kind of
true culture. Not only are there the first Wednesday jamming sessions, but there are more organised concerts, with visiting musicians performing to a paying audience. These are also roughly once a month, and we've seen some excellent performances, but it was obvious that the promoter (not the hotel owners) was having difficulty doing the promotion on top of his day job. For a start, he doesn't even live nearby, so putting up posters, for example, was a lot of hassle. Eventually he decided that it was time to pass on the baton to someone else, and asked us if we'd be interested in taking over.
So it was that I, who spent my teenage years in fear of the question,
What kind of music do you like?because I was so clueless about music, I have become a music promoter. This is very bizarre, but also very exciting. I do enjoy music, I just don't know anything about it! Luckily, Ian is a lot more tuned in to musical things than I am, so between us we stand a chance of making this work. We also have the considerable advantage of having friends who promote independent and unsigned musicians through online radio shows - Glenn's Thursday Breakdown on xrp radio (temporarily broken down, but hopefully back soon) and Kate's SunshineCast on Gashouse Radio (from Kent to Wales via Philadelphia - the wonderful world of the internet!) These two DJs* have introduced us to some wonderful musicians, some of whom we've booked to come and play at the Hafod.
We've already had our first gig, with the awesomely talented Troy Faid. One of our friends said to me that evening,
I've never even heard of him. I've heard half a song and I'm already a fan.The rest of the audience were just as appreciative and the evening was a great success. The big fear with taking on something like that is that we could lose a lot of money, but we just about broke even (thanks to a rather generous arrangement with the sound engineer, who's a good friend of ours), which was a relief. We're hoping to build on this with our next gig, the Sound of the Sirens, another band we heard first on our friends' radio shows.
There's more to this than finding and booking excellent bands. It's not a huge amount of work, but posters must be distributed, and I need to dust off my html skills to work on the website. It's very nerve-wracking, not knowing whether people are going to turn up or not. Of course we want a decent audience for the artists, but it's also our money on the line! We're never going to make our fortune doing this, but if we can avoid losing money then we can keep organising gigs, and contributing to the
true cultureof our community.
I would have liked to show you pictures of music at the Hafod, but flash photography tends to disrupt the atmosphere a bit, so I couldn't find any decent pics. Instead I'll leave you with the promotional shot for the next gig, Tue 5th June - do come along ;-)
These girls are as talented as they are beautiful, which isn't always the case. We're really looking forward to introducing our friends to their music.
* Both are also musicians in their own rights, and we're very excited that Kate will be coming to play at the Hafod in August.