Events Industry – News roundup 13/04/17

As the event industry readies for the four-day weekend, we take a look at the biggest stories from the last 7 days, including our take on The Ticketing Technology Forum 2017.

  • The annual Ticketing Technology Forum was staged in Dublin last week, with Ticket Arena and Event Genius Managing Director Reshad Hossenally invited over to talk on the New Faces & Disrupters Panel. Much of the forum’s debate centred on data and secondary ticketing, while demonstrations of the latest in innovative technology hoped to catch the eyes of the industry figures in attendance. Read more.
  • More from The Ticketing Technology Forum, this time looking ahead to next year as Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester, has been selected to host The Ticketing Business Forum 2018.
  • New legislation to help stub out pyrotechnics at festivals and music events has been receiving plaudits from industry big hitters Live Nation and Music Venue Trust. The ban has been in effect as of 3 April and can result in a three-month prison sentence if found guilty. Read more.
  • Tramlines Festival has been the subject of a crowd funding bid to buy back the festival “for the people”. A bid of £1.2m has been accepted and will see Sheffield based non-profit Music City Foundation increase its ownership of the festival from 15% to 100%.
  • It’s not just the UK that’s fighting an up-hill battle to preserve its music venue culture. In Germany there have been calls for the government to offer more support to smaller venues under strain from increased taxation, noise complaints and restrictive licensing conditions. Read more.

Originally published to Event Genius 13/04/17

Festival Picks: May 2017

Weather permitting, the UK festival season would happily stretch itself across much of the winter months, providing a colourful array of field based festivities throughout the entire calendar year. But here in Britain, very little isn’t weather permitting. So now that the winter is in retreat and the sunshine is being ushered across from Europe as though it desired its own UK based sovereignty, an influx of festivals small and large are sweeping across the land. With so many festivals making a strong case for themselves it can become an intense chin scratcher working out which one gets your vote. Whether you’re looking to remain on UK shores or leave and sample what the continent has to offer, we’ve weighed up the arguments and picked out five festivals worth your time in May.

Pier Jam: Part One
Sunday 30th April
North Pier, Blackpool

The Blackpool illuminations aren’t usually a fixture of the seaside town’s attractions until the late summer, but this year Pier Jam will be picking up the baton early and lighting up Blackpool with some sonic illuminations of its own. Set atop the North Pier, below Blackpool Tower’s mid afternoon shadow, Pier Jam Part One will provide house music fans with the first opportunity of the year to strut their stuff in an open air setting while watching the sun lay to rest in the Irish Sea. With father of future house Tchami, Amine Edge & Dance, Defected star Sam Divine, Tough Love, Preditah and MJ Cole all providing the tunes, you’ll be forgiven for having to be reminded you’re in the north of England, not amongst the high season parties on the Balearic Isles.

The Great Escape
18th-21st May
Multiple Venues, Brighton

Since launching in 2006, The Great Escape in Brighton has become a centrepiece of the UK’s jam-packed festival calendar. Arguably the most in-the-know weekender on offer in May, and better yet the entire summer, TGE is always light years ahead when it comes to its lineups and billing, expertly pulling diamonds out of the rough, providing them a with stage, before going on to watch them become some of the biggest touring acts in the country. Spread across Brighton’s numerous venues and establishments, 2017 will see a batch of fresh faced talent feature alongside the likes of Rag’n’Bone Man, Slaves, Rejjie Snow, Ibibio Sound Machine and Homeshake, while a range of industry experts and figures will also be in attendance for the music conference which runs adjacent to the festival. For the discerning music fans out there, The Great Escape is an odds-on favourite with plenty of returns.

Sea Star Festival
26th-28th May
Umag, Croatia

While the British summer marks a considerable improvement from the over familiar winter months, 17° and a fruity cider doesn’t quite match up to the stature of the Croatian climate. Enter Sea Star, the latest festival attempting to make a splash in the Adriatic. Billed as ‘the new festival pearl of the Mediterranean’, the festival seemingly has a lot to live up to, but, with Fatboy Slim and The Prodigy leading the way on the lineup they’re already halfway to ensuring a debut success. The first instalment in EXIT Festival’s ‘Summer Of Love’ three part series, Sea Dance should have no trouble transcending the spirit of 1967 with iridescent blue waters and musing landscapes a constant feature of the peripherals on the Umag peninsular.

Common People
27th-28th May
Oxford & Southampton

Curated by the team behind Bestival, Common People has been adding a dash of colour to the late May Bank Holiday Weekend in Oxford and Southampton, while providing a bite size taste of the festival formerly situated on the Isle Of Wight. Set across both Oxford’s South Park and Southampton Common, the sister events share much of same lineup of artists over the course of the weekend, with a range of family friendly activities weaved into the programming for good measure. Eclectic tastes are sure to be appeased by the 2017 lineup which features headline appearances from dancehall hero Sean Paul and Pete Tong – who’ll perform Ibiza Classics with the backing of The Heritage Orchestra. Deep digging DJs Joy Orbison, Midland and Kornel Kovacs are in charge of the late evening atmosphere in Southampton, while over in Oxford DnB don Goldie makes a special guest appearance, with the intriguing prospect of a b2b DJ set consisting of Foals and Wild Beasts makes for another eye catching addition to the bill.

Creamfields: Steel Yard – Axwell & Ingrosso
Sunday 28th May
Victoria Park, London

Cream hasn’t risen to become one of the world’s most recognisable clubbing brands by sticking to the status quo. Never ones to shy away from stamping some the biggest dance music parties in the UK and beyond with their distinctive signature, the return to Steel Yard this summer provides another chance to see their own 10,000 capacity superstructure pushing the limits of multi sensory production as it beds in at London’s Victoria Park. A stage of such magnitude deserves a worthy selection of artists at the helm, therefore it’s no surprise that the seamless selections of Swedish powerhouse duo Axwell & Ingrosso, Don Diablo and Martin Solveig have been enlisted to soundtrack the day festival. Giving new meaning to the big room genre, Steel Yard is an experience not susceptible to imitation.

Photo courtesy of Common People

Originally published to Ticket Arena 11/04/17

Album Review: Timber Timbre – Sincerely, Future Pollution

Timber Timbre are no longer recording in the cinemascope that captured the vistas of Hot Dreams and Creep On Creepin’ In. Gone are the panoramic views of rolling national parks and pensive valleys; enter high-rises and well-trodden streets that brandish blackened exteriors under an intrusive neon glow.

While album number six, Sincerely, Future Pollution, marks an amendment in direction for the Canadians previously besotted with an ash lined pretence of wild America, the hallmark vocals of Taylor Kirk haven’t moved an inch, and remain equally as a haunting as the record’s title. With each breath he commands the attention with a face that signals sincerity and a musk that masks underlying dishonesty; his gothic tones are the architectural centrepiece – a common feature of all Timber Timbre records to date. Instrumentally, however, the album plays a more complex and hopeful hand than its predecessors which nestled between the differing strands of folk. As the white heat of technology intrudes further into the innocent woodlands, it’s no longer a case of playing safe and following suit – Sincerely, Future Pollution acknowledges this and doubles down with the same vigour as Bon Iver’s 22, A Million.

The momentous guitar twang on Hot Dreams, capable of drawing a Venetian blind branded with the type of sunset that lays its head in the western frontier, appears few and far between on the record, as mechanical synths step in to provide the album with a foreboding atmosphere. It’s 2017 after all; a year that stares down the barrel of an age where science fiction horror begins to unfold. For Sincerely, Future Pollution, dated projections of the future have become a reality too soon. It’s as though the courageous voyage across the open plains of fabled America has come to a premature end, only to be faced with a city oozing with a sordid charm that presents an irresistible hand before the weary-legged traveller, who duly accepts the temptation of the unknown. This blackened mirror parallel of society echoes little of the natural world, hence why an acoustic hum is suffocated on the album, and instruments with a sentient ability obediently help sculpt the tale.

“I could not release the inspiration until you asked me to” croons Kirk on opening track ‘Velvet Gloves & Spit’, with his heart pounding as the band behind plays a fitting first dance soundtrack for the big day that never quite was. While the medley of warm synths provides an initial sense of safety, a combination of the track’s imagery (high-quality gloves lined with spit) and Kirk’s husky tones send a distant coldness down the spine rest of this emotively frustrated record. Unannounced, ‘Grifting’ kicks in. Arguably the most excitable record in band’s discography – embodied by a hazy-eyed strutting riff and loose-limbed keys lifted straight from Stevie Wonder’s prize collection – it’s here that you find yourself firmly in the city, complete with torso swinging uncontrollably from a car sunroof as it veers between traffic on the congested boulevard strip. ‘Sewer Blues’ is a track equally intoxicated by the fumes of the city. The combination of razor sharp guitar and tempestuous synth breed an atmosphere as unwelcoming as the back-alley bars of sci-fi classic Total Recall, and yet Kirk melancholically vents: “I go way back to you // I’ll go way back through you”.

In spite of the heartfelt desire carelessly misplaced across the collection of tracks, Sincerely, Future Pollution is able to showcase moments of astounding beauty, akin to the landscapes which have for song long been the driving force of Timber Timbre. Once ‘Western Questions’ has finished traipsing a path smeared with society’s ills, in which Kirk ridicules ‘desperate elections’, the ‘Hollywood halo’, and ‘love lives published’, the song erupts with a beaming crescendo of crystalline guitars, cleansing all the sordid talk which had proceeded it.

‘Moment’ is another beacon of light which brushes aside its cosmetic layer of dirt. The melancholy that escapes Kirk’s pours as he utters: “a guilt gifted chance, the pleasure of you //desire deserving of something more true” delicately trickles across minor keys which each form a solemn tear of their own. The stunning scene is cut short as a restless solo paints the setting red to heighten the deep lying feelings of regret. It’s these unpredictable song structures that provide Timber Timbre with the edge that steers their music clear from becoming filed and forgotten in the bursting stream of folk. Songs such as ‘Skin Tone’ and the album’s title track take no reservations in lurking around the corner and biding their time, only to eventually peer from behind the shadows and cut a figure brandishing a brazen guitar lick or heart-stopping note, sounded on an extra-terrestrial synthesiser assembled from parts left to rust below the Nevada sun.

The whip cracking drums and tremolo-tinged riff of ‘Floating’ Cathedral swoop in as the album closes, departs the city and heads for the low standing sunset in the west with the faintest hope a natural landscape is still intact. For a band that finds its cinematic soundscapes regularly at the beckon call of TV and film producers, it’s fitting that Timber Timbre have been able to craft a fitting soundtrack for the true wild America of 2017. Sincerely, Future Pollution is a post-apocalyptic horror that breeds its discomfort in questioning whether the record’s setting is closer to home than first feared. It’s best to indulge the noir underbelly and bare no shame, for this one’s a thriller.

Originally published to Musos’ Guide 11/04/17

Aphex Twin and Moderat feature in Discogs’ best selling techno records of 2016

Contrary to many aspects of life, 2016 was actually a great year for vinyl, as the once ‘outdated’ format completed the comeback of comebacks in December by leapfrogging digital sales for the first time and recording numbers upwards of £2.4m in a single week. Despite losing grip of the slipmat and almost falling into the unknown in 2006, vinyl has since seen eight straight years of growth in sales, with collectors no-longer exclusively audiophiles and DJs. Online marketplace Discogs has been one beneficiary of the slide back toward analogue, with the site now revealing its top 25 most purchased techno records of 2016.

Sellers using the marketplace are permitted to label records based on their own discretion, hence why Mr Oizo’s off-kilter classic ‘Flat Beat’ finds its way into the list. However, the list of techno top sellers boasts a number of familiar faces including Aphex Twin, whose timeless Selected Ambient Works is still reigning supreme almost 20 years down the line after its release. The most purchased record accolade (520 copies) went to lo-fi hot shot Mall Grab for his Sun Ra EP, while techno mainstays Ben Klock, Moderat, DJ Koze, Paul & Fritz Kalkbrenner, Jeff Mills and Floorplan all feature throughout the top 25.

You can view Discogs’ list of top 25 best selling techno records of 2016 below:

  1. Mall Grab ‘Sun Ra’ EP (520 copies)
  2. Convextion ‘2845’ (355 copies)
  3. Soul Capsule ‘Overcome’ (352 copies)
  4. Aphex Twin ‘Selected Ambient Works’ reissue (319 copies)
  5. DJ Sotofett ‘Current 82’ / ‘Dark Plan 5’ (319 copies)
  6. DJ Metatron ‘2 The Sky’ (290 copies)
  7. DJ Metatron ‘2 The Sky’ reissue (273 copies)
  8. Moderat ‘Moderat’ (234 copies)
  9. Breaker 1 2 ‘Breakin’’ (228 copies)
  10. Mr. Oizo ‘Flat Beat’ (227 copies)
  11. Boo Williams ‘Residual’ EP (222 copies)
  12. Paul & Fritz Kalkbrenner ‘Sky And Sand’ (221 copies)
  13. DJ Koze ‘XTC’ (217 copies)
  14. DJ Metatron ‘U’ll Be The King Of The Stars’ (217 copies)
  15. Ben Klock ‘Before One’ EP (205 copies)
  16. Wax ‘No. 30003’ (198 copies)
  17. Malin Genie ‘Sense Of Swing’ EP (196 copies)
  18. Fit Siegel ‘Carmine’ (195 copies)
  19. Globex ‘Inversia 1’ (180 copies)
  20. Floorplan ‘Sanctified’ EP (178 copies)
  21. WK7/Head High ‘Do It Yourself’/’Rave’ (176 copies)
  22. Jeff Mills ‘Kat Moda’ EP (169 copies)
  23. Thomas Bangalter ‘Trax On Da Rocks’ (168 copies)
  24. Levon Vincent ‘NS-12’ (161 copies)
  25. Clarence ‘Hyperspace Sound Lab’ reissue (158 copies)

Photo courtesy of Mark Selarski

Originally published to Ticket Arena 27/03/17

Album Review: Real Estate – In Mind

The daylight has begun to stretch further and the winter months are loosening their grip on the landscape. The sun beams down with a spring in its step and nestled amongst the awakening flowers and erupting shoots of green is In Mind – the fourth album from New Jersey natives Real Estate.

If Arcade Fire were able to paint the perfect picture of the suburbs, then Real Estate can build the multi-sensory 3D model, complete with an aroma of freshly cut grass and sprinkler that marshals the lawn on a three setting cycle. Despite trading up state New Jersey for the hipster haven of Brooklyn at the time of the band’s last full-length effort in 2014, the suburbs remain the stand out muse for Real Estate’s aesthetic.

Images of tree-lined sidewalks and shaded driveways still colour the lyrics from frontman Martin Courtney, who lugubriously drags his feet in longing for ever less tangible dreams of home. Things have moved on, and ‘Stained Glass’ provides a glimmering of acceptance proclaiming:

“There’s no place I’d rather be right now //I’d love to never leave, but I’m not sure how”.

‘Two Arrows’ revisits the sense of unwilling departure, however the track voyages off into Courtney’s mind, where tussling thoughts are dramatized by hoarse lead guitars and unassuming rhythms that cease in an abrupt moment of clarity. And yet, In Mind isn’t quite as reminiscent as Atlas or Days. Rather, the collection of ten tracks subtly places a matured outlook and fresh anxieties in the setting of a hot idyllic summer, a backdrop in which Real Estate are one of the foremost architects.

As a new dawn for the band appears on the horizon, following the departure of lead guitarist Matt Mondanile and acquisition of Julian Lynch,  In Mind could have been expected to channel the bright-eyed indulgence of a time and place that was sewn into the seam of the records that proceeded it, and gracefully breeze by, shimmering with the inimitable Real State finish – achievable only through five musicians woven tighter than the material of Courtney’s uniform woolen sweatshirts. Instead, the cool breeze of Atlas and Days has subsided, and the summer in session is a scorcher, leaving every last key and lick of the guitar, sticky and dripping with sustenance. Although there were initial fears, the loss of Matt Mondanile doesn’t deter In Mind from traveling to the instrumental paradise of previous Real Estate albums, with the change in personal even providing some of the strongest lead guitar the band have been able to put to record. ‘Serve The Song’ and ‘Holding Pattern’ combine loose leads and snug rhythm to great effect, bringing a slight frayed edge look to an otherwise pristine outfit.

In Mind isn’t an adventurous album, but its consistency in respect of what’s proceeded it neatly places the record as the latest chapter in Real Estate’s collection of pastoral tales. As a band, Real Estate are aware of their strengths and show no signs from straying from a proven formula. Yes, album opener ‘Darling’ could have sprung from anywhere across the band’s discography, but its delicacy and emotive melody aim straight for the heart to joyously remind that Real Estate are the unequivocal leaders in their field.

While Real Estate aren’t attempting to draw a line between laid back and mercurial, In Mind takes all the time you’ll allow it, and gradually repays your patience with an abstract blend of harmonious instrumentation and tepid vocals, lined with introspective relief. If Atlas buried a whispered sadness below sedimentary layers of reverb and grinning lead guitar, then In Mind cloaks its coming of age confusions with ethereal riffs that steer ever further from the reality of once was.

Originally Published to Musos’ Guide 21/03/17

In Conversation: Noisia

Noisia only have to travel to the cosy confines of their Groningen studio in order to explore the dark, unchartered territory of the outer realms. Aboard the modular synth enterprise, the D&B trio ventured deep into the final frontier when creating their most recent album Outer Edges, and upon their return to earth they have begun reimagining the acquired sights and sounds through a series of conceptual live shows.

So far the Outer Edges tour has seen Martijn, Thijs and Nik unloading their impressionist drum & bass at shows in London and across Europe, with further UK dates including Motion, Bristol, on Saturday 18th March and a number of summer festival appearances.

Wanting to learn more about Noisia’s cosmic aspirations, we caught up with the trio to talk Outer Edges, sci-fi and the possibility of sound in space.
Hi guys. The last 6 months will no doubt have been pretty busy with the release of Outer Edges – how’ve you been handling yourselves?
Apart from the release of the record we’ve been tweaking the Outer Edges show in between performing it, doing Noisia Radio every week, running the labels, doing Nightwatch production and side projects. We’ve had little bits of holidays here and there but it’s been quite full on!

The release of the album has been followed up with a series of live shows and concept performances. For those not lucky enough to catch the three of you in full flow, can you tell us a little bit about the concept of the Outer Edges shows?
It’s an audiovisual show. We put it together in collaboration with lighting director Manuel Rodrigues (deepred.tv) and all-round visuals man Roy Gerritsen (boompje.com). All of the costumes were thought up and fabricated by fashion designer Elodie Laurent. The idea is to have music, lights, visuals and costume all in sync with each other. We’ve made, cultivated and aggregated content for every song, every section, transition, and so forth. Martijn runs a laptop with Ableton Live, determining when new tracks start and how the transitions go. Thijs has a laptop plus modular synth in a case through which he runs audio from Martijn and generates sounds himself to be thrown live into the mix. Nik runs the visuals off a Razer laptop, receiving triggers from Martijn. The cool part of it is that we can tune the set to every venue, LED wall, lights set and keep adding bits and changing things as we go along. It’s not a ‘prepare once, execute 100 times’ kind of thing, it’s been growing and changing. We record every set so we can scrutinise it later with the whole team. The feeling of turning an entire venue’s audio systems, lights and LED walls into one giant instrument controlled from the stage is really awesome.

Sneak previews and recorded clips of the Outer Edges performances show you live on stage sporting some 2001-esque space helmets. Aside from Kubrick’s 1968 masterpiece, were there any other depictions of the final frontier that you found to be influential when designing the aesthetic of Outer Edges, and the resulting shows?
Apart from the obviously scifi looking helmets, we wanted to forego as many sci-fi clichés as possible. Of course sci-fi is a big influence on our music and aesthetic, but we wanted each song in the set to have it’s own world, sometimes silly, cartoony, sometimes photographic. If anything the album artwork was the cornerstone for the show: the front cover’s focus on our faces ‘venturing into the unknown’ and also the refractography that Rutger Prins developed for the album – his stills are on the artwork and his videos are in the visuals.

Noisia albums tend to arrive in equal three year intervals, with your previous I Am Legion released in 2013. Do you find your indulgence in hardware and abstract recoding techniques prolongs the process of making an album, or is it always a quest for perfection?
You’re actually the first to point that out to us. Interesting… That pretty much guarantees our next project will surface in 2019…perhaps! I guess it’s more of a feeling than a certain benchmark though, we just felt the time was right and started working. The 3-year thing was a coincidence. We do like to take our time and not force material to come out. But even that changes, sometimes pressure can actually be productive. Maybe the next project will have a completely different approach perhaps.

Has your time spent touring Outer Edges enlightened you to elements of the music that you were unaware of during the recording process?
Well, the intensity of the entire experience surprised us to be honest. When it’s just you and a song in the studio, it’s easy to take a step back from it. But when it’s in full sync with the visuals and lights with the sound up past 100 dB, it’s pretty overwhelming! So it’s also nice to notice that more musical departures or experiments really work when part of a bigger experience. Also, we didn’t know ‘Tentacles’ was going to do so well…if we had we’d probably shot a music video for it!

So far on the tour you have played London with further shows set to come in Bristol, London again and at NASS and Reading & Leeds festivals. Have there been any stand out shows on the Outer Edges tour so far?
London was very special for us. It makes us feel like we’ve come a long way. From our first couch-surfing trips to the birthplace of Drum&Bass, trainspotting, gossiping, awe-struck by the big names in the scene, to our first DJ sets in London, to selling out a headline show like that. And to get a crowd like the one in there…amazing! A milestone.

April will see the release of an Outer Edges Remix album. Is it possible to provide a few clues as to who is set to feature on the remix LP?
We set out to approach many different artists that we’re into. We wanted to get exciting and unexpected results, we hoped the artists would each take the songs into their own outer edges. So prepare for a lot of surprises!

Finally, if it was possible to detect sounds in space, do you think they would replicate those which emerge from the Noisia studio?
Now wouldn’t that be something! To be honest, we’d be s**tting our pants if the sounds we picked up from way out in space were big angry basslines and eerie atmospherics. Wouldn’t bode too well for mankind. I’d rather hear something more welcoming echoing out from the unknown depths. So I hope they pick one of our more positive songs if they do! We’re alright, us humans! It’s just our way of blowing off steam! Please don’t hurt us 😀

Originally published to Ticket Arena 06/03/17

Photos courtesy of Rutger Prins

Get To Know: Pizza For The People

Sure, earth has served up some great duos in its existence; gin & tonic, Dick & Dom, cordial and h2o – but now, the blend of live music and food is making a strong case for the mantle of top dynamic duo. Where can we sample such a magical mixture we hear you cry? Well, Leeds based promoters Pizza For The People have answered the calls, and set about celebrating the combination of live music and food through their very own Indie Banquets.

With a taste for fuzz pedals, pizza and vegan fried chicken, Pizza For The People have been drawing together some of the best local garage, surf and indie bands and pairing sonic delights with those of the culinary kind.

Returning for the second edition of Indie Banquet on Friday 16th December, Wharf Chambers will provide the back drop, while music will be supplied by Cowtown, Team Picture, Party Hardly, Yard Wars and The Orielles – not to mention food from The Pizza Guy and Vegan Fried Chicken.

Ahead of the show, we took the opportunity to catch up with the brains behind Pizza for The People, Ryan and Julia.

For the nonbelievers among us, please can you tell us a little bit about Pizza For The People and how the idea became a reality?

Well Pizza for the People consists of two people Ryan & Julia, we both love food & music in equal measures and found that there weren’t many places we could go watch the bands we love and get the food we crave at the same time so we decided we would do that for other people and create our night Indie Banquet combining the two together in some of Leeds’ most unique locations. As for being named Pizza for the People, pizza is our particular favourite so we want to bring more of it to the people!

Your bio describes unique locations, awesome food and lively sets as the events “holy Trinity”. Was this potent concoction something you stumbled upon by chance, or a calculated moment of genius straight from the drawing board?

As far as we are concerned this concoction is the perfect trio for us. We love to find new venues and spaces that are unique and have a great atmosphere, where people can be who they want to be and allow people to let their hair down and have fun. Awesome food makes people happy and when it’s that good it’s a talking point for people and brings out a passion in people that is weirdly communicated through strange noises and hand gestures that make us smile. At our first Indie Banquet we overheard someone describe What’s your beef burgers’ loaded fries as “life changing”. That’s the type of statement we love to hear when it comes to food! Obviously the bands bring the lively sets and when that happens the crowd are more involved and that makes for a more intimate experience for all that can be talked about for years afterwards.

So far Pizza For The People has hosted an Indie Banquet at Duke Studios, with your second show to take place at Wharf Chambers. What is it that has drawn you to host your events at these spaces?

We want to put a spotlight on the great venues the north has to offer as well as the bands, so if we can help someone else along the way and the venues get new faces in them then that is something we like to help with. These two venues are places that we have loved visiting and that have been kind enough to let us use their events spaces. We’d recommend people go visit and support where they can.

While Trinity and Victoria Gate have been springing up, Leeds’ indie scene has been getting on with its business with the likes of Independent Leeds helping shine a light on its activities. Do you think the independent scene in Leeds is in good shape at this moment in time?

Yeah we would say so there has been a lot of re-gentrification in Leeds of late. We aren’t the people to be telling you whether this is a good thing or bad, but we would say that it makes us want to discover more independent spaces and those likeminded people supporting the Leeds indie scene which can only make it stronger in our eyes. It also drives more people to get creative and do/try new and different things – which is never a bad thing!

For your next event you will be hosting Cowtown, The Orielles among others. Could you talk us through how you begin to piece together your lineups? Are you aiming to curate a distinctive sound for Pizza For The People and Indie Banquet?

Everyone that we approach to play we really admire and are massive fans of. We also like to put together line ups that we think fit well together and that people will be excited about seeing on the same bill, and what is equally important to us is supporting our local talent and giving them a boost and a platform to get out there too. There are a huge amount of bands that we’ve seen over the years that have gone on to do great things and so we’d like to be a part of bands’ journeys and be there to support them at every step. We wouldn’t say that we want a distinctive sound for our nights as that just leads to a generalisation and every band that we have worked with and wish to work with are unique and different in their own right so, no, if we like a band and they want to play then we are happy to have them.

Leeds has always been a hotbed for DIY and LoFi bands doing the rounds on the circuit. Is offering a platform for bands on the lookout for a breakthrough an integral part of Pizza For The People’s belief?

Definitely. We love supporting the local DIY scene and hope to be an integral part of it in years to come.

Got any tips for local bands we should expect to see making waves in the not too distant future?

Not really any tips but if you are wanting a place to shine and develop your craft if we can help then just give us a shout and if we can’t help we will try find you someone that can. But there is plenty of talent that is ready to burst out of the Leeds scene for sure and two bands that we are particularly excited about right now and playing for us at the next banquet is Team Picture and Party Hardly, so you should come down and see them.

With unrest in the social climate (dependent on how you look at it) and a thriving indie scene, would you agree that these times we live in will inadvertently become fertile grounds for creativity and inspire like-minded people to come together

Absolutely, whenever there is a climate of unrest you get people providing a sound track to those years and people fighting to give others a glimmer of hope – just look at the likes of Sex Pistol, Public Enemy, Nirvana and The Specials. They may not have been a direct product of unrest but certainly fuelled by the times they had been a part of.

There is a great quote that we’ve always remembered from Horace “Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents, which in prosperous circumstances would have lain dormant”

Finances aside, if Pizza For The People were able to welcome any band in the world to its Indie Banquet stage, who would it be and why?

We will have to break this one down as we both have different ambitions of who we would want to book in a dream situation!

So for Ryan –  it would have to be The Cribs they are my favourite band in the world and have been since I was in my young teens when my brother Andrew took me shopping on my birthday and on the way to the shops he played me The Cribs first album and from then on I was hooked and have seen The Cribs on 44 occasions to date (never put on an average show, I’m always left wanting to see them again). My ambition is to have The Cribs headline an Indie Banquet before I hit 50 shows if that happens I would be able to die happy.

And for Julia – it would have to be Slaves. Ever since I saw them at Glastonbury a couple of years back I was absolutely hooked. Their live performance was phenomenal and I think I ended up seeing them three, possibly four times, over the course of the festival weekend. The amount of charisma those two have is incredible and something you might not grasp from just listening to the tracks; I’d recommend anyone that hasn’t seen them live to go check them out asap.

To finish things up, if it came down to it and you had to live in a world without pizza or music, which would be that bit more bearable?

Ryan – I couldn’t live with out music, not been able to go to festivals, gigs and put things on would be devastating however my bank balance would appreciate it!

Julia – Same! Don’t get me wrong…life without pizza would be pretty hard but no music would be intolerable.

Photo courtesy of John Jowett

Originally published to Ticket Arena 09/12/16

Motion eyes expansion with the launch of Yard Open Air Club

Motion Bristol will be making the most of the outdoors this summer with the launch of Yard Open Air Club – a brand new venture that will see three separate areas surrounding the venue transformed into bespoke clubbing spaces.

Yard Open Air Club is set to make its debut on Saturday 26th August, with the lineup for the launch set to be revealed in the coming weeks.

Comprising of three brand new open air spaces consisting of the Container Yard, Crane Yard and Lock Yard, Yard Open Air will provide a perfect backdrop for the high calibre artists and DJs that regularly frequent the venue. Helping to drive the aesthetic element of Yard will be Mr Price of Studio 89, who’ll be curating specialist art in his signature hazy style for each of the three spaces. Alongside stalls for local food traders, Yard will also uphold a strong sustainability ethos in its operations, working with green thinkers Kambe to help instil eco-friendly initiatives and practices such as the use of reusable cups.

Speaking on the launch of Yard Open Air, Motion’s Jack Scales said: “There’s so much scope and opportunity to change and develop the space [at Motion] to create something fresh and exciting. We’ve always known how much everyone loves the outside terrace, but Yard will become its complete own entity, giving us an outdoor club space.”

The launch of Yard Open Air Club in August is set to be Motions largest outdoor event to date. You can register for tickets to the launch here.

Originally published to Ticket Arena 26/04/17