Issue 9 www.audio-addict.co.uk
the producers the blackout
comes to solent
solent in the fields
Rob Da Bank
Smiling with the bestival boss
News The Maccabees: pg 4 Radio Sonar: pg 5
Hello and welcome to this SMILE special of Audio Addict! This week is SMILE, the Universities annual music industry week, which sees an array of industry experts come into the Uni to inspire us all, as well
Previews Alabama 3: pg 6 - 7 Demo Surgery: pg 7
enough gigs to send you into music overdrive. As part of the week, us at Audio Addict decided to set ourselves a challenge, to create a magazine in a day. It was most certainly a challenge but we’ve done it and I really hope you enjoy it. So what have we got in store for you? Well, we were lucky enough to get an exclusive interview with the incredibly influential Rob Da Bank before he comes in to speak to everyone tomorrow as well as features on
Features The Blackout: pg 8 - 9 Rob Da Bank: pg 10 - 11 Zoe Ball: pg 12 - 13 SMILE in the Square: pg 14 Magazine in a Day: pg 15 Solent in the Fields: pg 16 - 17
Zoe Ball and The Blackout who are both making an appearance this week too. We’ve got reviews of the SMILE Fringe and all of the gigs that have already happened this week along with previews of what’s coming up over the next few days and if
Reviews The SMILE Fringe: pg 18 SMILE So Far: pg 19
you’ve ever wondered how to get work experience at festivals or in the industry then read our feature on Solent in the Fields – it will tell you exactly what you need to do. That’s it from me for now. I hope you’re enjoying the week so far and don’t forget to smile!
Rachael Anderson (Editor)
Production Editor: Sarah Eustace
Bryony Curtis Summer Grant
Designers: Rachel Pottle Shadene Lewis Patricia Pribolova
Photography: Coralie Pilte Louise Morrell Behind The Smile
Contributors: Richard Cook Emma Farndell Nick Pollard Steph Powell Tom Hutchin David Sullivan
With Thanks to: Carl Loben Iestyn George
Solent Student to Appear on Ting Tings Latest Release
adio Sonar, the Solent Student radio attended the Students Radio Awards ceremony at the O2 Arena in London on Nov. 14 after being nominated for ‘Best Marketing and Station Sound’ and ‘Best Student Chart Show’. The Student Radio Awards have been rewarding students’ radio achievements since 1995 by giving them recognition in the radio industry and even helped DJs, such as Radio 1’s Scott Mills, launch their career. All students-run radios can enter the competition but industry professionals will select the 6 best for each category. The ‘Best Marketing and Station Sound’ award honours the best communication: how the radio draws students’ attention and makes them regular listeners.
and production skills. Radio Sonar hosted the Student Radio Chart Show on May 15 and is amongst the six best. Radio Sonar was launched two years ago and has already been rewarded for its outstanding contribution to Student Radio in 2010 and 2011 and for the best female presenter in 2010. By Bryony Curtis
The ‘Best Student Chart Show ‘rewards the radio that hosted the best chart show, basing itself on the students’ presentation
The Maccabees Guildhall Gig SOLD OUT!
ince the 2009 release Wall Of Arms, The Maccabees have been laying low so after the announcement came that the band had sold out many of their headline show dates, including their gig at Southampton Guildhall on March 16th, it was evident that overnight they had become megastars. This popularity has come shortly after the release of their latest album Given To The Wild, released January 9th 2012 and the band have had extensive support from NME, including an exclusive NME Award Show Performance. This latest album illustrates a clear progression from each album, allowing the band to keep their same recognisable sound, but tweak it to make it unique. Guitarist Felix White admits, “We’ve grown up as people and changed as a band. We’ve learned for the first time what we really wanted The Maccabees to sound like on record. It’s taken us three albums but we finally achieved that. We’ve discovered what we’re truly capable of and that feels really exciting.” 4
The band also employed a different songwriting strategy by writing lyrics individually, whereas in the past they wrote as a collective. This allowed the band to explore each of their talents and ideas, which lead to the epic masterpiece, Given To The Wild, the bands most adventurous record to date. With the majority of the shows on their latest UK tour being sold out, the band has now announced an array of festival performances in Spain, Italy and Berlin as well as appearing at T in The Park later this summer. Although the band have indeed sold out the Southampton Guildhall there is still a chance to catch The Maccabees at the official after party at Orange Rooms where the band will be giving fans a chance to party with the band as they fill the floor with a live DJ set.
By Bryony Curtis
Radio Sonar Nominated For Two Awards
adio Sonar, the Solent Student radio attended the Students Radio Awards ceremony at the O2 Arena in London on Nov. 14 after being nominated for ‘Best Marketing and Station Sound’ and ‘Best Student Chart Show’. The Student Radio Awards have been rewarding students’ radio achievements since 1995 by giving them recognition in the radio industry and even helped DJs, such as Radio 1’s Scott Mills, launch their career. All studentsrun radios can enter the competition but industry professionals will select the 6 best for each category. The ‘Best Marketing and Station Sound’ award honours the best communication: how the
radio draws students’ attention and makes them regular listeners. The ‘Best Student Chart Show ‘rewards the radio that hosted the best chart show, basing itself on the students’ presentation and production skills. Radio Sonar hosted the Student Radio Chart Show on May 15 and is amongst the six best. Radio Sonar was launched two years ago and has already been rewarded for its outstanding contribution to Student Radio in 2010 and 2011 and for the best female presenter in 2010.
By Coralie Pilte
sweet home alabama
Alabama 3 talk about their awe-inspiring career and treat Southampton Solent University to an exclusive mini gig in association with SMILE festival.
he totally original Alabama 3 grace the Millais Theatre in JM315 for SMILE 2012. Rob ‘Larry Love’ Spragg and Steve ‘LOVEPIPE’ Finnerty of the Brixton octet will be enlightening students on their extensive experience and wooing them with a musical showcase. Alabama 3 will be covering an array of subjects during their talk. The main and most important as Spragg highlights will be “personal hygiene”. As well as this however the band are proud to be plugging their latest studio
release Shoplifting 4 Jesus. Whilst creating this album Alabama 3 worked with underprivileged kids, many of Solent’s students may not be underprivileged, however the message that the band want to bring across to the students will stay the same, as Spragg explains, “I want to explain how important productivity is and the ability to organise yourself with the use of technology. If you want to get into music you can use technology, you don’t need money you just need to be
productive with technology in your bedroom.” Alabama 3 is set to provide a selection of inspiring ideas for the music students of Solent to build on. As well this, the band will be showcasing their musical talents but with their broad genre range of Afro-beat, techno and country-folk, stripping this down to just two band members may prove difficult. Spragg illuminates some of haziness that surrounds this performance, “I don’t really know how we are going to do it yet because the way we write, we create a country ballad and end up with a techno stomper, so we might experiment with you lot, we
are going to have a bit of a laugh” Alabama 3 are set to drop an experimental bombshell onto Southampton Solent University and the students are the guinea
pigs. They are destined to amaze and educate in a way that only Afro beat country can. Shoplifting 4 Jesus is out now via Hostage Music.
demo surgery The demo surgery is a brilliant opportunity for Solent artists to get one of a kind advice from a panel of leading music experts from across the industry. The guests on the day are from varied backgrounds and collectively their expertise will form the panel from which the basis of concise feedback given to the artists will be given. One after the other the tracks will be played with a feedback session in between in order to help the artist’s themselves showcase their material and advice upon a platform used to their advantage when trying to break into the industry. I sat down with one of the panellists DJ magazine editor Carl Loben and he expressed his excitement at the thought of listening to demo’s at the panel on Friday afternoon. “I like doing demo panels such as this one and giving constructive feedback to bands and music producers. It was nice to be asked, I’ll be approaching it with a very open mind, and I’m anticipating a vibrant, action-packed session. “ When asked about his expectation towards the variety of artists who’ll appear on Friday, he goes on to explain “I’m expecting the music being considered by the Solent demo panel to be of a very high standard, and to gain a Favourite New Band in the process. Who knows, we may be listening to the next White Stripes or Dizzee or Florence?” 7
As SMILE hits Southampton in full swing, Audio Addict catches up with eagerly anticipated guests The Blackout. The Welsh sextet, hand in hand with Kerrang! Editor and ex-Solent lecture James McMahon, will enlighten students into their life as the band jet into rock stardom.
by David Sullivan
out of the darkness SMILE 2012
ith The Blackout’s latest studio release Hope, the band have managed to increase their status and have found them introduced to nearly every British festival bill for the summer. Sean Smith explains how this album is different to the rest and why it may have achieved this status, “I like to think we are better song writers now. It honestly is in our opinion our best work to date. We love it and it seems to have gone down well as well, because we didn’t think of how the fans would like it before, like literally the day before it came out I went ‘ah f*** we forgot to think what they might think of it’ and then it came out and it’s done quite well so people have liked it. It’s all we can ask really.” It seems then that the band wrote Hope for themselves, the honesty that the band have may well be the reason why the album has reached so many fans. This album then, is what the band truly wanted to do, disregarding limitations and current trends. Smith enlightens his views, “we always write music that we like over anything. If you start writing music for other people I think you’re f***ed. If we made an album right now, for the people, it would be some dubsteppy rock nonsense that would probably die in about six months or something. We just make the music we like and hopefully others like it, if not we’re doomed.” As Hope is at heart purely for the band, deep and personal influences must seep from within the record. However this was not the case with Hope, Smith divulges, “We kind of take influence from everyday life and relationships and things we
see in films and stories and just everything really. Sometimes a song will just come from a phrase or a word that fits nice in a song, like if the word sort of feels nice and sounds nice then sometimes we will build a song around that. It doesn’t always have to be about something that’s happened to us but we do like it if it can someway be transferred to that I guess.” Throughout their career we have seen The Blackout team up with the likes of Lostprophets,
“Our new album honestly is our best work to date.” Hyro Da Hero and You Me At Six. Smith educates on how the band has come to be paired with such a star-studded line up, “all of those collaborations came about accidentally I guess. Josh [You Me At Six] and Ian [Lostprophets] were about when we were recording and they asked could they be on a song so we let them do it. We just like working with other people, if it didn’t fit or if it were pointless then we wouldn’t do it. We only did it because Josh can sing and it was a good chorus and Ian could sing and it was good. For that Hyro bit I started rapping when we were recording for a laugh with Jason the producer and he was like ‘that’s good you should do that’ and I was like ‘I can’t rap I’m from Merthyr Tydfil and I’m white’ so we got Hyro in.”
Noticeably here, all of these bands and artist are born and bred in Britain, including The Blackout. The British music industry is continually flourishing and producing great successful bands. There is then a strong aura of British pride surrounding The Blackout as Smith muses, “there are so many American bands that are coming over that everybody is worshiping that are an absolutely shit version of British bands. It fries my f***ing brain, just because they’ve got American accents, they’re not cooler; they’re most of the time dickheads. So there’s loads of good British bands out there that people need to go find for themselves I guess.” It is set then, that Southampton Solent University is in for an excitingly exclusive treat. A meet and greet on the couch with Kerrang’s James McMahon. The Blackout will undoubtedly be brutally honest and entertaining. They will be set to do this in the brash, unorthodox method that is the way of their music and lifestyles.
f you’re new to Rob Da Bank, chances are you’ll soon discover his musical taste is significantly hard to pin down. Whether it’s wonderful or just plain weird, expect the unexpected. Known by his mother as Robert Gorham, Rob grew up in the sunny confines of Warsash, Southampton. Alongside playing the trombone for multiple brass bands, he found himself surrounded by the Beatles’ music, churned out by his dad - a GP. Hip-hop and funk were next on Rob’s rollercoaster of musical discovery, and he set up his DJ name of Rob Da Bank. The early 90s saw him move to London, where he studied French and History Of Art at Goldsmiths University. It was there, at the students union, that he met Josie - his now wife and creative co-pilot. Many a night of raving and romance later, the pair joined forces and put on their own club nights at venues, including Rage - which now holds legendary status. In 1995, Sunday Best was founded in South London’s Tearooms Des Artistes – which rolled out a musical selection of anything from chill-out to electronica. By 1997, the eclectically diverse Sunday Best record label was launched; and saw thenunknown acts such as Groove Armada, Bent and Lemon Jelly unleashed to a world of willing takers. Since, Rob has signed countless acts famous for their distinctive modes of music production, including The Cure (putting out a live album based on their Bestival headline set in 2011) and Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip.
“So we’re pretty lucky that most of the people that come to Bestival are a pretty magical crowd themselves.”
BANK OF IDEAS Whether it’s his late night DJ slot on BBC Radio 1, the artists he’s propelled to fame under his label Sunday Best, or the fancy dress-filled Bestival event, eclecticism characterises Rob Da Bank’s many talents. We spoke to him about his career and his forthcoming talk at Smile…
2002 saw Rob take Sunday Best into Glastonbury and Creamfields. The same year, he was asked to work as a pilot alongside Chris Coco on BBC Radio 1’s Leftfield Show – well respected for banging out emerging new music very early on Saturday mornings. By 2004, Rob was truly unstoppable. Not only was it the year that Grand National’s debut album was released, but it saw Rob team up with Dan Carey and release a debut album under the name Lazyboy. 2004 also saw the launch of the infamous Bestival. Notorious for embodying all things eccentric, in the intervening years the festival has been notorious for its quirky following of festival goers who all wear fancy
dress to the festival, based on the theme for the year. Bestival has now established itself among the biggest festival names in the UK, attracting an audience of 60,000-plus. “It’s kind of a tradition,” Rob says. “I always make some sort of effort. I’ll get forced into some sort of ridiculous outfit. Watch out for a cockroach or something this year!” Rob says the secret to making Bestival the best it can be is all about “just adding more exciting and eccentric ideas each year. Trying to put new stuff in will get people excited and create that magic that seems to happen every year. “But it’s kind of down to the people that come. If they were all square, then you know it wouldn’t have that same magic - so we’re pretty lucky that most of the people that come are a pretty magical crowd themselves.” Whilst Bestival continues to wow its audience with line-ups of killer names, as well as something for even the most bizarre festival goer, Rob continues his two-hour sets each Saturday morning on BBC Radio 1. Busting out everything from dubstep to electro, folk to funk - he’s made a name for himself on almost every platform. Rob has recently started the Association of Independent Festivals: “It was pretty much triggered by the Thames Festival one year,” he says. “It got me thinking, you know, there should be some sort of network of festival promoters that share information about potential criminals and stuff like that. So I sort of set it up on that basis and it’s really blossomed. “We’ve got 35-40 festivals on board at the moment, all kinds of different festivals. It’s just a good way of getting people together in the same room and talking about what they love doing, getting help and tips from other people on how to achieve what they want to do.” Now, Rob is here at Solent to help our students find a name for themselves in the music and festival industries. He will be awarded with a Teaching Fellowship when he takes a guest lecture as part of our SMILE event on Thursday 8th March. He feels it very important to offer students opportunities: “Southampton’s my hometown, so yeah I’m excited to come back. Obviously not that long ago I was a student - and I think work experience and talking to actual people who are doing things are probably the two key ways in which to learn a trade.” Words By: Jasmin Andrade
Presenting and media giant Zoe Ball graces SMILE for what is set to be a dazzling insight into the music industry that she has been involved with since the late 1990s. BY SUMMER GRANT
In Her Court
s part of SMILE 2012 Zoe Ball joins a plethora of other guest speakers in the Millais Theatre in JM 315 on Friday. Renowned for her easy-going personality she has become a legend in music media. Born in Blackpool in 1970, Zoe started what would become an impressive career as a runner for Granada Television, the North Western version of Meridian, then moved onto researching for BskyB before she was eventually put before the camera for channel Four’s hit show The Big Breakfast where she worked alongside other big presenting names such as Chris Evans and Richard Bacon. Of course it wasn’t until she started hosting Live & Kicking with Jamie Theakston for BBC1 that she was given national treasure status, her move from TV to radio only solidified the title. When she moved to BBC Radio 1’s daily Breakfast Show she made history by becoming the first woman to be the sole host of a prime-time slot. She moved from early morning
went looking for Danny and Sandy for 2007’s Grease is the Word. 2011 saw Zoe’s true return to music when she was asked to host the coverage of Sky Art’s Summer Music festival. That year she could also be found presenting from the Isle of Wight Festival, which became the first festival in the world to be shown live in 3D. As well as this Latitude and Bestival had her presenting live and getting interviews with some of the stars. It was also the year that saw Zoe co-host Strictly-it Takes Two, since taking part in the show in 2005 she has been a fan of dancing. Although Zoe is no longer a regular host of Radio 2’s breakfast show, which she took over in 2009, her voice can often be heard filling in for Ken Bruce and Dermot O’Leary. While she’s in Southampton, Ball will be awarded a teaching fellowship along with Kerrang! editor James McMahon and DJ Rob Da Bank.
Solent’s Honour Roll This week SMILE’s guest speakers Zoe Ball, Rob Da Bank and James McMahon will be blessed with honorary doctorates for their services to media. Over the past few years, other figures in the business have been granted similar honours from Southampton Solent University.
Whether you love or hate her, seeing her as a versatile talent or just a token airhead on the X Factor panel, Dannii gets everywhere. With a CV boasting careers in acting, singing, television presenting and even having her own fashion line, she has undeniably contributed significantly to the entertainment industry. Recognising her mark in the industry over the last thirtyplus years, Southampton Solent University awarded her with a doctorate in media in 2011.
chat to evening talk with Theakston when they presented The Priory together on Channel Four. However 2000-2001 saw her leaving behind her presenting duties in favour of raising a family with her husband Norman Cook (otherwise known as Fatboy Slim), yet even that didn’t stop her success on the small screen or over the airwaves. A few years later she could be found dancing her way through round after round of Strictly Come Dancing until she eventually reached the final and came third. Her involvement with the BBC 1 dance show didn’t stop there, she took part in the 2008 Strictly tour and has hosted 2011’s tour in January and February just gone. However it was not her participation in this competition that placed her firmly in the heart of nation. Zoe has also had the honour of working with Sir Trevor MacDonald for Extinct on ITV1. She went back to music, in a way, by hosting the second series of Soap star to Superstar and also
Scott Mills’ career kicked off after excessive nagging, bombarding local radio station Power FM with demo tapes, which would eventually give him a daily slot despite being only 16. From this point on, his career would go from strength to strength, leading to his current elite status – a BBC Radio 1 presenter and doctor of arts, the title being awarded to him in 2009.
Hailing from Southampton, charttopping R&B maestro Craig David was awarded a doctorate of music in 2008. He claimed the record for the youngest male solo artist to reach number one with his hit-single ‘Fill Me In’. Since the release of his no.1 album, Born To Do It, in 2000, he has sold over 13 million records. This can only add to his bragging rights, as he has happily boasted about making love four days a week in hit track ‘7 Days’… before ‘chilling on Sunday’ of course.
outhampton Guildhall Square will see the grand finale of the SMILE festivities on Saturday 10th March, hosting mini-festival, SMILE In The Square. The event will showcase local talent, squeezing ten acts into a day of free live music. Carl Gwynne, a member of organisers TTI Live, claims that the event was his idea, dreamt up last year, and was quick to lament about the hardships of arranging the festival. “To be honest, it has been quite difficult to get as far as we have, there’s a lot more to consider than you’d think to put one together, especially seeing as you’ve got to be responsible for the entire event, how safe it is, who’s playing, et cetera.” Despite all of the troubles throughout the festivals’ conception, after last year’s rousing success and SMILE’s annual growth, the organisers could not resist returning for a second year, confident that it will be every bit as successful as the first. The event’s line-up boasts music to take everybody’s fancy, from genres across the rock and pop spectrum, a claim helped along by a neighbouring DJ tent, offering no excuses not to attend. “It’s quite vast. We’ve got Cardinals, Fly Frankie Fly and Kathryn Anderson, all those three are quite spread out over different genres.” The aforementioned Cardinals are a
10:00- We turn up at area 11, on time and ready to go.
four-piece who, due their distinctive style, struggle to give a definitive title to their genre, describing their music as a ‘unique blend of indie, which also touches with several further tastes’. Next to them in the line-up is duo Fly Frankie Fly, who spawn chaotic electro club music. Bringing such a massive concoction of styles to the table has been part of the organisers’ master plan all along. “The main focus is to attract families and encourage the music to chime in well with all ages and backgrounds.” SMILE’S founder Martin James, having overlooked how SMILE has grown since its creation in 2009, is eager to celebrate the event. “Solent has become synonymous with music festivals… so it makes sense to create our own festival which can be enjoyed by the whole community.” Joining headliners Cardinals will be Simon Says, The Kaleurs, Fly Frankie Fly, Kathryn Anderson, 7th Revolution, Charissa, Oliver, Alice Avenue, Made By Giants. The event is from noon-6PM. Entry is free. Words By: Nick Pollard
FLY FRANKIE FLY
10:10- Break Time. 10:20- Our chief Editor turns up, whips out the board maker and we get planning. 10:30- Rob Da Bank and a very strange looking chair are set for the front cover. 11:25- We establish contact with Alabama 3. 12:00 We get kicked out of our room. We trekked up four flights of stairs to get there, that is commitment, my friends.
Magazine in a day
e all know that there are not enough hours in a day, but during SMILE week the popular music courses come together for three workshops in three days to create a magazine, a song and a press release in just a few hours. Possible? Of course it is, you’re reading one of them aren’t you? The Popular music performance guys were the first to take the plunge on Monday the 5th where they would have to write a song from scratch, perform it and record it in just one day. It seems daunting but pop music performance student Stephen Milliard seemed to love the experience. “It wasn’t really a pressured environment, we just got down to it and had fun! We recorded the instrumental as a group then overdubbed the vocal; Spent a long time setting up, but we got the track down in a few takes”. The next day it was the promotion students’ turn and they created a press release on TV and radio personality Zoe Ball and had the chance to speak with PR legend
Johnny Hopkins who was once a publicist for Oasis and was described the “fifth member of the band”. Promotion student Nathan described the experience as “interesting” and “insightful” and yet despite the pressures “coped well”. The final workshop on Wednesday the 7th was down to a collection of budding Journalists and photographers to craft a whole music magazine, complete with strict and (too realistic for my liking) deadlines. There was a lot of hard graft to get it done but the atmosphere was friendly, yet productive thanks to our Editor in chief Steph Powell who was “Happy with how organised every one was”. True she may have been a tiny bit late but hey, we didn’t hold it against her. The three “… in a day” tasks seem to have gone well this year, with those taking part enjoying it but gaining some valuable experience in their fields, and of course the magazine is brilliant, we made after all. Words By: Tom Hutchin
14:00 Room changes again, back down the stairs (4 flights remember?) to the room next door to our original room. 14:46- Topic shifts from Smile to daytime TV. It got fairly heated, apparently we “don’t diss Schofield” 14:58- Tea break? Please? 15:15- Seven days’ is blasted out, we sing, was fun but we got sick of it after 40 seconds. 15:40- Alabama 3 feature is done! Most of the staff have broken into a mild sweat. 16:00: Our design guys have the first few pages in the bag. Air punches all round. 17:10- Rob Da Bank finally called, our main feature can now begin (minor technical issues aside) 18:15- The last article is done. 18:16 – Editor faints. 19:00- Our wonderful design team have finished. I look around the room and I see tired eyes but at the end of the day I can humbly say: It’s pretty damn good.
“It was a great opportunity to be able to work on a publication at such a hugely popular festival. It gave me an insight into reporting news very quickly and having to explore the whole festival to find out the latest gossip to ensure each issue included the main highlights felt by the festival-goers. It proves publications can really get made in a day!”
“It was a great opportunity to be able to work on a publication at such a hugely popular festival.” With Solent Music being barely a year old the program has already given students a number of invaluable work experience placements within the industry, which have the potential to lead to jobs in the future. Want to get involved? Contact Amy Grinstead and you may just be rubbing shoulders with the stars at one of this summers festivals. Words By Rachael Anderson
eople always say to me how jealous they are of my university course and I guess they’ve got good reason to be. I mean, Popular Music Journalism is a pretty cool degree but it does have the usual boring academic side as well. Here at Solent we are lucky enough to have a music programme called ‘Solent Music’; this gives us the opportunity to apply for an array of work experience opportunities within the University and externally at festivals and music related companies. Amy Grinstead, who runs the programme this year, explained her role to me: “I’m a graduate intern and my role is communications officer. I liaise with students, staff and external employers to help arrange work experience for students. The work experience can range from promotion, to live sound crews to performers.” Solent Music offers up some pretty exciting opportunities from working on the daily newspaper at Bestival to helping run Blissfields Festival and that’s only mentioning two
of them. In 2011 I was part of the Blissfields Media team, our role was to create the festival programme and film the event, turning the footage into a promotion video for the 2012 event. It was a fantastic opportunity to work on a ‘real life’ project, using existing skills but learning new ones too; making contacts in the process. One of the most interesting parts of the whole experience was meeting and interviewing so many different artists, each one having their own stories to tell and different reasons for why Blissfields means so much to them. As well as having a strong relationship with Blissfields, the university has an educational partnership with Bestival, one of the UK’s largest independent festivals. Each year curator Rob Da Bank offers a number of opportunities for students to work at the festival from artist liaison roles to stage management and press officers. Rachel Pottle, a third year Music Journalism student, worked on The Bestival Bugle, the festival daily newspaper at 2011’s festival.
MILE 2012 officially kicked off this year with The SMILE Fringe, an event that promised to be “a unique event that will be bringing creatives and communities together in spaces and venues across Southampton city centre.” The community and arts focused event certainly kept up their promise, with a fantastic weekend of a wide variety of exciting and interesting shows. The SMILE Fringe offered a little something for everyone; from Saturday afternoon there was the Community fair, which gave local community groups such as gig venues and art groups, a chance to showcase their different events/talents. Whilst over at The Art House, a
local interactive craft fair featuring ‘The Knitty Nora’s’ and ‘Unit 11’ was picking up support all in the aid of crafting the ‘blue jumper,’ a collaborative knitting project. Poetry and Music was also on hand, to offer a warm touch, in the very homey feel of this not-forprofit venue. Marlands Shopping Centre offered some culture from across the globe with Art Asia and a slice of the Bollywood glitz and glamour through their classes in song and dance. Moving on to Saturday night and this is where the music really got going. Deathstars, who have recently been touring with metal industrial legends Ramstein, tore The Cellar apart. The venue became a haven for headbanging metal lovers. A completely different atmosphere was felt at the Art House, where within the intimate café, there was an acoustic showcase with the brilliantly haunting and delicate vocals of Bryony Marie-Fry amongst others. Meanwhile, over in a slightly more obscure setting, The Bargate Art Gallery, headliners Wise Children made for a great show,
with some upbeat folky guitar and brilliant indiepop. Waking up on Sunday, SMILE Fringe battled the elements brilliantly, going ahead with all but two events. It started in the afternoon with Anja McCloskey at The Art House. The halfGerman, half-American Southampton-based singer brought along her accordion and wowed the small crowd with her eerie and harmonic vocals. Meanwhile over at SoCo Music Project, talks were given by Blissfields organiser Paul Bliss and record label EVOYMG. Finally Sunday night saw Freeze The Atlantic take to the stage at The Cellar and give one of the performances of the weekend. Offering spine tingling heavy riffs and immense rock-god prowess, leaving the crowd hungry for more. The way in which Freeze The Atlantic capped off the show reflected The SMILE Fringe as a whole, a fantastic start to the SMILE 2012, with a veritable feast of the arts. Words By: Richard Cook
SMILE so far Monday – Producers Postgraduate student Amy Grinstead sat down to tell us what she thought of the gig on Monday night that took place in JM315. Clutching at legendary status, the Producers kicked off Monday’s proceedings with an exciting Q&A session. “I was expecting the gig to have more songs I didn’t know, I was surprised how many tunes from before I was born I recognised!” “One of the most recognisable songs from the past few decades was “Video killed the radio star” and it was two Solent performance students who took the limelight for a few seconds as they sang a few lines of the song creating a brilliant buzz for the crowd. Solent triumphed with the choice of venue as Amy says “I enjoyed seeing them in JM315 as it wasn’t a huge venue, so I think I would probably choose to see them in another similar sized venue.” This is the same venuewhere students can enjoy the industry speakers later on in the week too. “Producers did a great job of bringing old tunes back to students ears, making it an awesome SMILE 2012 gig.” SMILE founder Dr. Martin James says: “It was an honour to have such legends opening the university’s SMILE events and so strange seeing them take on will.i.am, Nicki Minaj and Tatu, and not sound like an old pub band trying to be cool!” Words By: Emma Farndell
“ ” Monday Night Avondale Local favourite venue Avondale House filled up nicely as the first band 8-Bit Odyssey takes to the stage for this local bands showcase. After a shaky start and some out of tune covers, they round off their set with an original song about a love triangle in popular video game series Super Mario, which gained them some much-needed interest. Next up were Stop No Go; a pop punk Southampton-based band who burst onto the stage and quickly elevated the tempo created by the previous band. Though successfully covering a City and Colour track, it was their original material which stuck out tonight, a promising show all round. We Caught The Castle, a post hardcore band from Reading, were an absolute delight, the moment they took to the stage they created an atmosphere that made people want to be involved and to really listen to their engaging, roaring
sound. Theirs was easily the biggest crowd of the night. Their cover of Jessie J’s ‘Do It Like A Dude’ was refreshing and proved that there is no end to their talent. Nothing but good things lie ahead for this band. Headlining tonight were renowned electronic band Fly Frankie Fly who sang crowd favourites - most people there seemed to know all the words - and kept the energy going from previous bands. Fan interaction is always high on the list of priorities from the eccentric frontman and tonight was no different as he moved his mic stand into the middle of the performance area and danced with the audience. Appearing next at Smile In The Square on Saturday! Though technical difficulties such as sound distortion affected the performances tonight at times, the bands persevered to do well and were a good way to continue on the week! Words By: Emma Farndell