YOUR REAL MUSIC MAGAZINE ISSUE 09
JANUARY 2010 GIG LISTINGS REVIEWS INTERVIEWS FEATURES ADVICE NEWS
BECAUSE MUSIC MATTERS www.BSE-LIVE.co.uk
CONTENTS EDITORIAL : Pg 4 GIG LISTINGS January 1st - 3rd : Pg 5 January 4th - 10th : Pg 7 January 11th - 17th : Pg 9 January 18th - 24th : Pg 11 January 25th - 31st : Pg 13 REVIEWS Metal Night @ Face Bar : Pg 6
Five Finger Death Punch / Shadows Fall / Rise To Remain / Magnacult : Pg 8 Jammin Dodgers and Friends : Pg 10
Bruce Hogg Open Mic : Pg 12 FEATURE Garage to Grandure Part #2 : Pg 22 Musical Ergonomics : Pg 20
www.BSE-LIVE.co.uk ÂŠ BSE 2010. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrievel system, or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic or mechanical including, photocopying, recording or otherwise without prior permission of the publisher. All views expressed in the magazine are those of the contributors and do not represent the views of the publisher.
SPOTLIGHT Smiley Dave : Pg 18 AUDIO REVIEW Steve Gifford : Pg 24 / 25 NEWS : Pg 26 CONTACT DETAILS : Pg 15 ADVERTISING : Pg 15 BAND LINKS : Pg 14 PHOTO'S : Pg 27
EDITORIAL Welcome one and all, not only to a brand new issue of Bermuda Square Effect, not only to a brand new look for the magazine but also to a brand new year, and the start of a new decade. Absolutely awesome. How many new year’s resolutions have you made? I remember this time last year, when I decided to start a music magazine based in Newbury. What a crazy idea that was! Even more crazy that it’s still here. So what for the future? This year I really want to get more people involved in supporting the magazine and the local music community, while airing their thoughts and views on what’s happening, and what’s not happening in the area and the music scene in general. There’s a whole world of local music out there, so don’t hold back in showing your support. With the internet headlines still warm from the recent festive fight for number one, whether you approve of the winner or not, I think it’s great to have the chart battle back in the public domain. It’s been a while since such a stir has been caused by music. Ok, the beard scratchers can argue that the real winners are the record companies, but cynics are good at knocking the wind out of something popular. It does make me chuckle to think that when a lot of people have an idea, and follow it, then they can be regarded as heroes. However, if the idea isn’t particularly understood, or agreed with, then the same group of people are regarded as sheep simply following the flock. I don’t think there’s anything wrong in people grouping together and showing support for something they believe in, as long as no-one gets hurt in the process. It is amazing how much influence the internet can have on people. From subtle adverts, to social networking websites the effect can be tremendous. It’s almost like
community spirit for the internet generation, or carefully planted mind control as the conspiracy theorists may say. However, you can’t deny that changes in the music business are afoot, especially when the recent festive chart topper is the first UK number one single based on download sales. And with so much going on in the political, social, legal, you-name-it, environments it’s prime stuff for fuelling a music industry to voice the thoughts of the people, if only those who feel musically adept to show their expression. So, did you get that guitar you wanted for Christmas? Did the big guy leave you with that awesome drum kit? What better time to get playing? And for those who have a layer of dust on that guitar, brush it off and get your strumming hands back in action. Here's to a fantastic New Year!
GIG LISTINGS JAN 2010 Fri-Sun ( 1st - 3rd )
1st January GIG LISTINGS No LIstings 2nd January GIG LISTINGS No LIstings 3rd January GIG LISTINGS No LIstings
**** time unknown please contact venue. Listings correct at time of going to print. Send us your listings at: Listings@bse-live.co.uk
REVIEW Disopater / Hopeless Potential / Red Light Rescue / Beater / Strike Offensive / Kraken @ The Face Bar, Reading Thrash metal night at the facebar, Reading. A cold wet evening may have deterred some from venturing out to one of the few “rock” venues in the area …. But they missed a good night ! Disopator , Hopeless potential, Red light rescue, Beater, Strike offensive and Kraken all gave excellent performances on the night, a mixture of age, influence and style. Words and Images: DG_Photo
GIG LISTINGS JAN 2010
Mon-Sun ( 4th - 10th )
4th January GIG LISTINGS No LIstings 5th January GIG LISTINGS No LIstings 6th January GIG LISTINGS 19:00 City of Fire @ Sub89, Reading 7th January GIG LISTINGS 20:00 Relik @ The Cape Of Good Hope, Oxford 20:00 Francesqa / Lights and Sounds @ The Face Bar, Reading 8th January GIG LISTINGS 19:00 Basingstoke Unplgd! @ The Exchange, Basingstoke 21:00 The Dead Lay Waiting, In the Absence of Light, Senturia, The Finest Bloodlust @ Riffs Bar, Swindon 21:15 Riff Raff @ The Monument, Newbury 21:30 Mimosa @ The Jazz Cafe, Reading 9th January GIG LISTINGS 19:45 Viennese Evening with Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra @ The Anvil, Basingstoke 20:00 Sextodecimo, Desert Storm, Somnus, K-Lacura @ The Wheatsheaf, Oxford 21:00 Pretty Vacant (Sex Pistols Tribute) @ Riffs Bar, Swindon 10th January GIG LISTINGS 16:00 Beat The Red Light @ Bang Bar, Basingstoke
**** time unknown please contact venue. Listings correct at time of going to print. Send us your listings at: Listings@bse-live.co.uk
REVIEW Five Finger Death Punch / Shadows Fall / Rise To Remain / Magnacult @ The O2 Academy, Oxford The place is the main room in the O2 Academy in Oxford, and it’s rammed. The doors opened at 7pm and within a few minutes the first band, Magnacult, are up on stage and playing their metal as only guys from the Netherlands know how. They waste no time in bringing the tempo of the night up to a thumping pace and provide a set that is tight and varied and that proves that the first band up isn’t always a lame duck. A great start to the evening. Rise To Remain are on second and the only UK-based band here. Their style of metal is hard-hitting, and really well delivered. The attitude showcases a real amount of professionalism, self respect and crowd appreciation. These lads are proof that UK metal bands can cut it alongside the big names of the USA. Shadows Fall take to the stage third and provide an energetic performance, despite the venue being like a sauna. So hot and sweaty is the gig that between frantic dreadlock swirling, frontman Brian Fair takes off his t-shirt and wrings it out. The flow of water from it made a few in the audience grimace, but with such a heat the band did well to hold the stage for around 40 minutes without a hint of backing down, even though the sweat was literally dripping off the players. Highlight of the set was ‘Still I Rise’ which really got the throbbing crowd going. Last up, and headlining the night, are Five Finger Death Punch. Any band that has a knuckleduster attached to the lead microphone is obviously going to deliver something powerful. The lads did not disappoint. The sound is loud and pounding, akin to a military assault on your senses. The atmosphere is lively and the band forms a real connection to the jumping crowd. The pinnacle of the evening comes when frontman Ivan Moody announces that the crowd surfing ban has been lifted for their set. The offer to surf to the front to grab his hand is not overlooked as members of the audience fling themselves forwards. 116 surfers made it over the barrier, and the extra security that had been specially provided for the surfing really paid off. Besides the surfing, ‘Bad Company’ met with a tremendous response, and the announcement that FFDP would be playing Download 2010 festival met with rapturous cheers. A fine night of metal. Words: The Juke Images: TiWiGi Visual Creations
GIG LISTINGS JAN 2010
Mon-Sun ( 11th - 17th )
11th January GIG LISTINGS No LIstings 12th January GIG LISTINGS No LIstings
19:30 Hewitt, Faust & Stirling: Classical Music Alive @ Concert Hall, Reading **** Kamikaze Test Pilots @ Bang Bar, Basingstoke
13th January GIG LISTINGS 13:00 William McVicker & David Petherâ€™s lunch time organ recital @ Concert Hall, Reading 20:00 Johnny Arrow and The Cheap Day Returns @ Oakford Social Club, Reading 14th January GIG LISTINGS 20:00 Secret Fridge Party @ Purple Turtle, Reading 15th January GIG LISTINGS 13:00 Cafe Concert: Ensemble 2Twenty @ Corn Exchange, Newbury 19:00 Delphic, Mirrors @ O2 Academy, Oxford 21:00 Mortdelemar @ Riffs Bar, Swindon 20:00 Secret Fridge Party @ The Face Bar, Reading 21:30 Groove Connection @ The Jazz Cafe, Reading 16th January GIG LISTINGS 13:00 Cafe Concert: Ensemble 2Twenty @ Corn Exchange, Newbury 19:00 Delphic, Mirrors @ O2 Academy, Oxford 21:00 Mortdelemar @ Riffs Bar, Swindon 20:00 Secret Fridge Party @ The Face Bar, Reading 21:30 Groove Connection @ The Jazz Cafe, Reading 17th January GIG LISTINGS 15:30 Hampshire Youth Orchestra, Hampshire County Youth Wind Band, Hampshire County Youth Band and more @ The Anvil, Basingstoke 19:00 The Doors Alive, The Empty Vessels @ O2 Academy, Oxford
**** time unknown please contact venue. Listings correct at time of going to print. Send us your listings at: Listings@bse-live.co.uk
REVIEW Jammin' Dodgers and Friends @ The Avenue, Newbury With a dedicated frontman it seems that the Jammin’ Dodgers are well on their way to leaving the novelty ‘young band’ status behind and carving their own distinct mark on the music scene. The set includes the JD’s standard fare, but with Sam Butler holding the mic the set has a new lease of life. Rock and punk tracks like ‘Slither’, ‘Bat Country’ and ‘American Idiot’ go down really well, and the lads are certainly developing their character along with playing prowess. The crowd interaction was something much older bands could learn from, and the down to earth approach is something the guys should really hang on to. The JDs hold the floor for the first hour then make way for the variety of musicians to follow. Local music teacher Leo Westby takes the floor with Ben Elliott to showcase their guitar skills to an awesome backing track. The track is a modern reworking of a classic piece, and allows Leo and Ben to work their fingering magic. Fingers alight, the gents leave the floor to fine applause and Mark Stopher plus Jamie Creed move on. The guys play a mix of indie and rock covers, including Biffy Clyro, Coldplay and Oasis. The acoustic guitar and keyboard sit well together and all tracks were spot on. The duo of Sam Butler and Keith Henderson close the evening of live music and delight the crowd with acoustic guitar tracks by Oasis, Plain White T’s, Ronan Keating and even Busted. Their vocal styles are strong, tuneful and well appreciated by the bustling crowd. A really varied evening, showcasing a portion of the local talent to great effect. Words: The Juke Images: TiWiGi Visual Creations
GIG LISTINGS JAN 2010
Mon-Sun ( 18th - 25th )
18th January GIG LISTINGS No LIstings 19th January GIG LISTINGS 19:00 Kittie, It Dies Today, Malefice, Forever Never @ Sub89, Reading 19:45 London Symphony Orchestra @ The Anvil, Basingstoke 20th January GIG LISTINGS 19:00 Reel Big Fish, Sonic Boom Six @ O2 Academy, Oxford 21st January GIG LISTINGS 20:00 Nell Bryden @ Corn Exchange, Newbury 20:00 Thirdsday Blues, Sonny Black @ South Street, Reading Xx:xx Kamikaze Test Pilots @ Purple Turtle, Reading 22nd January GIG LISTINGS 19:30 Acoustic Open Mic Night @ Central Studio, Basingstoke 19:45 Paul Carrack @ The Anvil, Basingstoke 20:00 Phantom Theory @ The Cellar, Oxford 20:00 Relik @ Re-opening Night, Jericho Tavern, Oxford 21:30 Party Express @ The Jazz Cafe, Reading xx:xx Laura Veirs, Cataldo, Old Believers @ O2 Academy, Oxford 23rd January GIG LISTINGS 19:00 Whole Lotta Led @ O2 Academy, Oxford 19:30 Battle of the School Bands â€“ Grand Final @ The Hexagon, Reading 19:30 Aldworth Philharmonic Orchestra @ Concert Hall, Reading 19:45 London Symphony Orchestra @ The Anvil, Basingstoke 20:00 My Luminaries @ South Street, Reading
20:00 The Ben Waters Big Band @ Cornerstone, Didcot 20:00 Sonny Black @ Central Studio, Basingstoke 20:00 Bands TBC @ The Moorside Centre, Newbury 20:00 Relik @ The Avenue, Newbury TBC 20:00 The Screenbeats @ The Avenue, Newbury 21:00 Angus (AC/DC Tribute) @ Riffs Bar, Swindon Xx:xx Kamikaze Test Pilots @ Deja Vu, Reading 24th January GIG LISTINGS 19:30 Royal Philharmonic Orchestra: Classical Music Alive @ The Hexagon, Reading 19:30 Buffy Sainte-Marie @ The Anvil, Basingstoke 25th January GIG LISTINGS 19:00 Hardcore Superstar, Black Diamond Jaguars @ Sub89, Reading
REVIEW Bruce Hogg and friends open mic night @ The Avenue, Newbury This was my first visit to the Avenue, It’s great to get another live music venue in Newbury, and there are plenty of live gigs and disco nights planned for this new bar. Bruce Hogg does what he does best, sings and plays, creating a friendly, enjoyable atmosphere, always willing to help new less experienced acts perform or accompany established performers….. Or in the case of the latter, prop up the bar with a beer.
There was a great variety of acts willing to take to the mic, Lance Skybaby, Stuart and “Smiley Dave” stood out for me with their great individual self penned material, other acts gave a brief “turn” at the mic and I look forward to hearing more next time. My only minor criticism would be the lack of a decent draught ale……. But with “happy hour” lager £2 a pint and wine £5 a bottle I am prepared to make sacrifices. Get down to the Avenue and enjoy it ! Words and Images: DG_Photo
GIG LISTINGS JAN 2009
Mon-Sat ( 26th - 31st )
26th January GIG LISTINGS 20:00 The Ninth Colossus @ The Face Bar, Reading 20:15 Kimmie Rhodes @ The Forge, Basingstoke 27th January GIG LISTINGS 19:30 Chris Dean’s Syd Lawrence Orchestra @ The Hexagon, Reading
The Wheatsheaf, Oxford 21:30 Soulside @ The Jazz Cafe, Reading 31st January GIG LISTINGS 19:00 Iglu & Hartly, Politics @ O2 Academy, Oxford
28th January GIG LISTINGS 19:00 Twenty Twenty @ O2 Academy, Oxford 19:30 SOHA Youth Talent Contest @ Cornerstone, Didcot 20:00 Keith James and Rick Foot @ South Street, Reading 29th January GIG LISTINGS 19:00 Miike Snow @ O2 Academy, Oxford 19:45 Beyond the Barricade @The Anvil, Basingstoke 20:00 Limehouse Lizzy @ South Street, Reading 20:00 Megson @ The Forge, Basingstoke 20:00 Secret Fridge Party @ The Monument, Newbury 21:00 Ventflow, Bloodshot Dawn @ Riffs Bar, Swindon 30th January GIG LISTINGS 19:30 Reading Pheonix Choir, Megan Henwood @ The Hexagon, Reading 19:45 The Magic of Motown @Corn Exchange Newbury 19:45 That’ll Be The Day! @ The Anvil, Basingstoke 20:00 Bohemia Ukulele @ Arlington Arts, Newbury 20:00 Ola Obabule Five Piece Band @ Cornerstone, Didcot 20:00 Antonio Forcione @ The Forge, Basingstoke 20:00 Andy Dickens @ Central Studio, Basingstoke 20:00 Vienna Ditto, 1877, Small Machine @
BAND LINKS www.myspace.com/thejammindodgers www.fivefingerdeathpunch.com/ www.shadowsfall.com/ www.myspace.com/risetoremain www.magnacult.com www.smileydave.com www.myspace.com/hopelesspotential www.myspace.com/disopator www.myspace.com/redlightrescue www.myspace.com/strikeoffensive
THANKS TO: DG_Photo TiiWiGi Visual Creations Lauren Riddy Smiley Dave Simon Brown Steve Gifford All performing bands (especially those featured in this issue), without you this magazine wouldn't exist!
CONTACT DETAILS Gig Listings: Listings@bse-live.co.uk (Listings for February issue to be in by Jan 20th please) Advertising: Advertising@bse-live.co.uk Contributors: Contribute@bse-live.co.uk General Enquiries: Enquiries@bse-live.co.uk Telephone: 07512 602952 WEBZINE: www.bse-live.co.uk MYSPACE: www.myspace.com/bermudasquareeffect
ADVERTISING Our advertising packages are being revised. That doesn't sound too exciting, but our new offers in 2010 are aimed at spreading the musical love around the area. Keep your eyes peeled during January 2010, as our new advertising packages are launched. Our aim has always been to support bands, venues and services, so our new items are designed to do just that. Plus maybe a bit more. For further information please get in touch using the details above.
Local Newbury-based legend, Dave Browne, known to many from his regular sessions at The Snooty Fox Open Mic night on a Monday evening in Newbury, has an infectious cheerful attitude, runs just ahead of the wrecking ball as most of his previous abodes are now in rubble, pens his own comedy songs, and has even been considered insane for being too cheerful in his schooldays. So, who is Smiley Dave? I’ve got these two personas of Dave and Smiley Dave. Dave is a lot like Smiley Dave he’s just grumpier in the morning. I always want to see people smiling and see people laughing. If I think of something funny it’s got to come out. It’s dangerous, especially when I’ve got a microphone. Where does your relentless enthusiasm for entertaining come from? That comes from my dad who is the funniest guy in the world. People would invite him to parties just because they couldn’t afford entertainers so they got him and he’d come down and just brighten up the room. Absolutely brilliant. What got you into music? I always used to love singing and got told I was an alright singer from a young age. We used to listen to the radio on the way to school, and I’d be singing along with my mom. I actually used to do my own radio programme. I used to call it DBFM, I used to sell it to these kids at school for three quid I used to do a monthly edition and they used to buy it, no problem. It’s an artform as well, recording something off the radio and making sure you stop it just before someone starts going ‘and that was’, you get a sixth sense for it. So that got me into popular music, but with the rock side of things it was Waterside in Newbury. So the local scene helped get you into music? I used to get really involved with doing Waterside when I was about 11 or 12. I used to go to the Corn Exchange and saw Hundred Reasons the first time they went round on the Kerrang tour. Waterside used to do a music night each week, but it started costing too much, so they cut it down to one every two weeks, and I thought well that’s just not enough. If people miss it one week they don’t know what’s coming, it needs to be consistent. So I thought right, I’ll do my own rock night, I know enough about it. So I started one at Northcroft. Waterside would do one night, and I’d do one the following week. It was really successful and that progressed to me getting my face out there with the music on Newbury side compering the gigs.
So how did the Northcroft thing pan out? We got really popular. It was amazing, I was up there with Keith Chegwin for Newbury, and I loved it. I had a business partner because I wasn’t old enough to have my own business. What I didn’t know is that he came along with a gambling habit. We’d have loads of people in, and a lot of money went missing. It eventually got big enough to be able to branch out, we had done Newbury every single Saturday and I wanted to do more than that. So I got hold of The Roebuck in Tilehurst, Reading, so I rang them up and I said “I’d like to put on these four dates in July and August”, and I said to my business partner, “We’re used to doing Newbury , you look after Newbury and I’ll take on the new baby, I’ll hype it up, I’ll do all the promotion for it, and you carry on doing what we do normally and then go from there”. So it came to it, it came to the day and I got a phone call on that night at 7 o’clock saying ‘Dave I need a little help’, ‘Are you short of bands?’ ‘Yeh’, ‘Don’t worry I’ve got one in the waiting called the Junglists who were a ska/ punk band, they were always there if a band didn’t turn up.’ ‘Have you got a couple more?’ ‘What??’ The guy hadn’t sorted bands, or security. There’s only three things for a band night, security, bands and a PA, and he forgot two of them. So I called it a day then. It killed my love for doing big gigs. I did the one’s in Reading, they were really successful. I went out on a high, 18 and retiring! Then I went to Tenerife for two and a half years! Tenerife is quite a departure from Newbury. What was the motivation to go? I went out on my own, just to get people to know me for me. I think it made me a stronger character. Actually when I went out there I couldn’t get a job at all. Even though the advert would say PR’s wanted, they just called me a Hanson reject after being thrown up by a Hawaiian shirt. I have appauling taste with clothes, I have someone help me now, I can’t trust myself. I went out there with 300 quid and a hotel for five days that’s all. I didn’t get anywhere. One night I pulled this girl at a night club, and she said ‘you’ll be able to pull girls a lot better if you had an Australian accent’. So I tried it for a couple of nights and it worked a treat. And I thought if it works on the club scene, let’s see if it works for a job. I went to this bar in Tenerife and said ‘Y’alright mate, ya got any jobs goin’?’ And the fella says ‘yeh yeh, where ya from?’ ‘Down in Oz mate’. And I got the job. And for four months only five people on the island knew I wasn’t Australian. I got the nickname Ozzy Dave, it was the four people I lived with, and their manager. I got found out. Looking back it’s insane, but it is one of my favourite stories to tell. What made you come back from Tenerife? The reason I came back is just that I got to the highest point where I could. I had a great fan-base out there. I was working the only indie rock bar. It was incredible, you’d have
people coming down from all over to see us. I used to dance up and down the bar, play drinking games with them. I had the most amazing time. I’d been a DJ at this bar, and I thought I like this. People would come back and remember me, and I’d look as if I remembered them. I wanted to do that back at home, maybe get into presenting. I’d already been compering gigs, and interacting with people. What do you think to the local music scene? I used to be a huge believer in the local scene and I don’t so much any more because Newbury has been left to its own devices too long and people aren’t used to paying to see gigs now. Because they go to their pubs and see bands doing covers, and other bands doing covers of songs, and the same band doing the same songs in a different order. There are so many of them. The reason I did Northcroft is because they were doing Waterside every other week and I couldn’t understand it at all, it was just as popular, just as many people coming down. The council weren’t bringing any money into it. One lady was working there, she was brilliant and she was so good with bands she let people get up there and do what they want, never had any problems and then there was a change of management and the money started going down. A new guy came in, he was a nice guy but a bit old school and he just let it go, like I say it started going to every other week and then stopped it. Then The Corn Exchange stopped doing Salvage nights and then they were only doing Battle of the Bands, and then they didn’t do Battle of the Bands. I thought what the hell is going on? This town was rife with talent. There were band t-shirts everywhere in the streets. I was really proud of Newbury at that time. There’s no place that young bands can really play now. Northcroft and Waterside really gave a place for youngsters to play. But everyone just gave up. There’s nowhere, it’s such a shame. We hear you went to a Talent contest recently? I went to a Britains Got Talent audition recently just to see what would happen, and to get some material as well. There are so many people there that were just playing off the camera, they just wanted to be on the tv. And I thought I can’t do that. I’ll go there and play guitar. They were just following camera men around. It was sickening, and it’s not something I want to do. Also, it’s too easy. I’ve been working so hard there’s no point going for something like that just because I might be worried my biological clock is ticking. I think it was a wake up call really.
So, what does the future hold for you? I’m looking at things like radio, to get my voice out there, also writing scripts for comedies. Just trying different things. I’d love to be a music presenter. After the Tsunami hit in 2003, a month later I put on a gig in Viccy Park. It was 14 bands from 12 till 7. And we nearly did it. We got to the 13th band and the electricity went, literally dead on 7, and that was it for us. We’re doing one in May 2010 for Help for Heroes. My old man is doing something at the Liberty Ballroom, so I thought I’d do something. I’ve got a lot of sponsorship from local businesses who are supplying food, lorries instead of using the bandstand as it gives better acoustics. Definitely looking forward to doing that. www.SmileyDave.com is coming soon too. Catch up with Smiley Dave at The Snooty Fox in Newbury on Monday evenings, from around 9pm.
Words: The Juke / Smiley Dave
MUSICAL ERGONOMICS Your body is a marvellous invention. It’s capable of moving around in quite an amazing way, and the dexterity of certain parts allows intricate things to be done. Take your fingers. One moment they can be thumbing through the pages of a music book, next they are grasping your guitar, next they are pushing against metal strings to form that chord you’ve been trying to master for so long. But not only guitarists have fingers, indeed nearly every musician has fingers, along with the other bits and pieces that make up your body. However, although it may look pretty tough, your bodily structure needs looking after, and so at Bermuda Square Effect™ we have chosen to share some information on your posture and how it can affect your musical abilities. So what does good ergonomics give you? For vocalists, how you stand, or sit, breathe, position your head and mouth will affect the vocal tone. This is because how you hold yourself will alter how your chest can be filled and controlled. For physical instruments, achieving the correct posture will give the most efficient way of playing. The best way will lead to the least amount of tension in your hands, and body, and also helps in preventing injuries. What should you consider? Firstly, if you play and you experience pain bring this to the attention of your music teacher, or seek professional advice. A niggling pain can develop into something which may at the least be annoying and at worst bring a halt to your musical experience. The basis of good posture is putting your body in a position that is in keeping with the way your anatomy allows. Good posture keeps the body aligned and allows your body mechanics to function properly while you’re playing. What do you need to watch out for? Stringed instrument players are more prone to injuries relating to the shoulders, neck and back, which can be affected by the height, weight and playing position of the instrument. Muscle stiffness, pain in the fingers, hand, wrist, neck, jaw and shoulders can be common. Wind instrument players are susceptible to ear, nose, throat, mouth, shoulder, neck and arm injuries. Some specific injuries can result from excess pressure induced to your breathing / vocal system. Percussionists can succumb to shoulder, neck, back, hand, arm and finger pain. Most common injuries are carpal tunnel syndrome and tendinitis. What injuries can be caused? Bursitis – is the inflammation, or potentially irritation, of tendons, skin or muscles. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – a tingling sensation, or numbness, of the thumb, index and middle finger. Cubital Tunnel Syndrome – is pain in the upper extremity, such as the arm, elbow and hand. Quervain’s Tenosynovitis – is pain on the inside of the wrist and forearm
Tendinitis – inflammation, or irritation, of tendons, due to overuse or incorrect posture. Thoracic Outlet Syndrome – is either neurological (xxxxx), or vascular (xxx), and is pain, puffiness or swelling in the hands and arms, neck and shoulder pains, muscle weakness, difficulty gripping objects, muscle cramps and tingling or numbness in the neck and shoulders. Where should you start? Stretching before and after playing will really help. Keeping your body supple will make it less prone to injury. Flexibility will also help you move your body in new ways if you are learning new techniques. Warm up properly. This will give your body time to adjust to the movements that you will expect it to carry out. Take adequate breaks from playing. Be careful not to overdo it. Maintain a healthy body weight. This will help relieve extra stress placed upon your body while you are playing. Evaluate your technique. There could be a better way to play. Make sure that other activities that you are involved with are not putting extra strain on your body. Due to the wide variety of musical instruments available it’s difficult to suggest specific advice for everyone in a relatively small magazine slot. However, there are a wide variety of suitable exercise regimes available on the internet specifically designed for musicians. However, don’t overlook the advice of local music teachers and those with experience of playing.
Words: The Juke + Reliable sources!
FROM GARAGE TO GRANDURE #2 - THE BAND In our first instalment of our series, we got your musical brain tuned into realising that something can be done with that nagging in your noggin wondering whether you can start a band. Where do you go from there? One moment you think you can start a band, next minute you’re selling out massive stadium tours and approving your likeness on a foot-tall replica for sale in mail order magazines. There are a few things before this happens. Firstly you need to assemble a group of individuals who will help you make musical magic. This is the band. The band, a group of individuals united by the ability to play something together, should be a strong unit. The group size and make-up will vary depending on the type of music you want to play. Punk bands tend to have three members; drums, bass and regular guitar, with vocals done by the players. Traditional rock bands tend to have four members, with drums, bass guitar, rhythm guitar and lead guitar. A guitarist can adopt vocals too, but sometimes a standalone vocalist can be used. Having a dedicated frontman can have its benefits and drawbacks. If you’ve got a guy (or girl) up front, and all they do is sing, then they need to have a good character, as people may not be interested if they just stand still and sing. As time goes on, and your style develops, the people in your band may change, but first you’ve got to find them. There are many ways of finding band mates. - Same Street. Stick your head out of your window and listen to your street. Do you hear someone shouting ‘turn that guitar down’, or ‘shut up with those drums’? They might be just the person you’re after. - Same Place. Don’t overlook your school, workplace, college, pub or local shop. You’d be surprised at how many musicians are out and about but don’t advertise it. Get to know your local people. - Advert. Depending on your proficiency with technology you may prefer a paper advert in a local music shop, or an online message asking for musical colleagues. Be sensible about the personal information you put on adverts too. - Word of Mouth. Spread the word that you’re on the search for a band. Lots of people come out of the woodwork when the phrase ‘I’m looking for a band’ is said. With any method of putting yourself out there, it’s important that people know what you’re after. If you play folk guitar, you’re probably not after a thrash metal drummer and a jazz bass guitarist. Be honest, open and to the point. Musicians like music not waffle. Once you’ve had someone come back to you saying that they’re interested it’s worth having a meet up before you get stuck into the music. As with any ‘meeting anyone knew’ situation, meet in a public place, ideally with a responsible adult if you’re young or shy. Get
to know a bit about the person, are they easy to get on with, are they into similar music, can they drive? If you’re new to music, you might not know what sort of stuff you want to play, but any ideas about where you want to go musically will help the other person understand your idea. Chat about the type of music you listen to, work out if you have any common influences, or dislikes. Being in a band is like being in any other relationship, so it’s important that you can stand the sight of each other for most of the time. This month’s interviewee Smiley Dave says “Liking the same type of music does help, and having a similar direction that you want to go in.” From the first meeting you’ll be able to arrange a musical get together, or not, depending how it goes. The space available to you will influence the place for you to play first. It may be a quick jamming session in your front room, or garage, or something a bit more formal at a rehearsal studio. See how well you play together with your new potential band mates, see how easy it is to get on with them and if you enjoy it. Smiley Dave says “The main point of being in a band, especially when you’re younger, shouldn’t be about the money it should be about being with people that you enjoy being with and playing some music together. It could be awful.” Once you get word out, you’ll soon have a group of individuals gathered, ready for a musical onslaught. However, patience my friends. Even the pro’s need to practice and knowing how and where to rehearse can really sharpen your game. Join us next month for tips and tricks in the rehearsal room.
Words: The Juke / Smiley Dave
AUDIO REVIEW Artist: Steve Gifford Media: CD Album Title: Boy On A Beach Tracks: 14 Running Time: ~59 minutes A full-size plastic jewel case, complete with inserts featuring tasteful artwork inspired by the title of the album, and full fold-out lyrics, encase Steve Gifford’s album. This disc is the precursor to Steve’s latest album, Ungodly Hour, reviewed later in the magazine. Featuring a very laid-back, intricate guitar backbone, the album captures a sentimental vibe without the sickly sweet lack of sincerity that some albums in this genre can adopt. The lyrical style conjures an image of an experienced gent, comfortably sat on a boulder at the edge of the shore with his guitar, passing on his knowledge, feelings and advice to those who will listen. The album is no solo guitar affair, as there are a group of musicians lending their support to the musical cause, whom are credited on the back of the album cover. The album has been mastered to a fine standard, as the balance of the various contributing musical pieces is as fine as any professional shop-standard compact disc. The highlights of the album for me were: - Boy On A Beach – (track 5) - Title tracks tend to be notable for each album and this one is no different. The pace of the track is gentle, and the observational lyrics are multi-layered which adds a real depth to a relatively simple track. The track blends the sound of gentle waves to the music, which brings a strong sense of imagery to the tune. - No More Running – (track 8) – A gentle, but very emotionally-charged track. Passing on the empathy of making a relationship work is a challenging task, especially doing so without making the listener reach for the sick bucket. Steve showcases his skill of encapsulating his observational lyrical style with a really personal subject matter in a way that draws you in, rather than turns you off. - Alcatraz – (track 11) – Steve and the band manage to capture a real power in this tune. Right from the initial riff, the track possesses a real drive and soul. There are some wonderful details used in a subtle manner to keep the listener engaged with the tune. The album hangs together very well and manages to convert everyday occurrences into very respectful songs. The vocal style is very real, no fancy warbling or overprocessing, just good, honest singing. That in itself makes it something of a rarity in these digital-tweaking times. Words: The Juke
AUDIO REVIEW Artist: Steve Gifford Media: CD Album Title: Ungodly Hour Tracks: 13 Running Time: ~55 minutes Abstract artwork features on this full-size CD album, including lyric booklet and professionally printed disc. Due for release in February 2010, this is the follow-up album to 2007’s Boy On A Beach. The whole musical style of Steve, and accompanying musicians, has changed from laidback sentiment to a more driving and groove-ridden feeling. The variety in the tracks is much wider now, yet the fine observational lyrical style and guitar intricacy is still there. Steve has brought on his lyrics, and packed the music with a brimming amount of energy to give a bit more punch to his tunes. The highlights of the album for me were: - Knolls Wood – (track 2) – A song capturing the essence of making the most of the present, wrapped up in the lyric ‘love don’t waste your time’. The song varies in tempo, rhythm and volume, and packs a really strong message into a very credible song. - Call Of Duty – (track 4) – Opening with a reggae-esque bassline could be a risky move, but it really works in this album, and for this tune. The song develops into a more rock ballad style which endows the track with real power and the addition of a backing choir only raises this power to a new higher level. - In My Car – (track 9) – Really simple lyrics, skilfully applied to an energetic track. The rhythm section really hold their own and show their diversity to great effect, sweeping you along through the duration of the track. Steve (and band) has created a strong and varied album. The musical style is more varied, including acoustic, reggae, country, blues and rock’n’roll. Compared to his previous album, Boy On A Beach, the tracks possess a stronger sound, owed to the fine rhythm accompaniments and use of electric guitar, but retain the downto-earth lyrics and ‘real, honest’ singing voice. The style is still sufficiently in keeping with Steve’s previous album, so would not sit awkwardly when played back-to-back, something you may well find yourself doing! For more information see www.stevegifford.co.uk, and www.myspace.com/stevegiffordmusic Words: The Juke
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NEWS FUTURE MAYBE BRIGHTER FOR SMALL VENUE PERFORMANCES Plans announced at the end of December 2009 could spell a change for small venue laws. Live music for 100 people, or fewer, would no longer need a licence in the Government proposal, by licensing Minister Gerry Sutcliffe. With this new proposal it should help smaller venues provide a performance space for musicians, thus bolstering the local music scene throughout the UK. With current law, any person looking to host a live gig would require a club premises certificate, a premises licence or a temporary event notice. The main criteria, of the licence proposal, is that the event must take place between 8am and 11pm. TICKETS FOR SALE BUT NOT ARRIVING Leading on from an investigation, theonlineticketshop.com and theonlineticketexchange. com have been withdrawn from business, following fears that many music fans may have been dealing with companies who have a less than reputable business methods. The companies have been taking cash from customers, but not providing tickets. CHARITY MUSIC LICENSE CHANGES Charities are now set for the onslaught of music licensing rules, as the exemption for them holding events with recorded music could be abolished. The Intellectual Property Office shall enforce the changes with could come into force in April 2010. The National Council for Voluntary Organisations has setup a ‘Don’t Stop the Music’ campaign to highlight the problems that this change in legislation could cause. SHOP AROUND ON THE WEB A recent study has shown, unsurprisingly, that purchasing your music online from the same store can lead to you paying over the odds for your tunes. An identical mp3 download track was 29p on Amazon, while it was 99p on iTunes. Some stores offer a few tracks at lower prices to build a reputation with you, only to load a little more on the price with other products. So, remember to shop around online for the best deals.