Page 1


Abstract

An important issue cities in the UK are facing is the growing trend of commercial and private developments endangering and eliminating the cultural identity of the area. This problem has been discussed at length by Anna Minton in her book ‘Ground Control: Fear and Happiness in the Twenty First Century City’ and that it is an issue which has gone under the radar and one that I believe has not been discussed or challenged enough. The creation of generic and sterile built environments with a limited palette of cultural and community activities such as footfall, finance and security, has the potential of diminishing what was once special about the local area. Personally, this issue has hit quite close to home to a town known as Kingston upon Thames where new development plans known as the Eden Quarter Development and the Riverside Developments are posing a threat to live music venues and the music scene in general. Music is one of the most influential things humans have ever created in defining our cultural identity. From time immemorial it has expressed the things we want to say but have left unspoken. If anything, it is a form of self-expression unlike any other. Music can bring communities together in a way no other medium can. It has formed an integral part of who we are, our social lives and lasting memories. This thesis is to inform the design of a new music school and venue based in Kingston. It will explore the current issues the town is facing in regards to the potential decline of the music scene by the council’s planned developments. This document will investigate examples of the best practices in music education through examining governmental music schemes and case studies of two music schools based in the UK in order to provide an insight into the elements that make a good music school. The research will provide a platform for a potential solution to maintaining, embracing and promoting Kingston’s musical heritage.

A


Acknowledgements I wish to thank my TRD tutor Mr D Jarman for supporting me in writing this paper with advice, encouragement and enthusiasm towards the topic regarding the realm of music and music education. I also want to thank Mr J Tolley for taking part in an interview and for providing valuable insight into the current developments in Kingston and its effects on the music scene.

B | Thesis Research Document


List of Illustrat ions Figure 1 – Cheng. H (2016) London venue data available at: https://www.london.gov.uk/sites/default/ files/londons_grassroots_music_venues_-_rescue_plan_-_october_2015.pdf Figure 2 – Kingston Venue History Diagram - Cheng.H (2016) Figure 3 – All Saints Church. http://www.allsaintskingston.co.uk/core/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/ welcomeBanner_08.jpg Figure 4 – Cheng. H. (2016) Figure 5 - https://scontent-lhr3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpl1/t31.08/12028891_10156081449765323_7249045910425968115_o.jpg Figure 6 - https://scontent-lhr3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xft1/t31.08/11879081_10156081448735323_5040757154789981192_o.jpg Figure 7 - https://scontent-lhr3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xft1/t31.08/12002394_10156081450220323_3306736609779564872_o.jpg Figure 8 - http://www.banquetrecords.com/item.jpg?GA170915&greyed Figure 9 - http://www.jeromemarcusmusic.com/files/2009/05/greyhorsemay09-11.jpg Figure 10 – Cheng. H. (2016) Figure 11 - http://www.yourlocalguardian.co.uk/resources/images/4244045. jpg?display=1&htype=0&type=mc3 Figure 12 - https://i.ytimg.com/vi/nH1-7gMX9yA/maxresdefault.jpg Figure 13 http://photos.cinematreasures.org/production/photos/76781/1374168804/large.JPG?1374168804 Figure 14 – Cheng. H. (2016) Figure 15 - http://www.arthurlloyd.co.uk/Kingston/RegalStreetView.jpg Figure 16 - https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3934/15620926436_2d3d7997fc_b.jpg Figure 17 – Cheng. H. (2016) Figure 18 - http://www.theatrestrust.org.uk/store/ttdb/cou0001/lowres/011054_small.jpg?1428624149 Figure 19 - http://photos.cinematreasures.org/production/photos/49146/1342260460/large. jpg?1342260460 Figure 20 - https://c1.staticflickr.com/7/6128/6197391674_8d8d23f8e4_b.jpg Figure 21 – Cheng. H. (2016) Figure 22 - http://tinyurl.com/zph6ah8 Figure 23 – Cheng. H. (2016) Figure 24 - https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fa/The_Rose_Theatre,_Kingston,_ London.jpg Figure 25 - https://scontent-lhr3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xtp1/t31.08/11951532_10156049173650323_1985716102373597163_o.jpg Figure 26 - http://tinyurl.com/jjvr22y Figure 27 – Cheng. H. (2016) Figure 28 - http://s0.geograph.org.uk/geophotos/03/65/68/3656897_a3361291.jpg Figure 29 – https://scontent-lhr3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn2/t31.08/172829_10150412416230323_3723730_o.jpg Figure 30 - http://www.banquetrecords.com/item.jpg?BARNETTERS

C


Figure 31 – Cheng. H. (2016) Figure 32 - https://c1.staticflickr.com/3/2428/5745752487_8d91f1daf5_b.jpg Figure 33 – http://www.rocksound.tv/images/made/assets/uploads/68bengibson15_970_645_s_c1.jpg Figure 34 - http://www.banquetrecords.com/item.jpg?SH160115&greyed Figure 35 – Cheng. H. (2016) Figure 36 - http://www.yourlocalguardian.co.uk/resources/images/1897664/ Figure 37 – http://www.thisisourtownkingston.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/IMG_0131.jpg Figure 38 - https://scontent-lhr3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xlf1/v/t1.09/576817_648696611812010_1137581006_n.jpg?oh=6948ab5b287615b3f9f198f818753fbb&oe=5712B 76D Figure 39 – Cheng. H. (2016) Figure 40 - https://scontent-lhr3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xfa1/t31.08/470964_522465774435095_2125880422_o.jpg Figure 41 – https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CNpj4gsWoAABbe2.jpg Figure 42 – Cheng. H. (2016) Figure 43 – https://scontent-lhr3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xft1/t31.08/11230990_10156049679445323_7632729623450014786_o.jpg Figure 44 – https://scontent-lhr3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xaf1/t31.08/12015058_10156049679295323_5615400776921314188_o.jpg Figure 45 – http://tinyurl.com/gvc2m7b Figure 46 – Cheng. H. (2016) Figure 47 – http://7c427fa958a190ba89d7-e151928c3d69a5a4a2d07a8bf3efa90a.r74.cf2.rackcdn. com/373119-7.jpg Figure 48 - http://cdn.c.photoshelter.com/img-get2/I0000phsXusAevis/fit=1000x750/Baby-Godzilla.jpg Figure 49 – https://scontent-lhr3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/t31.08/1557219_10153763373870323_145871111_o.jpg Figure 50 – http://tinyurl.com/j3wlg46 Figure 51 – Cheng. H. (2016) Figure 52 – http://www.yourlocalguardian.co.uk/resources/images/3698175. jpg?display=1&htype=0&type=mc3 Figure 53 - https://scontent-lhr3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xaf1/t31.08/1617132_10155378657000323_3882042545815693051_o.jpg Figure 54 – http://tinyurl.com/z9e8obh Figure 55 – Cheng. H. (2016) Figure 56 - http://www.yourlocalguardian.co.uk/resources/images/4061592/ Figure 57 – https://c2.staticflickr.com/2/1106/1460936940_b9f12db3ff_z.jpg?zz=1 Figure 58 - http://cdn2.thelineofbestfit.com/media/2013/01/banquet-records.jpg Figure 59 – https://scontent-lhr3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xft1/t31.08/11947768_10156049697170323_443132493296978036_o.jpg Figure 60 – Eden Quarter Site Plan | Available at: http://www.kingston.gov.uk/downloads/file/1248/eden_ quarter_development_brief_spd_march_2015 Figure 61 – Eden Walk | Available at: http://www.kingston.gov.uk/downloads/file/1248/eden_quarter_ development_brief_spd_march_2015

D | Thesis Research Document


Figure 62 – Surrey House | http://www.cattaneo-commercial.co.uk/Images/Properties/701/Main/ P1000469.JPG Figure 63 – Hippodrome blank façade | Google Street View Figure 64 – Surrey House Proposed Visual| Available at: http://www.kingston.gov.uk/downloads/ file/1248/eden_quarter_development_brief_spd_march_2015 Figure 65 - Surrey House Site Plan| Available at: http://www.kingston.gov.uk/downloads/file/1248/eden_ quarter_development_brief_spd_march_2015 Figure 66 – Riverside Development Phase 2 | http://www.bdonline.co.uk/Pictures/web/b/m/j/Kingstoncmy_660.jpg Figure 67 – Tertiary Music Schools and Specialist (M&D) Schools in UK. Cheng. H (2016) Figure 68 – Kingston’s Music Education Hub Locations. Cheng. H (2016) Figure 69 – http://www.troubadourlondon.com/websites/ctbnl/photogallery/5332923/the%20restaurant. jpg Figure 70 - http://thelondonthing.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Girls-Night-6-940x705.jpg?2de3bb Figure 71 – Cheng. H (2016) Original plan from http://epicpublic.planningni.gov.uk/publicaccess/ Figure 72 - http://www.limelightbelfast.com/images/ll1.jpg Figure 73 – http://www.limelightbelfast.com/images/kaysbarshot.jpg Figure 74 - http://www.limelightbelfast.com/images/ll2.jpg Figure 75 – Cheng. H (2016) Original plan from Kingston Council Planning Application Search Figure 76 - Cheng. H (2016) Original plan from Kingston Council Planning Application Search Figure 77 – Cheng. H (2016) Original plan from Kingston Council Planning Application Search Figure 78 - Cheng. H (2016) Original plan from Nottingham City Council Planning Application Search Figure 79 – http://themicmagazine.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/maccabees-642x336.jpg Figure 80 - Cheng. H (2016) Original plan from Nottingham City Council Planning Application Search Figure 81 – http://westbridgfordwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Rock-City-main-stage.jpg Figure 82 – Site Location Plan. Cheng. H (2016) Figure 83 – Author’s photo of Banquet Records ‘New Slang’ Flyer Figure 84 - Author’s photo of Banquet Records ‘New Noise’ Flyer Figure 85 – Practical Initiatives Diagram | http://royalphilharmonicsociety.org.uk/images/uploads/ MUSICAL_ROUTES_report_-_Sarah_Derbyshire,_Royal_Philharmonic_Society.pdf Figure 86 – Six Building Blocks for Musical Progression | http://royalphilharmonicsociety.org.uk/images/ uploads/MUSICAL_ROUTES_report_-_Sarah_Derbyshire,_Royal_Philharmonic_Society.pdf Figure 87 – http://a5.mzstatic.com/eu/r30/Purple7/v4/7a/8e/a8/7a8ea862-9311-17c3-e7c2ac08180f27ec/screen322x572.jpeg Figure 88 - http://i.usatoday.net/communitymanager/_photos/technology-live/2010/12/28/tapx-large.jpg Figure 89 – http://static.giantbomb.com/uploads/original/0/26/2742574-7239_0230_ghlive+bandmates. jpg Figure 90 – http://www.blogcdn.com/www.joystiq.com/media/2011/06/rocksmith4.jpg Figure 91 – http://assets.noisey.com/content-images/contentimage/37088/meludia-large.jpg Table 1 - Courses

E


SET LIST Abstract Acknowledgements List of Illustrations 1 1.1

Introduction Background

1 1

2 2.1 2.2

Importance of Music and Culture Importance of Music Education History of Secondary Education in the UK

2 2 3

3 3.1 3.2

What Makes a Good Music School? Specialist Schools Academy of Contemporary Music

5 5 7

4 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4

Venue Closure A National and Regional Issue A Local Issue - Kingston Banquet Records Kingston Carnival

9 9 13 41 42

5. 5.1 5.2 5.3

What’s Happening in Kingston Now? Venue Closure The Eden Quarter Development Kington Riverside Developments

43 43 44 48

6 6.1

Creating Safe & Culturally Rich Cities A New Live Music Venue

49 50

7 7.1

Site The Hippodrome, Surrey House & BoConcept

59 59

8 8.1 8.2 8.3

Academy of Alternative Rock Kingston’s Music School and Venue Curriculum & Teaching Methods Facilities

61 61 63 69

F | Thesis Research Document


1 Introduction 1.1-Background ‘Day the music died’ 1 This thesis was born from my passion for music, attending gigs and aspects of my fifth year dissertation ‘Day the music died’ about the state of public spaces in London in the twenty-first century. The first concert I’ve been to was to see a pop punk band called ‘All Time Low’ back in 2010 where they played an acoustic set to promote This thesis was born from my passion for music, attending gigs and aspects of my fifth year dissertation about their MTV Unplugged EP at The Hippodrome in Kingston. It was after this first show that I found my love the state of public spaces in London in the twenty-first century. The first concert I’ve been to was to see a for seeing bands perform live. The following year was the first time I saw my favourite band, ‘Mayday pop punk band called ‘All Time Low’ back in 2010 where they played an acoustic set to promote their MTV Parade’, perform at Kingston’s Sir Robert Peel Pub. Unplugged EP at The Hippodrome in Kingston. It was after this first show that I found my love for seeing bands perform live. The following year was the first time I saw my favourite band, ‘Mayday Parade’, perform at The intimate live show experience at the pub instantly became one of my favourite venues which is Kingston’s Sir Robert Peel Pub. why upon discovering the news that The Peel would be closed down and demolished to make way for affordable housing, I knew a part of what made Kingston special was lost. The loss of a venue is also a The intimate live show experience at the pub instantly became one of my favourite venues which is why upon huge loss to the gig going community who have attended shows there in the past. discovering the news that The Peel would be closed down and demolished to make way for affordable housing, I knew a part of what made Kingston special was lost. The loss of a venue is also a huge loss to the gig going My dissertation argued the current status of London’s public spaces supported with a literature review community who have attended shows there in the past. of Anna Minton’s ‘Ground Control…’ and Richard Sennett’s ‘The Fall of Public Man’. Minton pointed out that the way Spitalfields Market was under threat of being demolished to make way for Foster +Partners’ My dissertation argued the current status of London’s public spaces supported with a literature review of Anna new commercial development highlights an act of tearing away an area of existing sense of culture Minton’s ‘Ground Control…’ and Richard Sennett’s ‘The Fall of Public Man’. Minton pointed out that the way and history. In essence, this act of replacing Spitalfields Market with ‘soulless office development, a Spitalfields Market was under threat of being demolished to make way for Foster +Partners’ new commercial windswept corporate plaza and chain stores’2 completely neglects the rich character of the existing site development highlights an act of tearing away an area of existing sense of culture and history. In essence, this by losing its identity. Sennett described public spaces of the 18th and 19th Century were based around act of replacing Spitalfields Market with ‘soulless office development, a windswept corporate plaza and chain ideas of the ‘theatrum mundi’ and ‘man as actor’ where essentially, the world was a stage and people stores’ completely neglects the rich character of the existing site by losing its identity. Sennett described public played out and ‘performed’ their lives in public much more expressively than present day.3 This notion of spaces of the 18th and 19th Century were based around ideas of the ‘theatrum mundi’ and ‘man as actor’ freedom is greatly contrasted with the spaces we get in London from privatisation and it’s obsession with where essentially, the world was a stage and people played out and ‘performed’ their lives in public much more ‘clean and safe’ environments or as Minton describes them as ‘malls without walls’. expressively than present day. This notion of freedom is greatly contrasted with the spaces we get in London from privatisation and it’s obsession with ‘clean and safe’ environments or as Minton describes them as ‘malls This provides a starting point for my research into the planned developments that may be more focused without walls’. on financial sustainability than public and social sustainability of Kingston’s music scene through venue closure. This document will explore why music and culture is so important. I’ll research into the attempts This provides a starting point for my research into the planned developments that may be more focused on the UK government have carried out to promote music in education, including the National Music financial sustainability than public and social sustainability of Kingston’s music scene through venue closure. Plan and Specialist Schools Scheme, to get an idea on what new kind of scheme I could propose. An This document will explore why music and culture is so important. I’ll research into the attempts the UK analysis into specialist school Chetham’s School of Music and the Academy of Contemporary Music will government have carried out to promote music in education, including the National Music Plan and Specialist explore the best educational practices. I’ll bring matters into context by addressing how venue closure is Schools Scheme, to get an idea on what new kind of scheme I could propose. An analysis into specialist affecting music culture at a National, Regional and Local scale. An investigation into the Eden Quarter school Chetham’s School of Music and the Academy of Contemporary Music will explore the best educational Development will be carried out through research and an interview with Kingston’s Lib Dem Councillor practices. I’ll bring matters into context by addressing how venue closure is affecting music culture at a National, Mr J Tolley where I further argue how these projects may pose a threat to the culture and identity of Regional and Local scale. An investigation into the Eden Quarter Development will be carried out through Kingston. This will offer a well-informed approach to the kind of school and venue I’ll be proposing in research and an interview with Kingston’s Lib Dem Councillor Mr J Tolley where I further argue how these Kingston to celebrate its music and culture and not allow the council’s developments be the death of it. projects may pose a threat to the culture and identity of Kingston. This will offer a well-informed approach to the kind of school and venue I’ll be proposing in Kingston to celebrate its music and culture and not allow the 1 “Day the Music Died: Kingston’s Famous Gig Venue The Peel to Close.” Surrey Comet. [Online] Available From: http://www. council’s developments be the death of it. surreycomet.co.uk/news/11115335.Day_the_music_died__Kingston_s_famous_gig_venue_The_Peel_to_close/. (Accessed December 15, 2015.) 2 Minton, Anna. Ground Control: Fear and Happiness in the Twenty-First-Century City. London: Penguin, 2012. 3 Sennett, Richard, The Fall of Public Man, Alfred A. Knopf, 1977, republished Penguin Books 2002.

1


2-Importance of MUsic and Culture 2.1 Importance of Music Education Music in Human Culture Music has always been an important aspect of human culture across the globe and also plays a key role in what makes us human. Composer Hans Zimmer describes how music has always existed, comparing how the Balinese Monkey Chant is much like the way people chant together in events such as football games. This idea of participation and organisation is the most basic form of music. He continues to describe how music is a platform for rediscovering ones humanity, claiming that when someone listens to Mozart with other people, there is a sense of togetherness.4 Rust Rueff, Chairman Emeritus of The GRAMMY Foundation, describes music being the language that enables people to express emotion when words don’t suffice.5 Music forms a quintessential platform for mankind to communicate emotions and is an art that brings communities together; be it a party, a funeral, sports event or a music festival. Music Education Music plays a significant role in education, particularly for a child’s development. Research documented by Professor Sue Hallam suggest there are academic and personal benefits for children who actively engage with music, these include: Perceptual, Language and Literacy skills, Numeracy, Intellectual Development, General Attainment and Creativity, Personal and Social Development, Physical Development and Health and well-being. For instance, E. Glenn Shellenberg, Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Toronto, for one year he assigned large random groups of children into four groups, two received music lessons and the remaining control groups received either drama lessons or no lessons. The results showed how even though all groups increased in IQ, those with music lessons gained 7 points while the control groups gained only 4.3.6

4 “The Role of Music in Human Culture” Thoughts Economic [Online] Available at: http://thoughteconomics.com/the-role-of-music-in-human-culture/ (Accessed 7, January 2016) 5 Ibid. Thoughts Economic. 6 Hallam, S. 2010. “The power of music: its impact on the intellectual, social and personal development of children and young people” [Online] Available at: http://www.mia.org.uk/assets/docs/general/the_power_of_music.pdf (Accessed 7, January 2016) 2 | Thesis Research Document


2.2 History of Secondary Education in the UK The UK government have expressed their interest in promoting participation in music through various strategies. The ‘Specialist Schools Programme’ (SSP) was initiated in 1993 during the reign of the Conservative Government which originally was to allow funding for schools to gain a ‘Technology College’ status, this developed over the years as the timeline below shows. 1993 – Conservative Government – Allowed funding for secondary schools to gain a ‘Technology College’ status. 1997 – Labour Party - Tony Blair introduced the idea for secondary schools to focus on excelling at certain subjects and also provided a platform for higher standards than the typical secondary comprehensive state school. 1994 – The first 50 technology colleges gained this status. The option for the ‘Language College’ title was added. 1996 - Options to specialise in Arts and Sports were announced. 1997 - Labour continued the SSP with the ‘community role’. 2001 – Green Paper proposed four new specialisms (Science, Mathematics and Computing, Business and Enterprise and Engineering) 2003 – Music, Humanities and Rural specialisms were proposed. 2005 - Government’s target for 2000 schools to gain a specialist status was reached 18 months early in February. 2008 - Number of specialist schools rose to 2700 in September. 2010 - When the Coalition came to power, the scheme for specialist schools was to be scrapped by April 2011 with the funding £325m redistributed to general school budgets – state secondary schools through the Dedicated School Grant.7 Though this clearly shows the UK government have actively been finding a way for schools to specialise in certain subjects, in this case music, it was not seen as fair by everyone as Mary Bousted, General Secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, said: “Giving specialist schools extra funding was never a fair way of funding schools, so we would be delighted if this funding is fairly divided between all schools.”8 The attempt to set a much higher standard of education in schools that took part in the SSP is a good aspiration to strive towards, although it may give the impression that these schools were superior to others which would then be a matter of equality amongst schools. The issue here is that a potential solution in maintaining the music culture of Kingston, is to provide a school that specialises and celebrates music without seeming ‘superior’ in a negative way but to be accessible to students regardless of background.

7 Paton, G. “Coalition to scrap specialist schools funding” The Telegraph [Online] Available at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/8073986/Coalition-to-scrap-specialist-schoolsfunding. html (Accessed 18 December, 2015) 8 Ibid. Paton, G. 2010 3


The National Plan For Musi c The National Plan for Music was set out under the 2010 -2015 Coalition Government, created by Education Secretary Michael Gove and Culture Minister Ed Vaizey, that aimed to give every child regardless of where they live and their financial status the opportunity to learn how to play a musical instrument. To do this, ‘Hubs’ were to be created to provide music education locally and improve the quality and consistency of teaching.

“All pupils should have the opportunity to enjoy and play music. However, for far too long, music education has been patchy across the country. Pupils from the poorest backgrounds have suffered most from this situation, creating a musical divide…The national plan for music will deliver a music education system that encourages everyone, whatever their background, to enjoy music and help those with real talent to flourish as brilliant musicians.”9 (Higgins. C 2011) Existing music services and suitably qualified organisations and venues can apply to become hubs and can cover one or more local authority; these applications are assessed by Arts Council England. School teachers will be provided support, individual tuition will be offered to children, opportunities to play in ensemble and the chance to be taught by locally based professional musicians. This plan appears to be a significant step in promoting music education and is clearly an important subject the UK government value and wish to encourage. However the plan would be carried out ‘on vastly reduced funding…£77.5m is allocated for music tuition by the Department for Education, via local authorities. The money will drop to £75m from April 2012, £63m the following year and down to £58m in 2014-15.’10 The implementation of ring-fenced funding is a positive aspect though it may not fulfil its potential with the reduced funding.

9 Higgins, C. 2011. “National music plan unveiled with an ensemble of cuts” The Guardian [Online] Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/culture/2011/nov/25/national-music-plan-unveiled-cuts (Accessed 18 December, 2015) 10 Ibid. Higgins, C. 2011. 4 | Thesis Research Document


3 What Makes a Good Music This section will analyse a couple reputable music schools to provide an insight into what the best practices are through its curriculum, ideologies and design in order to inform a proposed solution.

3.1-Specialist Schools Chetham’s School of Music Chetham’s School of Music is situated in the heart of Manchester with approximately 300 students making it the largest specialist music school in the UK, as well as being the only music school in the North of England. Manchester is also a city with a strong sense of musical heritage, being home to three renowned orchestras; the BBC Philharmonic, Manchester Camerata and Hallé Orchestra. It is also home to a long list of significantly influential bands such as ‘The Smiths’, ‘Oasis’ and ‘The Stone Roses’ and more recently ‘The 1975’. The school was originally based in a Grade 1 listed medieval building built in the 1420s, which contains a library, audit room, kitchen, offices and the Baronial Hall claimed to be one of the most well preserved 15th century halls. A new building designed by Stephenson ISA Studio was constructed just adjacent to the existing school and opened in 2012. The new music school comprises a 350-seat concert hall and a 100-seat recital hall along with practice rooms, teaching spaces and general academic facilities. Art, Drama and PE departments and playground remain in the existing building. Students taught are aged 8 – 18. Admission is through an audition where students are judged by their musical ability. Grades are not required with the exception for sixth form where a Grade 5 theory is needed. Chetham’s is also part of the Government’s ‘Music and Dance Scheme’ providing grants to students regardless of their parent’s financial background. Elements making this a successful music school is through its dedicated focus on music, teaching and engagement with the community. In essence, though the national curriculum makes up the rest of the school’s education; music and performance form the heart and soul of the school. Students are exposed to musical performance and participation as much as possible. Free lunchtime concerts occur most days of the week in ‘The Carole Nash Hall’ where students can perform to the public. Concert opportunities are made available to pupils to perform outside of school in music societies, community organisations and major venues and festivals across the UK and overseas. This includes venues such as the Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall and The Bridgewater Hall. Many of these have been broadcasted on BBC Radio and Classic FM. Students are given the chance to perform with ‘Chetham’s Symphony Orchestra’ which occurs three times a year in high profile venues. ‘The Community Music Programme’ allows students to visit residential care homes and special needs schools to provide workshops and performances to enrich the lives of those whose access to music is limited. This also helps students to become more aware of and show care for those who may be less fortunate. A community project called ‘The Spirit of Norway’ that celebrates Norwegian music, is a festival in which Chetham’s students rehearsed for three days with Trondheim Kulturskole in Norway and the Manx Youth Orchestra where they performed music by Norwegian composers; Greig, Halvorsen, Tveitt and Delius in a Gala concert on the Villa Marina in the Isle of Man. Pupils can benefit from the school’s links with national and international highly respected musicians which allow for professionals to get involved as instructors in masterclasses.

5


Though every student is required to learn one instrument, it is encouraged they learn a second. Students are required to spend at least three hours, not including practice time, each day on music with two individual lessons each week and an additional lesson for the secondary instrument. The rest of their academic curriculum takes up two-thirds of their week. Instrumental education is tailor made to suit each student ensuring they achieve a high standard in both music and general academic education. Chetham’s claims they provide ‘excellent academic programme and has an outstanding academic record with over 90% of students receiving A-C grades at GCSE and A-level.’11 Furthermore, based on the national data for years 2010-2012, the 2014 inspection report stated that results of pupils aged 11, at GCSE and A-Level have are ‘well above the national average for maintained schools’12 Overall, it appears that the method of teaching at Chetham’s is a progressive approach as they significantly promote and encourage students to participate in performance and engage with communities. In a way, it suggests that the ideology revolves around the theme of learning through live performance and experience. The design of the new purpose built school also plays a part in enhancing the students learning experience. The world-class concert hall located at the south east corner of the new school, to be completed in 2017, is a dedicated space for the students, visiting artists and ensembles. Particularly ‘for Chetham’s students it will offer them long-awaited and unrivalled resources and will enable the Chetham’s Symphony Orchestra to perform in front of an audience in their own home.’13 The new concert hall reinforces how important music and culture is to Manchester which reflects their respect for its musical heritage that will benefit not only the students, but visitors locally, nationally and abroad as well as professional musicians and music students from other schools.

11 Chetham’s School of Music. 2015. Chetham’s School of Music Prospectus. [Online] Available at: http://www.chethams.com/study/how-to-apply/prospectus (Accessed 22, December 2015) 12 Independent Schools Inspectorate. 2014. Integrated Inspection Chetham’s School of Music. [Online] Available at: http://www.chethams.com/images/stories/chethams/content/documents/inspection-reports/isi-report2014.pdf (Accessed 22, December 2015) 13 Chetham’s School of Music. 2015. Chetham’s Announces Plans For New World-Class Concert Hall [Online] Available at: http://www.chethams.com/images/stories/chethams/content/documents/press/pressreleases/ 2014/chethams-announces-plans-for-new-world-class-concert-hall.pdf (Accessed 22, December 2015) 6 | Thesis Research Document


c 3.0 Academy of Contemporary Musi In contrast to Chetham’s which focusses on Classical Music, it is important to understand the elements that make a good Contemporary Music school. The Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM) in Guildford, which has notable alumni such as Ed Sheeran and ‘Lawson’ members Joel Peat and Ryan Fletcher, is a higher educational institution that focuses heavily on the progressive notion of learning by doing. ‘Our learning by doing ethos helps simplify how the industry works and produces a clear view of career paths and options. This clear and practical approach accelerates learning. The detailed exposure to all aspects of the industry as it happens (live!) reveals options and destinations, which greatly assists our students in making clear choices and building the maps they need to guide them there.’14 (Academy of Contemporary Music) This pedagogical approach highlights how this school is concerned with believing that one of the best ways for students to get the most out of their musical education is to immerse them with what happens in the music industry today to truly learn how the business is run with the most up to date information. Progressive education has been a part of our studio research, an approach which focuses on experiential learning where pupils actively take part and are encouraged to think critically. ‘Kindergarten Unit 8’ in Spain for instance uses coloured windows to enhance a child’s perception and experience of the world. ‘St Bosco Arts College’ uses elements of observation, engagement, participation and performance as ways to accelerate learning. ACM’s progressive approach is also embedded in their curriculum where for instance, the BA(Hons) Music Industry Practice degree offers students a bespoke programme suiting their specific aspirations with 100 modules to choose from and 160,000 module combinations.15 This level of personalisation accentuates the development of each student as individuals who stand apart from each other. ACM highlights their encouragement of putting students in ‘real-world situations’ with opportunities including ‘gigs, internships, apprenticeships, auditions and any other situation that will have them recording or meeting other artists.’16 ACM provides students with ‘Industry Link’, a department devoted to assisting pupils in developing their skills and careers by directing them to the relevant contacts in the industry. Students are offered networking events, work placements, performance showcases and audition opportunities to gain handson approach to what it’s like working in the music business as early and as much as possible. The school clearly conveys their belief that one of the best methods of teaching music is through an experiential approach.

14 “Why Choose ACM? The Learning by doing ethos” ACM [Online] Available at: http://www.acm.ac.uk/whychooseacm (Accessed 22, December 2015) 15 Academy of Contemporary Music. 2015. Prospectus 2016/17 [Online] Available at: http://2k6rdi1ldku625c2mfpsfiwu.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/ACM-Prospectus2016-Final-Screen.pdf (Accessed 22, December 2015) 16 ACM, Academy of Contemporary Music. December 2015. Why Choose ACM | Ace [Video Online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LR2TO01REVU (Accessed 22, December 2015) 7


Features of the campus also play a role in influencing the way a student learns and develops. Being located in Guildford, the student town is already known for its thriving music scene with popular venues such as ‘The Boileroom’. The campus is made up of several buildings. The Rodboro Building is where most of the teaching spaces and rehearsal studios are located. The Global House contains the ‘MusicWeek’ lecture theatre for masterclasses, as well as additional rehearsal space. The Artist Development Centre is located just opposite Rodboro and Global House, and features studios, rehearsal and teaching spaces. The ACM Riverside Student Union offers food and drink, breakout spaces and a performance stage. Lastly, ACM works in partnership with The Electric Theatre, located just adjacent to the Rodboro Building. It is a 200 seat auditorium used for ACM’s end of year showcases as well as other events and performances throughout the academic year. It is also a multipurpose venue which includes theatre, comedy, festivals, workshops and film. The auditorium features a theatre lighting rig, backstage area, raked seating, high end sound systems, amplifiers and instruments. It also includes a café and bar where students and staff are commonly found relaxing between lectures and rehearsal sessions. Though these buildings are separate from one another, they help break up and spread out the facilities in the town while still being in close proximity, with the Electric Theatre acting as the heart of the campus; it serves not only the students but the public; reinforcing the importance of performing to and engaging with the community as well as being another popular venue adding towards the vibrancy of Guildford’s nightlife.

8 | Thesis Research Document


4 Venue Closure

4.1 A National and Regional Issue

Figure 1 . 9


Venues of various scales across the country have been victim of closure and can be harmful to the social and public sustainability of the town or city it’s affecting; as part of the community will be underserviced, there’ll be a loss of profits in the night economy and the cultural diversity would be weakened. London in particular has been affected by this to a point where in January 2015 the Mayor of London called for a meeting to discuss the dramatic loss of music venues, a Taskforce was initiated to investigate the current status of London’s grassroots music venues with a report launched in October 2015 that presented their findings as well as a ‘Rescue Plan’ to save these venues.17 The report has identified several key reasons why venues have faced closure: 1. Sign of market failure within the music industry In order for any business to work well, it must work as a whole. ‘The relationship between the recorded music business, large festivals and arenas and small grassroots music venues needs examining…Without a new supply of acts, all parts of the music industry will gradually wither’18 2. Growing population and rising property prices As the population rises, so does the demand for more homes. As rents increase, landlords might sell properties to developers, which may result in demolition of a venue into flats. 3. Business rates The rise in rent can also affect the rise in business rates. Small venues struggle to keep up and end up losing money. 4. Planning and development Policies such as permitted development can allow an office building next to a venue be converted into flats without planning permission, if the new occupants have an issue with noise levels, the venue’s licence could be revoked. 5. UK does not currently recognise the Agent of Change principle This is a ‘common sense’ principle, where estate agents/solicitors should inform new residents about nearby music venues before buying/renting a property. New residents should be aware that if they’re moving in close proximity to a venue, then they will hear music. It should also be the developer’s responsibility for soundproofing if they build near a venue. 6. Licensing and policing Conditions and requirements for putting on shows have become expensive along with out-ofdate licensing systems. Capacity limits were set for certain venues before the smoking ban which limit the number of attendees. This condition is now irrelevant and needs revising. 7. International competition London’s venues are simply not valued and invested enough in comparison to that of Nashville, Austin and Berlin which are emerging ‘music cities’. Acts are not playing in London as much as Europe where music is valued more and therefore have better facilities and experiences.

17 “Mayor’s Music Venue Taskforce” London.gov [Online] Available at: https://www.london.gov.uk/what-wedo/ arts-and-culture/music/mayors-music-venues-taskforce?source=vanityurl (Accessed 3, January 2016) 18 The Mayor of London’s Music Venues Taskforce. 2015. “London's Grassroots Music Venues Rescue Plan” [Online] Available at: https://www.london.gov.uk/sites/default/files/londons_grassroots_music_venues__rescue_plan_-_october_2015.pdf (Accessed 3, January 2016) 10 | Thesis Research Document


8. Fragmented approach to the night time economy A forward thinking approach where ‘Night Mayors’ build healthy relations with those involved with the arts and night-time entertainment. With the 24hr Tube service approaching, nighttime live music could prosper whilst addressing noise disputes and anti-social behaviour. Recently, British power metal band ‘Dragonforce’ played a show at ‘The Square’ in Harlow, set to close at the end of 2015 to be redeveloped into housing, to raise awareness that venues are in danger. Guitarist Herman Li has said ‘DragonForce cut its teeth by playing an array of pubs and small clubs up and down the country, which are vital for bands to gain live experience.’19 This emphasises how significant small venues like The Square and The Peel are to bands as they start out, this both can affect the careers of musicians and take away an aspect of what made a town’s music scene so valuable. The more venues are closed down, the less variety of places there are for concerts which suggests that music isn’t being valued as much as affordable housing. ‘The Cockpit’ in Leeds officially closed on 10th September 2014 due to ‘essential maintenance’. This was an important venue that’s been active since 1994 where major acts have performed including ‘Amy Winehouse’, ‘The White Stripes’ and ‘Kaiser Chiefs’. Colin Oliver, the venue’s founder, expressed that ‘no money had been spent on the venue over the 20 years, but gutting and refurbishing it “didn’t work as a model” and the company could not afford to be “emotionally attached”.’20 The ‘Day and Night Café’ faced a threat of closure in 2014 with a Statutory Nuisance Abatement Notice given by Manchester Council after just one complaint by a new neighbour. A petition was set up to help save the venue which by the end gained over 74,000 signatures21, with the support of Johnny Marr from ‘The Smiths’, musician Frank Turner and Tim Burgess from ‘The Charlatans’. ‘The Music Venue Trust’, also showed their support by setting up a national petition, which attracted over 4000 signatures in two days, to call an urgent review of the noise abatement legislation.22 The fight to save the venue was successful, though resulted in the owners having to meet with neighbours every three months to discuss any issues. The ‘Rescue Plan’ report identified that ‘The NPPG…makes specific reference to noise mitigation so that live music venues are not subject to enforcement actions due to new residents finding sound levels unacceptable.’23 Clearly policies and legislations need to be reviewed in order to respect all parties. The report continues to suggest this review is needed in order to help guide planners and in turn respect venues and residents. The ‘Agent of Change’ approach is also recommended.

19 “Dragonforce Stand Up For Doomed Venues” Metal Hammer [Online] Available at: http://metalhammer.teamrock.com/news/2015-06-18/dragonforce-stand-up-for-doomed-venues (Accessed 16, December 2015) 20 “The Cockpit in Leeds closes after 20 years of music” BBC [Online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leeds-29143038 (Accessed 16, December 2015) 21 “Petitioning Manchester City Council to remove our Statutory Nuisance Abatement Notice” 2014. Change.org [Online] Available at: https://www.change.org/p/manchester-city-council-to-remove-our-statutory-nuisanceabatementnotice (Accessed 3, January 2016) 22 Hill, L. 2014. “National petition to protect music venues wades into noise row over Manchester’s Night and Day Café.” Mancunian Matters [Online] Available at: http://www.mancunianmatters.co.uk/content/310569191national-petition-protect-music-venues-wades-noise-row-over-manchesters-night-and (Accessed 3, January 2016) 23 Ibid. The Mayor of London’s Music Venues Taskforce. 2015. 11


12 | Thesis Research Document


4.1 a Local Issue - King ston History of Kingston’s Music and Performing Scene Kingston has always been a town active in live performances and cultural activities. This section will cover these venues from across the town, varying in type and scale to provide context to its significance in Kingston’s history.

Figure 2 .

13


All Saints Church

Figure 3 .

Figure 4 .

14 | Thesis Research Document


Figure 5 .

Figure 6 .

Figure 7 .

Kingston’s oldest venue is also not exactly a conventional music venue but has been used for recitals and concerts. All Saints Church, built in 1120 with major restorations in 2013-14, is Kingston’s only Grade 1 listed building, not including the structure. The refurbishment included a new north entrance, now facing the commercial centre of the town, as well as the east end made to allow for a flexible area for community use. In the past couple years, Banquet Records, an independent record store in Kingston, has organised bands to play here in its unique setting and acoustics. The first musicians to play here were a group of indie-folk bands on their ‘Survival Tour’, their own version of the ‘Revival Tour’ a collaborative tour originated in the U.S., in 2014.24 24 “The Survival Tour” Banquet Records [Online] Available at: http://www.banquetrecords.com/thesurvivaltour2014 (Accessed December 15, 2015) 15


Figure 8 .

16 | Thesis Research Document


The Grey Horse

Figure 9 .

Figure 10 .

17


Figure 11 .

Figure 12 .

The Grey Horse, built in 1849, was the oldest of the four ‘Youngs’ pubs in Kingston. Becoming a live Jazz venue in the 1950s along with Funk, Rock and Blues music. The Ram Jam Club was opened in 2004 at the back of the pub which was a comedy club where comedians such as Michael McIntyre and Dara O’Briain have performed. The pub venue was closed at the end of 2014 due to the owner’s retirement. A new landlord has taken over the pub without interest in providing live music.

18 | Thesis Research Document


Figure 13 .

Figure 14 .

Theatres have also been prominent in Kingston’s history, the first being The Royal County Theatre, 18971940, originally known as Albany Hall / Albany Assembly Rooms. As this building became disused, it was bought for £18,000 by Mr Peter Davey, a leading member of ‘Genesta Amateur Dramatic Club’, who wrote plays and pantomimes. The conversion into a theatre took nine months to compete. In December 1896, ‘Kingston upon Thames Theatre Company’ was formed with Peter Davey as managing director. Theatres of the time didn’t last very long as cinemas became popular. The establishment switched back and forth from theatre to cinema till the fire of 1940 which ‘gutted’ the building.

19


Figure 15 .

Figure 16 .

Figure 17 .

Cinema Palace Theatre Cinema Palace Theatre, opened 1909-1931, is another example of a short lived live performance venue. It was designed as a music hall though soon became a cinema playing silent movies then becoming what was known as the Regal Cinema in 1931, then later a bingo hall. Currently this building is unused. 20 | Thesis Research Document


Figure 18 .

Figure 19 .

Figure 20 .

Figure 21 .

The Empire Theatre The Empire Theatre, 1910-1955, built by Bertie Crewe, was originally a music hall though faced its demise after a fire in 1919. ‘Kingshott Theatres’ bought and refurbished the theatre in 1930. Twice nightly variety was continued till 1955 where business was lost due to popularity of TV. It was then up for auction however as it did not meet the reserve price; it was bought by an investment company with the interior gutted to form a supermarket in 1956. From 2010 onwards it’s used as a church and ground floor as a Wetherspoon’s pub. The only part remaining of the elevation is the sign ‘Empire’ which is still visible. 21


22 | Thesis Research Document


The Rose Theatre

Figure 22 .

Figure 23 .

23


Figure 24 .

Figure 25 .

The Rose Theatre, opened in 2008, is the only major theatre that currently operates in Kingston. Modelled on the Elizabethan Rose Theatre, where both have circular auditoriums and a pit where in the Elizabethan Rose Theatre people can pay to stand, in the Kingston’s Rose Theatre people can pay to sit on cushions. 24 | Thesis Research Document


The Sir Robert Peel

Figure 26 .

Figure 27 .

25


Figure 28 .

Figure 29 .

The Sir Robert Peel, 1939-2014, was a pub and venue for live music organised by Banquet Records with 216 shows, not including shows by ‘Gravity DIP’. According to Banquet Record’s gig history, the first bands to play here were ‘Jetplane Landing’, ‘Lucky Thirteen’ and ‘Agent Elf’ in April 2002.25 Also noted in the gig history, the last band to play at The Peel was ‘Saves The Day’ on 13 April 2014. 25 “Gig History” Banquet Records [Online] Available at: http://www.banquetrecords.com/showsclubs?history (Accessed December 16, 2015) 26 | Thesis Research Document


The Cricketers

Figure 30 .

Figure 31 .

27


Figure 32 .

Figure 33 .

The Cricketers, around since at least the 1960s, is another pub/bar venue for live music and comedy acts. Some music events are also organised by Banquet Records. 28 | Thesis Research Document


Bacchus

Figure 34 .

Figure 35 .

29


Figure 36 .

Figure 37 .

Bacchus, opened in the 1980s, is bar and venue and home to Banquet’s ‘New Noise’ Punk, Emo, Hardcore club nights as well as the occasional live show.

30 | Thesis Research Document


O'neill's

Figure 38 .

Figure 39 .

Figure 40 .

The Kingston branch of O’neill’s, opened in the mid 1990s, is another example of a pub venue. O’neill’s features live music every Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Thursdays also feature Open Mic nights where people can register to be on their playlist. 31


32 | Thesis Research Document


Market Place

Figure 41 .

Figure 42 .

33


Figure 43 .

Figure 44 .

Kingston Carnival, organised by the ‘Kingston Race and Equalities Council’, is an annual event that celebrates multiple cultures with parades, food and live music. The ‘Market Place’ is used as the music venue with the help of Banquet Records. In 2014 the Carnival was cancelled due to security issues but made its comeback in 2015 with the absence of a headline act. 34 | Thesis Research Document


The Fighting Cocks

Figure 45 .

Figure 46 .

35


Figure 47 .

Figure 48 .

Figure 49 .

The Fighting Cocks, opened in 2000, with the building existing since the 1800s and holding a capacity of 150-250 people, is a popular bar and venue that ‘reigns as south-west London’s primo rock pub, and plays an important role in Kingston’s thriving live music circuit’26 especially after the demise of The Peel. Banquet’s gig history highlights to have hosted at least 206 shows since 2006, with major acts including ‘New Found Glory’ to have played at this intimate venue.

26 “The Gig Venue Guide: the Fighting Cocks, Kingston upon Thames” The Guardian [Online] Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/music/musicblog/2014/jun/10/the-gig-venue-guide-the-fighting-cocks-kingstonuponthames (Accessed December 16, 2015) 36 | Thesis Research Document


The Hippodrome

Figure 50 .

Figure 51 .

37


Figure 52 .

Figure 53 .

The Hippodrome, opened in 2009, previously known as ‘Volts’ and ‘The Works’, is one of Kingston’s three big nightclubs. Currently home to Banquet’s ‘New Slang’ club nights every Thursday hosting live bands. It is also a popular venue in Kingston for shows arranged by Banquet outside of their New Slang events. Chart topping bands such as ‘All Time Low’, ‘The Wombats’ and ‘The Vaccines’ have played here.

38 | Thesis Research Document


McClusky's

Figure 54 .

Figure 55 .

39


Figure 56 .

Figure 57 .

McClusky’s, fully refurbished in 2005, has been Banquet’s other venue to host live shows. On 31 July 2015, the nightclub announced its closure which was then to be rebranded as ‘The Viper Rooms.’ In an article in the Kingston guardian, it is claimed that ‘McClusky’s was listed as one of the “10 most iconic London venues” by radio station XFM and has had acts including Maximo Park and Liam Gallagher’s band Beady Eye grace its stage.’27 Such renowned acts add to its Kingston’s legacy.

27 “Last days of disco” Kingston Guardian [Online] Available at: http://www.kingstonguardian.co.uk/news/13579902.Last_days_of_disco__McClusky_s_to_reopen_as_The_Vip er_Rooms_but_owners_already_have_an_exit_strategy/ (Accessed December 16, 2015) 40 | Thesis Research Document


4.3 Banquet Records

Figure 58 .

One of the most influential contributors to Kingston’s music scene was the work of Banquet Record owners Jon Tolley and Mike Smith. In an interview with Jon Tolley, he describes how the store started off as part of the ‘Beggars Banquet Records’ chain, became independent in 2002 when ‘The Beggars Group’ decided to close off their retail arm and sold the store to the manager of the time. Jon Tolley and Mike Smith, both who were employees, bought the store off the manager as it was close to bankruptcy and have owned it since February 2005.28 Gigs have been organised since 2002, starting off at The Peel, rarely at Bacchus and the occasional in-store gig, then moving over to venues such as The Works (The Hippodrome), The Fighting Cocks and The Cricketers in 2006, and McClusky’s in 2009.29 Currently Banquet hosts their club nights ‘New Noise’ at Bacchus and ‘New Slang’ at Hippodrome while their gigs are held at Hippodrome, The Fighting Cocks and their small shows in-store. It is important to note that in 2005 there were 734 independent record stores in the UK which fell to 305 in 2009.30 Jon Tolley’s reaction to the fall in record shops explains how he thinks Banquet has managed to survive because all ‘the shops that are doing well have an extra something that makes them different…what we've tried to do is to sell music as not just audio. You know, people who like CDs also like going to gigs, may also be in bands, may also need PA hire, and just try and bring in more than just selling audio and make more of a 360 degree package.’31 It is clear that music scene in Kingston has a rich history with a highly successful record store that has also proven its worth and significance in providing the town with a sense of value and has perhaps been embedded in Kingston’s DNA. 28 “Kingston Calling: How Banquet Records Beat The Crunch” Rock Midgets [Online] Available at: http://www.rockmidgets.com/features.php?page=3&id=3382 (Accessed 16, December 2015) 29 Ibid “Gig History” Banquet Records 30 “Record Shops Fight For Survival” BBC [Online] Available at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8005429.stm (Accessed 16, December 2015) 31 Ibid “Kingston Calling” Rock Midgets 41


4.4 Kingston Carnival Kingston is a town with a thriving community that holds an annual alcohol-free carnival organised by the Kingston Race and Equalities Council (KREC) consisting of multicultural street parades an international food fair and live music. In 2014, it was cancelled by Kingston Council for the first time in 15 years, due to the excessive amount of people who were expected to turn up to see the headline act; former ‘The Specials’ member Neville Staple. Kingston Council Leader Kevin Davis mentioned: “Big music events cannot be in the Market Place at the same time as all the other food bits. We need to find a new location for it.”32 Even though the amount of people turning up for the gig raises security concerns and the need for a new venue, Liz Green, the then Lib Dem Councillor, said "It would be a huge loss to the borough. It is awful. I thoroughly enjoy going to the carnival. I would move anything possible for the carnival to go ahead. When you lose it one year it never comes back."33 Tolley reinforces that a clear answer was never given as to why it was cancelled apart from the Conservative council’s fear that more than five-thousand people might show up. He assures that Staple attracts about 300-400 people in past gigs, so reasons for cancellation were irrational. (Appendix item 2) Furthermore, 700 people attended the Carnival in 2013 to see DJ David Rodigan. Additionally, 14 London mayors and Aloun Ndombet-Asamba, High Commissioner of Jamaica, also attended. More than 700 people signed a petition for the event’s return which resulted in the carnival’s comeback in 2015. This went ahead mainly due to the lack of a headliner. This expresses just how important cultural events are to the people of Kingston and is something that they clearly wish to keep.

Figure 59 . 32 Dewji, N. 2014 “Updated: Kingston Carnival Cancelled” Surrey Comet [Online] Available at: http://www.surreycomet.co.uk/news/11395042.UPDATED__Kingston_Carnival_cancelled/ (Accessed 18 December, 2015) 33 Ibid. Dewji, N. 2014. 42 | Thesis Research Document


5 Whats Happening in Kingston Now?

5.1 Venue Closure in Kingston The Peel The Peel, mentioned previously, with a long history with Banquet and Kingston, it has played a key role in shaping the local gig going culture that has made this town so special in terms of music. It is claimed to be ‘one of the borough’s premier live gig venues, where hundreds of young bands cut their performing teeth both onstage and in the rehearsal rooms below.’34 This reinforces the notion that The Peel was not only important to gig goers and Kingston’s identity, but also to young bands who play at small venues to flesh themselves out and hone their skills, build a fan base and make it in the industry. The article states that the reasons for its closure were both the reduction in popularity where they opened irregularly to only host live shows that were guaranteed to be sold out as well as the owner’s £2.3b debt, this is supported by Tolley (Appendix item 6) Since it’s demolition in July 2014, Kingston Guardian reported that the site would ‘become a mixeduse development with 31 private and affordable homes…with 200sqm of ground floor retail space.’35 Though this can be argued as a sensible decision in providing more affordable housing with retail, it’s interesting that an idea for a new venue to take its place was not an option that was considered as although the popularity of The Peel may have declined, its track record of being a significant music venue to Kingston’s music scene is clear. Tolley emphasises that it simply couldn’t survive market forces and that there’s more money in building houses. (Appendix items 6-7) The loss of a venue isn’t just one less place to see shows but a great deal of the community is now under served and young bands now have less places to gain valuable onstage experience. The Grey Horse More recently, the loss of the Grey Horse is another sign of a weakening music scene. Owners June and Richard Fletcher, retired from 15 years running the pub at the end of 2015. The pub has played a significant role in providing Kingston with nearly 70 years of live music and a decade of live comedy with their ‘Crack Comedy’ nights at the ‘Ram Jam Club’. The dilemma here was the question of whether it will continue featuring live music in the future as there were talks of it becoming a gastro pub instead. For almost a year, the search for a new landlord proved difficult till the tour manager of award winning band ‘Muse’ was interested in leasing it as a venue. Young’s got very close to a deal however it fell through at the last minute.36 In the end Young’s brewery found a new landlord which focussed on providing a restaurant than a music venue. Mr Fletcher said “Young’s have struggled to find tenants since I left and food just seems to be the way pubs are going now to make money.”37 34 Ibid “Day the music died” Surrey Comet 35 Dewji, N. 2015. “Private and affordable homes planned for site of former Robert Peel pub” [Online] Available at: http://www.kingstonguardian.co.uk/news/11821723.Private_and_affordable_homes_planned_for_site_of_for mer_Robert_Peel_pub/ (Accessed 8, January 2016) 36 Burford, R. 2015. “Muse management ‘were in talks’ to lease Kingston’s legendary music venue Grey Horse pub” [Online] Available at: http://www.yourlocalguardian.co.uk/news/13767900.Muse_management__were_in_talks__to_lease_Kingston _s_legendary_music_venue_Grey_Horse_pub/ (Accessed 8, January 2016) 37 Ibid. Burdford. 2015. 43


5.2 The Eden Quarter Deve lopment The biggest planned development in Kingston is the ‘Eden Quarter Development’ aimed in regenerating the town centre with retail, business, leisure and residential developments with an improved public realm, shared surfaces and pedestrianised areas. The site is on the eastern side of the town centre with Clarence Street, heatfield Way and Union Street forming the boundary.

Figure 60 . Eden Quarter Site Plan

44 | Thesis Research Document


Figure 61 . Eden Walk

45


One key proposal is to improve the public realm and retail by creating a new public space forming greater connections to Market Place, the river and into Eden Walk Shopping Centre. Ultimately, this development aims to ‘sustain Kingston as a major shopping destination in the south east.”38 Throughout the brief, they envision the Eden Quarter to be similar to that of Paradise Street in Liverpool One with ‘attractive open streets that connect into the rest of the city while achieving large scale new retail and leisure space on more than one level’39 It is clear they feel Paradise Street is a good precedent to strive towards in improving the retail area, however it’s possible that these developments may be leaning towards the kind of homogenous, ‘clean and safe’ and security obsessed spaces Anna Minton discusses in ‘Ground Control’. In the chapter ‘The Death of The City’, Minton argues that places like Liverpool One and Canary Wharf ‘are not inspired by the culture of where they are but by the idea that economy will prosper if they meet the economic needs of the region.’40 This highlights the notion that new commercial developments in the UK are focussing more on creating spaces that are essentially ‘malls without walls’ as opposed to embracing the local area’s culture. The sterility and blandness of these spaces may suggest more of a disconnection with the towns and cities they are situated in to a point where you couldn’t tell where you were due to the lack of character in the architecture. Furthermore, just south of the proposed Eden Square, is the existing ‘Surrey House’ which currently consists of retail, office, carpark and The Hippodrome. The brief rightfully points out the current design are of low quality with a significant amount of blank façade facing Brook Street and St James’s Road. They propose to take advantage of this site with a new building as a major retail destination with the façade facing Eden Square as an opportunity to create a flagship store or collection of stores to support the retail of the south east of Kingston centre, whilst being set back enough to allow for views to the Old Post Office. They also intend for these to be three to four stories with housing above, improved car-park amenities and more active frontages to Brook Street and St James’s Street.41 Though there are many benefits of redeveloping this site to provide a more vibrant, pedestrian friendly environment with the much needed housing, the intent to demolish Hippodrome suggests they do not understand nor have considered its significance to Kingston.

Figure 62 .

Figure 63 .

38 Allies and Morrison. March 2015. Eden Quarter Development Brief SPD. Available at: http://www.kingston.gov.uk/downloads/download/452/eden_quarter_spd (Accessed 16, December 2015) 39 Ibid. Allies and Morrison. 2015. Page 39. 40 Ibid. Minton. 2012. Page 36. 41 Ibid. Allies and Morrison. 2015. Page 46. 46 | Thesis Research Document


This isn’t just home to Banquet’s ‘New Slang’, but a prime music venue which has hosted shows for wellestablished bands including ‘All Time Low’ and ‘The Vaccines’, both have made it high into UK charts. Tolley reinforces its importance in the ‘Surrey Comet’ by describing how a band at the Hippodrome that’s just released a no. one album should provide some kind of significance towards these venues, but the council simply doesn’t appear to support this at the moment.”42 Clearly there is a strong and distinct music scene in Kingston that also supports the night-time economy, especially when considering that Kingston is a student town with approximately 11,000 college43 and 20,000 university44 students. In addition, Tolley expressed how with the demise of The Peel, the council should try and provide provisions for a place for young people to go and watch live bands. (Appendix item 6) The loss of the Hippodrome would underservice even more young people. The brief doesn’t state it plans on a new nightclub/venue, instead it appears to imply that the council is favouring financial sustainability through retail developments over the public and social sustainability of Kingston’s music and youth culture. Therefore, it’s possible that a new music venue is what is needed for this site to fully embrace this aspect of Kingston’s identity. Tolley states his Lib Dem party agrees there should be development and growth but not at any cost, the plans are racing ahead without adequate consideration of what people need and want. (Appendix item 8) The Rescue Plan report identified that planning policies need revising to provide planning officers with up-to-date guidance on dealing with music venues. Throughout the London Plan and 33 Local Plans, only three direct references could be found. One in ‘The National Planning Policy Framework’ ‘recognises that new developments shouldn’t adversely affect existing businesses.’45 The development is clearly going to affect existing businesses negatively, The Hippodrome would be out of business and Banquet would lose a venue for gigs and ‘New Slang’.

Figure 65 .

Figure 64 .

42 Burford. R. 2015. “Money over music?” Surrey Comet [Online] Available at: http://www.surreycomet.co.uk/news/12897229.Money_over_music__Five_year_plan_will_see_Kingston_night clubs_replaced_with_shops_and_housing/ (Accessed 17, December 2015) 43 Hot Courses Abroad. “Kingston College” Hot Courses Abroad [Online] Available at: http://www.hotcoursesabroad.com/study/uk/school-college-university/kingstoncollege/ 12255/international.html (Accessed 11, January 2016) 44 Kingston University London “Facts and Figures” Kingston University [Online] Available at: http://www.kingston.ac.uk/aboutkingstonuniversity/factsandfigures/ (Accessed 11, January 2016) 45 The Mayor of London’s Music Venues Taskforce. 2015. “London's Grassroots Music Venues Rescue Plan” [Online] Available at: https://www.london.gov.uk/sites/default/files/londons_grassroots_music_venues__rescue_plan_-_october_2015.pdf (Accessed 3, January 2016) 47


5.3 Kingston Riverside De velopments The council also plans to develop the riverside to include new restaurants, a pop-up food area, luxury apartments and a public performance space by Bishop’s Palace House. To carry out this development, McClusky’s, rebranded as ‘The Viper Rooms’ in August 2015, will be demolished. It will inevitably shut down for good anyway as the lease will expire in 2019, which is also the time phase 2 of this development begins. The loss of the previous home for Banquet’s ‘New Slang’/ gig venue and the fact that ‘The 1975’, with a no. 1 UK album, played a show here in 2013, further reinstates that venues are simply not being cherished by the council as much as restaurants and luxury apartments. Tolley questions if these developments are bringing a certain type of affluence into the town instead of providing for those who currently live there, and although they’re ticking a box for more houses, they should instead consider those in council estates who may need them more. (Appendix item 8) In an article discussing theses potential closures, Kevin Davis assures that “[t]here will still be lots of pubs and there is no plan for [Pryzm] to go anywhere so university students will have that.”46 Tolley responds to this comment in his ‘stream of consciousness’ video where he thinks it’s outrageous to say young people can still go to the very nightclub where a tragic event took place which almost lead to its closure. He continues to question whether Davis understands the nature of young people’s culture in Kingston.47 Kingston’s biggest nightclub ‘Oceana’ was rebranded as ‘Pryzm’ in 2013 after the murder of Jamie Sanderson in 2012 where the club’s licence was temporarily suspended.48 Davis’ suggestion that students go to the nightclub with a bad reputation could be seen as naïve and perhaps irresponsible, when it is evident that Hippodrome and McClusky’s are treasured aspects of the town that the council appear to neglect.

Figure 66 . 46 Ibid. Burford. R. 2015 47 banquetrecords, 2015. Kingston’s gig venues matter! – stream of (social) consciousness part 2 [Video online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S38YEKRra2c (Accessed 17, December 2015) 48 Logan. R. 2013. “Oceana to be renamed Pryzm in £1m makeover” Your Local Guardian [Online] Available at: http://www.yourlocalguardian.co.uk/news/10574419.Oceana_Kingston_to_be_renamed_Pryzm_in___1million _makeover/ (Accessed 17 December, 2015) 48 | Thesis Research Document


RICH CITIES 5.4 Creating Safe and CULTURALLY Combating Homogeneity and Privatisation of Public Space One of the key concerns with these types of developments is the lack of independent retailers. Dominance of chain shops result in homogenous and corporate spaces similar to that of shopping malls. The AJ suggests the regeneration of Rye Lane is an example of how the multicultural aspect of UK’s high streets could potentially be lost. ‘‘We were actually able to show that Rye Lane produces more jobs, more retail units and higher rental yields for the local authority. A mobile phone operator in Rye Lane would need 1-2m2 of space but would produce a rental yield of £500 per m2 each month. That is comparable to Knightsbridge, which has the highest rental yields in the country.’49 (Hurst. W) This highlights how the cultural and economic success of independent businesses are not being acknowledged enough to understand that improving an area with chain stores may not be the answer. Though the Eden Walk Shopping Centre is not a ‘high street’, it is possible that the promotion of small businesses such as coffee shops, hairdressers etc, run by people from various cultures could offer the vitality and uniqueness that a typical shopping centre would not. Although Kingston is considered one of the safest towns in London, the safety of every town/city should be considered when designing spaces. Minton suggests that the fear of crime has over exaggerated the amount of crime that actually occurs which leads to the design of ‘clean and safe’ spaces of commercial and private developments covered with CCTV.50 The privatisation of public space is also a key offender as these so-called ‘public spaces’ are under the control of the company who owns it and therefore applies their own rules of what can and can’t happen. Perhaps by relaxing these rules and regulations along with a more balanced level of security could help provide a safe and culturally rich cities. November 2015 Paris Attacks On November 13th 2015, Paris was under a terrorist attack in several places including restaurant, bars and a concert hall. This event is crucially relevant as it raises an important issue regarding venue safety. The Bataclan Concert Hall where the band ‘Eagles of Death Metal’ were performing, was the location where the ‘deadliest’ attack was carried out, killing 89 people and at least 99 taken to hospital in critical condition.51 This signals a wakeup call to question not only how to combat terrorism, but the safety in live music venues. It also questions the impact this has on the gig goers and the general music scene of a town/city after such a tragedy. American magazine ‘Alternative Press’, spoke to a few gig goers in Paris three weeks after the attacks. Laurie Beck says “I feel like this brought people closer…It’s a small community, and we all kind of know each other, at least by sight, and in a sense it made us feel more responsible of each other because we’re scared of not seeing those faces again.”52 49 Hurst, W. 2015. “Tread softly for you tread on my dreams” Architects Journal [Online] Available at: http://www.architectsjournal.co.uk/news/tread-softly-for-you-tread-on-my-dreams/8687894.fullarticle (Accessed 9, January 2016) 50 Ibid. Minton. 51 BBC “Paris Attacks: What happened on the night” BBC [Online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-34818994 (Accessed 18, December 2015) 52 Jeanticou, R. 2015. “The Paris music scene post attacks: Between psychosis and unity” Alternative Press [Online] Available at: http://www.altpress.com/features/entry/the_paris_music_scene_between_psychosis_and_unity (Accessed 18, December 2015)

49


The article goes on to express that the people of Paris have continued to head out together with friends as an ‘act of citizenship’. This is a positive step moving on from the attacks, however some still think otherwise. “[it] will never be an act of resistance. They attacked insouciance, amusement and togetherness—not music shows.”53 It’s interesting to acknowledge that the music venue was not targeted but the elements that bring together communities. As Jon Tolley helps organise gigs and New Slang, I’ve asked him about his views on this event. He expressed how there was simply not a whole lot that could be done to prevent the infiltration of a group with machine guns; Hippodrome features more fire exits than required by law which is beneficial for escape, people should also be allowed to come and go freely but even with airport style security it is hard to fathom a solution to prevent incidences like that from happening. (Appendix item 16)

6.1 A New Live Music Venu e The case studies into music schools indicates real-world experiences are crucial in a student’s development. Considering the loss of venues and a nightclub, Kingston may be at the start of losing its vibrant music scene with less places for students and young people to go. Perhaps a new purpose built nightclub and venue can maintain this vibrancy. A new school that specialises in music is also something Kingston is lacking as even though there is a Music Education Hub located in Chessington with five music centres for the community to learn music, these are based in primary and secondary schools. A purpose built school at the heart of the town with state of the art facilities has the potential of providing a platform for young people to not only learn music and embrace Kingston’s legacy, but also to influence a new generation of talent from Kingston itself. Potentially there could be a series of venues; a live music venue, a nightclub that can be the home for ‘New Slang’, a bar venue for intimate gigs featuring fresh bands and a café/restaurant venue for open mics/acoustic shows with a relaxed atmosphere.

Ibid. Jeanticou, R. 2015.

50 | Thesis Research Document


Figure 67 . Tertiary Music Schools and Specialist (M&D) Schools in UK

Figure 68 . Kingston’s Music Education Hub Locations 51


The following is a brief analysis of each of these venue types which could help inform the design.

Cafe/Restaurant Venue

The Troubadour

The Troubadour, opened in 1954, a restaurant/café at ground level and a live music venue/club below. The venue features a room with a stage at the corner with the audience seated at tables where they can watch the show with a drink in a relaxed atmosphere. The décor of the café/restaurant is particularly special as it features an array of vintage and rustic items of times gone by such as the colourful teapots by the front window, musical instruments hanging from the ceiling, old bicycles, kitchen utensils, newspaper clippings and even framed vinyl records. Although the venue itself isn’t decorated anywhere as much, these nostalgic elements capture the ages and its musical heritage.

Figure 70 .

Figure 71 . 52 | Thesis Research Document


Bar Venue

Limelight

The Limelight in Belfast is bar/club with multiple venues. The main music venue to the left is ‘Limelight 1’ and is a purpose built space with a capacity of 800-900 can handle intense clubs/shows for young and renowned bands. This venue features two bar areas, one on a raised floor. Views of the stage remain mostly unobstructed with few columns. ‘Katy’s bar’ is located between the two venues forming the central hub of the complex. Open mic nights are also featured in this space. The existing venue to the right ‘Limelight 2’ features two bars and two raised seating spaces, however consists of a three columns by the stage which may cause obstructions. Use of steel for longer spans may help. This is a good example of a multipurpose venue with each space capable of occupying as its own entity.

Figure 72 .

53


Figure 73 .

Figure 74 .

Figure 75 .

54 | Thesis Research Document


Nightclub

tHE hIPPODROME

Currently, the establishment can be used for three events. Concerts, ‘New Slang’ club nights and as a nightclub. The following highlight services that are available during each event. During concerts, gig goers enter through the main entrance of club where tickets are checked, wristbands are given and security checks are made including passing through a scanner. The main dance floor and the general club space can be occupied by the audience. A temporary stage is assembled for the gig. All toilets are available throughout the club. Signing sessions occur at the first floor where attendees would be called up in groups based on the coloured wristbands they are given upon entry. However the columns holding up the floor above create blind spots which can ruin the viewing experience. Long span steel beams can be a solution to provide large open spaces without obstructions.

Figure 76 .

55


Figure 77 .

Figure 78 .

During ‘New Slang’, the entire nightclub is available. Live bands will play first with entry from 9AM, followed by DJs playing Indie music till 2AM. These are age 18+ events where photo ID is required. Alternatively the club night doesn’t have a live band and is just the DJ. The ground floor includes four bars, three female WCs and two male WCs. The first floor also has four bars (one in a VIP area), a dance floor, two male and female WCs.

56 | Thesis Research Document


Live Music Venue

Rock City

With a capacity of 2450, this venue holds an adequate amount of space for a reasonably large crowd. Bars on either side are fairly equidistant to the main dance floor allowing for sufficient amount of service. This establishment is used as both a live music venue and nightclub. During shows, the dance floor, raised areas and the mezzanine above are available spaces for the crowd. A barrier would be set up in front of the stage to allow for security and photographers. Here columns for the mezzanine are much further back, allowing more people to stand in front than behind. This still benefits from a longer span to reduce the number of columns and offer clean views.

Figure 79 .

Figure 80 . 57


During club nights, the crowd barrier is disassembled to allow for the entire stalls area to be a dance floor. Looking at both Rock City and The Hippodrome, it is possible that these can be combined to form one space instead of two. The main live music venue on the site could potentially serve the school, public and professional musicians.

Figure 81 .

Figure 82 .

58 | Thesis Research Document


7 Site 7.1 The Hippodrome, Boconcept and Surrey House This section will provide a brief overview of the opportunities the site can offer, this will be explored further in the Thesis Briefing Document. As discussed in chapter five, the site of the existing Surrey House, BoConcept and Hippodrome that’s planned to be demolished for development, is an exceptional opportunity for a proposal that embraces and celebrates Kingston’s music scene without the need to use up new land. The site benefits include but not limited to: - Good transport links eg. Bus stops + five-minute walk to Fairfield Bus Station + under a ten-minute walk to train station. - Walking distance to nearby shops and restaurants. - Short distance to Kingston College (main building) + ten-minute walk to their secondary building; ‘Creative Industries Centre’. - Close to Banquet records + The Rose Theatre - Close to Market Square and easy access to retail centre such as John Lewis and The Bentall Centre The site offers an opportunity to regenerate the area that focusses more on becoming a music and cultural hub of the town, capturing the sense of the local culture and history. The currently underutilised ‘public space’ on this site can be a chance to create a much more purposeful space which could possibly relate to and serve the proposed Eden Square.

Figure 83 . 59


60 | Thesis Research Document


8.Academy of Alternative Rock

8.1 Kingston's Music School and Venue

The genre of music that the new school will teach is an important aspect to consider as it’s one of the key driving forces that expresses Kingston’s music scene. Even though Banquet is known for selling a broad range of music such as Punk, Indie, Emo, House and Electro, from a quick glance at their gig history as well as from the shows I’ve been to myself, it is clear that a great deal of bands that have either played or kept returning, fall into the Punk and Alternative Rock genre. Another couple of instances to consider are Banquet’s ‘New Slang’ Indie club night and ‘New Noise’ Punk, Emo & Hardcore club night.

Figure 84 .

Figure 85 .

To accommodate and celebrate these genres, a school focussed on Alternative Rock could help provide enough flexibility for the kind of music students want to make since it is considered that a collection of subgenres have derived from and been associated to the umbrella term ‘Alternative’54 This is not to be an over generalisation of rock music but is intended to avoid restricting students to a particular subgenre but still provides an adequate sense of freedom, taste in music and opportunities to experiment with genres whilst embodying the genres that are most dominantly played in Kingston that fall under this category. Furthermore, Matt Healy from ‘The 1975’ feels that “[genres] never really mattered. Imagine if you woke up one morning and you had your record collection and the concept of genre just didn’t exist, the purity of that experience of listening to music without those rules is like a blissful idea.”55 Though the idea of literally eradicating genres is perhaps an extreme approach, Healy may instead be suggesting that genres form boundaries that could limit what artists can create. It’s possible that the line between genres is becoming blurred due to how influences from different types of music are being woven into 54 “Alternative Pop/Rock” AllMusic. [Online] Available at: http://www.allmusic.com/style/alternative-poprockma0000002422 (Accessed 27, December 2015) 55 MTV News. 2015. “The 1975's Matt Healy Talks Makeup, Making Out, & Why Music Genres Are Dead | MTV News” [Video Online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wq2bTU88FtY (Accessed 27, December 2015) 61


each other to create something new. ‘The 1975’ have also been preachers of change through the evolution in their musical styles, starting off with a raw sounding, British Punk, Grunge vibe with their earlier songs such as ‘We Are The Street Fighters’ under previous band names like ‘Drive Like I do’ and ‘Talkhouse’, to their debut album with their atmospheric Synth-Pop/Indie sound. Most notably, in 2015, the band made a huge publicity stunt to express their continued ideology to constantly reinvent themselves via a comic strip and temporary absence from social media which depicted their departure from their black and white aesthetic to the colour pink as well as a portrayal of how surprised or distraught the fans would be in fear of change.56 Taking chapter six into consideration, a new school that specialises in music which a new live music venue could be an ideal option to combat the council’s neglect for keeping its music scene and heritage alive. The school can also be a ‘Music Education Hub’ with programmes that’ll allow children to get involved and develop an interest in music, the difference here being that events will be more Rock based, as opposed to classical instruments and orchestral performances, in order to further support this culture of Kingston. Being part of the Music and Dance scheme can also help provide financial aid for students aged 8-19 to learn music at this school, promoting the idea of equality that all children have the opportunity to study regardless of their background.

56 Chatterjee, K. 2015. “What even is going on with The 1975?” Alternative Press [Online] http://www.altpress.com/news/entry/whats_going_on_with_the_1975 (Accessed 27, December 2015) 62 | Thesis Research Document


8.2 Curriculum & Teaching mETHODS As a higher educational institute, the school will offer courses to sixth formers, undergrads and graduates. Sixth form/College level: BTEC Level 2 - Music

Undergraduate: BA(Hons) Music

Postgraduate: MA Music

BTEC Level 3 - Music BTEC Level 3 - Music Technology

BA(Hons) Music Production

MA Music Production

No. of Students: 450 No. of Teachers: 45 Student to teacher ratio: 10 It is important to keep the number of students per teacher ratio small so students can be taught with more supervision without having the teacher oversee a large class. Also given the nature of the site and amount of space the live music venue may take up, it is crucial to provide enough space for students to learn and practice without cramped conditions. To put this school’s ratio into perspective: Chetham’s: 300 students | Ratio: 16 Royal Academy of Music: 700 students | Ratio: 8.8 ACM: 1000 students | Ratio: 10 The Royal Academy of Music benefits from a three to five storey building while ACM has multiple buildings, therefore 450 students with a ratio of 10 seems appropriate considering the height of the new school shouldn’t exceed three or four storeys in order to respect the surrounding buildings. Creating Community Identity The aim of the school is not only to provide music education, but to promote Kingston’s music scene, keeping it alive and embracing its importance as being part of the town’s identity. By providing an exciting platform for the showcase of student performances specialising in the subgenres of Alternative Rock, the building will act as the heart of Kingston’s music culture. Methods of Teaching Methods for teaching music will focus on a progressive approach, much like the ACM’s ‘learning by doing ethos.’ Live performance will form the heart of their musical education as work experience for a musician is ultimately through performing on stage in front of a live audience. A recent article in The Guardian by Sarah Derbyshire, an independent music professional, questions the best way to learn music and that ‘by focusing on exams, and undervaluing informal approaches to music, we are preventing young people reaching their full musical potential’57 She makes reference to a report she produced in partnership with the ‘Royal Philharmonic Society’ called ‘Music Routes…’ which found that though 85% of young children claim they can play an instrument, but almost a fifth of them currently do not. Moreover, almost half who still play are not being taught formally through a school or privately, and 21% of those never had any 57 Derbyshire. S. 2015. “Music education is out of tune with how young people learn” The Guardian [Online] Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/culture-professionals-network/2015/oct/01/music-education-howyoungpeople-learn-exams (Accessed 30, December 2015) 63


lessons and were only taught through informal means.58 Perhaps one of the reasons why a significant amount of children are taught informally is because of the easy access to online sources. For example, a child can be self-taught by using websites such as ‘Ultimate-Guitar.com’ with a vast collection of guitar tabs and chords or video tutorials on ‘YouTube’. Although the report is about children, it’s still important to understand ways young people learn. The report establishes a set of practical initiatives suggesting ways music education could be improved while promoting a higher level of engagement with music for children and young people.

Figure 86 .

58 Derbyshire. S. 2015. “Music Routes: A New Landscape for Music Education” [Online] Available at: http://royalphilharmonicsociety.org.uk/images/uploads/MUSICAL_ROUTES_report__Sarah_Derbyshire,_Royal_Philharmonic_Society.pdf (Accessed 30, December 2015) 64 | Thesis Research Document


Figure 87 .

The Curriculum The curriculum will take elements of these initiatives, particularly from the ‘Six Building Blocks for musical progression’ so that students can maintain engagement with music education and accelerate their learning. Similarly to Chetham’s and ACM, students will be offered a tailored music programme to suit their specific interests and career aspirations. Additionally, J. Scott Goble, author of ‘What’s So Important about Music Education’, discussed how John Dewey’s pedagogical ideas focused on how ‘teaching should center on the needs and interests of individual students (ie., on each student’s unique potential for development). On these bases, he encouraged “learning by doing,” individualized instruction, and experimentation with educational methods in the public schools.’59 This method could help students develop as individuals as opposed to the traditional educational methods where everyone is fed the same information through textbooks and are not encouraged to express themselves freely.

59 Goble, J. Scott. What’s So Important About Music Education?. Routledge, 2010. Page 202. 65


Digital Technology Item four of the six building blocks suggests the use of relevant digital technology. With the ever growing use of technology in our day-to-day lives, and young people becoming much more tech savvy, incorporating this with aspects of the curriculum could help act as platform for a higher level of student engagement. Music related apps such as ‘Chord!’ which acts as a portable database makes it easy for anyone to look up and learn new chords in a portable format. Music related games on iPads/iPhones such as ‘Tap Tap’ (currently no longer available) or even console games such as ‘Guitar Hero’ both teach players the basic concepts of rhythm. The latest instalment titled ‘Guitar Hero Live’ incorporated a feature where recordings of bands playing live through a first person perspective attempted to create a more immersive and realistic experience where the band members would react differently depending on how well the player was performing. ‘Rocksmith’ on the other hand, is a game which requires the use of a real guitar as the game’s controller, it is intended that players actually learn how to play songs as opposed to Guitar Hero where it was about rhythm, though there is no difficulty setting, the techniques become more complex as the player progresses. An online music learning game called ‘Meludia’ is designed to help train the musical ear through over 600 listening exercises with different levels of difficulty so that anyone can begin learning about rhythm, melody and harmony progressively. Perhaps here, students are encouraged to use these forms of technology in class and at home. Console games could be located in breakout spaces throughout the school to encourage students to have fun and learn through play.

Figure 88 .

66 | Thesis Research Document

Figure 89 .


Figure 90 .

Figure 91 .

Figure 92 . 67


Live Performance Items five and six of the practical initiatives can come hand in hand where students can be invited to attend live performances and even come up with their own material to perform themselves. Students could be invited to attend shows organised by or even possibly in partnership with Banquet Records, that can be held within the school’s venues; café, bar and the main auditorium. The encouragement to attend live performances can help students understand and appreciate the sensory experience of being at a show of various scales. These experiences could provide an insight into the theatrical side of concerts which include the anticipation during set preparations, the excitement when the band finally arrives on stage and the atmospheric effects created by smoke machines and lighting. By attending shows, students can have an opportunity to learn from watching professionals perform. Bands and artists could be invited to play exclusive gigs for the students with a session afterwards where the musicians offer advice and how to approach the music industry. Potentially, some musicians could take part in workshops, providing their expertise. Additionally, projects that involve students writing songs, composing music and improvising whilst encouraging them to experiment with different genres to create something new and unique can promote critical thinking, self-expressionism and individualism. Ultimately, projects that also lead to students working solo or in groups towards an opportunity to showcase their work to the public can act as the definitive catalyst for gaining real-world experience. Extracurricular and social activities such as open mics at the café and ‘battle of the bands’ at the bar can help build a musician’s selfconfidence and a chance to reflect on their experiences, learning from it. Industry professionals and representatives in the fields of audio production and management companies could attend showcases and networking events, like that of ACM, to seek out potential talent and provide hardworking students with auditions, internships, performance opportunities and professional feedback. Digital Broadcast Bringing together ideas of learning by doing, performing and use of technology, another assignment could be students setting up a YouTube channel and begin creating an identity and internet presence for them to take advantage of how simple it can be to get their music heard. Singer-Songwriter Gabrielle Aplin is a notable precedent of a musician who has managed to gain a strong internet following through her acoustic cover songs. Currently aged 23, she’s released four EPs and two albums, her first album reaching number 2 in the UK charts and certified Gold. Though not all musicians can be as successful this easily, it is a method that is highly relevant and commonplace in this digital age. Additionally, students may air their performances through the use of livestreaming to create a virtual concert. Using YouTube as a ‘virtual stage’ could begin to create an active engagement with music amongst students with hopefully a lasting interest and sense of value towards the subject. The virtual stage could be taken further where student performances at every showcase or events such as ‘Battle of the Bands’ are broadcast live through the school’s YouTube channe. The general public and local schools can be invited to attend these shows to reach out to the community and promote both music education and its speciality in Punk Rock, Grunge etc. The shows could even be projected live in public spaces such as the Market Place or in the Fairfield Recreation Ground, perhaps part of the design of the school’s façade could be used as a screen. Broadcasting shows can be the school’s way of creating a music festival experience which could make this stand out from other music schools as it embraces the gig going and performing culture, embodying the notions of the ‘theatrum mundi’ and ‘man as actor’.

68 | Thesis Research Document


8.3 Facilities Though most of this section will be covered in the thesis briefing document, it’s worth noting the facilities that will be required and considered: - Music Study Rooms (Teaching and rehearsal) - Music Technology rooms (recording, computing) - Lecture Theatre/s - Projection Facilities for Livestreaming performances (production rooms, offices etc…) - Storage & Lockers (instruments etc…) - Library - Cafeteria - Breakout Spaces - Staff Facilities (Department offices, staff room, kitchen etc…) - Sanitary Facilities - Parking: Bikes/Cars - General Building Services - Live Music Venue - Nightclub - Bar & Venue - Café & Venue

9 Conclusion The gradual loss of music venues has affected not only Kingston but London and the nation as a whole. The more venues that are lost to redevelopments show just how little music is being valued compared to developers. Planning policies, developments and licencing laws need to be reviewed in order to protect venues and consider all parties through an Agent of Change principle. The significance of how music can enrich people’s lives, experientially, culturally and economically, need to be embraced at a higher degree. The UK government has clearly ventured ways to improve music education across the country through various schemes but the way students are taught is just as vital. Progressive approaches to education should be implemented and explored further with the use of digital technology to create more engaging ways to learn. A new music school specialising in the dominant genres played in the local area can express the town’s heritage, with a live music venue that can also be home to Banquet’s ‘New Slang’, its bar and café venues allows for gigs and musicians to continue to thrive while creating a much more purposeful building that caters for the students to showcase their talents and learn through performance in a more exciting and engaging approach. This will begin to become part of a potential solution in raising awareness of just how important music is to the cultural heritage of a city. “Without music, life would be a mistake.”60

69


70 | Thesis Research Document


Bibliography Andrews, C.R. 2014 “The Gig Venue Guide: the Fighting Cocks, Kingston upon Thames” The Guardian [Online] Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/music/musicblog/2014/jun/10/the-gig-venue-guide-the-fightingcocks-kingston-upon-thames (Accessed December 16, 2015) AllMusic. “Alternative Pop/Rock” AllMusic. [Online] Available at: http://www.allmusic.com/style/alternative- pop-rock-ma0000002422 (Accessed 27, December 2015) Allies and Morrison. March 2015. Eden Quarter Development Brief SPD. Available at: http://www.kingston.gov.uk/downloads/download/452/eden_quarter_spd (Accessed 16, December 2015) Academy of Contemporary Music. 2015. Prospectus 2016/17 [Online] Available at: http://2k6rdi1ldku625c2mfpsfiwu.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/ACM-Prospectus2016-Final-Screen.pdf (Accessed 22, December 2015) ACM. “Why Choose ACM? The Learning by doing ethos” ACM [Online] Available at: http://www.acm.ac.uk/why- choose-acm (Accessed 22, December 2015) ACM, Academy of Contemporary Music. December 2015. Why Choose ACM | Ace [Video Online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LR2TO01REVU (Accessed 22, December 2015) banquetrecords, 2015. Kingston’s gig venues matter! – stream of (social) consciousness part 2 [Video online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S38YEKRra2c (Accessed 17, December 2015) Banquet Records. “Gig History” Banquet Records [Online] Available at: http://www.banquetrecords.com/showsclubs?history (Accessed December 16, 2015) Banquet Records. “The Survival Tour” Banquet Records [Online] Available at: http://www.banquetrecords.com/thesurvivaltour2014 (Accessed December 15, 2015) BBC. 9 December 2015. “Paris Attacks: What happened on the night” BBC [Online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-34818994 (Accessed 18, December 2015) BBC. 10 September 2014. “The Cockpit in Leeds closes after 20 years of music” BBC [Online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leeds-29143038 (Accessed 16, December 2015) BBC. 17 April 2009. “Record Shops Fight For Survival” BBC [Online] Available at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8005429.stm (Accessed 16, December 2015) Burford. R. 2015. “Money over music?” Surrey Comet [Online] Available at: http://www.surreycomet.co.uk/news/12897229.Money_over_music__Five_year_plan_will_see_Kingston_night clubs_replaced_with_shops_and_housing/ (Accessed 17, December 2015) Burford, R. 2015. “Muse management ‘were in talks’ to lease Kingston’s legendary music venue Grey Horse pub” [Online] Available at: http://www.yourlocalguardian.co.uk/news/13767900.Muse_management were_in_talks to_lease_Kingston _s_legendary_music_venue_Grey_Horse_pub/ (Accessed 8, January 2016)

71


Burford, R. 2015. “Last days of disco” Kingston Guardian [Online] Available at: http://www.kingstonguardian.co.uk/news/13579902.Last_days_of_disco McClusky_s_to_reopen_as_The_Vip er_Rooms_but_owners_already_have_an_exit_strategy/ (Accessed December 16, 2015) Butterworth, G. “Petitioning Manchester City Council to remove our Statutory Nuisance Abatement Notice” 2014. Change.org [Online] Available at: https://www.change.org/p/manchester-city-council-to-remove-ourstatutory-nuisance-abatement-notice (Accessed 3, January 2016) Chetham’s School of Music. 2015. Chetham’s Announces Plans For New World-Class Concert Hall [Online] Available at: http://www.chethams.com/images/stories/chethams/content/documents/press/pressreleases/2014/chethams-announces-plans-for-new-world-class-concert-hall.pdf (Accessed 22, December 2015) Chetham’s School of Music. 2015. Chetham’s School of Music Prospectus. [Online] Available at: http://www.chethams.com/study/how-to-apply/prospectus (Accessed 22, December 2015) Chatterjee, K. 2015. “What even is going on with The 1975?” Alternative Press [Online] http://www.altpress.com/news/entry/whats_going_on_with_the_1975 (Accessed 27, December 2015) Derbyshire. S. 2015. “Music education is out of tune with how young people learn” The Guardian [Online] Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/culture-professionals-network/2015/oct/01/music-education-howyoung-people-learn-exams (Accessed 30, December 2015) Derbyshire. S. 2015. “Music Routes: A New Landscape for Music Education” [Online] Available at: http://royalphilharmonicsociety.org.uk/images/uploads/MUSICAL_ROUTES_report__Sarah_Derbyshire,_Royal_Philharmonic_Society.pdf (Accessed 30, December 2015) Goble, J. Scott. What’s So Important About Music Education?. Routledge, 2010. Page 202. Dewji, N. 2014 “Updated: Kingston Carnival Cancelled” Surrey Comet [Online] Available at: http://www.surreycomet.co.uk/news/11395042.UPDATED Kingston_Carnival_cancelled/ (Accessed 18 December, 2015) Dewji, N. 2015. “Private and affordable homes planned for site of former Robert Peel pub” [Online] Available at: http://www.kingstonguardian.co.uk/news/11821723.Private_and_affordable_homes_planned_for_site_of_for mer_Robert_Peel_pub/ (Accessed 8, January 2016) Hallam, S. 2010. “The power of music: its impact on the intellectual, social and personal development of children and young people” [Online] Available at: http://www.mia.org.uk/assets/docs/general/the_power_of_music.pdf (Accessed 7, January 2016) Higgins, C. 2011. “National music plan unveiled with an ensemble of cuts” The Guardian [Online] Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/culture/2011/nov/25/national-music-plan-unveiled-cuts (Accessed 18 December, 2015) Hill, L. 2014. “National petition to protect music venues wades into noise row over Manchester’s Night and Day Café.” Mancunian Matters [Online] Available at: http://www.mancunianmatters.co.uk/content/310569191national-petition-protect-music-venues-wades-noise-row-over-manchesters-night-and (Accessed 3, January 2016)

72 | Thesis Research Document


Hurst, W. 2015. “Tread softly for you tread on my dreams” Architects Journal [Online] Available at: http://www.architectsjournal.co.uk/news/tread-softly-for-you-tread-on-my-dreams/8687894.fullarticle (Accessed 9, January 2016) Hot Courses Abroad. “Kingston College” Hot Courses Abroad [Online] Available at: http://www.hotcoursesabroad.com/study/uk/school-college-university/kingstoncollege/12255/international.html (Accessed 11, January 2016) Independent Schools Inspectorate. 2014. Integrated Inspection Chetham’s School of Music. [Online] Available at: http://www.chethams.com/images/stories/chethams/content/documents/inspection-reports/isi-report2014.pdf (Accessed 22, December 2015) Jeanticou, R. 2015. “The Paris music scene post attacks: Between psychosis and unity” Alternative Press [Online] Available at: http://www.altpress.com/features/entry/the_paris_music_scene_between_psychosis_and_unity (Accessed 18, December 2015) Jones, D. “Kingston Calling: How Banquet Records Beat The Crunch” Rock Midgets [Online] Available at: http://www.rockmidgets.com/features.php?page=3&id=3382 (Accessed 16, December 2015) Kingston University London “Facts and Figures” Kingston University [Online] Available at: http://www.kingston.ac.uk/aboutkingstonuniversity/factsandfigures/ (Accessed 11, January 2016) Lach, S. 2015 “Dragonforce Stand Up For Doomed Venues” Metal Hammer [Online] Available at: http://metalhammer.teamrock.com/news/2015-06-18/dragonforce-stand-up-for-doomed-venues (Accessed 16, December 2015) Logan. R. 2013. “Oceana to be renamed Pryzm in £1m makeover” Your Local Guardian [Online] Available at: http://www.yourlocalguardian.co.uk/news/10574419.Oceana_Kingston_to_be_renamed_Pryzm_in 1million _makeover/ (Accessed 17 December, 2015) Logan, R. 2014. “Day the Music Died: Kingston’s Famous Gig Venue The Peel to Close.” Surrey Comet. [Online] Available From: http://www.surreycomet.co.uk/news/11115335.Day_the_music_died Kingston_s_famous_gig_venue_The_Pe el_to_close/. (Accessed December 15, 2015.) London.Gov. “Mayor’s Music Venue Taskforce” London.gov [Online] Available at: https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/arts-and-culture/music/mayors-music-venuestaskforce?source=vanityurl (Accessed 3, January 2016) The Mayor of London’s Music Venues Taskforce. 2015. “London's Grassroots Music Venues Rescue Plan” [Online] Available at: https://www.london.gov.uk/sites/default/files/londons_grassroots_music_venues__rescue_plan_-_october_2015.pdf (Accessed 3, January 2016) The Mayor of London’s Music Venues Taskforce. 2015. “London's Grassroots Music Venues Rescue Plan” [Online] Available at: https://www.london.gov.uk/sites/default/files/londons_grassroots_music_venues__rescue_plan_-_october_2015.pdf (Accessed 3, January 2016)

73


MTV News. 2015. “The 1975's Matt Healy Talks Makeup, Making Out, & Why Music Genres Are Dead | MTV News” [Video Online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wq2bTU88FtY (Accessed 27, December 2015) Minton, Anna. Ground Control: Fear and Happiness in the Twenty-First-Century City. London: Penguin, 2012. Nietzsche, Friedrich. Twilight of the Idols. Hackett Publishing. 1997. Paton, G. “Coalition to scrap specialist schools funding” The Telegraph [Online] Available at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/8073986/Coalition-to-scrap-specialist-schoolsfunding. html (Accessed 18 December, 2015) Sennett, Richard, The Fall of Public Man, Alfred A. Knopf, 1977, republished Penguin Books 2002. Thoughts Economic. “The Role of Music in Human Culture” Thoughts Economic [Online] Available at: http://thoughteconomics.com/the-role-of-music-in-human-culture/ (Accessed 7, January 2016)

L

cDOUGAL M a n n e g J Meetin eel @ the p

mBER A DAY TO REMe UET RECORDS INSTORE @ BANQ 74 | Thesis Research Document

Tonight

Alive @ the pe el 2013

We are the in crowd @ mcclusky's 2014


MAYDAY PARADE INST ORE

AY PARADE MEETING MAYD UET RECORDS INSTORE @ BANQ 2014

charlie

simpso n instor e

BRING ME THE HORI ZON @ THE ROSE THEATR E 2015

NYL! LONG LIVE VI

75


Appendix Full Interview Transcript | Interviewer: Henry Chen g (H) Interviewee: Jon Tolley (J) | 5, January 2016 1. H: Briefly what can you tell me about yourself, your background and how you got to where you are today? J: I’m Jon, I work and run Banquet Records in Kingston which is a record shop that also a gig promoter in Kingston, we put on 200 shows a year in a town. I grew up in Kingston and went to some gigs around here and after leaving university I was like what should I do with my life and I sort of started working here as a dead end job and then didn’t leave fifteen years later. So with putting on loads of gigs and working in a record shop we kind of married the two ideas of like physical music and people wanted to go and watch live bands and we sort of married the two and done quite a lot in and around the town over the last decade or so. As part of that when Kingston Carnival was cancelled two years ago I got quite annoyed, asked the council why it was cancelled it didn’t really seem to have a reason and then I found a better way to actually get an answer was to become part of council myself, so I kind of campaigned a kind of music, almost like a one issue idea and after the general election when conservatives became the majority government, I was like “oh damn” and I joined the party I was voting for which is the Liberal Democrats and then there was a by-election and they asked me to be their candidate so I ran this time with a political party behind me which meant I got elected and in the council as well. So I have two hats as far as of your kind of stuff goes, I got the kind of gig promoter record stuff and also the councillor who looks after a certain bunch of things in town. 2. H: Back on the Kingston Carnival, what was main reason why it was cancelled? J: Well this is it, we didn’t actually get a very clear answer, it was cancelled for safety reasons but that’s quite a kind of vague reason. We couldn’t see why an artist like, you know, the artist who was going to be playing was Neville Staple from The Specials who with respect to the man he was like a kind of OAP who’s had a stroke, he’s not like a kind of rowdy, violent inducing artist, he’s a legend in a legendary band years ago and each time we’ve put him on in Kingston in the past it’s brought about 300/400 people so we were hoping best it’ll get to about a thousand people for a free gig in the Market Place. It was cancelled as far as I can tell because they thought there’d be more than five thousand people in town which wasn’t anything that I recognised as being true. Couldn’t really understand why it was cancelled and there may well be very real good reasons behind why it was cancelled that I don’t know but the perception was that a new Conservative administration came in to power, cause this was the first time that they’ve been running the council and decided to close the one thing that celebrates multiracial equality and all these things and that was I questioning and I never really got a clear answer on that, so that was why I was continuing asking why it was cancelled. 3. H: It’s usually a misconception that gigs create rowdy/drunken crowds but that’s not really true… J: Yeah we’ve only been booking the music in Kingston Carnival for a few years, we’ve only done two before where we booked ‘The Skints’ and we booked ‘David Rodigan’ both party atmosphere kind of things. We can find hose bands who provide a rowdy crowd and provide trouble but we wouldn’t want to book them and if we were ever going to book anything a bit edgy we definitely wouldn’t book it in the Market Place in a free, all ages gig like where the whole point is that it’s done by Kingston Race and Equalities Council whose whole raison detre is to support and promote racial equality and good vibes and having a family day so yeah I think youth culture is always going to get associated to a point with rowdiness or whatever, some of its deserved, some of its just older people not understanding what younger people do. I don’t see why that was cancelled in that particular case especially when you’ve got The Specials, Neville Staple wrote his songs about real racial tensions in Coventry through the 70s and 80s. Why would you pull this thing, why not pull other people’s things? So not a someone with any council ambition at all, what I was saying at that point was that we spent loads of money on various things throughout the town but why would we not spend money on this, it seems like if you could choose which one to cut, this would be the one you would save. That’s how I saw it. 76 | Thesis Research Document


4. H: What is the history of the music scene in Kingston? J: As a school kid I came to this record shop and bought records for me and loads of the other record shops which existed at the time, at one point there was nine record shops in town all at the same time which is you know bonkers looking back. There was always gigs going on here, it’s really hard for me to be objective about how much our involvement in it has made it better but I think since we took over the shop and the company, we decided to do what we wanted to do and how we wanted to do it and we could make decisions on when we’re putting on gigs which we didn’t have to answer another management or something. So as someone who’s interested in putting on gigs we did a lot more. There had always been a music scene here, we kind of increased that but we had no way created it, there was always gigs here and if you look back through the archives you can find stores of The Rolling Stones playing at Bing Hall as it was then and like back in the day there was bands that played at Kingston University when it was Kingston Polytechnic where there was a venue there which isn’t there anymore, there’s always been music in this part of what is really an affluent part of London so there’s always been people ready to spend money by going to watch bands. 5. H: Who is the music scene in Kingston directed to? J: The music fans, that’s all it is. We started putting on gigs to provide music in our town so we didn’t have to travel to outside of London or Brighton and so when we were first putting on gigs they were mostly kind of more Punk based gigs and as the time, not pre-internet but with everyone certainty having internet on their phone, so it was a lot more flyers and personal recommendations to try and get people to gigs. One thing that Banquet tries to be is not to be snobby, we’re not being elitist music fans. You can get the same buzz out of watching like a boy band as you do with a really high indie rock thing if you see people are buzzing off it, people have a really good time. So we provided lots of events for just music fans in general, so in the course of a month we could have ‘Peter Andre’ in here which happened and boy band ‘The Vamps’ and at the same time we’re doing a metal band ‘Bring Me The Horizon’ for predominately younger people and we can do gigs at All Saints Church which is a sit-down event like very high brow appreciating the beauty of the voice. So there’s not really specific age demographic, it’s for music fans. Now for ‘New Slang’, what New Slang does is the Indie, Alternative club night we do, we need students there to make that exist but we also need locals and people not from right round here to come here from a distance to make it exist because you need a lot of people into those gigs for them to be able to function, like the actual shear amount of money to put on ‘Bloc Party’ or something, that has to sell out, it has to be fourteen hundred people, so some of them will be students, some will be locals, some will be people from the other side of London on a day trip to Kingston. 6. H: So my thesis was born from knowing The Peel got shut down and thought, damn that’s like a part of what made Kingston special as lost, so what were the reasons why it got shut down? J: Well there might be people who know this better than me, but as far as I know it’s just market forces. The parent brewing company went bust and the liquidators came an asset striped as they do and so decide to sell the lease or the freehold to a property developer who now owns that is trying to get planning permission to build, I presume flats there. I don’t think it was, in this case, there was anything malicious like noise complaints or a nasty kind of campaign to shut down the venue, it was just the company went bust and it’s sad because I went to loads of gigs there and particularly for the sixteen/seventeen year old kids, that was the place where you could watch legit good bands without being in a nightclub or an eighteen plus venue, so it’s really sad that closed down but there’s not anyone else to point a finger or blame at, that was just one of those things that happened and has happened for all time whereas a lot of venues we talk about, if you talk about ‘The Boileroom’ in Guildford or The Fleece in Bristol where they’ve had specific noise complaint issues, those are really tricky situations but The Peel wasn’t one of those, it was just closed cause of market forces.

77


7. H: Do you think there should’ve been at least a consideration that they should’ve built a new venue to take its place? J: I think in an ideal world yes but realistically I don’t know how that could happen because the liquidator comes in specifically just to get as much money as they can to go back to the debtors, they are going to get the money from a developer because there’s millions of pounds in that and there’s not millions of pounds in building a venue from scratch. I think it’s a real shame and I wish someone had done something with it but I that’s kind of a battle which was lost through finances rather than through permissions and constraints, I think what the council then has the obligation to do is to make sure there is a place for young people to go and we’ll probably go and talk about that in a little bit but we the council should be setting out a framework in which other youth minded organisations can operate in but it’s going to be very hard for the council to say, setup a gig venue because you need an independent company to come along and run it and do it as their job. 8. H: (Eden Quarter Development) Generally what are your thoughts? Do they agree with this development? J: So obviously it’s a massive thing, I think one of the reasons why I joined the Lib Dems is what they’ve been saying is generally what’ve I’ve been saying, yeah they’ve messed up a things, tuition fees notably but, generally there’s not conflict in what I think and what they think so it in this case both me and the Lib Dems in general are recognising that there needs to be growth there needs to be development, that site which the Old Post Office is, is just a disused car park, it’s just a bit rubbish and could be something better, so we need development and everyone wants that but what our worry is, is that it shouldn’t be development and growth at any cost and the concern is that we’re racing ahead through all these plans and not necessarily providing stuff for what people in Kingston want and need, the development might not have the infrastructure that we need. For example if you put loads of houses there that’s cool, you need schools for those kids to go to school once they’ve moved in for example. Then there’s physical infrastructure like can the water/sewer supply deal with all these things and unless these things are thought through that’s our concern and you’ve got other concerns, is some form of almost like gentrification where we’re changing the make-up of the town centre. So if we’re putting luxury flats in the middle of town at the expense of people who live in the middle of the town at the moment, where are those people going to live? Are we bringing one type of affluence or person into the town centre instead of the people who live here at the moment? These are questions which you could answer in all different types of ways but where you draw the line I think and we think that this is too much too fast and there’s other ways which we can build and address a very real housing crisis because I don’t think these developments are addressing housing crisis, I think they’re ticking a box of building houses but they’re building houses for people who are comfortably off anyway and don’t possibly need those homes in the way that the people on the council estates might need those homes more. 9. H: Do you think, particularly on the site of the Hippodrome and McClusky’s which is a different development, is that damaging the music scene/culture of Kingston because it’s a loss of venues? If so, in what way? Could it be handled differently? J: It’s weird because Kingston’s unique because most other places if you had this conversation about the importance of nightclubs you’d be like they’re just night clubs like a lot of places, like if you look at Croydon which has just announced that ‘Tiger Tiger‘ closing this weekend, for a lot of people that’s just like “oh goodbye, never liked nightclubs anyway” I’m not saying that’s what I think cause it’s not but Kingston’s unique because of what Banquet does, we have a lot of real bands playing in a nightclub that doesn’t happen everywhere, it’s quite an unusual thing. So yes, it is worrying if nightclubs close and the things through market forces not through any kind of council funding or whatever, just through a business entity providing gigs, now obviously we do it cause we like doing it but as far as the tax man goes we’re only it cause we want to make money, now that’s not actually the case because we’ve got a private entity putting on these gigs, if we don’t have a big room to put them in were gonna be in trouble, we’re not gonna be able to put these on. Now McCluksy’s it’s a converted restaurant at the end of the day which they’ve converted into a nightclub and it’s functional. Hippodrome is a bit shabby but it’s a big ol’ room that we can put big bands in, if we don’t have those spaces I don’t know where we can put them. So yes it would be damaging and I think when we provide planning permission as council to develop we need to think about what things are going missing and one of the things I’ve said throughout my election campaign was that we need to consider…heritage and the arts is considered very highly in Kingston but it’s perception to me that it’s a certain people’s heritage and a certain people’s arts are more important than other peoples and

78 | Thesis Research Document


I think for me a gig at the Hippodrome is as much why I live in Kingston as the beautiful River Thames or Richmond Park or All Saints Church or all these other things which are really important to Kingston so yeah it would be a problem if we don’t have places to house these gigs. You’re just saying “Goodbye” to those gig venues and you’re saying “Goodbye” to those gigs which is at least a hundred gigs a year pretty much that we’re gonna do, but whether that’s important to the decision makers is something else. 10. H: Now for McClusky’s, or The Viper Rooms as it’s called now, is it not suited for many shows now? J: They’ve changed stuff around since we left they’ve changed stuff around, had a refit and everything. Right now it would be harder for us to book gigs in there, but partly the reason they’ve just changed stuff is because we’re doing our bigger gigs at Hippodrome right now, I’m sure if we went back to them and said “we got a plan, we wanna do this” then they might be able to help us out but right we’re happy with the Hippodrome, it suits our needs a lot more. 11. H: Do you have an idea of what the people of Kingston want? J: Yeah well you obviously can’t get it right all the time and you speak particular for the people who you come in contact with and not necessarily with the people you don’t and it’s really hard. I think the thing which is god about me, if that’s the right word, is that I might understand youth culture a bit more whilst not being young, I’m by no means the youngest councillor on the council, there’s a lot of early twenties and early thirties people on the council, but there’re sometimes like born forty years old d’you know what I mean, like they’re not around what people are doing right now and part of that is that I like music which is typically younger people’s music, I still skateboard, I’m down the skate park with typically younger people and I’m surrounded by these things. It’s not like I’ve got to learn and study it it’s just like an obvious thing. I don’t think I represent nearly as all young people, but I speak it out as a resident cause I live here as well and I think that nightclubs are important I think gig venues are important I think young people having the same rights as far as council tax benefit reduction goes, is as important, if you’re under twenty two, you should have the same rights if you’re over twenty two, it’s a no brainer, I can’t even understand how that’s not a thing. So young people’s issues are important only because they are as important as everybody else’s issues and I’m not particular pro young people I just think young people’s opinions as older people’s opinions, I think that’s where I differ because a lot of people don’t have that view. 12. H: Do you know what the demographics of Kingston are? J: Don’t know but I’m sure we can find out. There’s pockets of different things and if you’re talking about Kingston town or Kingston neighbourhood or Kingston Borough, there’re three different answers but right around here there’s some very big houses that cost of money and people are quite well off. Further down there, or further down there, you’ve got social housing where it’s the poorer parts of Kingston society and you’d probably know that council estates that the perception is because Kingston is quite a affluent borough we don’t have a problem with council housing but actually we’ve got it really bad because people just ignore it cause it’s not considered important to a lot of people. There’s all sorts of stuff, different people around and that’s what you want, you don’t want ghettos, we don’t want poor parts of Kingston or anything and that’s why I think the developments are here with no affordable housing is probably wrong not only for the economy but the type of people but also morally it’s a bit wrong to just have a rich area and a poor area of Kingston, it just doesn’t make sense. 13. H: Are there any other areas the council are interested in developing? J: There’s quite a big area which goes almost out as far as Ravens AIT and towards Canbury Gardens that way and past the Fairfield that way where they’ve talked about being an opportunity area to build and develop, these things aren’t necessarily evil because Kingston as a council does have to build more homes absolutely, and the Lib Dems did very badly at building enough homes when they were in power and part of what’s made this situation so bad is the Conservatives inherited a bad situation and just because you inherited something you don’t need to make it even worse. So there’s lots of stuff that’s got to be done but it’s trying to do it whilst keeping the things about Kingston that which are why a lot of people want to live here and want to pay the excessive rates to live in Kingston as opposed to other parts of London.

79


14. H: Are there enough venues? If not what kind should these be? Multipurpose venues? Such as restaurants, bar venues, nightclub and gigs etc J: It’s really hard isn’t it, because you know, no there’s not enough venues in Kingston but how do you do it , how do you provide a framework where, you can’t really have council run gig venues unless they’re like youth clubs and they’re not gig venues anyway, I don’t know if you’ve been to Heatham House in Twickenham but that’s a youth centre kind of things where they have live bands, that’s not a gig venue, there needs to be that place in Kingston where it’s a rubbish little old room, it’s all black and dark and there’s loads of graffiti and a place with character and feel. The Fighting Cocks has that, it’s got a vibe, music fans running a music venue and that place is brilliant. The Cricketers is trying to do the best it can with a venue which isn’t really designed to be a gig venue. The Grey Horse has just done through some changes and isn’t really well it’s certainly not becoming more of a gig venue than it was. The college is good and there’s facilities there but they’re quite expensive. We do have a battle at the moment, Banquet has kind of inherited or have overtaken a nightclub as its place to house gigs. It’s not necessarily the best but it’s the best we got right now. If there was a purpose built gig venue, maybe we would use it sure, but whether or not there’ll be enough promoters there to be able to use it the other nights of the week is something else if there wasn’t then that venue could well go bust cause if it can’t function and survive market forces and be more profitable than another coffee shop then they’ll have to change it. 15. H: Are there any venues that are causing trouble? J: Any licensed venue there’s going to be trouble and I don’t want to sound flippant about this but if you drive a car fast enough you’re going to have an accident, if you go on an airplane you’re going to provide environmental detriment, you’re going to provide pollution. There’s always going to be trouble with licenced premises to a point, now what we’ve got to try and do as gig promoters, as venue runners, as a council we’ve got to try and not throw the baby out the bathwater, we’ve got to try and find what the problems are and tackle those problems as opposed to shutting down things. There’s certain parts of Kingston that do have it really bad and it’s disgusting if people are on their way back from a nightclub and they’re pissing in your garden or chucking beer bottles on your property, that’s bad but actually Kingston is one of if not the safest borough in London, it has very, very strict licensing conditions on the venues which I think are going too far I think it is going a bit too far for having your ID taken or have breathalysers on nightclubs, I don’t think that even makes sense testing, are you testing if someone’s too drunk to dance? What is the line that you’re not allowed to cross there’s a lot of things that are kind of illiberal for one of the better word but Kingston doesn’t really have a big problem with club and licenced venue related crime but of course there some things that exist and we’ve got to stop them. The recent ‘Essence’ closure, I think was entirely justified, it had some really horrible things that have happened there and you have to take action where you have to take action. But a few kids coming back from a nightclub shouting and stuff is going to happen and sort of it’s going to happen if you live near any town centre to a point. 16. H: What are your thoughts on the recent events in Paris? What does this mean for the future of music venues, musicians and gig-goers? J: It’s really hard to make any sense of it isn’t it? It’s shocking and I’ve met people who died in that thing, not my friends but like when it’s actually people who you remember shaking their hand and stuff it’s quite a sobering thing. I don’t know what you can do about it and if I did know the answer I’d be like world leader, you need to have freedoms in society, you need to allow people to come and go. I don’t know how the doorman could’ve stop that happening. We have airport style security at the Hippodrome, if someone came in with machine guns then… H: (There’s not much you can do about it) J: Yeah exactly that, so if it happens again then the world will change but at the moment if it was just a one off then it’s something people can just try and put to the back of their mind. I mean, I don’t know, it’s a completely different conversation to the kind of “our students causing trouble coming back from prison” it’s not that is it, it’s evil murderers who have nothing to do with like a race or religion it’s just deciding to infiltrate, to put their horrid ways onto people who were just trying to have good time and it’s obviously disgusting.

80 | Thesis Research Document


H: (It’s hard to say what we could do, we can’t really say if it’s through better management or better design of the venue with too many barriers between the door and venue) J: Yeah the Hippodrome is very good for the amount of fire exits it has because it was designed to be a nightclub but it’s got way more fire exists than is required by law and Fighting Cocks is at the other end of that, it’s legal sure but you know it does what I has to for a hundred and fifty people in there, but if you bring in a machine gun, I don’t know what you can do on that one. It’s something which everyone is fearful of and that week, I’m sure you can find the figures, but that week at Brixton Academy, a thousand people didn’t turn up to the gig that was sold out, a thousand ticket holders didn’t leave the house cause they were scared, that’s crazy isn’t it, and gig venues if those things happen, it’s way more a threat to their survival that to licencing laws, but obviously, none of that matters in relation to people dying, that’s the worst thing of all. H: (It kind of hit home for me when I was studying in Nottingham for the past couple months and about a week after that happened, I went to see ‘The 1975’ at Rock City and it was just so close to the timing and it’s quite a tragedy really) J: Yeah like what you said about hitting home, when its people who have worked at the Hippodrome for us, like full bands that have visited who have been shot down when they’re just doing their gig, its dark, really horrid. 17. H: Council Leader Kevin Davis mentioned in an article: "I think Kingston is missing a live music venue….If Jon wants to talk to me about finding one, I haven’t got any money, but I’m perfectly happy to talk and listen to his ideas." Have you spoke to him about this and are there plans for a new music venue? J: That quote I can’t remember it exactly, but that was long before he would’ve know who I was, that was when I was known as the guy who owned a record shop as opposed to running the council opposite him. The context of that was that he was quite vocal that McClusky’s and Hippodrome were going to close and it doesn’t matter cause we’ve still got Pryzm, that was the quote and I was saying that, you might’ve seen a video I did where I walked around town that was in reaction to that quote, I was like look at all these gig venues, Pryzm isn’t something that, I don’t value it, it’s important to some people but for me I don’t go there, it’s not something I which is on my radar in that sense but I value their right to be a club which does its own thing, So I was saying you take away McClusky’s, you take away the Hippodrome, is Bacchus allowed, is gigs at All Saints allowed, is Fighting Cocks allowed? What is important when we’ve already got all these gig venues right now, we don’t need to go and find a new one, can just look after the ones we’ve got right now because actually, there’s a lot of good stuff happening at the Fighting Cocks and there’s a lot of good stuff happening at the Hippodrome, and if licensing laws were a bit easier, they’re probably be a more stuff happening at the Hippodrome with external promoter but no external promoter is gonna come in there and need to get its insurance policy from this place and deal with the Kingston licensing policing where it’s very hard for a fifteen year old to watch a band in the same room as a twenty year old because of the strict licensing laws we have in Kingston which don’t happen in Brixton Academy or anything else like that, so there’s all these constraints but all I was saying and the point I was trying to make was don’t take away our gig venues just for development because we’ve got gig venues right now and now he’s saying we do need a live venue and come to me and talk about it but I don’t have any money, and this is exactly the point, it’s that we don’t need to spend any more money, we don’t need to subsidise a Rose Theatre-esque community building because we’ve got these rough round the edges, shabby buildings which work just fine, we had Bring Me The Horizon play there, and we’ve got Bloc Party playing there and Suede played there, the bands are coming to Kingston, we’re doing really well with that, and not any other council like other Conservatives, other people value what Banquet does even if they don’t value what Jon Tolley thinks, they value there is a good safe place for young people to watch gigs in Kingston. So I think that was said not really understanding what the situation because why would he know, if he doesn’t like the kind of music and the kind of bands that are coming to Kingston, if he doesn’t care that ‘The Wombats’ or ‘The Vaccines’ are playing in Kingston, why would he know they’re playing you know, he says a lot of daft things, I think a lot of them are shooting from the hip

81


and hasn’t actually thought it through, if he saw what I was trying to say it is that we got gig venues, let’s look after the gig venues, lets protect them, let’s value them than just shutting them all down and “it’s OK because people can got to Pryzm” because it’s not OK because The Vaccines can’t play at Pryzm, you know, and I know this for sure because when ‘The Works’, as it was, shut down we had to decide where to go, somewhere else, or give up New Slang, we looked at McClusky’s, we looked at Pryzm and there was no way it could’ve worked at Pryzm for a number of reasons, you can’t watch a band in a room that shape, it’s just weird. 18. H: I’m sure there’s been ongoing conversations with Kevin Davis and other people in the council right now about the music culture and venues but has there been anything developed from that, has anyone said let’s have a venue? J: No I don’t think it’s a priority really for a lot of people because Banquet provides this, “for profit” I’m putting that in speech marks for the interview haha, but for this “for profit” thing where we provide something that the council hasn’t really needed to but when I spoke to some of the people in Richmond Council and they were like “how on earth do you get this, you should come to us and provide gigs in Richmond for our young people.” I was like we’ve got enough going on here but I think the council doesn’t need to provide a service because we are. As far as what happens this year, there is to be quite a considerable review of licencing and licencing policy and without trying to scare people, the things that are being talked about are similar to what was talked about in Hackney where they were talking about closing likened premises at eleven during the week and midnight during the weekend, now that didn’t happen in Hackney but only because people got together and made sure that didn’t happen and if that happened in Kingston then that’s something we need to react to really strongly, for one it’s not right to not allow young people to nightclubs anyway which I believe, I go to nightclubs every week and I work in nightclubs obviously I’m invested in that but also if those nightclubs didn’t’ exist then the all ages gigs in those venues won’t exist cause nightclubs won’t function they won’t be able to perform. So you have to question whether the licensing policy is actually about making the town safer or is it about making the venues so far from profitable that they have to close and if it’s closed then it’s lot easier to turn them into something else, that’s the question and it’s something which you can be labelled a cynic for saying there’s an ulterior motive to it or you can be the one who realises there can might be an ulterior motive to it but hard to know. 19. H: So there was quite a dramatic loss in venues from 2007 to 2015, in London, there was meeting with the London Mayor and they’ve done an investigation into why these venues were shutting down and it came down to several reasons such as planning, development and licensing, and they discovered that for example, (the Day and Night Café) was threatened to be closed down after just one complaint, they investigate the planning polices and there were only three references throughout all the documents that relate to music venues and one of them was that any new development shouldn’t affect existing businesses and also music venues should be protected from new residents coming in and complaining, so clearly there should be a review of all these polices and licensing. J: Frank Turner has been quite a visible, vocal person on the Agent of Change which he is trying to bring in as an act which essentially does that, when developments are put in place around existing venues to recognise the right to the existing venue. The problem is, and you’ve got to see it from both sides of the argument before you decide which side you should believe in, but wherever you live, you do have the right to like a decent night’s sleep and people not throwing bottles at your house kind of thing and as land prices and pressures exist and people need homes, we’ve got to build these homes somewhere, like build them in middle of town, it doesn’t matter that the Bacchus is there and the Hippodrome’s there cause we needed houses, now when we have those houses built and they’re twenty metres away from a nightclub, what do we really think is going to happen, there’s going to be noise complaint issues. So we’ve got to get the balance right and we got to try and value, not just the economic right of the business but also the social good that the clubs do not just for the people in the town centre but for people from the borough and wider. That’s something which I think is often forgotten in this conversation, it’s not just about economics and night time economy, it’s the eighteen year old living in Chessington had their night out in Kingston, it provides service for the whole of the borough and that’s something like two or three noise complaints take that way from the whole borough that seems really wrong and I think that now, and maybe you and all your peers think that now, but maybe when you’re sixty five you won’t think that, do you know what I mean, it’s really hard to balance it all and get that decision right and one thing I’m seeing as a councillor is because people I represent live right in the middle of town and they have only the bad stuff in Kingston and if you’re trying to bring up a young kid and they get woken up every night by people going past they see it so much worse than the person living a mile away that doesn’t have people walking their house every night. 82 | Thesis Research Document


So it’s a battle, the Agent of Change is something that needs to be implemented I think and just dealing with the fact that you’ve bought a house right opposite a nightclub, you know, I live opposite a kebab shop, I expect once a week there’s going to be kebab shop mess on the floor and I don’t have a sulk about it. 20. H: Also another policy/idea to improve it was that developers should increase insulation and acoustics to prevent hearing all those noises. J: Yeah and think about where the entrances to the homes are and the developers generally aren’t interested in the quality of life of the person that lives there, they’re just looking after how much money they can make and realistically, how important that gig venue survival is to them and how important the quality of life is of the resident is not important to them, it’s just like how much money they can make cause that’s all they’re paid to do, so it’s council, councillors, planning officers who have to be the ones who are like “we can’t approve your plan because it’s going to be bad for these other things in Kingston which are important to us” so it‘s about scrutiny it’s about trying to look after everybody in that decision, not just the ones who make the money and the money that does bring in so the council is very important too. 21. H: Also as part of the report, it says that new develops shouldn’t affect existing businesses and clearly with the destruction of the Hippodrome its going affect New Slang? J: And if you take it to a real extreme, if and when they’ll knock down these six shops, which they will at some point, we don’t know when, it might in three years or ten years and that’s going to happen, that will obviously massively affect us. It can’t be the case that you can’t make any decision just in case you upset a local business but the consideration of the local business must be in there and if we decide it’s collateral damage, do you know what I mean, we lose two or three businesses, and then if the Hippodrome close, the Eden Kebab would close, the Cab company opposite would close, all those things, if we just decide that the seventeen storey homes for four hundred people is more important than those three businesses then we can make that decision, what we can’t do is like “let’s have the homes and fuck it nothing else matters” we need to put it all into our decisions, sometimes you need to make decisions which are going to be bad for some people but what I’m arguing for isn’t just for the economic stuff like if Banquet doesn’t exist, if Eden Kebab doesn’t exist, it doesn’t matter to a lot of people but what should matter is that there should be a place for young people to go to a safe environment to dance, drink and meet other young people in a completely legal space because that’s something that should be celebrated in the same way you wouldn’t think about knocking down like a mosque for property developer, you’d be like “this is a cultural thing which is really important to some people” it’s no important to a lot of people but it’s important to some people who live there, so it’s an amenity for the society and that’s what we should value and try and base our argument s around that. 22. H: Do you think a new music venue or a music school / combined will help Kingston to embrace the music culture? J: Something is happening with Kingston College, the new building opposite the Grey Horse, and that’s got a gig venue in there but it’s just not open to exterior promoters in the same way The Fighting Cocks or The Cricketers or The Peel is and was as they’re actually actively seeking people to do stuff where the college doesn’t really have those kind of market driven needs that other places have. So think ideally we would want that but I think pragmatically, looking at the situation were in with massive cuts in how much money the council’s going to have to spend, it will be a decision between having a gig venue and hospital services, that’s what it’ll be painted out as and it’s really hard to be like “provide us with this and pay for it” when there’re other things that aren’t getting the money so what I think is the important thing is to not try and make the council spend money on that but just get the council to allow existing things to continue cause they’re not actually paying out money but they’re still getting a return, they’re still getting things that exist right now and that’s the thing, it’s like you almost have to throw away your idealism and deal with the most pragmatic solution to the situation, so right now I want there to be a space where we can have some of the best bands in the country to come and play Kingston and ideally, it would be at The Rose every week, cause that venue was amazing for ‘Bring Me The Horizon’ and ‘Real Big Fish’, all these gigs incredible, all the production was amazing, the staff were brilliant, but it’s just not affordable and we can’t justify that money. So we make do with the shitty old Hippodrome but its brilliant cause it works.

83


23. H: For the Hippodrome and The Fighting Cocks, do you think the design is good enough, it works anyway? J: Well it’s not ideal, we all know it’s not ideal, the design of this shop is not ideal but you make the best of what you got. There are plans to renovate the Fighting Cocks now and will happen maybe towards the end of 2016, probably 2017. That will be radically different, it’ll be way better than it is now. But what you sort of want costs hundreds of thousands if not, millions of pounds to actually have it perfect to have it designed to spec and it’s not realistic. You want it to happen but I think dealing with what we’ve got right now, we’ve got lots of great bands like if you look at what’s happening in January/February at New Slang, we’ve got a lot of bands that have sold out Brixton Academy that are going to play in Kingston so let’s welcome that they’re coming and put them in as appropriate venue as possible and what we lose with not specifically designed venues, we make up with smiles like treat bands as they want to be treated, treat customers the way they want to be treated all for a good service and that’s all we can do as a company and I don’t think as a council, we’ve got any money to do anymore with it and unless Muse’s manager millionaire man, comes in and actually builds the venue that he talked about doing last year, then we just got to keep plodding on. But I don’t know if you’ve read that story? J: So someone involved in Muse’s management is obviously someone who’s a very rich millionaire, he owns a PA company as well, he nearly bought the Grey Horse and nearly turned that into a high brow two hundred and fifty cap venue in Kingston which would’ve been really good but he decided not to for whatever reason. 24. H: Do you think something should be done to promote how important the music scene is? J: Absolutely and I think that battle will come this year when we talk about the licensing issue if and when…cause it’s already gone out, well they very rarely call it public consultation but really that public consultation is just twenty odd people who reply to an email, it’s not really consulting the wider population. When that gets talked about, that’s exactly the time we need to talk about how important it is to the local society, not only the people living in Kingston, Hampton Wick, people living in Richmond, but all these people who use Kingston Borough’s services without, you know, you don’t just go and say “I’m not going to that gig it’s not in my borough” you go to the one which is twenty minutes away or something like that, so it’s important to recognise not only the two percent of the people in the town which are directly or indirectly employed from night time economy business, it‘s not just that, it’s the hundred percent of people of the town who have the ability to go to something like this. You have the ability to watch ‘Mystery Jets’ this week or a play in the Rose Theatre and see an old punk band at The Fighting Cocks or a comedy night at The Cricketers, those things are important, whether or not you decide you want to go to something else, to have the choice, it’s all about equal opportunity in that sense rather than equal rights. 25. H: It might be a bit obvious but it appears the Council doesn’t seem to value this as much? J: I think there’re a lot that do to be fair, I think there are a lot of Councillors and can pick out a few Conservative Councillors, I don’t want to make out that everyone is the enemy but if you look at Councillor Geoff Austin for example, he’s a Conservative, he will value night time gigs. Richard Hudson is another Conservative Councillor and us like the whacky Liberals are supposed to be more that way anyway you know and there’s a few gigs at Cocks we had recently where I’ve seen two of our Councillors other than me just being in a pit and coming out sweaty after moshing and stuff. It’s pretty cool, I like it. I think people do value it ,it’s just whether or not all the people in society, cause there’s so little money, it’s really gnarly how little money we’ve got to play with over the next few years it’s going down and down and down, and because of that, there’s going to be cuts and you can’t say to the cancer patient that a gig venue is more important and that’s how it’s going to be portrayed and even though realistically you want this brilliant gig venue, you want this best hospital treatment and you want recycling everywhere and you want all these things, something has to happen has to give. It comes back to this thing like ideally people would build us a good venue and ideally people would look out for us a lot more but while or if that doesn’t happen we need to make it happen for ourselves and so we need people to get together and put on gigs and show why gigs are important and not be dick on the way home and adding more fuel to the fire like gigs create trouble or all this kind of thing. Just be responsible and kind of neighbours to people who have to live in that place way after this term or this three year cycle of students have gone back to wherever they used to live. The people who’ve lived here for twenty thirty years before it was a university, they’re the ones who we got to get them to value younger people and younger people’s culture, come to some of the gigs, try and get it more open to people like that. But yeah licencing policy and review will be the big thing in 2016, I think for these kind of conversations, because if there was no ability to have gigs then we defiantly won’t have the venues because they’d have to close. 84 | Thesis Research Document


26. H: Back to The Peel that was closed down, do you think that it affects the careers of young bands as they don’t have any way to flesh out and there’s less and less small places to play now? J: Yeah and you don’t have the chance to make mistakes and everything’s done a lot more publically there’s a kind of lack of culture which happens without these little alternative spaces existing. Yeah it’s a problem just generally in society, you could argue about parks and I like there being the idea of there being independent shops as opposed to chains, I like a coffee shop as considered to a Costa, I think what communities do as putting their money back into the community they care about is important and I think making your own mistakes somewhere where like the gig venue you were saying there, I think having a place that’s yours and find yourself and meet likeminded people in real life and not just in social media, that’s where you find your friends for life in those kind of places. You can have that conversation about football teams, about how football’s changing in the Premiere League where there was a time you used to go and pay your shilling and pay to stand on a box with your dad, that doesn’t happen anymore, I think that’s more of a societal issue rather than a music soul-y thing. I think it’s a shame young people won’t have the same experiences that older people had in that sense of making…you know, you see the memes on Facebook like how people don’t climb in trees anymore, there’s a bit of that just about learning life experiences and stuff. 27. H: Are there any questions that you would like answered? J: I’ve always tried to find pragmatic solutions and whatever’s existed, taking this back to a real extreme, cause the reason the works closed was cause a young lad got stabbed and died, like it’s bad and that was seven years ago. The reason we went to McClusky’s then is because, well where else we going to do these gigs? We wanted to keep the gigs going. McClusky’s never had live bands on before, we made that try and work and it does to a point. There is a venue called DIY Space for London, don’t know if you know about this, if not you should check it out, in Peckham which is a group of likeminded people who try and make a venue space out of what was essentially a disused warehouse and they made it into one and it’s good it’s actually properly good, it’s a place that’s not just for music but for all sorts of like arts and culture and talks about politics, all things from a young person’s viewpoint. That comes from people just getting together and getting on with themselves and doing stuff, I think that’s what we should be as a council and as adults with experience is to try and enable young people to get on with it and do it themselves. There’s the old saying of giving someone a fish compared to teaching them how to fish, enabling people to get into the habit of putting on gigs, lose a bit of money here sometimes, have a bad time sometimes and you learn from it and your whole culture and a sustainability that way rather than just providing something and hoping that it works or it might just get run down. So I think what we should be trying to do, if there was to be a quick solution, is to listen to what the needs are of people and enable them to do it themselves rather than providing it and I think the DIY space is the best example of that where in a year and a half they had an idea and they had a finished article and that’s what we should try and encourage in every borough in London, not just DIY Space for London but a DIY Space for Peckham, we should have a DIY Space for Kingston which could exist in one of these disused toilets over there, there’s all these different kind of public spaces which we could allow these young people to use and I think that’s the key thing. 28. H: Is there anyone else should I speak to? J: See what the DIY people are saying, talk to Jamie at The Fighting Cocks cause they’ve just had their fifteen year anniversary and again, he bought a pub and turned it into a gig venue and it’s actually pretty good, it’s not as good as it will be but he’s someone who’s lived in Kingston for I dunno, twenty years and gives shit, he bought a gig venue cause he likes gigs, not like “I’m gonna make loads of money” hopefully he is making some money but he’s got a passion for stuff. So him, and maybe talk to the people at The Rose who should have time to talk to you because they’re one of these big companies who have a department who would be dealing with stuff like this and see if you can get a half an hour with them and talk about the value of, what they consider the value of arts and culture which is going to be slightly different from gig venues as obviously it’s theatre but it’s still about the importance of arts and culture in society and they do get grants, not much but they do get a bit of grants and they used to get a bit more from the state, and see how they’re reacting to the continued cuts in grants.

85


29. H: How important do you think the music education is, whether it’s linked directly or not but for example in Manchester, there’s been so many influential bands like ‘The Smiths’, ‘The 1975’, ‘Oasis’ is there anything like that in Kingston? J: Not that I see, well the best example of this was called ‘Thames Beat’ for a little while and I don’t know if even recognised as being an actual term but if you look back to ten years ago Thames Beat’ was the thing that created ‘Jamie T’, ‘Mystery Jets’, ‘Larrikin Love’, ‘Good Shoes’, ‘Jack Penate’, like are those kind of bands. I think it really is when two or three things come together it snowballs and I don’t think it’s anything which can be imposed on people, it’s almost bit of luck really. Look the bands coming out of Birmingham right now like ‘Peace’, ‘Jaws’ and ‘Swim Deep’ like those kind of bands that sort of sound a lot like Manchester bands from fifty years ago but I think that kind of stuff is a bit something you would never want anyone to force on people like “hey guys let’s create a music scene” it just happened naturally and that’s what’s good about Alternative culture, it’s not told to you by your elders, it’s just something that’s real and organic so yeah I think that’s bit of a tougher one to bring in but that did happen in and around Kingston and to an extent, that’s what created New Slang which created us, that whole Thames Beat music scene which we’re still benefiting from today so I’m sure Manchester still benefits from their 1990s indie and I went to Manchester to see bands at that time, it was amazing. 30. H: Do you think Kingston’s missing a dedicated music school? J: I don’t know, I can’t answer that one very well, I didn’t do GCSE Music even, I don’t really know but I think the thing for me as that my music scene was my culture and is where I met my lifelong friends and it’s the person I am really isn’t it, just Jon from Banquet, so for allowing for me it wasn’t so much a music school it was that this place existed, the gigs, the friends that I’ve met from Bacchus and The Peel, talking about twenty years ago, those are the friends that you know, one of them still works here like after twenty years, the person who used to work in the shop still does, just works for us now. But I think enabling pockets of Alternative culture to grow is a thing and to value culture, all sorts of different culture like the same way that I’ve just used football cause I’ve mentioned football but if you look at what AFC Wimbledon have done, they’re football club went away so they created it and started it again and to help individuals come together then you don’t need to do the work, you just need to enable them to come together but then this is a kind of political ideology almost in a way that there would be others that would think you provide a service and it happens. I don’t know, I don’t know if a music school is good or not, I don’t what it does, I don’t if it creates really good musicians who aren’t in real band because they haven’t got something to say cause for me the best bands are sort bands who are poets you know, like do you learn that from music school maybe you do, maybe you don’t, I don’t know it’s a hard one, I don’t have the answer.

86 | Thesis Research Document


Curfew

87


This Thesis continues in the briefing document

88 | Thesis Research Document

Profile for Henry Cheng

"Death of the Music Scene in the Regenerated City"  

A thesis research document that investigates the current issue of music venue closure in the UK, music education and the best architectural...

"Death of the Music Scene in the Regenerated City"  

A thesis research document that investigates the current issue of music venue closure in the UK, music education and the best architectural...

Advertisement