25th anniversary

I had a look back on my old blog to 2013…. here’s The Forum’s  20th anniversary with Miles Hunt & Erica Nockells, TWUNTS and Paul Cheese. This weekend has seen “Local Legends” :

which was a bringing together of several musicians who have been in bands “for a while” – harking back to 1993. Bombay Monkey only having been together for 15 years, and only recently having recruited bassist CJ Thorpe. Who was back on Saturday with his own band Code Marla  for an EP launch night.

I suspect some of Tenbag Banditz (above) weren’t born in 1993…. which just shows the diversity of music, genre and ages available – from classic rock to hiphop and electronica, in 24 hours. There is much more lined up for 2018, including some sold out shows coming up (Frank Turner, The Wedding Present, Pales Waves).

Looking back has made me reflect on my time over the past five years, no – thirty-five years, partly as I booked in the acts for “Local Legends”, although many of them I didn’t know five years ago.

Boldly leaving grammar school at sixteen to go to art college, the main careers advice, dispensed in a one to one interview in the geography room was “You should stay here and do A levels.” With a deep hatred  of the school since being told, aged 13, hormones raging, that there wasn’t enough of us to do the needlework O level, and I’d have to pick another option – like RS, great, yeah, why not? I wasn’t too keen to follow the next lot of advice to stay on another 2 years doing things I didn’t want to do. It turned out the grass wasn’t really greener, a local art college BTEC diploma course was less cutting edge, more rooted in the 1950s finishing school era. One of the most exciting things I did was organise our fundraising disco and design and screen print the poster. However, although determined to rival Vivienne Westwood, I failed to get a design job in London and for a while ran my own knitwear business, worked for someone else’s sewing business, tried to work for a milliner, then slowly life just got in the way, tried an evening class to re-ignite some creativity, made costumes for son’s school opera, passionately carried on taking photos, all that jazz.

I just reckon, in that geography room, neither of us was going to say, “How about getting involved in booking bands, writing PR stuff, doing photos, interviews, working in music?” despite at that point my three amazingly witty published letters in Smash Hits…. along with a devotion to John Peel and Hazel O’Connor.

So, the past five years have been a bit of a revelation, and trying to recall the exact words of someone who said, similar to this: “It’s not what do you do?, but what are you doing at the moment?” It’s been an enjoyable side-line, getting involved, and not quite a world away from sewing a jumpsuit a bit like one Siouxsie Sioux had in 1981. And the fundraising disco in 1986? I seem to remember it was quite well attended, and I still have the poster somewhere…. It’s sort of the same colours as “Local Legends”….. sorry Pat, I only just realised.

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