Pete, our singer, is probably the most experienced of the four of us in terms of the number of gigs played. Neil, who plays lead guitar is probably next as he has been in a few bands over the years, and drummer Nick Hall is in third place having played a few gigs as a student but none for a long time. As for myself, I’ve never done what you might call a ‘proper’ gig. I once performed an acoustic set with a group of friends in front of about 200 people at my parents’ church, and once in the late 1990’s I played the piano in a pub for £25, a beef and onion sandwich and a couple of drinks. It was a really good sandwich too. I have also busked in Bury.
As our singer, the provider of most of our original songs, and the one with the most gig experience, Pete has put himself in charge of sorting out some gigs. We reckon that our current full set of songs which are rehearsed and ready to go, which is about 35 – 40 minutes long, will be plenty for the sort of support slots or festival appearances we’re likely to get.
We all would love to play at festivals, but we may have missed the boat for this year’s events. The one I really want to play at is the Ramsbottom Festival (www.ramsbottomfestival.com). Ramsbottom is a village to the north of Bury in Lancashire and its the place I grew up. Until 2014, I lived a stone’s throw from the festival site which is Ramsbottom cricket club and a lovely venue for live music. All my friends and their families go to the Ramsbottom Festival every year and have done since the first such event in 2011, and it is one of the highlights of the calendar for all of us. I’ve seen some wonderful acts (and one or two crappy ones) there over the five years it has been running such as I Am Kloot, The Wonder Stuff, John Bramwell, The Proclaimers, Sinaed O’Connor, Jimi Goodwin, The Magic Numbers, Public Service Broadcasting, Richard Hawley, The Neville Staple Band and loads more. The Waterboys were on in 2011, but I missed that year and Inspiral Carpets were there last year (2015). I want to play there. I want to be up on that stage performing while my friends are in the audience watching. That would make me very happy.
Getting the Gig
Anyway Ramsbottom put together their lists of acts in February, March and April (the festival takes place in September). Not only that but in order to apply for consideration, bands need to complete an online form and provide details such as gigs and festivals performed last year and this year, and gigs and festivals planned for this year. They also need to submit videos of live performances and all this is a stumbling block for us because we did zero gigs last year, we have never played at a festival, we have nothing booked in for this year and we’ve never played live so we have no videos to submit.
Maybe Next Year
So we have a bit of a problem in terms of getting festival slots for 2016. I think we would be better off getting some gigs in small venues and then we will have something to film. I think that 2017 will be our year of festival appearances.