Why should you go out and see live music? – Phill Thorne on the local music scene.

When Total Ashford first asked me to write a local music blog, I really didn’t know in which direction to take it. Should I write about venues, bands, the age-old argument of covers vs originals, festivals? Truth is I’m in a very fortunate position with my Saturday radio show (www.facebook.com/weekendashford) and with the work I’m now doing with AMAC (www.facebook.com/ashfordcommunity) to be able to pontificate on all the above subjects.

So I’ll start with this one.

Why should you go out and see live music?

I’m going to start this in a weirdly converse way. The reason shows like X factor, the voice etc exist, is because people don’t go out and watch live music. Kids with talent, not all of them granted, but most all want to show they can perform, sing, mimic their idols. However, where do they get to perform…other than with their hairbrush (standard imitation mic) in their bedroom. Venues don’t take enough risks in putting on open mic events, and why should they, costs, no guarantee of either talent appearing or indeed punters appearing. Bottom line in the closure of many pubs in the UK is not enough punters through the door. Does the obligatory Lynyrd Skynyrd/Sex on Fire covers band bring any more punters in? Would the regulars turn up anyway?

So let’s pick a random name, Angel. Angel has a measure of talent, but only ever uses it to partake in bedroom karaoke. Poster in a local pub says “Open Mic, all ages are welcome” Angel tells her friends and family, those that can be bothered go along to support. And then it’s her turn. And she smashes it out of the park, she’s the best thing ever. Result, Angel is happy, friends and family remember where they were when they first heard her, reputation of the establishment goes through the roof and more importantly on that one night, takings are up by the extra beer/wine/soft drinks that Angela family have not only consumed themselves but have brought other people to see…..it doesn’t take a mind reader to work out that multiply that by the number of acts on and you have a winner. Come on Ashford, go see some music

Here’s a quick event plug for you.  Jam At The Farm, taking place this Sunday, 7th October at Homelands, home of Ashford United.


Why should you go….well firstly, its free, secondly, all monies raised through donations and raffle tickets sold on the day go to a spectacular charity called Nordoff Robbins who provide music therapy for all ages…..you want an example?  I defy you not to be moved by this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwT8J_fNUO4. And the raffle has some amazing music based prizes to be won.

Its also a tribute to a great UK music producer called Chris Tsangarides. You may not have heard of him unless you’re a fan of British Heavy Metal, but the list of artists he worked with in his career has many every day names, Depeche Mode, Gary Moore, Steeleye Span, Thin Lizzy, even Tom Jones. His passion  though was British Heavy Metal and so of the two stages set up this weekend, one will be solely featuring some of the biggest bands from NWOBHM currently around (ask a rock fan what NWOBHM means if you don’t know).

The second stage will feature some of the areas finest musicians. Alan Cork, Stella n The Loft, Sullivan and Kellam, The Bad Pennies, and many more. A great opportunity to see them all in action.

Literally, every penny raised from donations this weekend is going to charity. All the acts, technical people and stage people (God Bless Castle Inc.) are all donating their time for free to raise money for this wonderful charity whilst also remembering a fine Kent based music impresario.

Weather is set fair so get down and enjoy your Sunday!!!

In the meantime, thanks for reading and I’ll be back soon!

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1 Comment

  • Gray

    8 months ago / 5th October 2018 @ 8:28 am

    A well-written piece Phill and I can only agree. It’s a shame so many venues have a strict over 18 policy after 8pm (LOT 7 Ashford, The Penny Theatre and Lady Luck both in Canterbury to name a few) as my sons are in a band and like watching other live bands but because of their age (17 in Nov) aren’t allowed in even with their old Dad accompanying them. Also it’s just too easy to stay indoors and crash on the sofa compared to the thought of getting ready to out, nowhere to sit in a small crowded pub, the price of drinks etc, wandering around town at night (avoiding the weirdos!) etc. Thank God for the free summer festivals where the kids do get, probably their first opportunity, to witness the power and spectacle of a live band in action!

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