I'd already planned in a vague way to catch an independent publishing event at Nottingham Writers' Studio, then realised that a pair of singer/songwriters that I'd really like to see were performing locally the same night. Time to panic!
Then time to check venues and timings ..... almost unbelievably, the two events were taking place on the same street, literally opposite each other, and, with a bit of leaving early here and missing the opening act there, I could pull both in!
|panel photo courtesy of Mud Press|
If you'd asked me a couple of weeks ago what or where Bunkers Hill was, I'd have had no idea. But then I heard on the social media grapevine that two of the guys I'd met through my daughter's music promotions - Patrick Craig and Joe McCorriston - were going to be playing there, and I thought it was a great chance to see them again. The venue turned out to be, as I said above, just across the road from the book event, one of those pubs that advertise 'live music' on certain nights, and the 'stage' was a small area in one corner of the bar (No dartboard this time though)
I always expected to miss the opening act, local singer George Gadd, but I was disappointed to have got my timings a bit out and missed the beginning of Patrick Craig's set ..... still it's a good excuse to go see him next time he's up from London, and I at least managed to catch the whole of Joe McCorriston's set. Both are singer/songwriters with a folk/punk vibe and were as good, if not better, than I'd remembered (though it helps that this time I hadn't been left in charge of collecting entrance money!). It was a really fun end to the evening and I'm glad I went along.
What struck me afterwards was the way in which both of the evening's events had been about going down an 'independent' route. In the same way that the independent publishers are investing in work that isn't mainstream, so are these musicians. Their music is their own, played and sung from the heart; not something shaped by management to fit what's deemed popular. Although both the bestseller lists and music charts have something to offer (though, please, not the latest formulaic thriller or boy-band song), there's a lot more variety to be found by looking a little beyond the obvious.
* photo of The Only Way is Indie panel comes courtesy of Mud Press