Burger recipes courtesy of Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra
Burger recipes courtesy of Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra
A night mixing electronica, soul and hip-hop!
A new project from Benin City frontman Josh Idehen. Hugh is Andy Highmore on production/keys, Tino Kolarides on guitars and Joshua Idehen/Izzy Brooks on vocals.
A chance meet between Josh and Andy at a south london bar led to a mutual appreciation of the Beach House's reverbs, Grizzly Bear's barbershop harmonies and the 90's brilliance of Soul II Soul. Numbers were exchanged, jams were planned, and the first demo, ‘I Can Be Your Light’ was recorded.
Andy roped in guitarist friend Tino to expand on the melodies whilst Josh looked for a singer to complete the band. He played the demo to fellow spoken word artist Izzy Brooks in an artist tent at Bestival. ‘Reminds me of Four Weddings And A Funeral’, she said.
And Hugh was born.
SCOTT JAMES & THE REVOLUTION
Scott James & The Revolution are a Hip Hop/Soul/Folk band from Gloucestershire.
Comprised of four members; Rapper and Vocalist – Scott James, Guitarist – Chris James, Guitarist, Cajon and Vocalist – James Armah and Vocalist - Sophie Cotterell.
Drawing from a variety of influences from Nas and Lauryn Hill to the laid bare storytelling of Tracy Chapman, they combine deep lyrical content with soulful harmonies and melodic guitar riffs. Every track on the EP is different to the next, making it an extremely dynamic release whilst remaining stylistically faithful.
An independent alternative electronica producer and songwriter from South Wales but currently studying at the University of Gloucestershire.
DATE: 28 March 2014
VENUE: The Frog and Fiddle, 313-315 High St, Cheltenham
ENTRY: £4 in advance from WeGotTickets or £5 on the door
Whether you’re in a band or kicking it solo, money infiltrates most aspects of life, and your musical career will be no exception. From musicians looking to their art purely as a way to make cash, to those who see money as mankind’s greatest evil, a combination of honesty and common sense should help you stop money from causing problems.
Sharing with others
Have you ever read Morrissey’s autobiography? At its best, it skirts the line between pretentiousness and poetry thrillingly; at its worst, it collapses into a long moan about the court case against the Smiths’ former drummer Mike Joyce.
Joyce was paid 10% of the band’s income but believed that he should have been due a 25% share, and sued successfully to be paid this. It seems that the Smiths – like most bands – had fairly haphazard financial dealings, so it’s hard to say who was in the right, although Morrissey’s account strongly suggests the judge had it in for him.
It’s a miserable tale to read, and if the chronicle of your life can end up being so dominated by such a negative experience, it’s worth doing all you can avoid it. You really don’t want to end up feeling as bitter towards your musical comrades as Morrissey does, so rather than taking sides, let’s see what we can learn from the Smiths’ mistakes.
As awkward as the subject of money can be, it’s really important to be clear with your bandmates upfront and agree how you intend to split costs and profits. If, for example, you write the songs, you’ll probably expect a bigger share of royalties.
Don’t wait until you make it big (if indeed you’re so lucky) to have this conversation, or you might find that the band implodes right as it’s on the cusp of succeeding. If you can put what you agree into writing, even better.
Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty of the KLF allegedly burnt £1 million in 1994. Don’t do that.
Working with others
Being self-sufficient is fantastic, but chances are you’ll need to work with plenty of third parties if you want a little time to concentrate on writing songs: promoters, record labels, the media and countless others.
Again, agreeing your terms upfront is mightily important; for example, don’t play a gig and then demand a certain fee afterwards. Agree a fee or a percentage of the door profits with the promoter as early as possible.
I’m hugely grateful to have seen Leonard Cohen live, but the circumstances were less than ideal for him. He’d retired long before, but his manager had seemingly stolen his money, leaving him more or less penniless. Cohen uncomplainingly dusted off his hat and hit the stage again to earn enough Shiltons to keep paying the bills, but we can all learn from his travails.
Tony Wilson has mostly written his own legend, but the founder of Factory Records and the Hacienda nightclub appears to have fallen into the trap of being too trusting as well. He allowed bands to walk away from their contracts whenever they wanted (although they were apparently signed in blood!), meaning that some left him behind once they’d hit the big time.
You really can’t spend your life trusting nobody and asking for everything in writing – not if you want anybody to actually like you. Nonetheless, don’t just assume that everyone is as honest as you: the world is full of sharks as well as people who genuinely want to help, so try not to get them confused.
Musicians aren’t always renowned for readily paying their taxes – from Phil Collins to U2 and David Bowie, there have always been pop stars more than happy to ditch us for a tax haven.
Contributing tax might feel like a pain, but it pays for the services that keep the country ticking (or at least it will until they’re all privatised and bought on the cheap by our government’s Eton buddies so they can make easy money off us forever with the safety net of a government bailout if it all goes wrong).
Whatever you think about tax, not paying it can have consequences: avoiding it illegally will get you into serious trouble, but even dodging it within the law can turn public opinion against you – just look at Jimmy Carr a couple of years ago.
Willie Nelson is our cautionary tale here – the legendary country star found himself owing the American government $16million back in 1990, thanks to his accountants not paying his taxes and a series of weak investments. He got it sorted in the end, but it’s really a situation to avoid at all costs!
Apparently ABBA’s ludicrous costumes back in the day were more than just sartorial accompaniments to their equally gaudy songs – they were a ropey tax manoeuvre too! They could write off the cost of the outfits as an expense as long as they were daft enough that they couldn’t be worn offstage without ridicule. In our opinion, looking like that isn’t worth it, however many thousands of Swedish Kronor it saved them. Nonetheless, if you know any of Slipknot’s members, give them the heads-up!
On a more serious note, it’s best not to put the money you make into an account in your own name, as any profits the band make will look like they’re part of your own income, which will affect how you are personally taxed. It could be worth opening an account in the band’s name to avoid this problem, and you can make each member of the band a signatory (assuming you’re not a full orchestra or the Polyphonic Spree!).
Talk to the pros
While things are simple, you should probably be able to run your finances yourself. The bigger you get and the more you release, the more complicated things will become. You might need accountants, solicitors, financial advisors, a record company and more. Choosing people you can trust is seriously important, so speak to the bands you know and meet on tour – you can’t beat a word-of-mouth recommendation.
Plan for the future
Yes, some musicians can go on forever, but not many can last as long as the Rolling Stones or Neil Young. Bands split up for a huge variety of reasons, from musical differences to personality clashes or life events taking priority. Thinking towards a future beyond your current project is important if (unless you intend to join the 27 club).
If you’re serious about making a life-long career as a musician, think about how you can invest your money for your future. You’ll probably need to retire one day, so consider a pension. You could instead invest your money yourself, rather than relying on a pension company to do it for you. The stock market or even property both represent possibilities for making money, but both come with great risks as well, which shouldn’t be taken lightly.
If music is just a hobby, you’re going to need to strike a decent work/life balance. If you can find a day job that gives you the flexibility to take time off to play gigs or go on tour, then you’ll have done well. But finding a boss that understands what your music means to you – or at least one with the basic humanity to appreciate that there are more important things in normal people’s lives than what happens 9-5 – isn’t always easy.
If you’re somewhere in between, you might be up for taking a couple of years away from the rat race to chase your dreams, maybe just working casually or part time to help fund it. If you know there’s a chance you might not make it, or are planning to settle down, buy a house and have kids in a couple of years, you’ll need to have a think about what you might do in the future, whether it’s a career outside music, or something steadier still within the industry: session musician, venue owner, music promoter (don’t plan on making any money!), sound engineer or studio producer are all possibilities.
In anticipation of our 100th show in April, here’s a playlist of some of the acts we’ve had - follow and enjoy!
It’s our 100th show! After nearly six very enjoyable years at the crease we’ve reached our century! Join us, Captain Accident and the Disasters, Fight the Bear and Sam Green and the Midnight Heist while we hold our bats aloft in celebration and wave to the pavilion. Or something like that.
2011 saw Captain Accident working with a brand new label in Trench Foot Records and was without a doubt the most fantastic year so far!! Relentless touring and playing has allowed the Captain & his clumsy sidekicks to develop an ever-growing following around the country.So far Captain Accident & The Disasters have been lucky enough to share a stage with such artists as Toots & The Maytals, Jaya The Cat, Pama International, Mad Professor, The Toasters, Sonic Boom Six, Neville Staple, Fishbone, Mr Nice and The Wurzels to name but a few! They have also played at some of the biggest festivals in the UK including Glastonbury, Secret Garden Party, Green Man & many more.
“Do yourself a favour this winter - don’t sit in front of the fire, sit in front of your stereo and soak up the warmth.”
- Kyle Bunkin – Punktastic – 4/5
FIGHT THE BEAR
Fight the Bear are a ska/rock band. Their debut full-length album, Gutter Love, was released in 2006. Their second studio album, Dead Sea Fruit, was released in 2009. In 2011, Fight the Bear played at T in the Park 2011 and were featured as BBC Radio 1’s Tip of the Week. The band’s third album, 38 Degrees, was released on the 30th of August 2013.
"This track does exactly what I like indie rock to do to me. To suck me in with some slow minor chord guitar picking, to make me question the relevance of my existence and the state of the human race… and then BANG into some rock!"
- BBC Introducing
SAM GREEN AND THE MIDNIGHT HEIST
Sam Green and the Midnight Heist are a grass root, blues, rock n roll band with tunes that you can take home with you. Featuring Sam Green (Lap Slide Guitar and Vocal), Matt Cooke (Drums and Percussion), Joe James (Double Bass) and James Cameron (Electric Guitar and Harmonica) SGATMH can be found touring the UK constantly and playing their own eclectic blend of progressive Roots music..
"His contemporary finger-picked folk songs evoke John Fahey, but also shares much in common with the multi Brit-winning Ben Howard, and wouldn’t be out of place supporting Mumford & Sons especially when reaching impressive thigh-slapping speeds on the rollicking “Miles Away”, when they turn the space into a full-on barn-dance."
- Elisa Bray, The Independent
DATE: THURSDAY 3 APRIL
VENUE: THE FROG AND FIDDLE, CHELTENHAM, GL50 3HW
ENTRY: £4 in advance from WeGotTickets.com or £5 on the door
ALSO! We’ve teamed up with the good people of PROPAGANDA CHELTENHAM who have laid on some after-show sweeteners in the form of half-price entry to their night at Moo Moo’s, queue jump AND a free shot to all who come to our show. You just need to present them with your gig wristband when asked!
We’re fast approaching show No. 100! Here are some of the brilliant acts we’ve had so far…
CYNOTIA are an alternative 4-piece rock band from Cheltenham who set pulses racing. From Selina Clark’s soaring vocals and Josh Mills’ searing guitar to a brutal rhythm section capable of waking the dead, they’re a band who grab you by the collar and demand your attention before kindly dusting you down and sending you back into the cold of night. Influences range from Rage Against The Machine and The Distillers to REM and the Beatles.
"Sparky femme-fronted alt. with punkish edge but melodic, forthright, a girlied-up Foos" Bugbear Promotions
“Cynotia are a fresh, ambitious rock band full of contagious energy - their music will make you wanna dance in your seat! Definitely a band to keep your eye on and your ears open for!” Marie Elliott - Community Manager, SoundCloud
THIS WICKED TONGUE are a four-piece from Worcester. Subverting genres to deliver honest and contemporary audio filth, they play a potent mix of riff-heavy rock, metal and even RnB with attention-grabbing vocals and thumping drums.
Having only started gigging seriously in 2011, they’ve already got a raft of good shows under their belts including playing the main stage at Green Man 2012.
“…a thrilling fiery sound rife with a deviously seductive persuasion and mischief… hard to see the band not finding a far reaching recognition and stature in the years ahead…” Pete Ringmaster, Ringmaster Review
A four-piece rock band from Gloucester who count Black Stone Cherry, Motley Crue, James Brown and David Bowie among their influences.
Date: Friday 21 March
Venue: The Frog and Fiddle, 313-315 High St, Cheltenham
Tickets: £4 in advance from WeGotTickets or £5 on the door
“There’s no protest music any more” – every washed up rock critic of the past 5 years.
Anyone whose music taste extends beyond the reach of the charts knows this is absolute tosh, and even the barren wasteland of the top 40 has the odd song with something to say. Essentially, it’s all about knowing what you’re looking for. Maybe you won’t find a direct modern equivalent of Bob Dylan, the MC5 or the Clash, but why should there be? The sublime lyrics of Clayton Blizzard, the fury of Pussy Riot and the narratives of Plan B all approach telling us about the state of the world differently to how they did things in the 60s and 70s, but that doesn’t mean it’s not protest music.
So if you spent last night singing about smashing the establishment, it might feel awkward patiently queuing in your bank the next day to pay your earnings in. What can you do – steal one of their pens? Nope – even those are chained up.
If you see banks as coke-fuelled temples of unchecked greed, you’re not alone, but what are the alternatives? If you shove your money under your mattress, it’s actually very likely to lose value – if you hold on to £100 of cash you were given, inflation and rising prices mean that in a few months it’ll most likely buy you less than it would now. So what are your options?
Invest it in the band
Talent, passion and originality are more important to writing a good song than anything money can buy – who hasn’t seen a band that have the most wonderful instruments and equipment, but still sound terrible?
Nonetheless, even three chords and the truth needs to be heard to have any power, so you’ll need instruments, sound equipment, recordings and a way to get around. Ploughing your earnings back into the band will pay dividends that can’t be measured in pounds and pennies.
Oh, and here’s what not to do: spend it all on a slick marketing campaign to begin with. The cliché of a band who pick their name, design a logo, print their T-shirts and come up with a collective noun for their fans before they’ve even had their first practice is almost as old as rock n roll itself. The modern equivalent is setting up a vast social media presence without any songs to back it up, then hoping this will be enough to score you gigs. Don’t do this: your million YouTube likes and legions of fake Twitter followers will mean not a thing if nobody comes to watch you play.
Spending everything you earn is a bad idea; if an amp blows up halfway through a tour, you’ll be grateful if you’ve previously put some cash away in case you need it down the line. You’ll also earn interest, which will protect you to an extent against inflation and should be more convenient than piling up the notes and coins in your house.
So what kind of account should you go for? A decent interest rate is nice, but if you’ll need to dip into the account whenever you like, don’t go for a bond – these often have decent guaranteed interest rates, but won’t let you access your money until the end of the term.
Which bank should you use?
If you’re serious about not using the high street banks, there are some slightly more ethical alternatives that don’t involve lining the pockets of shareholders or funding investments in morally dubious industries like the arms trade.
The Co-Operative Bank have had some rough publicity lately, thanks to being run by a reckless fuckwit with far too much in common with the worst of the bankers that screwed us a few years ago. They’re also 75% owned by shareholders, but do at least have some stated values on how they invest their money.
Back in 2008, it was tough to tell the difference between some of the bigger building societies and the banks they’re supposed to provide an alternative to – without looking below, they dived into hugely risky lending and ropey investments in Iceland and the US that promised greed-satiating, unrealistic gains. The result? Companies falling apart, mass redundancies and – impossibly yet inevitably – huge and baffling payoffs for the inept directors.
Many have now returned to their traditional business model: using money from savers to fund their lending to those who need a mortgage, with the difference in the interest rates being enough to keep the company running. There are no shareholders getting rich out of it, and some get involved with charities, green issues and the local community – and that’s about as punk as the banking industry is likely to get.