Last year we bust a gut to get some ace tours in town, you all responded in kind, filling each show on show with more bodies. Whilst we missed out on a couple of high profile gigs we really wanted, I was more than happy that we were once again laying the foundations for a return to the Swindon of old.  Regular touring bands and sold out shows.
So with this year being barely 7 weeks old, it’s great that Swindon has managed a sold out Beans On Toast gig, announced Gnarwolves and Moose Blood tours, with the promise from us that there is more to come.

The general language across social media, specifically Facebook, has changed from whinging and whining about various states of play, venues and their bills, to a quiet perhaps dubious but optimistic belief that something is certainly changing.

We’ve sold nearly 100 advance tickets for Gnarwolves at the Victoria next Wednesday, and one of the lesser knock on affects of this, which people may not even realise, is that when you deal with an agent you are requested regular ticket sales updates. They want to know what the scene is like in your town by the only measure that means anything – Sales & attendance.

Strong pre-sales gives agents a really good impression of our scene, and I’m super happy that we’re in a purple patch where people are committing themselves to watching original live music, and buying in advance. It’s with these pre-sales and averaging out of attendances I can make a genuine, believable and committed gauge to offer agents for the next tour that crops up.

Of course it helps that we’re dealing with bands with profile. Gnarwolves opened the main stage at Reading & Leeds last year, and certainly more excitingly for me, Moose Blood have just announced they’re playing Vans Warped Tour in America later this year. We’ve done warm ups and preludes to pretty much every Southern UK festival, but never had a band booked to perform who’ve announced playing one of the US’s most prestigious national tours. Neat.

I keep saying, and I will repeat again that one persons success is everyone’s success. If a show at The Victoria is packed, then those 200 people will see all the other exciting tour posters and shows advertised in the venue, whilst having a great experience – and thus will want to come back – Perhaps to my show, perhaps to your show – Either way, having as many different people involved offering different choices is really important – a Beans On Toast fan, is just as likely to enjoy a bit of Gnarwolves as they are Ed Sheeran. If they see these acts advertised they will come.

It has to be noted here that the current buds of success isn’t just down to a dedicated group of promoters such as myself, Songs Of Praise, Fairview of Dredded Vyrus, OR blogs such as Mixtape Press, Dancing About Artitecture and The Colour of Vinyl OR printed magazines like The Ocelot and the local rag or even the Radio Swindon 105.5Melksham Town, Sound and Chippenham FM. It also goes to venue(s) who often have to take a leap of faith to not book a dead-cert-successful-tribute-night for a hit or miss original act, and in some cases going the extra mile shifting other nights about to accommodate a touring band – which in the case of the Victoria, are way more organised and booked up, than the regular agents I deal with.

Independent venues are the bragging rights in your town. 

The future also seems bright, as I too (after many other local muso’s have already given such talks) was invited to give a lecture /talk recently to the students of Swindon Academy of Music. proving that the local scene (in my opinion) is beginning to join the dots and realise the opportunities on their doorstep.

If any of that chimes with you, check out all those links, tune into some of those sessions, read those blogs and continue to come to local shows. For me, music is everything. I get a kick out of not only booking an exciting new band, but asking an exciting new designer to produce a flyer. I enjoy writing press releases, and sending them to radio stations to play music I’m passionate about, for me this entire industry is FUN.

Gnarwolves w/Boxkite & As The Sun Sleeps  @ Victoria, Next Wednesday 25th Feb –

Moose Blood w/ Creeper & With Ghosts @ Victoria Sunday 8th March –

Jon Gomm & Jimmy Moore @ St Mary’s Church Saturday 21st March –


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