If you don't already know, BBC Introducing… is the BBC's biggest ever initiative for unsigned British artists, giving them unparalleled opportunities to be seen and heard. The aim is for local BBC new music shows to unearth acts and then pass them up to national radio - in particular Huw Stephens BBC Introducing… show on Radio 1 which airs every Wednesday at 9pm. In the last few months several Kent bands have made the leap through us to Radio 1 airplay, including Maidstone's Outa City Committee, Tunbridge Wells' Paisley Grammar and Chatham's Brigadier Ambrose - who were featured on Huw's 'Tips For 2008' show on the 2nd of January 2008.
BBC Introducing…Kent's Unsigned - want to offer more than just the opportunity to have your music featured on BBC Introducing…Kent's Unsigned. They want to be the place where music venues in Kent and around the country come to find the best bands to play gigs. They want to be a place where the music industry come to find the next new band for their label or to support a headline act.
The plan is to grow BBC Introducing…Kent's Unsigned from it's current half hour online show. They are also thinking of promoting a regular tour which travels the best venues in Kent every week, arranging gigs for bands and providing live music for fans with the promotional possibilities that only the BBC can offer. Last summer Bob Geldof's Kent TV expressed an interest in filming these bands which would also offer excellent new promotional networks. The BritBus also want to get involved and be represented at these events. There are also opportunities to make BBC Introducing…Kent's Unsigned a longer show also available on radio.
In order to achieve there is a need to build a buzz around BBC Introducing…Kent's Unsigned. Spread the word.
BBC Kent need your help to achieve this. As you can imagine they are in contact with over 200 Kent bands and it's just not possible to chase all of them on a regular basis. The bands that work hard to keep the BBC up to date with their latest songs, news and gigs find that they get results. If you are playing with bands around the county make sure they are signed up to BBC Introducing…Kent's Unsigned.
What you need to do:
1) Please sign up to the newsletter which will will be used this as a mailing list from now on to send out information and requests to bands and new music fans. If you are not signed up to this you WILL miss out on BBC Introducing... opportunities - which in 2008 will include the chance to play on the BBC Introducing... stage at Glastonbury, perform at the BBC Electric Proms and get a session at the legendary Maida Vale studios. It's easy to subscribe and unsubscribe.
2) Listen to BBC Introducing…Kent's Unsigned which is online every Wednesday and is new and improved in 2008. You'll be able to hear the best acts Kent has to offer, find out where they're playing, get advice on what it takes to step up to national level and get feedback on your music. One of the best ways to find out how to be a success is to listen to how other bands have achieved theirs. Make sure all your fans listen and support other local music as well - the more people that listen the greater the audience for your music.
3) Make sure you are a friend on the MySpace site - this is the quickest and easiest way for Kent venues and music fans to find and hear music from local bands.
4) Update the records - please fill in the following information as briefly as possible and return it to kents_dot_unsigned_at_bbc_dot_co_dot_uk:
Band members: e.g. Andy Smith (19) (Vocals/Guitar), Ben Jones (18) (Bass Guitar), Dan Stevens (20) (Drums)
Where from in Kent:
Contact email address (not for publication):
Contact phone number (not for publication):
Upcoming gigs: e.g.
1st January 2008, The Beacon Court, Gillingham
2nd January 2008, The Britania Margate
3rd January 2008, The Happy Frenchman, Folkestone
4th January 2008, The Grey Lady Music Lounge, Tunbridge Wells
5) MP3 your latest music to kents_dot_unsigned_at_bbc_dot_co_dot_uk and/or post
a copy to the address below.
You will need to fill in an agreement with the BBC preview here www.bbc.co.uk/kent/your_space/music/band_contract.pdf
If you have any ideas of how we could help bands in Kent or would like to get involved with helping out BBC Introducing…Kent's Unsigned in any capacity then drop an email to james_dot_bursey_at_bbc_dot_co_dot_uk
Jools Holland & his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra, featuring Marc
Almond as special guest vocalist, with Gilson Lavis and guest vocalists Ruby
Turner and Louise Marshall, has announced a summer concert at Bedgebury
Pinetum & Forest, near Goudhurst, Kent.
This should prove a popular return to the venue where the act last played to a sell-out crowd in 2003.
Jools Holland & his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra has become established as one of the most prolific touring acts in the UK, creating their own unique big band sound playing a mix of boogie-woogie, swing, jazz and R&B. They now play an average of 100 live shows a year, touring Britain and the world to audiences in excess of 250,000. It's been a particularly busy time for the music maestro recently with the publication of his autobiography, 'Barefaced Lies and Boogie-Woogie Boasts' and top 10 chart success with his latest album 'Best of Friends'.
Commenting on the booking Elspeth Hill for Bedgebury Pinetum says "We are delighted to have secured a date with Jools again. The concert will be supporting The Forestry Commission's valuable social and environmental programmes and is the first confirmed date as part of our summer concert weekend".
Jools Holland and his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra will be
performing at Bedgebury Pinetum & Forest, Nr Goudhurst, Kent, on Saturday
7th June 2008.
Tickets are £30 (subject to booking fee) and go on general sale from 9.00am on Friday 11 January 2008 from ticket hotline: 01842 814612 or buy on line
Pete Castle was amongst the Tenterden Folk Festival regulars representing Kent the recent Smithsonian Folk life Festival in Washington DC.
Pete summarised his feelings about the festival as follows;
THE SMITHSONIAN FOLKLIFE FESTIVAL
There are times when I can’t believe how lucky I am to do what I do for a living. For a week at the end of June/beginning of July I was one of the first English people to participate in the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington DC. (Previously Scots, Welsh and Irish and just about any other nationality you can name have been there but, for some reason, not the English!) I went as a ’cultural exemplar’ (I’ve been called many things before!) from Kent, where I was born and frequently appear at events such as Tenterden Folk Festival. Our programme in Washington was called the Roots of Virginia Culture and I worked alongside Virginians, American Indians and Senegalese. Also participating in their own sections of the festival were delegations from the Mekong Delta and N.Ireland.
The Washington Post described the event thus:
“Seven city blocks; 10 days of arts, crafts, music, sports and games; 32 languages; 90-degree temperatures; 103 tents; 415 volunteers and 707 guest participants: Yes, the 41st annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival on the Mall promises to be a bustling, sometimes overheated, multi-tented and multicultural mini-metropolis.”
I was asked to perform at the opening ceremony and by the time I was on stage the audience had been listening to strange music and long speeches for nearly 2 hours so it wasn’t the time for a serious ballad or long story! ‘Hopping Down in Kent’ proved to be the right choice and I’m told that the Governor of Virginia, the Ambassador for China, Martin McGuinness et al were joining in and swaying along behind me!
We musicians/storytellers did several sets each day on one or other of the various stages and joined random selections of other artists to discuss a variety of topics on the discussion stage. It was a bit unreal to find yourself sharing a stage with a great blues singer like John Cephus or some of the Appalachian banjo pickers who looked as though they’d walked straight out of Deliverance!
It was a once in a lifetime opportunity. You don’t often get the chance to be heard by over 160,000 people in one day! (They reckon on 1 million people during the course of the festival. It’s all free—a ‘museum without walls’.) To eat breakfast with American Indians; to hear Chinese, American, and Vietnamese musicians jamming together; to engage in good natured banter about politics with a Rev. from Northern Ireland; to share a lift with exotically clad dancers from Cambodia… you think you’re in a dream.
If you look at my website at www.petecastle.co.uk you’ll find a page dedicated to the event, complete with pictures and links to other sites on which you can find interviews and even videos of me performing!
I will be back in Kent at in the near future and at Tenterden Folk Festival 2007 from the 5th to 7th October.
storyteller and folk singer
Editor: Facts & Fiction storytelling magazine
Info Supplied by
Trustee and festival director
Kent & E Sussex Gig Guide
tel: 01303 893472
fax: 01303 893833
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