SXSW, Aldeburgh, Ipswich

Here are some things that have happened since I last wrote this column a couple of months ago:

Superglu are going to SXSW! 

If I was a more animated person this would have had me jumping up and down and dancing in the streets, so happy was I on hearing the news. As it was, I let off a big smile and an audible ‘woo’. Yes, that’s right – Superglu, the masters of indie pop, will be heading to Texas in March to play at South By Southwest. It’s a festival that has turned numerous bands into ‘buzz bands’ – catapulting them under a spotlight which probably most couldn’t thrive under. That’s probably what it’s best known for – propelling the likes of Vampire Weekend and Florence and the Machine – but to me, the whole thing just sounds like an incredible experience. Who wouldn’t want to go hang out in venues in Austin, play a gig, watch other bands and eat BBQs? Of course, I hope it’s the latest in a long line of stepping stones for Superglu to successfully navigate, but most of all I’m just really pleased they’re going, and that Americans will be able to witness one of the most exciting bands this country has to offer. Good luck, Superglu.

BBC Introducing in Suffolk went to Aldeburgh Music…

We’ve been to some great places and met some lovely people at gigs we’ve put on over the past seven years, but Snape was on another level due to the sheer brilliance of the production there. On a Saturday night back in October we took Amethysts and Dead Rat Orchestra to perform alongside our host’s picks – Anna Meredith and Ayanna Witter Johnson. It was great to see how far Amethysts had come along since their first live gig earlier this year – no longer were they a slightly timid looking pair… they were confident, had a commanding stage presence and most importantly a bunch of strong songs. They’re definitely going to be ones to watch in 2017.  Dead Rat Orchestra, meanwhile, were something else. They’re a joy to behold. In the space of 30 minutes they must have played a dozen or more instruments and had the audience mesmerised. No words I can write could do them justice – go see them if you haven’t already done so.

Ipswich Arts Centre hosted its first gig…

A couple of weeks later, Dead Rat Orchestra became the first act to perform at a gig night at the brand new Ipswich Arts Centre. The space of the old St Clement’s Church is shaping up to be a very promising venue… now all it needs is people to support it. Hats off to all involved, and to Spill Festival for being the first to put on a gig there. 

Our live room has been busy. We had two acts in our live room in the space of a week recently – with The Grey Code followed by Gaffa Tape Sandy. Both are raw, filled with passion and make us excited about the shape of things to come on the Suffolk music scene. 

The Uploader…

There’s been so much good music submitted over the past month, and back to the start of the year. Please, if you’re making music – take the simple steps of using the BBC Introducing Uploader. One of the stand out acts recently are Shining Path. It’s the brainchild of Tom Kerridge, who runs Ramp Recordings and Pump and Grind in Ipswich, and features the talents of Rye Shabby, Bessie Turner and Ben Ward. For their new track, 16 Bits, they’ve managed to get Trim on vocal duties. Exciting stuff.

I wish you all a Happy Christmas, and a jubilant 2017!