What Happened to the UK Rave Scene?

I vividly remember the days when we would all congregate at someones house late on a Friday and Saturday evening, desperately trying to get through on a mobile number. This was quite some time back, in fact over 20 years ago now, so calling a mobile in itself was pretty unique at the time. Eventually we would get through and a recorded message would tell us where to head off to. It could have been somewhere quite local, up in London or often much further afield. Why would we do this? Simple, to find the free party, free festival or illegal rave which would be kicking off that night.

free party in a field

Often we would get to the location just to find that it was a meeting place, there could be hundreds of cars there, all pumping out banging tunes with the head nodding brigade in the back seats. Then someone would drive in, sometimes carrying a flag or something, but often would just shout “this way for the party” and we would all follow on in convoy.

Eventually we would see a glow as we went over a hill in the countryside, or others just head into an industrial estate and park outside a deserted warehouse. Either way, as soon as you turned your engine off you could hear pumping tunes and you knew the party was going to happen.

The light rigs were usually pretty minimal, the sound system massively unbalanced with massive bass bins, virtually no mid range and shrill tweeters. And the party would last all night and often all weekend, so what happened?

No doubt the criminal justice act took it’s toll, but I know that there were still plenty of free raves happening after it came in, so that wasn’t the nail in the coffin, as it were?

police stop illegal rave

I personally believe it was the way the music evolved. The sound used to be unrefined, bass heavy and sometimes even mixed pretty badly, but that didn’t matter, we were all there for the occasion, the experience. As the music itself became more commercial it became better produced and less focused on a bunch of sweaty hippies and ravers bouncing round in a field. The clubs jumped on it in no time and soon everyone was paying 10 quid plus to get into events which finish at 4am. As the scene got bigger and more commercial the whole thing became more watered down until we arrived at the situation we are in now. So what’s next?

Posted in music by Andy. Comments Off

A Nice Day for some Music

Well, here we are towards the end of May and the sun has decided to make an appearance at last. It’s funny how the weather seems to influence the type of music I want to listen to. Even the same music that I’ve listened to during the winter months seems a little lighter somehow.

I don’t often listen to Reggae, but on a nice sunny day, especially if I’m out doing some work in the garden, a bit of reggae somehow just hit’s the spot. The only conceivable reason I can think of for this, is that it’s a genre which is written in hot sunny countries and somehow just manages to capture that mood.

I’ve also been listening to Keren Ann and Isobel Campbell all winter, they are both good musicians who write lovely songs, but having listened to them again today, with the birds tweeting in the background, suddenly takes their songs to another level.

On the other hand, some of the tunes I’ve been listening to for the last few months, just don’t particularly appeal today, things like rock and dubstep, they just don’t seem to be suited to the summertime (short lived though I appreciate it could be).

Likewise with live music, I’m starting to think about some of those old hippie bands, the ones which I’ve seen at festivals over the years, who never really change, never get rich, but seem to make a nice living out of just playing and releasing the occasional album, oops, or should I say mp3 download these days? Well, never mind, I like the concept of an album, where the tracks flow in a particular order taking the music through a bit of a journey, although what I don’t like are concept albums! I don’t know why, but there is something much more interesting about an album produced by a  professional group who have been in the business for several years, than just downloading single tracks and taking them all on face value and out of context with the rest of the songs which should surround it, or perhaps that’s just me!

pop festival

There’s a mini festival happening round here in a month or so, it’s just an afternoon and evening thing with no camping etc, but it’s in one of the villages between Salisbury and Swindon, I won’t mention exactly where, as it’s hardly been publicised. I know this sounds a bit odd for a live event, especially a charity one, but it’s apparently being organised by Brian May’s manager and someone from The Sweet, who drink in a local pub. It’s supposed to have Brian May, Mike and the Mechanics and a load of other live bands playing. There are rumors that Tom Jones and Paul McCartney are even going to make guest appearances, but I’ll believe that when I see it.

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Black Sabbath to Tour Again

I read an article over the weekend, so thought I would give it a quick mention here. Black Sabbath the rock band from Birmingham are to reform and do another tour, even more impressive is that they are doing it with the entire original band members, even Ozzy Ozbourne (who can hardly seem to talk these days, let alone sing) so I for one will be keeping an eye out for concert tickets becoming available in the new year.

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A Wedding Band Can’t Just Turn Up And Play These Days

There are a number of hoops a band has to jump through before playing at venues these days, in addition to being fully insured there are also certain health and safety considerations and paperwork to be completed.

The document below is an example of what needs to be considered when playing at an army base.  It shows that bands can’t just turn up and play – for the particular gig the document relates to and many other HM Forces bases and government venues, they have to fill in security forms for every band member, get their insurers to stamp and sign a copy of their public liability certificate, as the certificate itself isn’t enough (!) provide vehicle registration details,  passport numbers and driving license references all in advance of the contract being issued.

Hazard (1) Effect of Hazard being realized (2) Details of Control Measures (3)
Arrival, unloading and Pre-performance set-up
  • Vehicle may cause injury to persons
  • Vehicle and persons may pose security risk
  • Unloading equipment may cause injury to band members or other person(s)
  • Electrical sockets may be overloaded causing fire safety hazard
  • Conform to venue security procedures & set speed limits , ensure vehicle & personal passes clearly displayed , park band vehicles safely for unloading, so that other vehicular access is not dangerously compromised or prevented
  • Unload heavy equipment carefully
  • Remove band vehicles to suitable public parking places
  • Relevant equipment shows valid  PAT stickers and Certificate available for checking purposes
  • Band members will carry each piece of equipment from their vehicle to the performance area via the route instructed by the venue.
  • Place equipment in correct location, ensuring that a)  items are placed on level surfaces, b) are completely stable and cannot be inadvertently pushed over

c) equipment does not block emergency exits and d) no item becomes a potential trip hazard for band, guests or staff

  • Carry out visual inspection of all wiring and electric plugs to ensure that they are in good condition and insulation is still effective
  • Plug electrical equipment into appropriate venue 13amp or 32 amp sockets (based on assumption they have been safety tested by qualified electrician) as instructed by venue staff, ensuring that circuits are not overloaded
  • Tape down any trailing wires to ensure that they will not impede pedestrian access and electrical safety will not be compromised
  • Ensure venue has unblocked emergency fire exits and extinguishers close to performance area
On Stage performance
  • Excessive noise may cause hearing damage
  • Band member dehydration
  • Guests accessing performance area may prevent performance, cause injury to band members or damage to band equipment
  • Ensure that sound levels do not exceed limits specified by venue
  • Ensure that band members are provided adequate liquid refreshment to avoid dehydration
  • Follow all hotel staff instructions regarding health and safety
  • Ensure no unauthorized persons is allowed access the stage / performance area


Post-performance break down, loading and Exit
  • Vehicle may cause injury to persons
  • Unloading equipment may cause injury to band members or other person(s)
  • Vehicle and persons may pose security risk




  • De-rig equipment carefully to avoid creating any obstructions to guests or staff as per “setup” above
  • Re-load into vehicles as per “unloading” above
  • Drive vehicles  as per “arriving” above
  • Hand in all passes / badges on exit of venue


Defined as “something with the potential to cause harm to a group or individual” Who might be harmed and how

3 The steps that will be taken in order to remove the hazard or reduce it so far as is reasonably practicable

Most party bands and wedding bands will find that they have to adhere to H&S to different degrees, depending on the venue.

A Berkshire wedding band or indeed a  Wedding band in Wiltshire, Wedding band Hampshire, Surrey party band, Wedding band Devon or a Buckinghamshire Wedding band will need to be prepared for anything the promoter or venue throws at you and action it well before arriving there.

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Posted in music wedding bands by Andy. Comments Off

Record Store (Shop) Day

We would like to announce Record Store Day 2011 which will take place on Saturday April 16th and as last year, will run through to Sunday April 17th.

For the uninitiated, Record Store Day is an event that originates in the U.S.A and is now in its 4th year in the U.K., celebrating the continued existence of independant record shops with lots of very ltd vinyl & CD releases exclusive to participating stores of which there are approximately 150 in the U.K. Sound Knowledge is the only participating store in Wiltshire and they will be hosting a weekend of live music with support from some excellent artists to mark the occasion.

Saturday 16th April – Open 9am with exclusive releases on sale – A list of what’s being released is available on the recordstoreday.co.uk website. If you would like further detail on any of the product then please call them on 01672 511106.

Saturday 6pm – an exclusive performance by Nathaniel Rateliff who was recently awarded Time’s CD of the week. Nathaniel will be signing copies of his excellent new album – ‘In Memory Of Loss’ after he’s performed.

Sunday 17th April – 2pm onwards – Live music featuring Pineapple Thief (Yet to be confirmed), Jon Amor Blues Group & more.

The store will remain open throughout the weekend including during the live events, all of which are FREE! Please go down and support them and enjoy some great live music and help to make Record Store Day 2011 as successful as last years event. (Oh how the sun shone!)

Please confirm numbers if you know you wish to attend either or both of the live events. Walk-ups on the given day won’t be a problem but they prefer to keep an eye on numbers.

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Wedding Bands

First off it’s probably important to make it clear that I’m not talking about wedding rings, or wedding bands as they are called in the US, this is about the type who stand up on stage in front of people and play songs, so if you need to know more about the ring type, back you go and refine your search :)

So how do you find a good band to play at a wedding? It’s a difficult decision to make, in part because being “the most important day of your life” it’s likely that you have just a few other jobs to be thinking about, such as a dress, flowers, the venue, décor for the venue, wedding favours, etc, the list goes on!

The other thing which makes it really difficult to chose, is that unless you have experience in booking bands for other events, such as corporate functions and the likes, how do you know who is good and who’s not? There are a number of ways to firstly find some bands and then to asses if they are any good.

To start off, you need to find some groups to check out, many of them will have their own website these days, and although it is entirely possible they could have a really good site but not be up to much, it’s pretty unlikely really. You may also find them advertised in local press and in wedding shops and related sites.

So, you’ve found a few that sound like they fit the bill, but how do you know if they are actually any good or not? Well firstly if they have a website, check to see if they have any songs on there as mp3 or even mp4 files, if so you can download them and play them to your better half, these could be live or studio recordings. Alternatively they may have some video up on their site, but myself, I think the better option is to have a look for them on You-tube, the beauty of this, is that you may find footage of performances, other than those which the band have published them self, this could give a much more honest view of the band and not just the highly polished performances they want you to see.

The other option is to go and see them playing live somewhere, the chances are that if you are planning your wedding to the extent where you want a live band there, you are most likely doing it quite a while in advance, so contact them and ask where they are booked to play live, but it’s a public event. Most good pop bands will certainly have other bookings which are open to the public, even if you have to pay a few pounds entry to the venue, it’s well worth it to make sure you find a band who really know how to play to and work a crowd.

You can of course always ask friends, colleagues and relatives if they have ever booked wedding bands before, I’m sure a lot of people will have done, so you can use their experience as a starting point.

The main thing is to make sure you do your homework, as choosing the right one can really make the evening go off with a bang. Most function bands will play the style of music you ask for(provided it’s within their repertoire of course), but an experienced one can keep people dancing and partying on the dance-floor all night long, which can sometimes be just as entertaining to watch as it is to actually get up and have a bit of a boogie.

Famous Weddings in India

Indian marriages are prominent worldwide for their vibrant and opulent look. The major attraction is the glamour and gloss of the ceremony. Nevertheless, Indian weddings are the most serious and ritualistic occasion. Nearly all religions in this country consider wedding ceremony as more of a spiritual practice than a legal or social one. Indian marriages are the perfect bring-together of celebrations, values and traditions. Indian people consider wedding ceremony as an emotional occasion of the joining of two souls. Hindus and Christian marriages are among the most famous Indian wedding ceremonies. Majority of the people associate Indian wedding with Hindu marriage ceremony.

Indian wedding covers in itself 6 other religion wedding namely Jain, Buddhism, Jewish, Zoroastrianism, Sikhism, and Islam. The famous Indian wedding ceremonies vary according to the community and region traditions and rituals. Different types of wedding follows different forms of traditions and rituals. The one aspect that is common in each and every ceremony is the attractive and striking display of emotion, commitment, concern and love. The Hindu weddings signify rituals, elaborate celebrations and customs and are filled with frolic and fun. It speaks importance of the ethnicity, heritage and rich culture of the nation. Each region adopts its own rituals, customs and traditions for the ceremony.

Christian wedding are the most significant of Indian traditions. As compared to Muslims and Hindus their population may be very less but has a profound force on the modern Indian society. Famous Indian wedding ceremonies have been prominent worldwide for their ritualistic and elaborative nature. Similar to other Indian weddings, the marriage customs and rituals of Parsi society are also increased over a period. In their wedding, the celebrations are being divided into pre-wedding, wedding and post-wedding practices. Additionally, the Sikh marriage normally takes place in temple among the priest of the family, religious place, relatives and friends. Of course there is always a wedding photographer on hand to capture every special moment on film.

Traditional famous Indian wedding ceremonies were magnificent and impressive affair. It took place over more than a few days with complex and elaborate ceremonial occasions. The ceremony was divided into pre-wedding ceremony, wedding and post-wedding ceremony. The Jain marriages are also very much ritualistic. They are simple and sacred without any profligacy. A distinctive Jain wedding ceremony is uncomplicated and very simple. The Jain community people do not have a firm conviction in wasting money or time on weddings. Jain marriages are very much simple and serious with no show. Even the Buddhist people are stern conventionalist about weddings. It is concluded mainly with the narration of Jayamangala Gatha and Mangalsutra as an approval for newlyweds.

The Indian Jewish wedding normally includes two major stages – the actual marriage and the betrothal. The actual marriage phase brings in a legal change. The marriages are always marked by huge enthusiasm and fervor. The famous Indian wedding ceremonies are more ritualistic and effectively display the emotion of love and care. The Indian Islam weddings are prominent worldwide as Nikah. Furthermore, the Indian Zoroastrian marriage and pre-marriage celebrations can be complex but in spite of volume they are one of the most fun-filled and joyous occasions. In the completion of the ceremony, both groom and bride pray to the deity for a long-lasting and joyful bond.

For indian jewellery and indian bridal jewellery including Jodha Akbar jewellery, have a look at indian jewellery store.

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South West Theatre

Whilst in general theatre terms, Wiltshire is not considered in the South West, in general geographical terms it is, so for the purpose of this paper I will be including Wiltshire in with Somerset, Gloucestershire, Dorset, Devon and Cornwall. The region is fairly consistent in it’s demographics being predominantly rural with numerous small to medium sized towns and many more small villages, as opposed to all the other regions which each include at least one major city.

The significant venues in Wiltshire are Salisbury Playhouse, Salisbury Arts Centre and Sixth Sense Theatre Company Swindon, although many others are included these seem to be the largest in the region.

So starting right down in the far west, Cornwall has a fantastic outdoor venue, the Minack Theatre, as you would expect, it’s only open during the summer months but is a reasonable size with capacity for 750, the productions change weekly and include both amateur and professional shows.

St Austell has by far the largest venue, the New Coliseum, it usually has one off pop music type events and can seat a staggering 3326 people (I didn’t think Cornwall had that many young people living there! ;-)

Moving up to Devon there are many more venues, notably in Plymouth and Torquay.

For those wishing to get curtain calls or auditions for any of these venues, or indeed for anyone wishing to audition for TV, there are agencies who specialise in putting budding actors in touch with the producers of television and theatre shows, many of them also provide dancers, musicians and singers for shows and cruises.

If you would like to apply for UK auditions across the country, an essential first step if you are hoping to get acting jobs on TV or in the theatre, it’s well worth signing up with an agency, many of them are free for a basic membership, so you can search for the local auditions for current jobs or if your profile is particularly good and you have plenty of experience, it’s quite possible that the production team could find you.

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It’s all about Stonehenge

Stonehenge can be found in England and is among the historical monuments that attract the visitors and add great value to the area. The stones that are present there are as old as 5000 years which is the reason why they inspire awe. What is present there in the Stonehenge is only an impression of what was in 3100 BC and later in 1500 BC, most of which is destroyed now and no longer available. The original Stonehenge had about 60 stones majority of which are sadly, ruined now.

There were four stages in which the Stonehenge was made. The first stage was in 3100 BC when there were only Aubrey stones. Aubrey stones are huge holes carved in chalk which were made for a religious purpose although it might look at first glance that they were made as a burial place.

The second stage of the Stonehenge was made in 2100 BC in which bluestones were transported down from the mountains using rollers and by water. Each stone weighs 4 tonnes and thus the sweat given out for its transportation and construction can be imagined, especially in a time when there were no machines and cranes to do the work.  The stones which were moved were organized in a double circle.

The third stage of the Stonehenge was made after a short time and when the other stones which weighed 50 tonnes each were brought down from the mountains. It is not possible that such heavy stones were moved with rollers and by water and so people must have moved those using ropes and sledges. To move one such stone, 500 men must have pulled the rope. But it depends on the strength of people in those times. The stones were arranged in an outer circle and there were five trilithons which were raised inside the circle in the shape of horseshoe.

The final stage of the Stonehenge was in 1500 BC when the shape of the stones was changed to a circle and horseshoe which resembles the Stonehenge of today.

The Stonehenge attracts the tourists not only because of its historical value and religious value but also because of the mystery of it which has made people really curious to know why such an effort was made into building this Stonehenge. After all, it is not a building like the Taj mahal, it is only an arrangement of stones then why would it have been made in the first place? But there is no definite answer to this question as everyone gives their own ideas about it. Some say they were for a burial place for the kings and princes while others say it was a temple. The religious theory is the most popular and people still come here for their ceremonies.

Even scientists had curiosity to know about the purpose of Stonehenge and so they studied the stones but again, could not give a definite theory about its purpose. Only the people who built it will know about it!

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Posted in wiltshire by Andy. Comments Off

business partnering promotion

Make Your Mark in the Music Business is partnering with live music promoters to find young people (aged 18-30) from across the UK who are looking for support to set up and run a regular, live music night in their home town or city.

We know that there are young people with a keen interest in music who want to create or expand their local music scene but don’t have the financial backing, contacts or support to go it alone. Curious Generation want to offer their experience and infrastructure to aspiring young music promoters across the UK.

If you love music, have a genuine interest in the music scene in your area and want more experience of the music industry, you could become one of the next generation of music promoters. This is an opportunity to run a regular live music event (it could be weekly, fortnightly or monthly) but it is not a full-time job – you can do this in addition to your usual work or study.

I Luv Live is set to be a huge success tonight (Sat 21st June) in Nottingham with special guest artist Adele Sande taking the roof off with her amazing talents.  She performed in Leicester last night and wowed the audience with her skills.  Adele will be joined on stage with Nottingham’s own Wreh-asha, Amy Scott & Reggimental from Derby, Nuisance from Leicester and Empey from Burton.

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