Much Laughter specialises in Charity Comedy Nights, running monthly gigs to raise money for local charities and non-profit organisations.
With new talent cropping up all the time, they also run preview and work-in-progress shows. Much Laughter are on hand to arrange Charity Comedy Nights in Medway and surrounding areas to suit all budgets.
In the future, they are planning to open a stand-up workshop to help vulnerable children and young adults grow in confidence.
To find a list of the dates for the regular comedy nights visit: www.muchlaughter.co.uk/gigs
The 2018 Whitstable Biennale brings the most exciting experimental and emerging art to Whitstable, with live performances, film screenings, sound works, and the written word woven into the fabric of the town, with major new commissions, exhibitions and film premieres.
Art will be dotted around the town making new routes to explore for those who don’t know Whitstable, whilst creating radical and uncanny shifts within familiar spaces for those who do. From a Victorian Sea Scouts Hall to Whitstable’s only DVD/Comic shop, the biennale will take over curious buildings and unusual spaces. Artworks will be located on the streets, on the beach, and in the harbour – inside boat sheds and even on a mysterious spit of land only visible at low tide.
Taking its title from Booker-shortlisted novel Swimming Home by acclaimed writer Deborah Levy, many of the works in the Biennale are a response to the rhythms of the tide and a reflection on the ocean, exploring ideas of where home might be and thoughts of being at sea or in exile. Many of the works also touch on issues of identity and the movement and instability of languages, food, cargo and people. Deborah Levy, own inspiration was drawn from John Cheever’s book The Swimmer which was later made into a film starring Burt Lancaster, and Levy herself will create a new, limited-edition text for the biennale, which she shall read from and distribute to Biennale attendees.
For a full programme and to find out more visit www.whitstablebiennale.com
Paint The Town Festival is back for Season 4, running from 14 -18 March 2018. The theatre and arts festival produced by Lyrici Arts in partnership with Battersea Arts Centre’s Collaborative Touring Network, will once again focus on touring brilliant new works, championing local creatives and offering a bit of kindness to the people of Medway. See the full listing of events at www.lyriciarts.com
Highlights this season include the 5* sell-out, dark comedy, Ugly Chief by award winning performer Victoria Melody and her real-life dad, celebrity antiques expert Mike Melody (of ‘Dickenson’s Real Deal’ fame). The show explores when Mike was wrongly diagnosed with a terminal illness and how Victoria went about planning for the funeral he would have wanted. With video diaries and open declarations, the show is a snapshot into the relationship between a father and daughter who don’t always see eye-to-eye.
Paint The Town Festival is always looking for performances that challenge issues and support worthwhile campaigns, and programming Byron Vincent and Dave McGill’s Live Before You Die is no exception. Looking candidly at two friends who are more used to calling each other names than talking about depression, this brilliant touring show highlights men’s mental health and the necessity of breaking down the stigma around the subject.
The festival has loads for the little ones too! Sponge is the squishiest, squashiest show for babies and toddlers taking place during the week at Medway Adult Education. After working with the organisation and using it as the venue for their sell-out babies show Neverland, the festival producers were excited to bring another mesmerising children’s show to Rochester.
“We cannot wait for Season 4! Being able to not only programme brilliant touring shows and place them in local venues like Medway Adult Education and The Brook Theatre, but also to work with talented local creatives and create a platform for their work to be showcased is what makes every festival so very exciting. We have gone another step and made all the festival tickets £5.00 or less, so there really is nothing stopping everyone from engaging with the arts and joining in.”
Other events taking place during Paint The Town include; Festival of Festivals, a glamorous showcase by Chatham based dance school Dance Alley, Beached a uniquely exclusive puppet show for only eight people at a time by StrangeFace Theatre Company, a children’s theatre workshop based on retaining the royal crown by Bindlestick Theatre Company and Shakespeare inspired crafts with Creative Champion of the Year winner Natasha Steer of Creatabot.
During the festival keep a look out in hidden spaces for eight beautifully hand-crafted flower bouquets by Clara A. Free to whoever finds them first, the bouquets are a gift from the festival team to the residents of Medway as a thank you for their support so far.
Paint the Town Festival: Season 4 runs from 14 – 18 March and tickets are on sale now. Event information, show trailers and ticket links can be found at www.lyriciarts.com
Show Schedule (please check website for full event listings):
Title: Ugly Chief by Victoria Melody
Venue: The Brook Theatre, Chatham, ME4 4SE
Dates: Friday 16th March 2018 – 7.30pm
Title: Sponge by Big Imaginations and Turned on its Head
Venue: Medway Adult Education, Rochester Community Hub, ME1 1EW
Dates: Thursday 15th March – Saturday 17th March 2018 (multiple times)
Title: Festival of Festivals – A Dance Celebration by Dance Alley
Venue: The Brook Theatre, Chatham, ME4 4SE
Dates: Wednesday 14th March 2018 – 7pm
Title: Live Before You Die – by Byron Vincent and Dave McGinn
Venue: Huguenot Museum, 95 High Street, Rochester, ME1 1LX
Dates: Saturday 17th March – 5.30pm
Trailers, Information and Ticket Links on www.lyriciarts.com
All theatre tickets only £5.00 each this season!
Paint The Town returns to Medway this year with a selection of performances, experiences and workshops by both local and national creatives.
The festival, organised by Medway based organisation Lyrici Arts, are particularly bringing events centred around mental health and diversity to the Medway towns, including the show “My Beautiful Black Dog” on Wednesday 19th April at The Brook Theatre, Chatham. The show challenges the stigma around mental health and encourages the audience to take ownership over their own black dogs whilst channeling infectious dance moves, swagger-boss costumes and banging tunes!
Also look out for fun craft workshops, mental health and brain injury support, an inspiring spoken word collaboration with Wordsmithery, interesting panel talks with the stars of the shows and industry professionals, children’s fun time activities and much more.
Hip Hip Hooray will be a children’s party with a difference! Take part in singing workshops with Tom Penn (creator of Neverland), a recycled arts and crafts workshop with Creatabot to celebrate world Earth Day, show us your moves on the dancefloor and then settle in for a surprise show that is out of this world.
Suitable for ages 3-8 years
Date: Saturday 22nd April 2017
Party: 3.30- 5pm
Price: Standard £5 per child. This ticket admits one child – Adults tag along for free!
Purchase tickets here
There will be events for all ages and interests, so to see the programme visit: www.paintthetownfestival.co.uk
In April 2016, Medway based organisation, Lyrici Arts were awarded a regional place within the Collaborative Touring Network, enabling them to be a National festival partner until 2019, and help to address diversity and arts inclusion aims within the Medway Towns.
The Collaborative Touring Network is supported by Arts Council England , Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, Garfield Weston Foundation and Unlimited Impact.
Last year I was invited to a Medway Dementia Action Alliance meeting at the new Kent Fire and Rescue Service building in Rochester, Kent. When I arrived I imagined we would be going into a boardroom as normal and that Kent Fire and Rescue Service were just kindly hosting us. We had been warned that if we wanted to attend the Road Safety Experience as well, then to arrive early. We were also warned not to attend this if we were of a sensitive disposition.
As I entered the large foyer there was a crashed car in the middle of the floor. With my associates around me waiting, I presumed this was where the Road Safety Experience began. However this was not the case, and we were lead into a new room which was beautifully laid out as a small cinema.
I instantly realised I had completed misinterpreted the lovely new building – having opened in April 2016, this was no mere fire station as I had for some reason presumed (or fire station in the typical sense at all it turned out) or Kent Fire and Rescue Service HQ – this was an immersive teaching centre.
As I sat down and the lights dimmed, a film began to play. A young man who has been drinking gets into his car, turns his music up loud and drives off rapidly without fastening his seatbelt (literal schoolboy error). The music pumps out loudly from the cinemas speakers and you are taken into the young teenagers world. The excitement of driving through the night from one destination to the next, music blasting and making the car vibrate.
Of course, just as in harsh reality, this does not end well. The young man crashes and he and all his belongings go flying through and around the car. As the chaos ends he is left in the darkness – his phone vibrates and bleep’s with a text from his mum saying “Are u okay?”. The screen goes black and I hear sirens. Then, something completely unexpected happens, the screen the film was projected onto bounces up and disappears – revealing the car crash reenacted. Car debris are scattered across the stage area and the car is in carnage. We didn’t get the full experience on this occasion, but usually there would be firemen who come out to reenact the difficult task of trying to cut someone out of a car crash.
I could not actually believe what I was seeing, this was theatre being used to educate young minds, in a setting that was completely unexpected. I was so excited that someone, a group of people even, had been smart enough to realise the value of creativity and immersion for education.
I planned to visit again and take a deeper insight into the centre and what it was about, so I re-visited in December 2016.
I sat down with road safety manager Lawrence Pater over a coffee and we discussed the way the Road Safety Experience came about. Lawrence explained that there were some vital lessons they wanted people to learn through the experience – from risk assessing an accident scene through to knowing that it is definitely 999 that you call in an emergency.
Lawrence asked me “When you were 16 did you worry about much else apart from yourself?” “No!” I replied laughing. “This is the issue, many young people do not think about situations outside of themselves, therefore we have to try and reach their heart to adopt a change in behaviour”. The point about behavioral change was a clear one, Kent Fire and Rescue are a trusted ‘brand’ to begin with – which helps people to listen and believe. Additionally, the ‘experience’ rather than simple classroom teaching has more of an impact – you as an audience member, or even participant (I will explain in a minute) become involved.
Lawrence explained that the increase in drink driving and drug driving was becoming of such a serious concern, that something had to change to educate young people to be aware of the dangers. The centre is the first and only purpose built road safety experience in the UK – and we are lucky enough to have it here in Medway. I had to ask “How was this place and concept designed? It is so unique!”. “Students were involved in the design, they gave feedback about what would have the most impact and what they would engage with the most” Lawrence replied.
I watched students from a local academy as they toured the other various experiences in the building. There was a ‘bar’ scene where students had to guess how much alcohol they were “allowed” to drink before being over the limit. They then moved on to a large roulette wheel, where students had to guess the answers to certain questions and battle against their friends to score points. Then came the obligatory goggle glasses test, where students were asked to walk and balance on a raised platform.
I asked some of the students about the experience and what had the most impact in the centre. They all agreed that it was the film, which is the the introduction to the experience day. Charlotte, 17, commented “When the young man crashed and his mum text him asking if he was okay, that really got to me. It made me think about how you should think about your parents when driving. Also I have learnt today that even if you were drinking the night before, you might still be over the limit the following morning and not be equipped to drive”.
I had a brief chat with a teacher who had brought her students to the centre, she said “This is a really good way of engaging students – it is realistic and has clear messages. The space is clearly designed for delivery and is very interactive – however it is also serious and had a clear impact on the student’s mood because this is a real danger”.
Immersive teaching, often created by theatre groups like “Punchdrunk” or creative organisations “Ministry of Stories”, moves hearts and minds. “Visitor feedback tells us that immersive environments create the most memorable experiences” says Sarah Lockwood (Head of Learning and Interpretation at the National Maritime Museum) in a video about “Against Captain’s Orders” which was created at the museum by Punchdrunk.
The difference with Punchdrunk is they create theatrical immersive teaching experiences within spaces that would usually not usually have such. Kent Fire and Rescue Service have however created a permanent immersive teaching space that will likely be shaped by the needs of the time. Take a look at KidZania if you want to see a really full on version of what immersive teaching can look like!
I can only hope that the future of education includes even more immersive teaching. Let me know if you have seen other great examples of what immersive teaching can look like!
To find out more visit www.kent.fire-uk.org or/and watch the video below.
By Natasha Steer
The Pentagon Community Fund is now open to projects in Chatham!
Through the Pentagon Community Fund, Project Dirt are offering up to £2,000 to community projects and social enterprises that have a positive social and/or environmental impact and which are located in the local Chatham area. There is a total of £15,000 up for grabs, all to kick start your local community projects that will improve your neighbourhood.
Community Projects: Any non-profit making organisations can apply including charities, not-for-profit organisations, Community-Interest-Companies and also informal community groups with their own bank accounts. Individuals cannot apply for their own personal projects.
Social Enterprises: Entrepreneurial business ideas with a social or environmental mission, are also encouraged to apply.
All applications (which don’t take long) need to be submitted by midnight on Sunday 12th March. You can find the application guidelines here.
Start the application at: www.projectdirt.com
Please note this grant is available for non-formal community groups, charities and not-for-profit organisations. It’s not open for profit making entities nor personal/individual projects at home. Any Social Enterprises, with a social or environmental mission, are also encouraged to apply.
If you have any problems or questions, please get in touch with Project Dirt at email@example.com
To get the latest updates from the fund search the hashtag: #WeLoveChatham
You may or may not have heard of the ‘Body Image Movement’ (www.bodyimagemovement.com), an initiative launched by Australian Taryn Brumfitt, who is on a quest to end the global body-hating epidemic. Her work is helping women to accept and feel better about themselves, and challenges the idea perpetuated by the media that external beauty = everything.
A Global Ambassador for the Body Image Movement has been enabled to host a special one-off local screening of ‘Embrace’, the powerful documentary that Brumfitt made whilst traversing the globe to talk to women about this issue. The film launched successfully in Australia and the US in the summer and is now finally coming to the UK in early 2017. The trailer of the film can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8vnaRiF_-U
The local screening is scheduled for 18 January 2017 at 6.30pm at Odeon Chatham and is the only one scheduled in Kent at this time. As an independent film, tt won’t go on general release and is therefore being crowdfunded, meaning that as long as a certain number of tickets are reserved then the screening can take place.
If you wish to reserve a ticket please do so asap via this link https://tickets.demand.film/event/1316, as the number needs to be reached by 7 January 2017 in order for the screening to go ahead.
This is a very relevant and important film for everyone to see, so please do spread the word far and wide!
If you are on Facebook there is a new Body Image Movement Kent page here: https://www.facebook.com/bodyimagemovementkent/ and a Facebook event that you can share/invite friends to here: https://www.facebook.com/events/373738859643031/
Medway Council Arts Development Team are offering exhibition bursaries to four Medway printmakers. These will enable them to create a body of work inspired by the Guildhall Museums collection of outstanding historic Dutch Prints, for a shared exhibition at Rochester Art Gallery (2 June -27 Aug ’17) as part of Medway Print Festival (9-25 June) and the Battle of Medway 350th Commemorations (8-17 June).
Interested applicants are encouraged to attend a pre-application ‘Inspiration Event’ at The Guildhall Museum on Tue 8 Nov 7-9pm to find out more about the bursaries, view some of the relevant collections and learn more about the Battle of Medway from the museum curators. The Dutch collection includes many fascinating historic maps, plans, portraits and engraved news sheets that detail this important victory for the Dutch navy in 1667.
To be eligible to apply for a £500 Exhibition Bursary, printmakers must be currently living, studying or working in Medway. We particularly welcome applications for innovative approaches to printmaking and/or interesting ways of interpreting the historic themes in a contemporary way. Application will be by a short proposal no more than a side of A4.
Full details, dates, eligibility criteria and how to apply are available by emailing the Arts Team firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications will be accepted from Wed 9 November and up to 12 noon on Fri 2 December 2016.
An application pack can be downloaded at: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5ONDorAeylyTzcxa0lDVi01dUU/view?usp=sharing
Photo attribution – Charlotte Powell
Started by Nucleus Arts in conjunction with Jamie Johnson, Riverside One Studios is a new music project in Chatham, Kent.
Jamie Johnson is a local singer/songwriter from Gillingham, Kent who appeared on national TV as Kylie Minogue’s finalist on The Voice in 2014.
Jamie’s experience has inspired him to help aspiring musicians. Their plan is to try to help anyone who has a passion for music and wishes to find the next step to building a career in the music industry or just some friendly advice on what they can do to improve.
Many of you may remember the Riverside One building as the council venue on Dock Road, next to the bus station. A really great location as you can see it from the new bus station and it’s only a 5 minute walk from the train station.
The idea behind the studios is to have a place where anyone can come together to write, rehearse and record music. We are also able to offer teaching, mentoring and other sessions that support budding musicians in Medway.
Riverside One has 1 small rehearsal/writing room, 1 large recording/rehearsal/performance space and 1 main control studio room with the facilities to record a single or an album.
Riverside One Studiosalso works with people who may be at risk of social exclusion as part their “Art Inclusive” programme. This currently involves a joint project with The Princes Trust, where together they are offering young people in unemployment the opportunity to learn more about making music and the music industry. Contact Nucleus Arts to find out more.
Riverside One are also able to offer music lessons including guitar and singing lessons through various partners.
Main Rehearsal Room – 4 Hours £40 Or £13 Per Hour
Small Rehearsal/Writing Rooms – 4 Hours £30 Or £11 Per Hour
Full day – 8 hours £200
Half day – 4 hours £120
Recording – £30 per hour
Ep package – 2 full days of recording £380
Live Music Event Hire: From £15ph
If you would like to donate towards the studios it is never too late….. Please visit the following ‘go fund me’ page :
I first completed an Escape Plan Live Experience last year in 2015. Myself, Mr Creatabot and 3 friends had to solve some coded lock puzzles in the Gatehouse section of Fort Amherst. We had a brilliant time and learnt how the game worked by thinking about where the codes might be hidden. To win the game I would say you have to think in a non-linear fashion, very much out of the box.
I think 1 year may have been a little too long a time to have passed between games, as I will explain later.
Having helped facilitate the concept of including Escape Plan Live in the meanwhile use of Medway’s old housing benefits office, Riverside One, I had to of course try out the newest edition of rooms. Despite having been around during the refit of the space and being delighted about them making use of the old council advice booths (out of the box in the box thinking there) I tried to avoid plot spoilers as much as possible, so luckily had no idea of what to expect during my visit on Tuesday.
We played the game “Conspiracy” which sees the story of a murdered detective friend unfold. We were given 1 hour to get ourselves out of the room and find the codes the detective had carefully hidden. When I say hidden, well that’s an understatement. The codes for the padlocks, attached to a briefcase, were hidden in so so many places and ways in the room. The set was brilliant and very immersive, these guys really know how to design a space.
I will repeat, I regret having left it so long since the last game! Despite there being a full group of 8 of us, we ran out of time. Those 60 minutes sped by and when we found out clues (a hidden item that I was convinced was in the room somewhere, was in an obvious place) we felt like fools!
I am not typing this from the room though, so we were allowed to leave despite our failure to solve the game, phew! I highly recommend having a go of Escape Plan Live, it is great for team building, getting to know friends better, experiencing something out of the ordinary and of course really really fun!
To see the variety of games and find out more, visit www.escapeplanlive.com
By Natasha Steer
30th June 2016
Natasha Steer, Founder of Creatabot, is a Creative Practitioner and specialises in using creativity to improve health, wellbeing and the promotion of self care.
Workshops can include anything from hands on creative workshops to community consultations and environment design sessions. Clients so far have included MHS Homes, Medway Council, UCA, The Improving Mental Health Provision, The University of Kent, Medway Youth Trust, Mid Kent College, Langley House Trust, Rochester Farmers Market and Medway Youth Service, Her Majesty’s Prison Service, The Prince’s Trust, Ashford Borough Council, AMAT UK, Age UK, Medway Home Education, See & Create and Medway Youth Service.
To see if Natasha can help you with an event or group contact her on email@example.com
Recommendations can be seen on LinkedIn at https://uk.linkedin.com/in/natashasteer
Follow Creatabot on Instagram – www.instagram.com/creatabot/
Natasha has Enhanced DBS clearance with Medway Council and has been trained in Emergency First Aid At Work as well as Adult and Youth Mental Health First Aid.
Natasha actively recycles waste from her workshops and trys to use sustainable and recycled materials as much as possible.
Urban Expression is an exciting new event aimed at celebrating different forms of streetbased arts, activity and creativity in locations around Chatham. A variety of activities will be happening in different locations around Chatham High Street, including: MC’ing, busking, parkour, dance, spoken word, street-art, eco-crafts, skateboarding and skating on the 27th and 28th August from 1-5pm.
Activities are aimed at young people aged 12 years plus – but are not exclusive to young people.
- Skateboarding with Team Extreme
- Streetdance & Breakin with Cat Salter and James Walsh
- Freestyle soccer with Billy Fincham
- Eco crafts with Nucleus Arts and Creatabot
- Lit Hop Poetry with Deke Dobson
- Parkour dance performance STEAM with the Urban Playground Group
- MC’ing/music tech, busking and semi acoustic workshops and performances withHarry Shotta, Vic de Mizer and Luke Crook amongst others
- Live Graffiti Art demonstration with Gregg Stobbs of Squirl Arts
In preparation we will be running workshops over the next few weeks, keep an eye on our Facebook Page for more information.
Like and share the Facebook page to get updates on workshops and activities on the lead up to the event: https://www.facebook.com/urbanexressionsmedway
As part of Urban Expressions, The Urban Playground Team are bringing their parkour / dance performance STEAM: bOing! to Sun Pier, Chatham on the 27thand 28th August from 1-5pm.
As part of Urban Expressions, bOing! comes to Medway on Thu 27 & Fri 28 August this year, when the brilliant Urban Playground Team bring their energetic Performance-Parkour to Sun Pier, Chatham.
The Urban Playground Team will also be performing at bOing! (University of Kent) as part of the bOINg! weekend on 29 & 30 August.
The Urban Playground Team are the original Performance-Parkour (2PK) company and are coming to Medway with an energetic dance-theatre piece unlike anything you’ve seen before.
In STEAM, The Urban Playground Team reimagine the life of a steam locomotive through scenes inspired by the silent movies of Buster Keaton, the gun fights of the old West and the rooftop stunts of James Bond.
Combining contemporary & urban dance with Parkour and physical theatre STEAM is brought to Medway by Gulbenkian as part of the bOing!2015 International Family Festival, Canterbury (29&30 Aug) and forms part of Urban Expressions in Chatham.
Performances will be at:
Thu 27 Aug – 1pm
Thu 27 Aug – 3.45pm Fri 28 Aug – 1pm Fri 28 Aug – 3.45pm
Recommended for all ages. Performance run-time: 20 mins.
Workshops and freeplay will take place between performances.
STEAM is presented in partnership with Medway Council.
This summer Medway Youth Service will be offering a variety of activities from youth centres and parks across the area. Outdoor sessions are free and other sessions cost between 50p and £1.00 per session.
Activities may include; Urban Arts, Break-dancing, Film, Archery, Cookery, Climbing, Graffiti murals, Music, Football and many more.
Downloadable Summer Activity Programs:
Medway West Summer Activities will be taking place in the following parks:
- Hook Meadow, Weedswood, Chatham, 3 to 6 August, 1pm to 4pm
- Northcote Rec, Strood, 10 to 13 August, 1pm to 4pm
- Jacksons Field, Rochester, 17 to 20 August, 1pm to 4pm
Medway East Summer Activities Gillingham Area activities will be taking place at Woodlands Youth Centre, Woodlands Road, Gillingham on various dates.
Woodlands will also be celebrating its 50th birthday with live music and a BBQ, by hosting the popular Garden Party event on the 25 July from 3pm to 9.30pm, FREE ENTRY.
If your into skating, BMXing, scooters or street-art, join the ‘Cozzie Summer Jam’ at Cossington Park on
1 August, 12pm to 5pm.
Gillingham and Twydall Sports Week will be happening from the 3 to 7 August at venues including Medway Park, Skinner Street and Beechings Park Twydall.
Please note: some activities have limited places.
For more information contact your local youth centre
or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Japanese Animation Festival coming to Canterbury…
Anifest is back and bigger than ever! This year it will be hosting a week of Japanese Animation, to include everything from Manga to Cosplay to Anime. From Monday 27th October to Sunday 2nd November 2014, Canterbury Anifest will be at Gulbenkian with an exciting series of talks, workshops, live performances, an exhibition, and films all inspired by Japan’s iconic style of animation.
This exciting program has something for everyone; from “How to Draw Manga” workshops for a younger audience, to talks with industry stars such as Andy Frain. The festival will also host an exclusive week-long Studio Ghibli-inspired exhibition called 8-bit Ghibli, created by conceptual artist Richard Evans, alongside a captivating season of films including Akira, Patema Inverted, Perfect Blue, Spirited Away, My Neighbour Totoro and Kiki’s Delivery Service.
In partnership with Gulbenkian, Anifest aims to bring the unique and fascinating style of Japanese animation to both existing fanatics and newcomers alike for the first time. Whether your interest is practical, academic, or simply entertainment, Anifest is happy to provide you with the same kind of quality events that have come to be expected of the festival, as well as some new experiences, including Canterbury Anifest’s first live performance.
For information please visit www.canterburyanifest.com or call 01227 769075.
Bespoke is a new international designer and maker fair being launched in Chatham, Kent. The 2014 event is the pilot of this new event in Medway offering designers, makers and artists a free opportunity to showcase their work to the public.
Artists from across England and France are being invited to apply, with the selection process hoping to create a diverse range of work on show. Coinciding with the Chatham day of the Fuse Festival the Fair will provide an added opportunity for visitors to the Festival to experience art and meet designers.
The Fair is free for the public to enter.
The outdoor fair will take place alongside the new creative venue Sun Pier House, in an area of the Sun Wharf car park; Medway Street, Chatham, Kent, ME4 4HF. Sun Pier House hosts a large public gallery, tearoom, artist studios and office space for creative industries.
Applications are invited across the UK and France from individual makers and craft based businesses. We require a CV and artist statement along with 3 representative images of work clearly labelled with title, medium and size. JPEGS are preferred. We accept applications by email and post. We will reply to all applicants to acknowledge your application. The selection process will be taken seriously and we will notify all applicants of our decision by Monday 2 June 2014.
Applications are invited any time before 5pm on Monday 9th June 2014.
As part of the 2014 pilot event all pitches are offered for FREE to successful applicants. We will provide;
One gazebo cover with sides, approximately 3m x 3m per exhibitor
Two tables and one chair for each exhibitor
Trading hours are 11am – 5pm; stallholders can gain access from 8am on the day to set up.
Stallholders must supply any other equipment required for their stall. Note: there are no power sockets or additional lighting.
Vehicles can unload/ load in the car park alongside their pitch and vehicles will be moved out of sight. One parking space will be provided per exhibitor.
As part of the pilot scheme we are also offering all applicants the opportunity to attend a series of practical workshop aimed at small creative business. Topics covered throughout the course will be;
- Work selection for fairs
- How to present and display your work
- How to price your work
- Talking to the public and selling you work
- Basic book-keeping and small business finance systems
- Social media and marketing plans
The training will take place throughout the summer. Tailored to the feedback from exhibitors at Bespoke.
We prefer email communication where possible. If you have any questions please contact Heather Burgess, Event Coordinator, on email@example.com. If you are unable to use email or have an urgent enquiry please contact Heather on 07545 642 581. Office hours are Monday – Friday 10am – 5pm.
TERMS & CONDITIONS
All work must be original and by the exhibitor
Makers cannot sublet their space or any part of it to another party or maker without prior permission.
Makers cannot display work or services other than that which they stated in their application.
You are responsible for your own insurance for you work. We recommend joining a-n/ AIR.
All work displayed should ideally be for sale.
A few cards and postcards can be displayed and sold but must not dominate the space.
Bespoke 2014 is part of the Recreate project, selected under the European Cross-border Cooperation Programme INTERREG IV A France (Channel) – England, co-funded by the ERDF
Venue: The Historic Dockyard, Fort Amherst, Gun Wharf, Sun Pier and LV21 PLUS MORE!
Dates: 20 – 22 June 2014. Pre-festival events from 9 June 2014
Price: £18 (£15 concs.) per day
2014 marks the first edition of TÖNE, the UK’s first festival of contemporary sonic and visual arts, taking place in its launch year in the unique and challenging setting of The Historic Dockyard, Fort Amherst and sites along the Medway River at Chatham, Kent from 20 – 22 June 2014.
This wide-ranging and stimulating programme of events will showcase a selection of the best new music and visual art on the international arts scene, marking the First World War Centenary through work that reflects the military and maritime location of Chatham. The festival’s theme A Meeting of Sound and Light also reflects the timing of the festival over the weekend of the Summer Solstice, an annual celebration of light that dates back to the earliest days of human settlement on the island.
· 9 ambitious new national and international commissions challenging perspectives on the environment, heritage, and the future of public space.
· Choreographer Anna Koch and composer Mats Lindström will undertake an art residency on LV21, the last lightship built in the UK, currently docked at Gillingham Pier
· Australian artist James Geurts will build a solar light sculpture, marking Midsummer on Sun Pier
· Dan Ayling directs a cello tour around UNESCO world heritage site The Historic Dockyard Chatham, with Rohan de Saram, Lucy Railton and Olly Coates and the Musarc choir
· New installations at dramatic Fort Amherst, overlooking the River Medway, with ‘Twittering Machines’ by leading British sound artist Kathy Hinde, and Gunsgooffbythemselves by Ben Fitton and Dylan Shipton.
· New radio art commission from Sara-Mohr Pietsch
· DJ set by Max Reinhardt
· Morgan O’Hara, Jon Tilbury and Sarah Nicolls re-imagine the grand piano
Founded and directed by composer/sound artist Claudia Molitor and visual artist Julie Louise Bacon, the festival’s programme brings together local and international sound and visual artists, including nine new commissions, across sculpture, sound, dance, radio art and food art, as well as installations, broadcasts and public forums. A festival pre-programme will involve participants in a series of workshops, masterclasses and talks, linked into local arts and education activities.
The Cabaret Club strives to go beyond expectations, creating a decadent environment which seems out of place from the real world but allows our guests the chance of escapism and one evening of fun and frivolity. We bring some of the finest performers around into a sleepy part of Kent, to an audience who are deserving of such talent.
We launched in August 2013 to a rapturous audience and with our shows in such high demand we’re trialling a move into a bigger space at our current venue and need enthusiastic helpers to make that happen. We were also successful in our application to create the Medway branch of Dr Sketchy’s (the world famous burlesque life drawing classes) which has further helped secure our position as a dominant cabaret force in Kent! And we’re preparing to launch The Cabaret Club and Dr Sketchy’s for private hires so the need for a bigger team will soon be even greater.
We’re recruiting for volunteers to join our production team to help in the following areas:
- Assistant Producers
- Event Assistants
- Marketing, PR and Social Media
- Set Design and Prop Making
These role/s are initially unpaid but if you’d like to get some production experience and are hard-working, reliable and like having fun while you work then get in touch! E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with details about yourself, what area of production interests you and what would make you a great addition to The Cabaret Club team. Whatever your skill or passion, even if you work in a ‘regular’ job and want to try something new and exciting, then we’d love to hear from you!
You’d need to be Kent based or have transport. This is initially an unpaid role but we are prepared to help and support you in gaining valuable work experience in a theatre production environment. You must be aged 18 or over and be available on evenings and weekends especially on the weekend of a show.
This is an exciting time for us and if you want to be a part of the journey then get in touch!
I have always been a huge Jim Henson fan, my dream was to work at their Creature Studios in Camden, I was even offered work experience there whilst at college, which sadly fell through as they began working on a “top secret project” – I now believe this was actually closing the Camden studios.
It is no secret that I love Medway, and now I am in love a little bit more thanks to my friend Laura Murthy breaking the news on Facebook that the UK inserts were filmed in none other than Medway’s very own Gillingham.
For those who didn’t already know (like me) where the joy that is Aldi now sits (although I do like their waffles) once sat the Plaza cinema, which was built in 1931. At the time it was one of the most modern cinemas in Kent with seating for 1,800 people. This then closed in November 1980 and was bought by TVS South and turned into studios.
“The original intention had been to sell it off as soon as Maidstone was open but TVS hung onto it for a while, making programmes such as regional afternoon magazine Not for Women Only and from 1986 The Television Show, which was broadcast live from here on Sunday evenings across the ITV network.
Oddly, the show that kept the studio open was Muppets spin-off Fraggle Rock, which ran from 1983-1987. Once this ended the studio was hardly used so it was put up for sale early in 1988 and was purchased by Network One TV in June 1989. (This company also took over the Greenwood in 1990.) Masterchef was made here then, plus a handful of other shows. It closed as a studio in July 1991 and following a brief spell as a Quasar laser gaming centre, it lay empty for several years and was demolished in 2001.”(Taken from TV Studio History)
Victor Pemberton who was co-producer at the time says “We took over an old cinema in Gillingham in Kent, and it was wonderful. The auditorium was cleared of seats, the stage was raised and extended.” (www.adventuresinprimetime.wordpress.com/2008/06/01/return-to-fraggle-rock)
The UK scenes involved the internal shots of the lighthouse, where Sprocket the dog lived with the lighthouse keeper, and of course, the tell tale “tiny cave in the wall”. (if anyone knows of other shots filmed there involving more Fraggles please say)
The main episode I remember, which was the episode I watched over and over again, was when the water of Fraggle Rock was poisoned and Boober pleads for the humans to make it stop. The scenes that were filmed in Gillingham (inside the lighthouse) can be seen in this clip. I now watch this in awe even more, when realising it was filmed on ground I have walked over many times without even realising. It may sound silly, but it makes me a bit emotional! Here is the clip for you to enjoy…
By Natasha Steer
The Medway branch of Dr Sketchy’s will be opening it’s doors after the collaboration between 3 sassy ladies who decided that the area would definitely be a brighter and more magical place with the addition of the Dr Sketchy’s.
Run by Lisa Carpendale, Michelle Woodland and Tracy Affleck the events will run both on Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons across the Medway area starting with events in Rainham and Rochester (just for starters). Each event will be a unique mix of anything goes drawing (where mistakes are welcome), sumptuous cabaret acts, tuneage, unique themes and models that make you go ‘ooh’. And of course there will be booze including special Sketchy Medway only cocktails mixes. On a Sunday afternoon you can attend Sketchy’s in Rochester, where as well as the opportunity to partake in a weekend tipple there will be wonderful gooey homemade cakes and tea (how civilised) and a chance to meet with some mates and make some new ones.
Dr Sketchy’s Medway is about having a bit of fun and having a go at drawing in an inspiring atmosphere. You do not have to be an ‘artist’ in the traditional sense and don’t have to be able to draw ‘perfectly’. Just bring yourself and your va va voom. There’s will be shorter sketching warm ups (to flex your drawing muscles) and an opportunity to draw longer poses. Boards, paper and pencils are provided but you can bring your own sketchpads or different media that you would like to work with.
Keep up to date with the latest planned events at www.drsketchy.com/branch/medway
Retro’spect Kent and Creatabot present a classic night of retro computer gaming, with an additional creepy retro gaming Vault. Prepare for a nostalgic evening gaming on Atari, Amiga, Playstation and Commodore consoles plus more.
Children welcome but only with a parent/guardian.
Feel free to bring your consoles and games to trade!
Drinks and snacks available at the in house cafe (including a selection of alcoholic drinks)
Location 5 mins walk from Chatham train station.
Place: 13 Military Road, Chatham, Kent
We are afraid there is no disabled access to this event.
Workshops led by Jenni Burrows; a practising textile artist and qualified Art teacher. The aim of the workshops is to introduce you to the art of felt making, and to equip you with the basic skills that will allow you to branch out and be adventurous evolving your own style. There are a range of courses for adults and children, with all materials are provided. (You will need to bring your own lunch for the all day courses, but tea, coffee and juice will be available).
Perfect for beginners! All materials provided!
8th February and 1st March: 10-4pm: Taster Day for Adults–experiment with a range of felt making techniques. Cost £35 per person (max: 10 places)
18th February: 10-12pm: Family Workshops for children Ages 3-6 years. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Max of two children per adult. (10 places maximum)
Cost: £10 per child
18th February: 1-3pm:Family Workshops for children Ages-7-10 years. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Max of two children per adult.
(10 places maximum). Cost: £10 per child
20th February: 10-4pm:Young People’s Workshop Ages 11-16 years.
(10 places maximum)
Cost: £25 per person
Adult Evening Workshops
A six week course beginning on Tuesday 25th February: 7-9pm experimenting with a range of techniques and materials to create a wearable piece of art.
Cost: £90 for six week course every Tuesday evening.
The workshops will be held at Sun Pier House.
Full address is: Sun Wharf, Medway Street, Chatham, ME4 4HF
(We’re next to Staples and BBC Radio Kent)
Free parking is available on site for the Tuesday evening class attendants. Alternatively, there is a pay and display car park within 1 minute walk; we are 8 minutes’ walking distance from Rochester train station; 5 minute’s walking distance from Chatham train station and 2 minute’s walking distance from Chatham bus station.
The workshops will take place in a studio environment on the first floor of Sun Pier House.
Please be aware, the building is over 25 years old and while Sun Pier House CIC are in the early stages of transforming the 1980’s offices into a creative centre, there is currently no lift access. The workshops will take place on the first floor, accessed via a set of external stairs. If you have any questions or concerns about the access please contact the venue in advance of booking.
To book a place on one of the courses please email: email@example.com or phone 07505899623.
The clinic will be open in Chatham on May the 19th 2013. Book at www.survived.eventbrite.co.uk
A unique theatre experience is taking place at Sun Pier House, Chatham, on the 19th May.
Entitled “Survived”, the event is described as “site responsive interactive theatre”, which means you as the audience get to walk around the performance taking place throughout the building, and engage with the performers.
Set in the distant present, Survived is a clinic for people who have survived a nuclear explosion and need treatment for their radiation poisoning caused by fallout. You, the visitor, are in this case, the patient needing help.
This is the perfect opportunity to see how empty space can be used for unique types of theatre, as well as an example of collaboration within the community. The event is aimed to be inspiring and educational.
Expect gas masks, steampunk and bizarre medical instruments.
Survival wear is optional.
There are two clinics, one at 7.30pm and one at 8.30pm. Each clinic lasts 45 minutes.
Tickets cost £5 and must be pre-booked at www.survived.eventbrite.co.uk
Disabled access disclaimer: Unfortunately, due to the current nature of the building in use, we are unable to provide access to this event for the disabled.
Have you ever thought what would have happened to Medway if Edward VIII hadn’t abdicated in 1930s? How would have history evolved? How would have lives and fortunes of local people changed?
Join Medway Archives writing workshop with an award-winning writer Phillip Kane on Saturday, 9th February. Create an alternative history, using archive’s resources along the way.
Canterbury Christ Church University is offering the opportunity to study interesting creative subjects across its universities in Kent. Various short courses taking place during 2013 include the subjects of music, art and literature.
To take a look at the courses and to book please see the university website:
Application Deadline: Friday 7th Dec 2012
Interviews: Week commencing Monday 10th Dec 2012
Candidates notified: Monday 17th Dec 2012
Start Date: Monday 7th Jan 2013
This is an ideal role for a recent graduate wanting to gain experience within a vibrant, young, and growing creative company. We are looking for someone who is a team player, multi-skilled, flexible, and keen to grow and develop with the studio.
We are looking for a number of Creative and Events/Marketing Graduate Interns, from a range of backgrounds and with a variety of skills.
For more information, full job description and details of how to apply, please see our website:
Posted by Animate and Create.
To me, using technology to boost my productivity is almost everything. I’ve spent almost two and a half years searching for a practical, cost free (or very cheap) method of managing my time, boosting my productivity and being creative. I think I have cracked it.
As a student and creative, trying to juggle time to fit everything in, staying creative and being productive is a big task. Since getting my MacBook Pro, I have used nearly every application I could find to see is it could keep me productive and creative. Now, I use a variety of applications, services and methods.
Versatile, multi-tasking and simple.
I’ve found that the ability to have multiple email accounts with their individual tasks, events and labels is really handy. I can see when I am due to go to college, work experience or out on shoot. I can also see when things are due, when I need to see family/friends and remember birthday. If you have to manage a company or group – that has it’s own email – you can see what everyone else should be doing or more likely, what they should be doing. You also have the ability to attach notes, files and locations to the event.
Spotlight search is one of the most helpful tools on the mac, you have the ability to find documents, contacts, events, applications and much more. I use this tool to quickly open applications and recent files, Spotlight search learns what you search for the most. For example, if I search the letter T Spotlight will put Twitter as the top hit, the same applies to Final Cut Pro when I start to type fin… which makes finding things a lot easier. It may only seem to save a matter of seconds, but over the course of one days worth of use you save about half an hour at least. Spotlight is also configurable to search (or not search) user defined files and drives.
Evernote, Mindnode and Pocket.
Evernote, MindNode Lite and Pocket [Free]
These three applications, to me are my creative trio. Evernote lets you store notes that are synced with as many desktop and mobile devices that I want, similar to notes on iCloud, except with more options, more platforms and quicker syncing. MindNode is an application that lets you quickly create mind maps with no limit to the amount of nodes or characters at all. Pocket is a read later service, however I use it like I -occasionally- Pinterest, to save interesting articles, awesome designs and photography. When they’re used together they really help with creativity, and productivity for that matter.
Wunderlist is a great productivity application, which syncs across multiple devices on multiple platforms. This application, unlike reminders, lets you add notes, due dates and gives you the ability to easily create lists. I use Wunderlist to help organise work loads, tasks and I have a list of things to buy/do for my house/bedroom. Lists can be shared between as many or few people as you wish, they get to see deadlines, notes and whether or not you have stared (prioritised) a certain task. I do however, wish that this had integration for notification center and iCal/Calender, the option to attach files would be great too. I am however, told (via a tweet) that these three things are being developed as you read this, or are due to be developed very soon.
Geektool, pardon the back-up.
As many people that follow me on Twitter/Facebook know, I absolutely love Geektool. The simple ability to add the time, date, system specs and more to your desktop is just unbelievable helpful. You can add so many aspects to your desktop via Geeklets and scripts which are readily available on the internet and fairly simple to write yourself. My Geektool set up consists of [left to right]; system information, random/chosen quotes to boost inspiration, time, day, date and month. This is a fairly basic set up, I’ve seen some that have; calender information, RSS feeds, weather and iTunes information.
Google Drive and Dropbox.
Google Drive and Dropbox [Free – standard storage option]
Google Drive and Dropbox, to me, are extremely helpful and essential applications/services. I use Google Drive to easily share and edit files with different people, this allows me to see what they’ve changed, as well as giving me the ability to change multiple options depending on who the file is being shared with. I use Dropbox to store templates, Final Cut Pro/Avid/Adobe workspace files and other files I use across different devices on a daily basis. I absolutely love these services and wish I could afford extra storage space for both Dropbox and Google Drive. Definitely recommend these services.
Labels in the Finder.
Labels in the Finder
Using colour labels within the Finder is nothing new for any mac user. However, in my opinion not usually for the right reasons. I don’t think that occasionally labeling a folder red, in order to grab your attention half way through a project is at all a good use of this powerful tool. As you can see I have labeled all of the possible colours, and I label everything -seems a little obsessive- which, at a glace lets me know which each folder and project is for.
These are just a few things I do to keep productive and creative. If you have any more ideas, comment, tweet or email me.
Lately I’ve been juggling a huge amount of files, from scratch disks to films to documents. A friend suggested I partition my hard drive to accommodate for use on; OS X, Windows and Linux as well as giving me -theoretically- separate disks/volumes for different file types, categories or recipients (ie. work for clients on one volume and personal work on another). Also, working on a mac, I want a drive to use as a time machine back-up.
I feel that, for both creatives, and techies alike this is a hot topic. I mean, do you multiply the amount of drives and lose space with each partition or keep your space and have an extensive folder system to navigate (if you’re as precious about your file and system organisation as I am) or do you just put your hand in your pocket, bite your lip and buy multiple external drives?
Partitioning a hard drive on any operating system is fairly easy, if you want to know how drop a comment below or tweet me. Although please note that when creating a partition in a hard drive, the drive will format itself so copy it all to your computers internal drive.
I have had a play with partitioning an old 320gb USB 2.0 hard drive and here are my thoughts. My initial opinion was “why?” but after a while I began to find it extremely intuitive as I instantly knew which files where in which area and what types of files they would be, this meant it was a lot quicker to find what I wanted. I also tried partitioning based on what the files where (ie. personal, work, college, creatabot etc), I found this extremely helpful as it had a server/cloud like approach to finding files. I’m always pushing to increase my productivity, I found that this really does boost my productivity as it is so simple to find things. If like myself you work across different systems, formatting a partition to be compatible with Windows and the other partition Mac made life a lot easier when transferring files, code and other data. This means you don’t have to rely on services like; Dropbox (which is a great application, that I use daily), Google Drive and Droplr, which are a little slow for transferring files -this is not what they where designed for- but instead can just drag and drop between systems instantly (depending on file size).
Some of the downsides I found were; it took a few attempts to get the partition sizes right as different file types needed more space than others or different categories received more data than others, I could just make folders within the hard drive to separate things out that way which would mean I could rearrange things easily if space became an issue and it adds possibly unnecessary icons to your otherwise minimalist desktop (unless you’re a clutter offender).
Using a partitioned drive as a scratch disk is a really nifty way of staying organised although it does lead to a slight speed decrease (unless you’re running USB3.0, Firewire 800 or Thunderbolt where it is almost unnoticeable), I would recommend using hard drives as scratch disks for important edits as you can set each partition to collate certain data or duplicates. If you’re an ‘Avid’ user then a speedy partitioned hard drive is exceptionally helpful as you can set one partition as the linked volume, one as the linked drive/folder and another to store the rushes (obviously you’d back them up somewhere else as well, wouldn’t you?).
Over all, I would definitely -if you have the space and a spare drive- recommend partitioning an external hard drive as I have found it boosts productivity and gives me the ability (when editing pictures or video) to save the edits, files and metadata on a separate drive to that of the all important RAW images or rushes.
At Create Jewellery, we offer a large range of workshops in both Kent and Lincolnshire. As well as one-to-one classes, we run workshops which typically have a maximum class size of no more than 8-10 learners to ensure you get the support and dedication that you deserve. Not only are the workshops a great opportunity to learn a new skill and hobby, but many use it as a way to start a new business from home! What could be better than sitting at home making jewellery to sell!
As well as learning, you will have fun chatting to others who share your interests, as well as drinking tea and eating cupcakes which is all included in the price! You will also get to make items at the workshops that you can take home with you, with the reassurance that all materials are included in the set price!
We have recently released the following workshop dates for Lincolnshire, held in Grantham:
Sunday 14 October
- Wire wrapped coctail rings / bangles taster workshop (10.30am – 1pm) – £36 including all materials, cupcakes and tea/coffee
- Shamballa and friendship bracelet workshop (2pm – 4.30pm) – £37 including all materials, cupcakes and tea/coffee
Saturday 3 November
- Vintage inspired jewellery, hair accessories & birdcage veils taster workshop (2pm – 4.30pm)
£36 including all materials, cupcakes and tea/coffee.
Saturday 24 November
- Jewellery making taster workshop (10am – 12.30pm) £36 including all materials and cupcakes
- Tiara making taster workshop (1.30pm – 4pm) – £36 including all materials and cupcakes.
Sunday 25th November
- ‘Decorate Your Shoe’ workshop (crystalizing stiletto heels or converse trainers) – (10am – 2pm), £79 which includes over 1000 crystals that you will use plus other materials to crystalize your own shoes / trainers, as well as tea/coffee and cupcakes.
Sat 8 December
- Beaded Christmas Decorations & Rag Wreath (2pm – 4.30pm) – £40 including all materials
Sunday 9 December
- Tiara making workshop (10.30am – 2.30pm) – £69 – all materials & cupcakes included
For further information, please email Rachel at firstname.lastname@example.org or book online at www.createjewellery.co.uk
Recently, we have met up, once again to discuss photography, as is the creatives way. Since I published that article she has come a very long way, she has even developed her own style.
With this photograph I quite like how not all of Faith’s (the model) body is in shot, not only that but I like the way that with the addition of the large sunglasses we do not know whether or not she is looking at us or at something different. I am no fashion photographer but I know that it is keeping me rather engaged with the image. Personally in post production I would have lowered the highlights, however I feel that the highlights add to a possible harvest theme – based on the ideas that the shoot is in a corn field before harvest and very warm).
Hanna’s long term goals are to become part of the engineering industry and work with a top firm. I can’t help but think she’d be a great professional photographer, however, I can understand many of the things holding her back from following a photographers career.
One thing I absolutely love about Hanna’s work is her interesting use of angles, I have thought this ever since I first saw her photography. When I’ve seen her shoot I have witnessed her move all over the set/location and find some pretty awesome photographs. I guess I am a little envious of this absolute angular skill. I also like the use of black and white here even though I am not much of a lover of black and white. Truth me told this picture may have converted me (Hanna, it’s your fault). Personally I would have lightened the shadows, added a little grain and pumped the contrast a smidge (what exactly is a smidge?)
I was surprised to discover that Hanna only uses a little Panasonic or Fuji bridge camera, can you imagine what work she could do with a Canon 5d mk 2?
I came across a few of her floral photographs and immediately became amused.
When I first saw this I thought Hanna had been at the film. However, she reassures me that all of her -recent, photographic- photography is digital. This photograph seems fairly intimate with the insect. It also has just the right aperture, as to give slight depth of field, many photographers would have just blown the background right out. I can’t deny that I would have probably missed this opportunity or if I had got it would have taken three different shots at different apertures, two of which would have probably blown the background in to space. The crushing of the blacks really works here as it makes the main focus (the insect) stand out subtly, sometimes when blacks are darkened it is done too much as to make everything else appear to bright. Again, here I would have probably dropped the highlights slightly to add some more detail to the insect.
I am currently looking for some interesting places to shoot some street photography in London. If you know anywhere good, drop me a tweet or email: @georgelangridge , email@example.com
Today I’m veering away from label based shenanigans (love that word) for a personal post to talk about the scene.
Now, for those of you that don’t know what I’m referring to, the scene is what people tend to call the representation of music, bands and gigs in their area. Every county, town and city has a scene, and they tend to have highs and lows. It’s a cyclic thing, music everywhere is like it.
I’m writing this article not as an educational piece (though there may be some good pointers in here), but as an observational piece. To be perfectly frank, I’m hacked off with people in the Medway Towns and surrounding areas complaining there is no scene in town anymore.
“Oh, I wish there were more bands to see”
“I remember when there used to be a gig on 4 nights a week”
“What happened to all the good music in this town?”
When I was working in the record shop I used to hear this constantly. In fact, to my knowledge people are still going in there and moaning to their mates about it, despite the array of colourful posters that adorn the entrance to the shop, informing them of regular club nights, one off gigs and album launches(!) from local bands.
It takes 3 groups of people to create, maintain and evolve a scene. Bands. Fans. Promoters. Now, I happen to exist in all 3 of these groups, so I feel I’m in a pretty good position to talk about it. There have to be bands to create a scene. That’s a no brainer. Following that, there has to be fans. You need people to go to the shows after all! Then finally you have the promoters, of which there are plenty in the towns, believe me!
The issue with Medway, I think, is that no one is ever happy with the music scene unless its uber cool, on the cusp and breaking ground. The problem here is that these things have to be built from the ground up. There are loads of bands that want to play. There are a good group of promoters covering an array of genres to book bands. Admittedly the venue situation is a bit tricky for us but we all talk to try and move forward. But where are the fans?
I, with 2 friends, run a Zing, Bang, Kapow Productions. We put on a gig every Sunday in Chatham with some great bands. We promote it hard, as do the bands, but I still hear people complaining about how there aren’t any good rock bands in town to go and listen to anymore. Admittedly, I know Sundays are tricky, but we start at 5 and were usually done by 10. What are people usually doing on a Sunday about then?! To add to that, you’ve got MotherBoy, Moogie Wonderland putting on Alt/Rock/Punk shows, as well as a few other guys (Even Bar Mojo/Command House!) putting on rock line-ups! And to address the “lack of good rock bands” quite frankly that is a load of BS. Frau Pouch, Z-Stacks, Dog Town, Houdini, Cry Baby Special & The Monsters, The Dirty Vibes, Yokozuna, Fishtank, Rageweed, Iron Iron, Wolfgang Special, and tonnes more that I’ve forgotten, apologies. And that’s just rock/alt bands. The Preservation Society have got some fantastic bands signed up to them, and if I’m thinking right, they’re part of the brains behind getting The Cribs to play in town and ME1, the Rochester Castle gig with PIL! Or have butchers at TEA, a local collective putting on some fantastic gigs in the South East. You have them to thank for Grandmaster Flash at The Casino Rooms.
A few quid isn’t a lot when you get to see 3 or 4 bands play.
I guess what I’m trying to say is GO TO YOUR LOCAL GIGS! Wherever you might be reading this. The only way to make and feed a scene is to keep turning up. Don’t complain when you know damn well there are probably 4 gigs on that week, but you just can’t be bothered to go. Venues are a premium these days. Medway lost Bar M years ago, RAFA club is a shadow of its former self and lets not even get started on what WAS the Tap’n’Tin, let alone what its become (You know INME and The Libertines played there right? NME features and all. What happened?!). We know it might be a bit of a grotty pub but you have to persevere, because once other venues see there’s a calling for places to play, they’re more likely to get involved.
Also, moan at promoters, not the bands. If there’s one thing I’ve learnt recently from being in the industry is that its not the artists fault if they don’t get that gig in your hometown. It’s the promoters. If they’re not playing there, it’s probably because a promoter didn’t think he/she’d make any money from it. So go shout at them and let them know you want to see that band on their club night or line up!
By Luke Crook
Devon In Bloom
Last week I found myself in Devon, although a little overcast.
This first picture is just a quirky shot that I took one evening in the car, I think you will like it.
On a rather long tedious car journey I decided to fiddle with my camera, as aways, and this is what I came up with. I dropped the shutter speed just below what it should have ideally been, especially for a handheld movement shot. I set a wide aperture, held steady and shot with a timer. I am particularly surprised that this shot actually worked at all. In post production all I did was drive the blacks, add some vibrancy and drown the highlights.
This loverly little flower was found in the Eden project’s Mediterranean dome. Whilst still sweating from the rainforest dome, I placed my camera to my eye – rather uncomfortably I should add – and took a number of shots, trying to get them just perfect. This shot, in my opinion, is absolutely beautiful. It is so crisp and vibrant – although that is not usually my editing style – strangely with no bokeh in the background. In post I only increased the vibrancy, crushed the blacks and tinted the whites. I really do like the shot and would love anyone’s opinion on how I could improve my photography further.
You would be forgiven for thinking I have just come back from a rainforest somewhere. This little set up was in the rainforest dome at the Eden project. If I am honest I didn’t really like the RAW image when I imported it to my mac. However, after dropping the blacks, warming it up and dulling the highlights I grew a little attached to this image.
To see more photographs in their glorious high resolution, check out my Flickr.
I am currently facing a couple of issues, firstly I have reached my outright limit for my Flickr account and as a student cannot afford to upgrade my account. Does anyone know of any suitable and similar sites that I can showcase my photography on?
I am always open to criticisms, so please, if you can see where I can improve, do not hesitate to let me know. I am also up for doing group shoots and photowalks, if this is of interest to anyone, let me know. I am contemplating on running a photography day; this will include a short photo-walk, a tutorial on editing in Lightroom and a group photo editing session. This has the possibility for some of the best/most interesting work to be displayed to the group and maybe even in an article.
All image copyrights belong to George Langridge.
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After the success of previous XX:ART events, the organisers are bringing another brilliant line up to town on Sunday 9th September with Lester Clayton headlining the gig.
Part political activist, part love-poet, Tottenham born Lester Clayton has a songwriting wit that’s been gaining fans and winning over audience since performing over 600 gigs in the UK and his nationwide support tour with Ed Sheeran. His reggae-infused brand of “Street Folk” with fiddle hooks and groove bass is fresh, poignant and totally infectious.
Lester has supported the likes of Ed Sheeran, Junior Marvin (Former Bob Marley and The Wailers Guitarist), Just Jack and Peter Doherty.
The main support on the night comes from XX:ART regulars Crybaby Special & the Monsters who since last playing for XX:ART have released their debut EP (produced by Babyshamble’s Mik Witnall) and Es Muss Sein; an acoustic / folk act who has recently supported Glasvegas, Story Books and The Wave Pictures.
Matthew Tillman (promoter for XX:ART) – “After seeing Lester Clayton supporting Ed Sheeran, I am over the moon about welcoming him to our night in Chatham. He’s doing something really cool at the moment and his street folk genre is slightly different. He’s already supported some big names too, so we expect big things for him. Plus the supporting lineup is pretty huge too.”
XX:ART takes place monthly at Club Mojo (below the Command House) in Chatham, Kent.
Tickets are just £5 and available on the door. Further information can be obtained from www.facebook.com/xxartmusic
Area: South East
Hip-hop pioneer, Grandmaster Flash, is set to hit the decks in Rochester High Street on 9th November, at the Casino Rooms. The era-defining icon created the loop and cross-fade DJ techniques, spinning minds and decks across the globe in the 70s and 80s. Scratch the surface of hip-hop and experimental rock of the past 35 years and the Furious Five godfather is at the heart of it.
It’s rare to be able to witness a legend at work, and even rarer to do so at just £12 a ticket. But that’s the small price to pay to see the man who was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2007 and stoked the musical fires of greats including Run DMC, Public Enemy, Beck and Jay Z. Grandmaster Flash was also the first person to use the turntable as an instrument.
Since launching in September 2011, with a headline gig by prog-rock and Can icon Damo Suzuki, Medway-based TEA Concerts has focused on bringing to the towns artists that are shaping the current musical underground. In a short ten months they’ve put on bands on the up that knock the knees of indie darlings, including: Tigercats, Stuart Turner, The Bobby McGee’s and Darren Hayman; BBC 6 Music A-listers one and all.
To book tickets for Grandmaster Flash visit seetickets.com or teaconcerts.co.uk Tickets will be available from 9am on Friday 3 August and cost £12 in advance. This is a late concert style event in the main upstairs room with Re:fried DJs spinning tunes before and after the main act.
• TEA put on shows in Medway, London and Brighton
• Aim to put on new or era defining acts in interesting spaces
• Formed in 2011 from the now defunct MILK
• Former acts include Jeffrey Lewis, The Mae Shi, Damo Suzuki, TEETH!!!, Sister Mantos, Com Truise, The Bobby McGees, Seafood, Blackbird Blackbird, Mystery Jets, Darren Hayman, Euros Childs, UpCDownC, BITCHES, Moustache of Insanity, Honey Ride Me A Goat, Let Our Enemies Beware, and Trash Kit.
Area: UK Britain East of England East Midlands London North East North West Yorkshire Scotland South East South West Wales West Midlands
Last week I found myself in Menorca, well I say found, I mean went on a family holiday, where I spent ages taking photographs.
Soaking Up The Sights
I spent a good while flicking through the folder before actually being able to decide on ten photographs, so here are three of those.
I started with this photograph because it is that classic/vintage European bicycle and small street combination. I thought this almost represented the entire set of photographs. Just before I took this, a little old Menorcan woman got off of this bike and walked in to the bakery opposite. For this photograph I thought the rule of thirds needed to be followed here as to not give an ‘over importance’ to the bicycle. When I imported this in to Lightroom I think I made around six or seven virtual copies and spent an entire afternoon just playing with them.
On the north coast of Menorca there is a small fishing village named Fornells, here the coast-line is very rocky and can be a little rough at times. After about five or so minutes of burst shooting I finally got a decent breaker shot. I thought it was stunning, especially relative to the coast two or three miles along where it is complete calm. In Lightroom I didn’t actually have that much that needed to be done to make this remarkable photograph. I think all I did was pop the vibrancy, drop the highlights and add some contrast whilst crushing the blacks ever so slightly.
This photograph was taken in Cuitedella, the old capital city, which was the most traditional Menorcan/Spanish city/town that we had come across. It is safe to say that I had an absolute treat of a day here, with its purposely narrow streets and hidden shops and large houses. This photograph in particular I wish I had spent longer composing the shot and maybe coming out from 24mm to 18mm. As far as editing this photograph I think all I did was fiddle with the shadows and vibrancy.
I am always excited to hear feedback from anyone.
Please check out my Flickr -where you can find more of the photographs from my recent trip- and enjoy.
Select pieces of my work are available to purchase on Redbubble, please check it out. I do vary which photographs are available at different times during the year. If there is a specific image you would like to purchase, drop me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram: @georgelangridge
Remember to enter the ‘Creatabot Creatives Competition‘
Strood library have a craft club that meets in the library on the 1st and 3rd Monday of the month, 1.30pm – 3.30pm.
People bring along their own projects. Beginners, experts & enthusiasts are all welcome.
For more information, contact Strood Library: 01634 335890
Area: South East
A new craft market is being planned for Rochester and the organisers – Craftybunch – are looking for people to sell their lovely creations there. Leigh from Craftybunch says “I would love to bring a Greenwich style market to the area for a Sunday afternoon once a month. I noticed how arty Medway is and want to provide an event to cater for the expanding creativity”.
If you are interested in selling your creations in Rochester please contact Leigh through email@example.com
Area – South East
What turned out to be an invite to a few people to come to coFWD to see the space has turned into something much more interesting. There are now a number of people coming to coFWD on Wednesday to have a look at the space – and they all have one thing in common – making music.
Having spoken to various people recently about possibilities and needs in Kent, Medway is quickly becoming a place bubbling with inspiration and like minds who want to create and collaborate.
If you would love to meet other musical creatives and discuss where there are needs and also help others find out about things they maybe didn’t know, then we would love to see you Wednesday: to indeed see coFWD but also to have a nice relaxed (emphasis on RELAXED) afternoon to chat about creativity, collaboration and ideas.
We would love there to be a wide mix of people attend such as:
Music Video Producers
Social Media peeps
Place – 161 Rochester High Street – ME1 1EH
Time – 3.00pm until 5.00pm
Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/296198113812612/
For more details email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note, our venue (http://coFWD.org/) is a very old bank building that is being slowly shaped by a community of individuals for long-term Community Interest. Sadly the startup project is in its infancy and being run on limited funds so the building currently has some accessibility issues. If you have specific access or disability requirements and would like to attend an event or activity please let us know at least 5 days before the event date so that we can do our utmost to resolve any potential problems to accommodate.”
This reason for the above is two fold:
1. by law we (coFWD/161/CreativeMedwayCiC) are required to make any ‘publicly promoted’ events or activity accessible to all and failure to be ‘accessible’ or not provide advanced notice of building/space accessibility limitations will likely land us in trouble.
2. it is very important that all of our events are measured for capacity and that we know who is coming to or has been through our doors, this is important for safety and security, and it also means the person running such activities can easily update participants of any changes or additional correspondence.
Area: South East
Another contributor, woo! And from a different creative angle again. Kael, from Kent, spends most of his creative time acting and making music so will be bringing this interest into his articles. Here is a lovely mini interview so that you can find out more about him:
So Kael, what is your creative background?
I have Studied both media and drama at college.
What made you decide to concentrate on acting?
I tried my hand at everything creative I could, but acting was the one thing that made me think “this is what I want to do”.
Who inspires you both locally and universally?
I have yet to find local inspiration but if I had to pick one it would have to be my mum because she has always supported me through anything I have ever wanted to pursue. Universally I would have to say music as a whole inspires me.
Who would you love to work with?
The people I have done acting with have all been friends and people I know, and I actually enjoy working with them most. I know that if I try my best they will do the same and we can all work together.
Are there any other creative subjects you would love to learn?
I have always wanted to be in a band, and I was in one in the past. It was a lot of fun but I didn’t like the music we were making so I would love to be in a band where I truly loved the music we are creating and the style as a whole.
What would you like to achieve in the future?
I would like to get more notice as an actor and I would also like to be in a band again because those are two main things I love doing.
Can you recommend a creative website you love?
You can follow Kael on Twitter at @kaelbraham