Local Artists Design Limited Edition Wedgewood Rooms T-Shirts

To celebrate our 25th year anniversary, The Wedgewood Rooms are teaming up with local artists to bring you exclusive limited edition Wedgewood Rooms T-shirts. The aim of these T-shirts is to both celebrate the Wedgewood Rooms history, but also to promote some of Portsmouth’s best artists! In the last few years, The Wedge has become more heavily involved in Portsmouth’s arts community, having an artist in residence, as well as employing local artists at the venue. This project will be an extension of those previous collaborations between local artists and the venue. 

Each local artist has based their design on what The Wedgewood Rooms means to them in their own unique artistic style. For each design we will print a limited batch of 50 T-shirts, with a new shirt being launched every few months. The first T-shirt we will be releasing is by Dani Hacket, a local artist who works at the venue! These limited edition T-shirts will go on sale Friday, so keep your eyes peeled on our social media! Read below to see her previous work and hear the inspiration behind her design.

“My T-shirt design for the Wedgewood Rooms was a particular interest of mine since it has been such a big part of my life for the past few years. I wanted to portray the nautical background of Southsea, and also capture the history of the area. I was inspired by old engravings by JMW Turner, an artist that captured the ferocity and beauty of the ocean, and the combination of the waves with the impressive old style ships. Obviously, being a music venue, I couldn’t leave out the aspect of music, and so I wanted to merge the two ideas together with the musical instruments to create a lively image that captured the energy of a Wedgewood Rooms gig.”

dani-sample

A Local Bands Guide to Getting Support Slots

Here at The Wedgewood Rooms we get lots of enquiries from local bands after support slots. Hopefully with this blog we can give you a solid few tips that can help you increase your band’s chances of getting those slots.

Number 1: Nearly every time we are informed by an agent that they want a local support, we will advertise it on social media. When we do this, it is extremely important that you only put yourself forward if you believe A) you would be a brilliant musical fit for the show, and B) that you will be able to promote it properly.  

It is far better to wait for the slot you think you would best suit your band, and ensure that you have no other dates around it, than putting yourself forward for every show. Playing to an audience of 150 people who are interested in your genre of music, is way more beneficial to artists than playing to 400 that aren’t. 

sad-palace-logo

Gosport based band Sad Palace recently supported Teleman @ The Wedgewood Rooms

Number 2: Follow the instructions on our posts for support bands carefully. By this we mean, if it says post links, or email a certain address, please do so. Messaging us on Facebook at 1am is not the best way to get your band out there. We need sleep too.

Number 3: Only apply if you are local, I.E within a 20 mile radius. We understand the importance support slots have to local bands, so we ensure that they are the ones that get them. Whilst we know there are amazing bands in other cities throughout the UK, this is our way of helping develop the talent within our city.

Number 4: Make sure you have good quality recordings – this is hugely important. As well as a professionally maintained social media presence, having quality recordings helps massively in getting a support slot. Contrary to popular belief we do not chose the support acts for our shows, they’re chosen by the headline band and their agent. You never know who might be listening to your music or checking out your profile, so keep things professional. Live videos are also a great indicator as to how you will go down on the bill.

Number 5: If you get the slot make sure you work hard promoting the show. First and foremost our main concern as a venue is getting the ‘right’ band for the bill. We don’t put forward local bands based on an expectation that they’ll bring 400 people however, selling some tickets goes a huge way towards benefiting your reputation with the promoter, agent and band.

Live Music Attendance Falling in Portsmouth? Here’s the Truth.

Taken from an interview we did originally with Portsmouth News. 

I recently saw an opinion piece in the Portsmouth News that stated that venues, promoters and bands were all partially responsible for falling attendance at live music events in Portsmouth. The overarching message seemed to be that a lot of people weren’t doing their jobs properly. As someone who has spent the last few years heading up the marketing at The Wedgewood Rooms, whilst putting on shows with my own band, this got to me. Having done several interviews on this subject, I still find the dilemma of falling attendance an incredibly complicated issue, certainly too complicated to explain in 400 words.

Put simply, falling attendance is a self-fulfilling crisis. It is a fact that live turnout for smaller touring and local shows isn’t what it used to be. The result of this is that venues make less than they used to. When you combine this with rising rent, licensing costs, and the astronomical increase in the cost of putting on live music events, it is easy to see how so many venues have closed down in the last ten years. And fundamentally, fewer venues means less public exposure to live music, and the continuation of falling live music attendance.

wedgewood-rooms-outside

 

As   to the initial cause of this drop in turn out, there are dozens of reasons. Portsmouth’s falling music attendance is representative of a nationwide social shift in live music consumption. The number of people going to shows at smaller venues has dropped, with many now attending one off stadium shows by heritage artists, think The Who, U2 etc. Additionally, the explosion of the festival market in the UK has led to increased competition between festivals and venues, and gig-goers are now given more choice as to how they spend what is left of their spare cash. Whilst this in some cases leads to a more active music scene, it can really hamper venues, and losing venues as stated earlier, is what ultimately kills a local music scene.

Of the hundreds of venues that have closed down in the UK across the last ten years, you will struggle to find even one example of a venue having closed due to a lack of effort from the promotional team. Threats from housing developers, and noise abatement orders can bankrupt venues just as easily as rising rent, and business overheads. The venues are the bedrock of local music scenes. Protect the venues, and you protect the scene.

WEDGEWOOD ROOMS RECOMMENDATIONS VICTORIOUS FESTIVAL 2016

It’s that time of year again. Victorious Festival 2016 is nearly upon us, with what is certainly it’s biggest Line Up to date! With hundreds of bands across the bank holiday weekend, deciding on who you’re going to see is no doubt a challenge. However fear not, we are here to help you. Our staff have crafted a playlist below of our recommendations for the weekend, featuring both local and national artists. Having to narrow it down to 20 acts proved hard, however as many of these bands have played The Wedge before, or are scheduled to in the next few months, you can trust us that they’re worth seeing! Enjoy the festival and make sure you scroll through the playlist below!

10 of the Best: Portsmouth’s Weirdest Rider Requests

Whether it is Blue M&M’s or Pictures of David Hasselhoff in the dressing room (seriously), rider requests can be a very strange affair. Once seemingly constructed by outlandish third-world dictators, the rider requests of today have become very, well conservative (excuse my language).  Whilst some modern artists now use their rider as a chance to promote their new #instadaily #foodporn diet of decaying leaf matter, others have become content with an M&S Sushi tray, and a packet of Hobnobs. Fear not however, we have delved deeply into The Wedge archive to bring you the top ten Random Rider Requests, spanning ourselves, The Guildhall and Pyramids recent history.

For legal reasons, and because we like to keep on good terms with people, we have replaced the names of the artists involved, with our favourite worst band names. Have a read, and if you’re a promoter, let us know some of your worst rider stories!

1) The Cocoa Butter Trio

A picture of David Hasselhoff in the dressing room. Nothing wrong with this, who wouldn’t want to spend an evening looking into those eyes?

1_David_Hasselhoff

2) Mixed Nuts 

A shuffled iTunes Playlist of relaxation/Hypnosis tapes. Because touring can be stressful.

relaxation

3) Comic Sans (Bold)

4 Bottles of Champagne (with the note “no Moet no Show’e”). No words.

4) Devil’s Spleen Advocate 

An Electric Cattle Prod. Still unsure as to what this was used for. The less we know the better.

cattle prod

5) The Protein Sheiks 

Set of 20kg Weights for the dressing room… Like do you even lift?

arny lifting weights

6) #LOVE

Carpeted Dressing Rooms. You’re not in Morocco, you’re in Portsmouth and it’s raining outside.

carpets

 

7) The Font Protection Society 

A Lotto Scratch Card (Any winnings to be split between Artist and Promoter). This was actually pretty cool.

8) The Sid James Affair

A Toy Car. Thankfully no Jackass moments were had with this toy (Google it) – it actually ended up in a music video…

toy car

9) Vampiric Lust 

A Private and unattended Bar. You can imagine what happened next.

10) Diving with Iguanas 

A Starbucks Soya Latte. Because Instant Coffee is just not the same.

 

Say No to Secondary Tickets

After reading several blogs recently regarding secondary tickets, with artists such as Prince declaring ‘war’ on ticket touts, we wanted to share our stance on secondary ticketing. For the last 6 years we have been operating a hard-line policy to stamp out ticket touting at our venues. Despite our best efforts we have suffered previously from touts, with shows such as Jamie T, and Damon Albarn having had tickets uploaded on-line for sale on Stub Hub and Ebay, within several minutes of the shows selling out. To combat this, we ask every ticket buyer to bring  the confirmation email, and the card they purchased the ticket on to the show, so it can be verified upon entry.

We understand this approach has been known to cause some problems in cases where people have bought tickets for friends, however we believe it is essential to educate people who buy from touts, that secondary ticketing takes money away from the venues and the artists. In any case people we are happy for people who have bought tickets for friends, to lend their friends the card for the show, or if not, simply give them the card number. This will enable us to verify the transaction. Ticket touting exploits fans adoration of artists in already difficult financial times, and rips money off of the venues who work day in day out to provide music that people will enjoy. Ideally we wouldn’t have to impose such policies, after all it would make our lives much easier. However until touts stop attempting to profit off of secondary tickets, these policies will have to remain in place.

Jamie T’s show at The Wedgewood Rooms was one of our fastest selling shows ever!

The battle between venues and touts is one that has been prevalent for decades. However the shady Billy Sykes character harping after spare tickets outside venues, has been replaced by computer bots and cyber criminals. They have been known in cases to purchase 1000’s of tickets in large batches within minutes of the show, as was the case for U2’s show at Madison Square Gardens. The sad truth is it is very hard to combat these devices. Refusing entry to secondary bought tickets is therefore the only way to fight this illegal industry. Our hope is that we can cut the demand for secondary tickets by informing fans that secondary tickets will not gain them access to the venue. Kill the demand, you kill the industry. Since adopting this policy we have had huge success in reducing the number of secondary tickets sold for our events.

The support band. The touring band that nearly always make no money. For every band arriving in out Tour Buses, there are those in the Ford Transits. The ones who have been wearing the same clothes for the last week, and haven’t showered in just as long. Why do they do it? Other than a love for gigging to new audiences, and a desire to better their musical career, their isn’t much glamour to it. Yet despite this, they are more often than not, amazing artists. When you watch a support band,  you are witnessing an artist at the beginning of their career. Who knows what they will develop into?

As a music venue this subject is of real importance to us. Some of the greatest artists that have played here started out as support bands. The Killers, Biffy Clyro, Pulp, Catfish and The Bottlemen – even The Strokes played their first ever UK show here as the support for Trail of The Dead. Every band has to start somewhere. Unfortunately however, we have noticed across the last few years that some gig goers have begun avoiding the support band altogether,  turning up solely for the headline act. We want to challenge this.

 

Support slots are a valuable opportunity for upcoming bands to get their music in front of new audiences. It is where new signings to labels, booking agencies, etc cut their teeth,and where they learn how to really perform. Catfish and The Bottlemen for example, performed here at least three times as a support band before their headline date. On some of those occasions, fewer than a hundred people saw them perform, and if no one is there to see them, it begs the question, “What’s the point of it all?”.  Despite the vast increases in music discovery options across the last ten years from Spotify to YouTube,  live remains one of the most important ways people discover new music. This is because it offers a real world experience. It’s the first time you will ever have heard that artist, and be it good or bad, it stays with you.

For local bands in particular, these support slots offer real value. Not only do they gain experience and contacts (if they network) in performing in a professional setting, but they also get a chance to perform to a large local audience. In the case of a sold out show at The Wedgewood Rooms, that’s potentially up to 400 new fans. Now as a city we are blessed with many great local bands, so if you find out one of them is on the bill of a show you are going to, get there ON TIME. Record labels often want proof of a bands accessibility  before signing them, and the size of their fan base is a great way of calculating that (Having loads of Facebook likes and Followers on Twitter doesn’t count – we’re talking music sales and sold out shows). So in effect, turning up for the local support and buying an EP etc, is directly contributing to the development of an artist within your area.

As a music venue, we’ve spent the last 23 years witnessing the progression of artists within this industry. We hope to be able to continue doing the same for the next 20 years, but this can only happen if audiences invest in support bands. On that note, we have included a Soundcloud playlist to our favourite support bands across the last year below. We urge you to have a listen, you never know where they might end up.

Support live music, support new artists.

Support The Support Band: An Open Letter

WEDGE HORROR STORIES – Our First Record Purchases

We all remember our first record. The excitement of exchanging the money you’d saved up all week, for that first purchase. We all remember getting home, and putting on said vinyl/ tape/ CD, sitting down, and just listening. Sadly, as Digital Music Consumption has increased, it seems this phenomenon may be an experience that future generations miss out on. However, that’s not to say that the experience itself is something we look back on with infinite positivity. For everyone who’s first purchase was The Beatles “Love Me Do”, there are dozens of The Muppets, “Manamana”. To that end, we have decided to expose our first music purchases. Be warned, some are pretty horrendous.

Sue – The Osmands ‘Crazy Horses’

Tanya – The Police ‘Regatta Del Blanc’

Geoff – Tchaikovsky ‘1812 Overture’

Christian – Gorrilaz ‘Demon Days’

Mark and Jim –  Metallica ‘Master of Puppets’

Ollie – Kings X – ‘Dog Man’

Beth – Peter Andre – ‘Mysterious Girl’

Becki – 2 Unlimited – ‘No Limit’

Dani – Eminem – ‘Marshall Mathers EP’

Alex – Limp BizKit – ‘Chocolate Covered Starfish, and The Hot Dog Flavoured Water’

Jo – Korn – ‘Life is Peachy’

Joel – Godzilla Soundtrack

Bands That Work At The Wedge

Whilst it may seem fairly obvious to most people, us guys and gals that work at The Wedge, are more than a bit into our music. It therefore, may not surprise you to learn that there are a total of eight different bands, who’s member’s make up the small Team of Door, Bar, Front of House, Technicians, and Office Staff here.  Well seeing as we spend all year round promoting other bands, we thought it was time we use this platform for a bit of utterly shameless self-promotion. SO have a scroll through, and check us out. We promise you won’t find any Jazz – Hip-Hop, Oriental fusions here (Although we secretly think that sound great).

ACRES (Currently on tour through Europe – Just Saying)

FLEETINGWOOD MAC (One of the best bands at Victorious; we aren’t Biased at all. Catch them at The Wedge for their biggest Headline Show yet 30th Oct)

VELUDO PLANES (Supported The Subways last year, and played a host of Festivals. Catch them 21st Oct supporting Blossoms).

ATTENTION THIEVES (Touring, recording, and making all the decent blogs and press weak at the knees).

BATTERY HENS (Like seriously good musicians; pure scuzz brilliance. Catch them at Dials Festival 3rd Oct)

KILL’EM DEAD COWBOY (Having Toured Europe like a ridiculous amount of times, these guys took a break for a few years, but are back now with a new video n’ stuff)

STRAY BULLETS KILL (Big Riffs, Brutal Vocals – these guys are back after a year out writing and recording new material)

THEE SOPWITH CAMELS (Garage covers band, made up of 2 members of The Good Time Charlies, with a Wedge person thrown in for good measure)

https://www.facebook.com/theesopwithcamels?fref=ts

Portsmouth Music Scene – 4 Local Artists You Need to Hear (Vol. 3 )

Alright guys, this week we have 4 more local bands for you in the form of ‘Wyldest’, ‘You’re Smiling Now But We’ll All Turn Into Demons’, ‘Battery Hens’ and ‘Deluxe Flamingos’. All these guys are doing pretty great things outside the city, and have been doing so for quite some time now. Have a listen, and check them out when they’re next in town. If you’re a local artist and have some music you think we need to hear, drop us a line via our contact page. Also heads up…The Wedgewood Rooms Showacse 2015  is going to be announced shortly! We have some amazing prizes lined up for this year, including a top industry judging panel, so watch this space!

Wyldest – ‘Danish Longball’

You’re smiling Now But We’ll all turn into Demons – ‘Jammin on the 13th Floor’

Battery Hens – ‘F**k Things’

Deluxe Flamingos – ‘I’m the Roy in Destroy’