Portsmouth Punk Promotions (PPP) are arguably some of the most prolific local promoters in town, having been involved in approximately 17 shows this year alone. This shifting collective have years of experience promoting shows and playing in bands, maintaining a strong DIY ethic throughout. PPP fit into a larger punk network founded on gig swaps, hospitality and enthusiasm which has enabled them to bring in acts from all over the world. We thought we would pick their collective brain ahead of their big show this Sunday with Swedish punk veterans No Fun At All.
Wedge Bot: What inspired you to put on shows?
Jochen : I used to put on some shows at the HorseShoe (RIP) to help get my band out there and play some shows (The Shabazz Lovemonkeys now The SLM). We lived out of town and we had no where in Denmead to do it. Putting on shows is a great way of getting mates from all over the UK and Europe to come play your home town and hang out. You get to meet so many new people through putting on/playing shows. It also helps build up a scene of like minded people to have a great time with and enjoy music with. Also putting on gigs is a good way of getting gigs in other city’s doing gig swaps with other bands. Also a great way of promoting my record label Charlie’s Big Ray Gun Records and bringing the distro along with me
Jack: I started organising punk/hardcore gigs over the last couple of years up in London, putting on bands at places like The Unicorn in Camden, The Bird’s Nest in Deptford and the New Cross Inn- I saw the work that people like Umlaut Records and Be Sharp Promotions were doing, giving awesome new and not-so-new bands the opportunity to regularly play and build up a sort of community and I guess I just really wanted to be involved with that… coupled with the obvious, awkward but unavoidable fact of how lucrative a game promoting DIY punk and hardcore shows seemed to be and I was completely SOLD!! Ahem…
Wedge Bot: What were the first shows you put on? Generally and as PPP
Joch : I first got involved with PPP around 2015 along with Joe Anderson (now Nerd Rage Bookings) Ant Harrison was the founder of PPP. There were a few promoters doing things around Portsmouth but it was nice to get involved with a group of people under one banner. My first show was 2 Sick Monkeys, Strength in Blunders and 3 local bands Dead By Dawn (Miss them) Shooting Fish (Also not around any more great band) and my band The SLM. This Sunday is 2 Sick Monkeys final gig which is a massive shame, amazing band but they have been going for many years, see you both soon Pete and Fred
Jack: My first PPP show was a 6 band bill on a Monday night back in April this year with Red Terror, Revolution Summer, The SLM, Down Love, KRANG and Sombulance. It was my first time organising a gig in Portsmouth after having grown up going to gigs at The Horseshoe and seeing soooooooooooo so many awesome bands there, so it was a pretty big deal for me! The scene in Portsmouth is pretty small but is bulging with some of the friendliest, most talented people and brilliant bands I’ve ever met/seen. It went pretty great despite my determined insistence that 10 minute changeovers are a great idea (NOTE: They aren’t )
Wedge Bot: How have things developed or changed since then? Any difficulties/learning curves along the way?
Joch: When I first started out I had no clue really what I was doing but after watching some local promoters and playing lots more shows over the Uk and Europe you pick up on things and earn a good way of doing the gigs and looking after touring bands. Making sure you have somewhere for the band to stay and some food in at least for breakfast and some cheeky beers for after never goes a miss. Learning how to not lose too much money, promote a good night and just make everything run smoothly comes with time, also making sure there is a whole back line helps too! Also now I have Dave Sloan doing CBRG.TV filming loads of bands sets which we put on also just did the 2 new videos for local boys Misgivings and the video for The SLM ”Zombie Shark” which we also used the Wedgewood Rooms for the second half of the shoot ….. Cheers Geoff 😀
Jack: I genuinely never have a fucking clue what the hell I am doing! I 100% relied and in many ways still rely on the patience of people up and down the country that have been doing this a lot longer and lot more successfully then I could ever hope to do and I am very lucky and very grateful that, because of the help and advice I receive from people (in particular from the beautiful humans involved with PPP and Charlie’s Big Ray Gun Records) that I improve with every gig I organise, I hope?! I just try to make sure the bands have some booze, food, decent turn out and get paid fairly or whatever was agreed. Standard stuff, I guess…
Wedge Bot: What is your favourite gig/line up that you have put on so far?
Jack: It kind of sucks, but the only time I really get out to see bands is when I put on a gig with PPP, or previously with the London shows when I put on gigs as Kick the Crutches- so honestly, I get something out of every gig I put on, which is a preposterously dull answer, but that’s the truth! With PPP I have been involved with a few shows this year that stand out as being quite special for me- the Aerial Salad and Raging Nathans gig in I think, August (?) was particularly great, as was putting on Grand Collapse and seeing them absolutely destroy half a room on a Monday night… so many great bands have helped through this year, gargh!! I organised an all-dayer at the New Cross Inn a couple of years back that I somehow managed to pull off, through a slack jawed blizzard of profound drunkenness and confusion… That day had pretty much every band that I could possibly hope to see in one place, I remember feeling pretty proud of having organised that one… despite the fact I was a sweltering mess of an awful human by the end of the night. Ho hum.
Wedge Bot: What can we look forward to in the future?
Jack: The No Fun At All gig on the 16th of December is going to be a triumphant end to a pretty busy half a year or so, we can’t wait for that one and are very excited to be hosting a band like NFAA at a venue as intimate as the Edge of the Wedge. We’ve been pretty lucky and have a few gigs to announce that are pretty exciting, bands that I have wanted to put on for aaaaaaaaaaages and am finally getting a chance to do so, I can’t wait to announce 🙂
Joch: As Jack Said, keep an eye out on our FB page and random posters scattered around town 😉
Wedge Bot: Any advice for people wanting to put on shows or local bands looking to get more gigs?
Jack: I am definitely not the person that should be giving advice on running shows, ever! All the usual advice that people have heard a bazillion times over and over still applies- just try not to be an abominable prick, as a rule, is a worthwhile line to tread and one that I struggle to try and navigate with varying degrees of success with each show… For bands, I guess, if you want someone to put you on, come out to a show and say “Hi-uh” it’s always nice to hear about and meet new bands so yeah, check out who is putting on what, when and where, then just show up… Alternatively, just book a room above or in the back of a pub and bring some bands through- forget about making money for yourself, that shouldn’t be a priority or motivation, in my opinion, at all (NOTE: There is absolutely nothing wrong with making money from a show, you have put a lot of effort into organising, just so long as you are putting the needs of the bands and venue first. In my opinion!) Oh, and try to enjoy yourself, especially if you’re preoccupied with the aforementioned and taxing effort of “not-being-a-prick” … it is easier said than done but if you’re really not enjoying yourself or getting anything out of it, let someone else have a go.
Joch: Well Put Mate 😀 just give it a go make sure you have everything to do the show with, a nice sound guy. Make sure you look after the venue to as if you want to come back they need to be happy ….. Go make some noise… jump around a lot …. drink some beers and have a bloody good time…..
Wedge Bot: Describe the Portsmouth music ‘scene’ in one word
PPP bring No Fun At All to The Edge of the Wedge this Sunday (December 16th) with support from Darko, Captain Trips and On a Hiding to Nothing. Tickets available from http://www.wedgewood-rooms.co.uk
They’re also planning ahead and look set to bring Pizzatramp back to The Edge on the 31st March. More info to be confirmed soon.
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