Wednesday, 25 January 2012

THE BIG IDEA

So, I've been thinking. I've recently hooked up with MUTANT ARTSPACE which means I'm asked to write an article for the Artspace blog once a month. This ties in nicely with a vague plan I had already of putting up videos/photos etc of performers after each month's Sessions. So I was thinking it might be fun to do a five minute interview with each performer too, just an unrehearsed thing, nothing uptight. It would be another way of giving some coverage to the performers, as the Mutantspace blog is read by a lot more people than this one.

In the meantime, we've been winkling away at The Medicine sessions room, there is still a good bit to be done, but we're on the way. The fun bit will come when we've finally moved all the 'cool' stuff there and can spend a day hanging things up, arranging oddments and seeing what the place looks like after dark with the fire lit... oh and doing a run through night to see what the sound is like. Mike the landlord had me fill in the dates for the Sessions for the year to be added to the Lismore Calendar of events.. so we're committed now, this has got to go at least for a year... blimey.

THE RONALD DOES SOME THINGS

Saturday, 21 January 2012

THE INEVITABLE MOMENT OF INTENSE APPREHENSION.

This thing is difficult. I'm beginning to wonder if I'm deluding myself that performers actually need (or want) another original music venue, particularly one which is borderline rural compared to the easy reach of City events. I'm also starting to wonder if, all this time, my own band was actually being too easy going about playing 'unpaid' gigs! Was it because we didn't ask for money that we didn't get any? Is it really a standard thing that you do the circuit of 'open mic' type events to keep your name out there and are happy to do it for nothing? I just presumed this was the score and it seemed fair enough, at least I wasn't being asked to pay to actually play and I was happy enough to have a place to play in!

Anyway, a few blessed souls have been in touch regards to showing interest and are booked in, one or two more have got in touch and when told there is no money (which I thought I made obvious to begin with) have not been heard from since. I've contacted a good few bands directly and have stoney silence back... Stupid me for thinking that performers would be scrabbling at my back door to play, delighted for a  potential new audience... To be fair, I'm totally new to this game, so I suppose it's part of the rich learning process of 'organiser and chief'.

Not sure what the future of the Sessions will be to be perfectly honest, I will still be putting as much as I can into it.. I will build it.. but it's up to them if they come or not... there's only so much a mere mortal can do and bar winning the lottery and offering a thousand euros to every band that wants to play, I can't offer more than I already am. Hopefully once The Medicine Sessions start, they will grow legs and wander about of their own accord into the word of mouth avenues of underground cool and begin attracting some attention. In a years time I hope to read back on this post and chortle to myself and wonder what I was so afraid of.

Anyway, I've been playing with the Ipad animation thingy, this will hopefully be the opening to any videos we get at the Sessions, if I can find an MP4 to avi file converter for free, with no watermarks or limitations! *angry face

video

Thursday, 12 January 2012

A WEEK IN

I don't know quite what came over me that possessed me to begin this project, boredom at my own inertia perhaps? Whatever the spirit is that jumped into me though, I'm happy that it did so. I can't help feeling that I am just part of something much bigger going on in the world, that forces are conspiring, that little Studio Ghibli'esque other worldlings are jumping into people making them do cool stuff.


I've also come to realise that the music world in Ireland is pretty small, it has a lovely 'community' feel to it. There aren't too many steps from the bottom to the middle to the top and performers can seemingly slip between all, on and off, quite happily. It's not too rare to find one of Ireland's premier performers turning up in a small basement in Dublin, or a basement regular suddenly getting radio play. If you have the talent and the ability to job your way round the Isle and keep your name out there, there's no reason why you can't get a break somewhere along the line. I would love to think and it is in my plans, that The Medicine Sessions will become one of those events, one of the handful 'must play' sessions that are currently up and running around Ireland. Over the last year or so I have also noticed the growing need for Spoken Word venues. Artists of the talking persuasion seem to have few places to spread their creations. Being that I have a soft spot for all manner of performed words, I thought it was important for The Medicine Sessions to be open for these artists too.

I have already found other organisers of similar events to be extremely helpful and delighted at the prospect of having another venue for original music and words. The performers thus far to contact me too, have been enthusiastic and grateful at having an event that is aiming to cater as much for them as for an audience or landlord. It's common sense that says to me that an event must be this way, if you don't feed the soul of an artist, then how can you expect them to create?

ARTIST FOOD INCLUDES:

Nice, plentyful audiences.
Friendly organisers.
Nice sound.
Places to store your gear.
Groovy venues, preferably in either uber-modern or uber old locations.
The prospect of having some nice photography/recording/write up's of the gig.
A fun atmosphere.
Some beer/tobacco/other.. or all of.
Beautiful objects to look at.
Posters.
Cool clothes/shoes/haircuts/hats/jewellery.
Shiny things... or really old faded things.
Food.

I hope The Medicine Sessions will be able to facilitate most of the above at any one time.

Monday, 9 January 2012

TALKING MOOSE HEADS.

That's what we were doing today. We ventured down to The Red House with the camera and a measuring tape and a note pad, to do some much needed planning. Also we wanted to keep Mike the Landlord informed as to how things were going. He seems extremely delighted at the prospect of The Red hosting something different and exciting.

THE HOME OF THE MEDICINE SESSIONS

Anyway. The work will begin from now on, turning the sad, shabby room into a place of supreme groovytude. It will be easy enough to achieve, with The Ronald's genius for making things from nothing, his penchant for soft lighting and a stuffed animal or two, the place will awaken, make it's own magic, draw people into it's historical arms. There is a thing about old buildings, they know when something good is going to happen, they almost talk, the atmosphere changes just a little. I felt that room buzz today, it pricked up it's rain hammered window brows, lifted up it's proud but lonely shoulders and looked us in the eye. It is game.

Meanwhile, I am only half ways anxious about not being able to attract some great talent. I have a nice few waiting in the wings already, and some great lads lined up for the launch, but I'm waiting until nearer the time to announce anything, should the excitement be lost. All I can say is that I am very grateful for their enthusiasm, it is a proper joy!

So, if there is any one out there wanting to be part of something special, get in touch. The Red House Medicine Room wants you.

UP TO THE MEDICINE ROOM

THE MEDICINE ROOM BONES 

VIEW FROM THE STAGE (before work)

THE RONALD AND MIKE IN THE MAIN DOWNSTAIRS BAR


VIEW OF LISMORE MAIN STREET FROM MEDICINE ROOM WINDOW

Cheers. Vick.


Thursday, 5 January 2012

AND SO IT BEGINS

Well, here goes. After being struck by a sudden panic on New Year's night that I must do something this year in case we all get apocalypticked, I am now confronted with the GIANT  gravity of my new plan. The plan went thus;

ME: "I should do something!"

THE RONALD; "Do something then!"

ME: "But what!?"

THE RONALD: " more music or sommink"

ME: "I'm going to be like Patti Smith, I'm going to make a revolution, make a whole new scene, make my own thing.. a place where musicians and poets can come and play, not for the money crap, but for the love of playing. I will create a venue so fucking awesome that people will feel like they have stepped into another universe, a universe like it used to be. A place where original artists can play to an appreciative audience in a completely cool environment and go away feeling like they have satisfied a part of their souls that have so far been ruined by bland pub gigs, noisy drunks, and non interested crowds. I want to create something proper for West Waterford. Something important, something groovy, something GOOD."

THE RONALD; "That's nice dear".

And so it began. The idea didn't go away, in fact it sat there, in my stomach and grew legs and wings and eyeballs. Something kept whispering; "do-it do it do it".

So I did it.. and fate and all the muses fell in today and found me the perfect venue to hold it. In the best, oldest, groovyest, shabbyest, pubbiest pub in Lismore. Upstairs in the ancient beams, a perfect room, with two big bay windows, an original fireplace, black wooden floorboards and it's own creaky wooden staircase off the street. Enough room for a good crowd, not so big as to be intimidating.

So this is it. All systems are go. I am open for business. As of now I am calling all original artists, singer songwriters and spoken word, who are willing to travel to Lismore County Waterford. A bucket will be handed round at the end of each night for tips from the crowd for petrol money for performers and artists are more than welcome to flog their wares, be it CD's or pamphlets.
So here's the plan, to create a place of medicine for the soul of the performer and of the listener.

Fingers crossed I'm not being too idealistic in my hopes that it's not all about money and I'm not the only person in the world who thinks it can work. I'll try my hardest to prove myself right.