I’ve always loved music, ever since I was born I’d bop to Spice Girls in my baby rocker. Growing up I was introduced to the music my dad loves, brought up on a love for indie, glam rock, and alternative music. It’s something that’s always interested me and my music taste had always been worlds apart to that of my peers. I felt a much deeper passion and appreciation for music and I wanted to tell the world about it.
That’s when I started my first blog Strawberry Blonde. I started writing about music in November 2015, starting with a local band called Puppet Rebellion at The Full Moon in Newcastle-under-Lyme. For a few months I reviewed any gigs I went to, and music that came out that I enjoyed… then I was contacted by Lee Barber, a man who changed my life. He asked me to review The Music Awards of Staffordshire and Cheshire, and shortly after I started writing for his latest venture The Rebel Bear.
I’ve been an avid gig-goer and music lover my entire life but I’d never thought of it as a career path until Lee got in touch. I’m now studying Journalism at Staffordshire University and hoping to go down the music journo road in the future.
Enough about me though, I guess I’m just validating why I feel so strongly about the topic I’m about to go on to. Why it’s so important to support your local music scene.
The music is mega
I’ve been reviewing local singles, EP’s albums and so on for two years meaning I’ve got to hear a variety of artists, styles and genres and ever single one is incredible in their own way and it really showcases the diversity of your cityMega affordable night out
Average ticket price is £5. With 3-4 bands on the bill, you’re getting your money’s worth. You’d pay a fiver for a pint at Manchester Arena
You root for them
There are some local bands that I am desperate to see succeed on a major scale. The kinda bands you know will one day play Manchester Arena shows and you can say ‘yeah mate, I saw them at The Sugarmill in 2018 – cracking band’ It in turn supports local venues and economy
Local venues are the backbone of the local music scene; without them, we wouldn’t experience some of the gigs we do – big and small.
The gigs are mad
Some of the best gigs I’ve been to have been local bands, some musicians just have the best energy and vibes and it can make a show really specialGreat way to meet new people
I met my boyfriend and some of my best friends through the local music scene. You’ve got a good 3-4 hours of bonding time over Red Stripe and great tunes. A mutual love and appreciation of music can create an unbreakable bond.The music is relatable
Having grown up in the same city at the musicians, they may well sing about things that personally relate to you, both directly and indirectly. Taking one local example, Merrym’n (below) sings explicitly about Stoke-on-Trent as a city and you love it because it’s relatable. Other musicians are more subtle and may relate to you through the fact they’ve had a similar upbringing. Stoke is a working-class city producing amazing working class bands and artists. You scratch their back, they’ll scratch yours
I’m not saying support them purely to gain support back… but if you’re actively showing support for a band, they’re likely to support your ventures too.
There’s a major sense of pride when you see them accomplish things
Whether they’ve booked their first headline gig or a major festival, releasing their first EP or their first album. You get to watch these bands grow and flourish literally from birth and you feel like a proud mother when a band you’ve supported from the start makes a great achievement.
A few little ways you can support your local music scene:
Buy tickets to their gigs
Where possible, buy them directly from the band. The band will get a cut of that money and that money funds their rehearsal time, their travel, their recording. Without your help from ticket sales, it’s difficult for a band to fund themselves. Buy their merchandise
If you can only afford a 50p badge, sound, if you can bag a cool £15 t-shirt, do it! Wear it and wear it with pride and when someone asks who’s top you’re wearing tell them. Tell them where they’re from and how good they are and link them to their tunes. Listen to their music
Whether you buy their physical or digital copy, or stream through Apple Music and Spotify. Listen to their music. Spending £3 on someone’s EP makes a massive difference to them, even if it’s a small cost for you. Share their social posts
You see they’re playing a gig? Give it a share. They’ve released a new single? Give it a share. It takes two seconds but it broadens their audience massively. One share and the right person seeing it could lead to something huge. Watch the other bands on the bill
This is important. You may have gone to a gig to see one band, but please stay and watch the others too. You may discover an incredible new artist. There’s nothing more disheartening to see one band have a full audience, then watch them all go for a cig break during the next act.