Promoting local music is just a call away

Leah Carroll.

If you’re planning something musical in the Bay – be it a festival, concert, show, gig, album, EP or single – there’s one easy way to publicise it: contact me.

There we go. That was easy. And if you have a feeling of déjà vu it’s because I’ve said this before, every couple of years in fact, because I figure it merits repeating.

As the late great John Clarke opined: “We don’t know how lucky we are,” and that holds true for The Weekend Sun. Not to blow our own horn too much, but the fact that The Sun spends a not inconsiderable amount of space covering local music is both something of an anomaly in most cities and also an invaluable opportunity for music here to get exposure. But there’s a catch. If you’re looking for column inches, you need to do more than simply list on Facebook and Eventfinda and hope someone at The Sun notices. The world is a busy place and such minimal effort is rarely rewarded.

No, what you need to do is get in touch. That’s why we print email addresses each week. If you actually get in touch, there is every chance you’ll get some coverage. If you don’t... well, not so much.

No delivery

For instance, a local band recently launched a four-song CD EP. I contacted them, asked a few questions by email and suggested they drop a copy to the office so I could review it. I’m still waiting.

I realise, of course, that I can listen to their songs online. I’ve done that. But I won’t be reviewing anything unless they make the tiniest effort to convince me that they’re serious.

And that’s all I want to say. This isn’t exactly rocket surgery. But there are always new people emerging onto the music scene, so it’s just a reminder for musicians, bands, promoters, whoever, that you have available avenues. Using them, or not, is your choice.

Okay - on to next weekend...

It’s a busy one, and what’s surprising is the sheer number of bands playing. Sorry in advance if the rest of this column reads a bit like a list.

Things start getting frantic next Friday (March 8).

First of all, as written about last week by Janne GuitarGirl, Leah Carroll and The Loan Stars will be playing at Vinyl Destination on Devonport Road. This is both a celebration of International Women’s Day and the release of Leah’s latest single, The Better Bitter Song.

There will be non-alcoholic drinks, CD singles and other merch for sale and, in the spirit of International Women’s Day, prizes for the Best Dressed Purple People.

The Loan Stars

In case you’re wondering, the Loan Stars comprise Laurence Reeves (drums), Stephen Calvert (bass), Simon Mottram (electric guitar), Skylam Harvey (acoustic guitar) and Lynley Jayne and Phillippa Sherry (backing vocals).

Things kick off at 8pm and tickets are $12 from Eventfinda, which also gets you a complementary dessert and a selfie card for the photo booth. Door sales (if available) are $15.

Meanwhile, at The Jam Factory in The Historic Village, there are bands of a considerably heavier persuasion.

Kicking off at 6.30pm and costing $10 via Eventfinda ($15 on the door) is an event called The Perfect Storm, which marks the first hometown show for local band Antebellum (hear their new song, Division, on Bandcamp). They have brought along Chasing South, Amanaki and Element for a night that promises a cornucopia of extreme guitar-riffing.

Across at The Mount, at Mexican dive bar The Voodoo Lounge (from 8pm, $10) is another metal feast, this time featuring Australian psych-rockers Holy Serpent and Wellington duo Earth Tongue, who co-headlined an Australian Tour last year.

Holy Serpent’s album Temples can be heard online, with their sound highlighting melodic vocals on top of heavy layers of riffing guitars.   

The following night (March 9), at Totara Street, there’s the Mount Maunganui Summer Soiree - a mix of jazzy soul, indie rock and hip-hop, featuring The Leers, Molly and The Chromatics, and Round Buddah. Spotify. Doors open at 8pm, and tickets are $30 from UndertheRadar.

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