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 Happy days when Plymouth used to have a music scene

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akagreengull
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PostSubject: Happy days when Plymouth used to have a music scene   Sun May 27, 2018 11:51 am

Brought back some great memories, being a punk in Plymouth circa 1977/78 was great so much going on, mind you had some hairy nights being chased by pissed service types and biker clubs if you looked like one of those fecking punks.
https://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/whats-on/music-nightlife/50-greatest-gigs-time-plymouths-1378172
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Hugh Watt



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PostSubject: Re: Happy days when Plymouth used to have a music scene   Sun May 27, 2018 8:56 pm

akagreengull wrote:
Brought back some great memories, being a punk in Plymouth circa 1977/78 was great so much going on, mind you had some hairy nights being chased by pissed service types and biker clubs if you looked like one of those fecking punks.
https://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/whats-on/music-nightlife/50-greatest-gigs-time-plymouths-1378172

One of the few gigs on the sex pistols tour that didn’t get cancelled was Plymouth. That must have been interesting.
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Tringreen

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PostSubject: Re: Happy days when Plymouth used to have a music scene   Mon May 28, 2018 8:41 am

Enjoyed a lot of bands from the underground scene, I believe it was called, at the Van Dike [always thought it was Dyke], late 1960's. Jethro Tull, Fairport Convention, Family [with Keith Emerson jamming on keyboard], Derek & The Dominoes with Clapton etc etc

As an innocent there was a certain aroma always present. Didn't discover what it was til I was offered some lol

John Peel always seemed to be there too.
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Earwegoagain

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PostSubject: Re: Happy days when Plymouth used to have a music scene   Mon May 28, 2018 10:36 am

The Van Dike was before my day but in the seventies and eighties there was a much better music scene down here. We also had the St Austell Coliseum which the Pavillions has never held a candle to really. We so miss a trick by not investing in venues down here. We have the Pavs which holds about 4500 and the Hub which holds about 450 without the stepping stone of a venue that holds about 1500 all the bands which want to progress have to move up the line. The brain drain is obvious. There was talk about the old castawys building being used as a mid sized venue but that's all gone quiet.
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beesrus

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PostSubject: Re: Happy days when Plymouth used to have a music scene   Mon May 28, 2018 11:40 am

A good friend of mine, and an Argyle fan to boot, still promotes and manages a lot of those old rockers all over the world, so he knows a thing or two about the business. He reckons most musicians, up and coming or no, can't be arsed to go further west than Bristol.
The thing about the 60s and 70s was the big attractions, the then Coldplays if you like, were playing the the local university circuit and pokey great clubs like the Dyke. Music was new as a mass entertainment industry. Very few stadium gigs like the Beatles one, and the festivals hadn't even been invented until the marvelous Isle of Wight.
As for the 60s, our family were always toddling 50 yards down from the Hoe to watch the Stones, the Beatles, whoever, at the ABC cinema. Some of the smaller bands even stayed at our hotel. It was all on a wing and a prayer, a lot of experiment, exciting stuff. I reckon the next big interest will be away from the music. It's all a bit too pro these days, and the festivals too mainstream, not that the Stones weren't mainstream of course. My favourite was the Dyke, and it also did a great job when it opened as the Metro for the punk era. That was real fun too.
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MikeWN



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PostSubject: Re: Happy days when Plymouth used to have a music scene   Mon May 28, 2018 12:06 pm

The Plymouth University student union is a decent size, but I get the impression that the union aren't easy to work with for promoters, being (understandably) primarily concerned with what their members want. I dunno where Castaways was, but I know that the guys behind the White Rabbit looked at reviving the old JFKs/C103 building and turning that into a mid-sized venue. When they started opening up, they realised what a horror show of previously bodged work it was, and it never got off the ground. It would still be a good location, unless PCC want Union Street to be residential in the future.

You're right though - a mid-sized venue would add some oomph to the local gig scene, but more pressing is that there's currently no alternative to the hub when that closes.
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Earwegoagain

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PostSubject: Re: Happy days when Plymouth used to have a music scene   Mon May 28, 2018 12:07 pm

I remember the Metro well some great nights in there. As for the bands it's true that the likes of The Black Keys will only play London and Birmingham and then fly off again although if any of the promoters actually approached bands you'd be surprised how many will take up the offer of playing a small venue however my point was that we are missing that intermediate sized venue if you asked your mate he'd probably confirm this is true. As for big bands the Pavs has attracted a lot of big names so kind of blows your argument anyway.
The Wharf in Tavvy is a good example of shit management. They book rock cover bands as that is the only thing that sells appaza. The fact that they only book rock cover acts has a lot to do with this. When a mate of mine ran it we had Bad Manners, The Beat, Chumbawhumba just to name a few and it all sold out. The southwest is run by old farts for old farts that's the crux of the problem.
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PostSubject: Re: Happy days when Plymouth used to have a music scene   Mon May 28, 2018 12:11 pm

Cornwall Coliseum was always a cracking day out. Had a BBQ with Rossi & co from the Quo down there once. Got there way too early, had a nose around the back and found the Quo having a barby. Was invited over the fence, mingled with the band and roadies and stuffed our faces and got pissed! I don't remember the actual concert! Laughing

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Earwegoagain

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PostSubject: Re: Happy days when Plymouth used to have a music scene   Mon May 28, 2018 12:17 pm

MikeWN wrote:
The Plymouth University student union is a decent size, but I get the impression that the union aren't easy to work with for promoters, being (understandably) primarily concerned with what their members want. I dunno where Castaways was, but I know that the guys behind the White Rabbit looked at reviving the old JFKs/C103 building and turning that into a mid-sized venue. When they started opening up, they realised what a horror show of previously bodged work it was, and it never got off the ground. It would still be a good location, unless PCC want Union Street to be residential in the future.

You're right though - a mid-sized venue would add some oomph to the local gig scene, but more pressing is that there's currently no alternative to the hub when that closes.

Castaways is/was on Union St and is the same project the White Rabbit/Tramps guys were trying to get off the ground. Doesn't surprise me about the state of the building I did a lot of building work in clubland years ago, most of the jobs were shop fit facelifts and bodge it and scarper. The state of some of those clubs when the lights were on we're scary, we used to light and strobe certain areas just so you couldn't see the mould.
As for Uni I saw Stranglers, Stiff Little Fingers, Judy Tzuke (trying to get with a girl who didn't let me get with her even after watching that) and gay complainer Tom Robinson (feck me I've never had so much preaching since I was last in church).
There is no excuse to not have a vibrant music scene in Plymouth other than the fact the powers that be don't rate it highly enough. If you want to see what music can do for a town check out the Dartmouth festival its epic. All it took was for the council to be persuaded to stump up fifty grand to get it off the ground and it has now bought in millions to the town. I actually made contact with the organisers and was trying to set up a Tavvy version all the old farts got all steamy because they already run a Tavvy fessie called "the edge" edgey it ain't, choral societies and recitals and a school band plus my mates ska band but all had to be off stage by 7pm.
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beesrus

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PostSubject: Re: Happy days when Plymouth used to have a music scene   Mon May 28, 2018 12:21 pm

Earwegoagain wrote:

The Wharf in Tavvy is a good example of shit management. They book rock cover bands as that is the only thing that sells appaza.

I saw they even had a Kate Bush tribute thing there a while back. How on earth does that work?  lol!
My point, and the Wharf would seem to add weight to it, staged music, paying a fortune for drinks, is an over 50s night out. Times have moved on, and youngsters have other ways of enjoying themselves. They'll pay a bit for a good DJ but that's about it. The youngsters I know are into small raves again, parties. High Street prices for staged musical content is not attractive. It's a generational thing, a bit like playing snooker and listening to the radio. flower
I have no idea what the next big thing will be, but I bet it will be fun and not what their parents did. Maybe it will all dissipate and fracture into micro interests.
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Earwegoagain

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PostSubject: Re: Happy days when Plymouth used to have a music scene   Mon May 28, 2018 12:40 pm

PARTIES FFS!
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PostSubject: Re: Happy days when Plymouth used to have a music scene   Mon May 28, 2018 12:49 pm

There was a great incident in Tavvy about the late eighties, Chumbawhumba played the Pannier Market in Tavvy, another great venue for about 500 people. At the time travellers were squatting at Crowndale farm and rumours started that there was going to be a rave after the gig. I was away working and didn't get back until about 10pm and decided to walk my dog down market road only to be greeted by a phalanx of 500 coppers including Bristols Mounties. "Can't come down here were expecting trouble" I was told. The gig finished, everybody made an orderly way home except for anyone living in the Bere Ferrers/Bere Alston direction as they closed the road off. The local paper congratulated the OB effort and praised the way that they had prevented the evil rave. There was no rave planned but even to this day they will use it as an excuse to stop events because of what happened back then. The only thing that happened was a massive over reaction to something that wasn't ever going to happen apart from in the minds of a few parish councillors.
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Greenlander

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PostSubject: Re: Happy days when Plymouth used to have a music scene   Mon May 28, 2018 2:15 pm

It's a sad reflection of the Plymouth music scene that the Herald were probably struggling to get to 50 gigs and had to cover five decades to do it.

I know there have been plenty, plenty more but the Cooperage closing was a big blow while the Palace Theatre would have made an excellent mid-range venue. I'm certain bands hate travelling further west than Bristol in both time and the extra costs involved now touring pays the bills and aren't subsidised by record companies so every penny can be precious.

Promoting gigs in Plymouth has always been hit and miss. Too many times I've found out a band has been through town days after the event. It's always been feast and famine too. The early 90s were fantastic times but later that decade not so much.
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PostSubject: Re: Happy days when Plymouth used to have a music scene   Mon May 28, 2018 2:15 pm

Double post - sorry
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PatDunne



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PostSubject: Re: Happy days when Plymouth used to have a music scene   Mon May 28, 2018 2:26 pm

Plymouth has a poor supply of the music I like (rock in all its guises),however I have to accept that my taste is these days in the minority.
Does modern youth even 'do' music the way punks and rockers did? when the Hub goes what will we have left?

The problem I feel is that due to its comparatively large size, Plymouth is able to attract and promote the larger 'family friendly' acts, Torbay, Totness, Falmouth even Tavistock cannot stage these larger events however it means they do stage many of the bands I enjoy. Exeter Uni stages many rock events, Plymouth Uni seems different.

Plymouth is the land of the bland, swanky, corporate shitfest these days and the x factor masses lap it up.
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MikeWN



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PostSubject: Re: Happy days when Plymouth used to have a music scene   Mon May 28, 2018 2:58 pm

Rock in all its guises is well supported in Plymouth, all be it in tiny venues. Apologies in advance if I'm stereotyping, but I hear plenty of guys of a certain age complain that there are no rock gigs, when what they mean is 'it doesn't sound like what I listened to in the 70s and 80s'. They then go and see tribute bands at the Wharf and perpetuate that shitfest.

If you like life loud, you're prepared to try new things, and you don't mind sticky floors, questionable beers and *gasp!* young people, there's always plenty on.
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MikeWN



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PostSubject: Re: Happy days when Plymouth used to have a music scene   Mon May 28, 2018 3:02 pm

I'm on me mobile, so I can't quote, but Earwig's points ring pretty true to me. If Kanye West can be convinced to come west, anyone can. Book them and they will come.

The Tavistock edge festival is... not really my thing. Between the Wharf, the King's Hall, the town hall, and Meadowlands Park, Tavi could have an amazing little festival. But, as you say, it appears to be run by old farts, for old farts.
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PatDunne



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PostSubject: Re: Happy days when Plymouth used to have a music scene   Mon May 28, 2018 3:10 pm

I am aware of and frequent the underground, the junction, the hub, I'm up for new things, where am I missing?

I'm not including pubs like the vaults, the thistle, because I'd be interested in these tiny venues you mention.
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Earwegoagain

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PostSubject: Re: Happy days when Plymouth used to have a music scene   Mon May 28, 2018 3:31 pm

The Thistle and the Minerva can be a great crack to see a band in although the circuit is mainly patrolled by fifty something guys doing rock covers although there is the odd gem in between. I saw Echo Town at the junction last year two young brothers playing drums, guitars and didgeridoos they were great.
If you want to know what gigs are on in Plymouth and Exeter for that matter try Lemonrock gig guide online.


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PostSubject: Re: Happy days when Plymouth used to have a music scene   Mon May 28, 2018 3:33 pm

Greenlander wrote:
It's a sad reflection of the Plymouth music scene that the Herald were probably struggling to get to 50 gigs and had to cover five decades to do it.

I know there have been plenty, plenty more but the Cooperage closing was a big blow while the Palace Theatre would have made an excellent mid-range venue. I'm certain bands hate travelling further west than Bristol in both time and the extra costs involved now touring pays the bills and aren't subsidised by record companies so every penny can be precious.

Promoting gigs in Plymouth has always been hit and miss. Too many times I've found out a band has been through town days after the event. It's always been feast and famine too. The early 90s were fantastic times but later that decade not so much.

Happened to me twice with the groundhogs and recently with Turin Brakes who I was gutted about missing.
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beesrus

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PostSubject: Re: Happy days when Plymouth used to have a music scene   Mon May 28, 2018 4:33 pm

PatDunne wrote:
I am aware of and frequent the underground, the junction, the hub, I'm up for new things, where am I missing?

I'm not including pubs like the vaults, the thistle, because I'd be interested in these tiny venues you mention.

Get an evening ranger train ticket for £4 ( used to be £3.30 until the train prices went up, by 4% apparently, obviously somebody can't count ) and get yourself up to Totnes for the evening. There's all manner of music on offer as you would expect in a new age liberal hot bed ha ha, and some of it excellent. The Bay Horse is the best for an eclectic mix, and costs nothing apart from a million pounds for a few pints. The Barrel House also has some great acts, and some incredible pay on the door acts,  check their online flyers, you won't be sorry. Music you rarely get in Plymouth.
As for Plymouth, I was in Bread and Roses this week with friends. Early, 6pm and they had a 50s style Len Jackman sort ( remember him  affraid
) of organist doing singalong stuff you'd find in an old folks home or god forsaken Med holiday resort. And that's Bread and Roses, a right on left wing student community pub. Anyway it was too much for one of my friends  who complained rather forcefully. jocolor  The world is upside down when a bunch of old hippies complain the music is too loud, yet some of the youngsters were almost enjoying it in a naive retro sort of way. They'll learn. So did we, drank up and popped around to the Woodside
PS... I forgot to mention the B Bar of the Barbican Theatre can have some good acts, but Plymouth's problem is summed up by me having to go along to Totters to see John Cooper Clarke ( sort of music/rap/culture related) do his thing when the guy himself used to work in the dockyard !
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PatDunne



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PostSubject: Re: Happy days when Plymouth used to have a music scene   Mon May 28, 2018 5:06 pm

Nowhere I haven't been has cropped up yet. I was hoping to hear of the tiny venues where Rock is well supported in Plymouth...

'Rock in all its guises is well supported in Plymouth, all be it in tiny venues'
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beesrus

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PostSubject: Re: Happy days when Plymouth used to have a music scene   Mon May 28, 2018 5:19 pm

Ah, Rock. Can't help you with rock, Pat. Last time I was interested in rock, Ian Gillan had a cardboard box over his head.
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PostSubject: Re: Happy days when Plymouth used to have a music scene   Mon May 28, 2018 5:25 pm

I stumbled across a band named Autonomads playing the cellar bar of the Fortescue a while back. They were really excellent. Proper angry bunch of unwashed anarchists they were.
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MikeWN



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PostSubject: Re: Happy days when Plymouth used to have a music scene   Mon May 28, 2018 9:23 pm

PatDunne wrote:
Nowhere I haven't been has cropped up yet. I was hoping to hear of the tiny venues where Rock is well supported in Plymouth...

'Rock in all its guises is well supported in Plymouth, all be it in tiny venues'

Add the Rock Bottom Bar and the Pit and Pendulum (occasionally) to the list of places mentioned.

That said, if you just went to the Junction and the Underground, I don't really see your point. I don't get into Plymouth as much these days, but in the last 6 months I've seen punk bands that ranged from old school through to hardcore, folk rock bands, blues rock bands, hard rock bands, Indie bands, Grunge bands, classic 80s rock bands, proggy psychedelia, and math rock bands. And that's before we get into the metal bands.

So that's rock in lots of its guises, without even really trying too hard. I've missed much more than I've been to. scratch
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