Toby Wilsher and his band Easthead are launching a monthly new-music night at Chichester’s Chichester Inn, kicking off on Thursday, January 19 at around 8pm.
“We’re starting a new rock/indie night at the Chichester Inn, called The Back Room,” Toby confirmed. “Our first night will be the third Thursday in January, and every event is the third Thursday.
“The idea is to create a space where new local bands and those from further afield can come and play. Door receipts will be given entirely to the musicians.
“My band Easthead will be the house band, kicking off each event with a short set and providing backing to young emerging vocal talent who have no band. This is not an open mic event but an organised monthly gig.
“We’re connected to the Chichester Music Academy, giving space to the older and maturing bands and singers, but will be seeking great music from Brighton, Southampton and touring groups looking for a small venue on the south coast.
“There used to be this thing around Chichester called ChiLive which was ad hoc promotion of live music, but there isn’t now, and our thinking was just that we wanted to find a forum.
“There are so many people around Chichester and Havant either doing music at A level or at college or university. They are studying live music, but there is nowhere for them to play, and there is nowhere for us to play as a band, so we thought we would combine the two and run a monthly rock/indie night for new and established musicians to play live. It is an opportunity for new-and-up-coming young bands and also the older bands to play like half an hour or 45 minutes.
“But we are also tying in with Nick at the Chichester Music Academy. They have got up-and-coming young vocalists that only play with someone playing the piano. Easthead will be the house band and we will do a few covers with a young vocalist as their backing band as part of the evening, just to give them the chance to be backed by a full band.
“We will be looking for three bands each time or maybe two bands and a vocalist. You will get three different musical styles each time.”
Anyone wishing to take part should email Toby on firstname.lastname@example.org. He will be looking to plan bands maybe two to three months ahead: “We will be wanting people that write original material, whether alt rock or rock or heavy metal or indie. There are so many different labels! We also want to encourage other bands to listen to each other. You will get bands come along with their fans and supporters, and then the fans and supporters will all leave once they have played. We want to get them to stay and to listen to other new music.”
Toby reckons Facebook etc has been a bad thing in this respect. People will hear about a band, look them up and then not go: “In the olden days, you just had to turn up on the night!”
As for Easthead, they are now coming up to their fifth year: “We started writing all our own stuff, and our first album came out in May. We are going to be trying to get some festivals this summer. We have had a bit of a hiatus because our singer has got married and is having his first child in January, but having got the album going, we are just starting to introduce some new songs now.”
The line-up for Thursday, January 19 is Squeaky Myers, Station 47 from Chichester College, Oceans from Brighton and Easthead, who will be joined on vocals by Hannah Crossley.
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