Tis the season to be jolly…
This post’s a bit different, but then again, 2020 has been very different, hasn’t it? And by different, I mean it’s been a grim, horrible year for pretty much everyone, specifically if you’re involved in music in any way, shape or form. However, there have been some great things that have happened this year, especially with everyone working together and the kindness/generosity of others. The standard of music that’s been released, especially by Portsmouth bands has been fantastic as well.
So, with all the doom and gloom at the moment, I decided to collate some of the happier, more positive things that have happened in relation to the Portsmouth music scene this year in an attempt to cheer myself (and maybe others) up!
In no particular order…
The Wedgewood Rooms #SaveTheWedge campaign surpassed 12k in donations in less than 24 hours!
A true testament to how much love there is for The Wedgewood Rooms. An overall £20,000 in donations was raised in the following months to help keep the venue running before government funding was announced/awarded as well! Although the crowdfunder has officially ended, you can still buy t-shirts and donate here. However, please remember that there are still 30 venues across the country at a very high risk of closure and you can donate to these via the Music Venues Trust here.
Brutalist Records Save Our Scene compilation!
Portsmouth’s Brutalist Records compiled 24 of the best tracks released/previously unreleased from brilliant local bands and artists to raise money for local venues/recording spaces/studios/etc! The compilation features a wide range of artists across various genres from Folk and Roots to Experimental Electronica, Grunge, Post-Punk and everything else!
The physical release on cassette and t-shirts sold out raising over £1000! You can still purchase digital copies of this compilation via Bandcamp! At time of writing, there is still one test pressing of the cassette still available, so be quick!
The Wedgewood Rooms video game!
Created via Dream on PS4, this “virtual tour” of The Wedgewood Rooms is brilliant and it made me smile, the attention to detail is incredible. If you haven’t already, you can watch the simulation of the Wedgewood Rooms in video game form here.
Interstellar Food Drive, but online!
In 2020 food banks shouldn’t exist, but more and more people each year are having to rely on them due to over 14 million people in the UK living below the poverty line. You can donate here and also watch the mammoth 6 hour long Interstellar Food Drive (featuring bands such as Tiña, Public Body, Tugboat Captain, Breathe Panel, Rosie Alena and more) here!
Dials Festival might not have taken place, but the Great South Blog Run did!
Dials Festival is a staple in the annual Portsmouth festival calendar and raises money for Solent Mind. As the festival couldn’t take place this year, Robin Seamer (co-booker of the festival/Breaking More Waves editor) raised £820 for the charity doing a 10 mile run and blogging for 24 hours straight! You can read more about his endeavour/story here.
Despite the lack of gigs, a couple of bands received national radio play and one even got signed!
Hallan and Web both got played on BBC Radio 6 Music and both debuted their first physical music releases, all of which have since sold out! Hallan also signed to cult indie label Nice Swan Records back in August!
Missing Promotions Isolation Station livestream weekend!
Towards the beginning of the first lockdown back in April, Missing Promotions curated a three day live stream festival featuring 20 brilliant upcoming bands from around the country. GURU, Dutch Criminal Record, Daze, Finnian James and more performed at the event that brightened darker times during the first lockdown.
Portsmouth actually had a physical, in person festival that went ahead!
And it was probably one of the only festivals to happen this year in the end! Luckily, Icebreaker Festival was able to take place at the end of January just before everything shut down, with some of the best upcoming bands playing the Albert Road/Elm Grove based event. You can find photos and a review of what went down here.
Here’s hoping for a more pleasant 2021 that’s filled with gigs and festivals for us all to enjoy!