Husband and wife team, Dawn and Ian of Black Scorpion Promotions are currently making a name for themselves on Brum’s metal and hard rock scene by curating regularly packed out free entry shows at the Old Wharf in Digbeth. We asked Dawn if she would explain a little more about what BSP stands for….
“We’re Black Scorpion Promotions and we promote bands for free at The Old Wharf in Digbeth, Birmingham. We’ve worked there since August 2008 putting on five bands per night. For 2010, we dropped to four bands per night due to late night public transport times. People had to leave around 10.45pm to catch the last bus, train etc. which meant they would miss the headline act.
“We began promoting and organising festivals at various venues in 2005. We planned on working with all genres of music and we wish to continue to do this on regular nights, although Rock and Metal nights are our favourite nights.
“After searching and talking to many pubs, clubs and venues, we decided to put on free entry gigs at The Old Wharf. We had the choice to put a charge on the door but we prefer to do it this way as it brings more people into the venue. We don’t have a budget to work with, so all the bands understand and are willing to play for free. It’s their choice. This resulted in us being inundated with gig requests from bands. We put on bands of all levels, from brand new bands forming in Birmingham to bands signed to Independent record labels from around the UK who are willing to travel to Birmingham at their own cost to play for us.
“We add a little extra to our gigs by setting up the stage with additional lighting, strobe, smoke and laser. Many bands love this idea as their singer has control of everything by way of foot pedals designed by Ian. Ninety Nine per cent of the bands request another gig with us. Bands just want to get up on stage and have a ‘buzz’ and play their original music to a crowd. This is what happens. Although we enjoy cover and tribute bands, we don’t book them or promote them.
“Black Scorpion Promotions is just Ian and I, long time married who love the live music experience. In November 2008, by chance we met DJ Beerman at a local gig. He runs an online radio station – Top Rock Radio, also based in Birmingham featuring local bands and bands from around the globe. His show goes out on Sundays 3-9pm www.toprockradio.com. The Beerman hi-jacked our Metal Xmas gig in 2008 as it fell on his Birthday. This was an event never to be forgotten and actually went into the Guinness Book of Records for the biggest Heavy Metal Morris Dancing attempt.
“In January 2009, Top Rock Radio asked us to put on nights for them, showcasing ‘featured artists’ from the show. DJ BEERMAN Presents… was born in April 2009. The weekly show gives great online promotion for bands playing at a BSP @ The Old Wharf gig.
“Our aim is to notify and inform local music lovers and people that don’t have access to the internet, by way of putting up posters in and around the suburbs of Birmingham. This of course is very time-consuming and hard work and the reason we only put on a couple of gigs a month. We welcome anyone that could help spread the word of our nights and promote the bands playing for us. As our nights are free entry, we’ve had interest from magazines, record labels, radio stations and local promoters coming down and checking out the bands at many of our gigs.
“We have another festival coming up at the end of May 2010 called BRUMSTOCK UNDERGROUND ROCK/METAL FESTIVAL. This has been put on hold for a few years, one of the reasons being we wished to see many of the bands playing before we book them for the festival. We’ve discovered which bands are hard-working and serious about moving up the ladder of success. We’ll be raising much needed funds for The Birmingham Children’s Hospital. The whole of the festival will be free entry and will be hosted at The Old Wharf, Digbeth on 28th to 30th May 2010. As always… all are welcome!”
Updates of all our Black Scorpion Promotion’s events can be found at www.myspace.com/blackscorpionpromotions