As Jeff Stuka gallantly fights a noble cause, urging people to recognise the Birmingham music ‘scene’ as it is in all its disjointed beauty, local lads The Lucky 27s are pulling their finger out and promoting ultra value for money ‘Sound for a Pound’ gigs at The Sunflower Lounge in response to what they see as a lack of scene in our fair city.
Naturally, we wanted to know what the chuff they are on about so we gave lead singer Nick Surface a platform to speak his brains as well as compiling a saucy little playlist for you below giving you an idea of what to expect ….
“As local musicians, we obviously want to be able to play our music to as many people as possible. I also think other people enjoy going to clubs or pubs that are packed out (obviously). It just provides a better atmosphere for everyone involved. One of the problems we have found as a local bands is promoters with too many nights on to actually promote an event (this is not directed at all promoters, there are some good ones out there).
“Instead, they get bands to sell tickets beforehand or there will be a tally kept at the door to keep track of how many people each band brings. This is tough as it means bands will basically just be inviting their friends along who then have to pay anywhere from £3 – £6 to get in. So, our friends are now paying to see us and we aren’t playing to anyone new besides other bands’ friends.
“Most of the time, there aren’t loads of people because not many people know about it or they aren’t willing to pay the cover charge to get in and see a band they don’t know anything about. As a result, there isn’t any scene to speak of (Ask yourself how many Birmingham based bands are making noise in the national scene if you don’t believe us). We know people love live music, we just gotta bring it to them.
“This is how ‘Sound for a Pound’ was born. We ultimately aim to do these nights for free, but they won’t ever cost more than £1 and that’s just to cover costs that we haven’t been able to get someone to do for free. We don’t want to make a profit off of them. We just want to build up the local live music scene and play some great gigs. Seeing live local music should be fun and inexpensive. Everyone wins that way. Everyone gets to enjoy a good atmosphere and have fun and bands get their chance to play to people who have never heard them before.
“What we’d ultimately love is for there to be a scene in Birmingham where people know they can turn up to a club on any night and see great live music. That would be the dream and we hope to help out in seeing it come to reality. So, we put on four bands for £1 at great local venues that are easy to get to and promote the hell out of them to hopefully make each and every one a wicked night. We hope the idea catches on. You can see any information on these nights at www.myspace.com/nomadicwonderclub. That sight is run by our friend Adam Easthope who we work with on all these nights as they were our brainchild. We got frustrated with playing to empty rooms and ‘Sound for a Pound’ was the result of that frustration.
“We don’t specialise in any type of music and we aren’t trying to be exclusive. It’s generally Indie rock that we have on, but that is not by design. We just aim to put nights on where the bands fit together and make a complete thought. Kind of like an album. We wouldn’t put bands with massively conflicting styles on right now, but who knows in the future. We don’t want to limit ourselves and we’d do whatever we could make work.”
The next ‘Sound for a Pound’ gig is on Saturday 17th April and features Black Market Empire, The Lucky 27s, The Maffa Kings and Dan Carter followed by a show on 21st of May at Island Bar with the line up tbc.
The ‘Sound for a Pound’ Playlist can be found on Myspace here.
1. ‘You Think That You’d Starve’ by Dan Carter
Besides being a close friend of mine who has produced us recently in the studio, I just think this is a fantastic tune. It’s believable and you can tell it’s something personal. Lots of people just sing words these days, but this is more than that.
2. ‘God is a Gun’ by The Light Shines
Great Hypnotic bass line through out that is similar to one of ours. Psychedelic and listenable to a wide audience all at once.
3. ‘Goodbye’ by The Coral
Excellent lead line and great harmonies make this a thumping tune with a bright feeling to it all at once. That’s a rare combination.
4. ‘Servo’ by The Brian Jonestown Massacre
A simple rhythm with a hook that instantly makes you feel cooler. This song takes me to a sunny day in my head no matter when I hear it.
5. ‘My Generation’ by The Who
A big two fingers to society song that just hammers you in the chest and gives you energy.
6. ‘Sunshine People’ by Detroit Social Club
Great harmonies and a relentless rhythm that just keeps coming at you. I also really dig these guys cause we opened for them at the Birmingham Barfly and they were just a great group of lads to go along with great tunes.
7. ‘Whoever You Are’ by The Brian Jonestown Massacre
The song I wish I would’ve written. Just oozes of everything I love about the 60s, but written in the 90s.
Hopefully, that sums up what we’re about. We really draw heavily on the 60s for our sound, but we just appreciate people who put some effort into their tunes and don’t fit nicely into a cookie cutter. It’s not that we’re arrogant enough to say everyone else is boring or lazy in their songwriting cause we don’t think that. We just appreciate those that push the boat out there a little.