Our friends from Exploding Head Sessions let us know what they’ve learnt from a year of throwing parties.
Exploding Head Sessions throw a monthly night that showcases some of our fave up and coming bands from London and beyond. Part gig, part radio show, every band’s set gets recorded live and featured on the Tuckshop Community Radio show. As they approach their 12th show and 1st birthday (and the last at The Lock Tavern 😔), they talk to us about what they’ve learnt in their first 12 months of putting on shows in London.
1. If you build it they will come – Despite having confidence in the concept for the night, our biggest fear was that people simply wouldn’t show up. We’ve been blown away by the amount of support we’ve had on a monthly basis and that people are enjoying what we’re doing.
2. Facebook event numbers count for nothing – We’ve had shows where 30 people clicked attending and 100 turned up and shows where 100 people clicked attending and 30 turned up. Seems to be no magic formula, nor any rhyme or reason.
3. Recording bands live is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get – You set the mics up, you hit record and you hope for the best. It’s not until you get home and listen back that you realise all the stuff that went wrong. That’s the fun part though, putting it all back together in the mix.
4. UK grassroots music is alive and kicking. One of our initial concerns was that we’d start to run out of good bands to put on. So far we’ve put on over 30 bands and have had to put together a spreadsheet the size of both our arms due to the amount of incredible bands we’re in contact with. The future’s bright.
Everyone needs to do their bit in keeping our beloved music scene strong and prosperous.
5. The fight is real – Despite the above, the threat of independent venues closing is still an immense issue, especially in London. We’ve felt it first hand with the temporary closure of Hoxton FM who got turfed out of their studio so the landlord could turn it into ‘luxury apartments’. Everyone needs to do their bit in keeping our beloved music scene strong and prosperous.
6. It will be alright on the night – You can think you’ve got it nailed and that a killer lineup is in the bag but something will always happen. We’ve booked bands we’ve chased for ages, felt really excited about the night and then they split up a week before, or have to cancel last minute when their bass player gets appendicitis or even gets stuck on a bus.
7. You can’t trust bass players
8. One of the best investments you will ever make is a good set of earplugs – It was probably after our 2nd or 3rd night when we noticed just how long it took our ears to recover. Wearing earplugs for the first time must be a bit like when people first discovered fire. You know life going forward is going to be immense. Ear damage is permanent kids!
9. The London music scene keeps you young – We’ve been really surprised and inspired by the age range of those that come to our nights. Gig goers well into their 60’s have rubbed shoulders with teenagers at our night teaching us all that our love of live music burns bright despite the grey hairs.
10. Never underestimate a good poster – We couldn’t believe our luck when Piers (in-house artist) showed us his concept. People love the poster – we’ve even had someone email us from Nigeria asking for a copy. Waiting for the latest version has become just as exciting as announcing the latest lineup.