Take the stage are returning on Thursday 19 January with their third heat. We caught up with the organisers to find out what audiences can expect.
Can you tell us a bit about the winners so far?
The two acts to go through so far are Misfires and Escapade. Misfires are a 4-piece indie band from Swindon who also played in last year’s Take The Stage and didn’t quite make it through their heat but this year they have made it to the final. We have known them for a long time and they’ve recorded some tracks with us at the studio in the past and also played a few other shows for us. They’ve come a long way since last year’s Take The Stage and are starting to make some waves on the local scene.
Escapade are a 4-piece band from Bath and also describe themselves as an indie band but are probably a bit ‘rockier’ than Misfires. They came out as clear winners in their heat with a huge audience vote and the judges were all really impressed with them too. They were tight and had good songs so it’s looking like it’s going to be an interesting final already with the two bands we have so far.
What can people expect if they attend a Take the Stage gig?
The great thing about the Take The Stage shows is that none of us really know what to expect. We’ve worked with several of the bands prior to them playing Take The Stage and we also listen to all the submissions we get. We check out new bands we haven’t heard before so usually we’ve got a good idea of the quality of the bands prior to the show but there’s always a band that surprises us. Generally speaking though, people coming to Take The Stage will get a chance to see some great young bands who are really passionate about their own music performing on a proper stage and if you like live music then it’s always a really good night out.
What do the winners get?
Our prizes work slightly different this year in that there isn’t necessarily going to be an outright winner as such. We’d like to give all the bands a chance at winning something rather than one band taking all the prizes so this year we’ll be delegating individual judges to pick their own winners for the respective prizes. The prizes will be 2 weeks free recording time with us at Riverbank, a slot at Fieldview 2017, a slot at Chippfest 2017 and one or two other prizes as well that we will be announcing soon. Every band that plays also gets a free live video and recording of their entire set.
Why do you run Take the Stage?
All of our work is about providing young musicians with opportunities to create, produce and perform music to the highest standard possible. In 2015 we were approached by the Neeld to run an event for young musicians and Take The Stage was born out of this. The first round of shows was really successful and luckily we’ve been invited back to do it all again.
In and around Chippenham there aren’t really any other venues where young bands will get a regular opportunity to play – most of the venues are pubs where you need to be 18+ to get in. Tom and I are both musicians who grew up in Chippenham and we always had to travel to Bath, Bristol, Swindon (or further) for gigs when we were younger so we recognise the importance of offering better opportunities to musicians in and around Chippenham.
The town is really well placed with good transport links and we want to encourage more people to come to Chippenham for live music. The town is slowly moving forward on this front; with events like ours, Chippfest, and lots of others starting up. There’s also’s a lot of great musicians in the area but we need more of the general public to keep coming and supporting these kind of events to help Chippenham grow as a place to get out and see live shows.
For more information or to book tickets please see our website.