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Making Music in Saltash
Livewire Youth Music Project is a club situated in Saltash, Cornwall. Since opening in 1961 the club has undergone many changes, and I was keen to find out what they were, and what this means for the club’s members.
Originating as Saltash Boys Club, the project failed to attract many members in its early years. It was only in the 1990s that the club began to grow considerably in popularity, following a series of changes and improvements to the building and its facilities.
Livewire is a registered charity, and the building is open to everyone from Year 6 to the age of 19. It is open every evening in the week, and open specially on Wednesdays for users aged 11-13.
I spoke to the project's youth co-ordinator Andy Rance to learn more about Livewire, and what he thought of its success:
I also spoke to one of the young bands that regularly use Livewire to record and perform live, The Aviators:
Construction began on Livewire's own live music venue in 2005. Converted from a largely unused sports hall, it is now soundproofed and features a stage, impressive lighting and a powerful PA system to rival most nearby music venues.
Livewire is beside the Tamar River
With a capacity of 250, it has become one of the most popular spots for young people in Saltash, with members regularly travelling from neighbouring Devon to be there in the evenings.
Members pay 30p for entrance and visitors pay 50p, which allows access to all the available facilities as well as lessons and the live music venue.
It is hoped by those at the project that some big names in the world of music will perform at Livewire in the near future, as the club has attracted the attention of the likes of Phil Collins, Iron Maiden and Mick Jagger.
Offering financial support and often donating equipment, the celebrity sponsors have inspired many of the club's members.
I spoke to Sam, one of the project's members.
The Aviators rehearse at Livewire
"I usually come three times a week," he told me.
"It's great because we can practice with the band. We've recorded here; it's all very professional. It's a great opportunity for us.”
I also spoke to one of the youth workers, Angela, who is responsible for booking the free instrument lessons for the young people.
"What I really like about Livewire is that the young people can come here from any social circle," she says.
"They can be who they want, they can dress how they like, they can have any musical influences and they're all treated equally. It's great because there's lots of music, and I love music!"
last updated: 08/04/2009 at 15:05