John Peel Day: St Nicholas Centre
By Jon Wright
John Peel Day isn’t about celebrity or the establishment, even though it could be said he was both of those. It's about new music and new music isn't always good. The celebration at the St Nicholas Centre in Ipswich was certainly about new music.
Promoter James Kindred said "I used to be in a band myself. That didn't work out so now I spend my time giving exposure to other bands.
"I used to listen to John Peel's Festive 50. I knew if any band made that, they were something special and worth checking out." James was pleased with the gig attendance of 125 which, at £8 a head, raised £130 for Diabetes UK.
Of the line-up Making Eyes At Elvis (formerly Charlie Brown) kicked-off the main proceedings. They're a three-piece who look like they should be in three different bands. You can argue all you like about how the PA could be tweaked, but Becky Wilkie's vocals came through so firmly, you just know there’s more to come from her.
On bass, Jo Surzyn was adequate and their drummer, Joel Kurta was also proficient. In a way the venue highlights the lack of middle ground performance spaces there are in Ipswich.
James Kindred feels "people will turn up, if they’re given an outlet to explore new music." But outside of pubs there's little opportunity. I'm sure John Peel would have had an opinion on that.
In fairness, MEAE are actually quite good. Becky could be in the vein of Imogen Heap or even Tori Amos given the right support and experience - experience which comes from playing in venues which are in short supply.
In terms of celebrating John Peel, he would have been proud of anyone who has the balls to play in front of people, even if he'd not wanted the whole day to bare his name.
Also playing were Songs From The Blue House and Magic 8. I'm sure they were good, but I didn't stay. I nipped across town to see the Tuscan Raiders - they’re great.
You can listen to songs from Making Eyes At Elvis by visiting their Unsigned feature using the weblinks on the right>>
Visit James Kindred's website for more pictures from John Peel Day and further details about Diabetes UK>>
last updated: 23/04/2008 at 15:29
Have Your Say
Good gig? Any thoughts on the other bands?