Three months after kicking off on a torrential January Thursday in Manchester, the midnight juggernaut that is the 2008 Red Stripe Music Award is finally marauding towards a momentous and shuddering finale, leaving in its wake an unforgettable series of gigs in almost every imaginable rock ‘n’ roll hole from Aberdeen and Accrington to Wrexham and Warrington.
After over fifty explosive gigs, on the 10th April in Bedford – the UK home-from-its-spiritual-Kingston-home, the Red Stripe Music Award tour will have careered to a climactic close, concluding a journey of live musical mayhem and rock ‘n’ roll rapture.
Over 150 breakthrough bands from the true indie underground of the UK’s capital cities, satellite towns and peripheral coastal dwellings will have battled it out on soaking wet Wednesdays and freezing cold Fridays to attempt to proceed to the Red Stripe Music Award Final, held in early May at London’s Kentish Town Forum. Among the few morning-after headaches for overzealous bands, will also be some decision-making headaches for the industry-expert judges distilling 200 entrants into a lucky final four. The true gems unearthed will battle it out live for a free tour bus, festival slots including the Red Stripe Great Escape in Brighton, and most importantly a chance to progress in the maelstrom of the modern day music industry.
“Thank you very much for having us! We had a brilliant night and really enjoyed the beer. We look forward to getting the results back.” Way Tangent, Concorde 2, Brighton
Red Stripe would like to offer a genuine nod and a thanks to the bands who’ve had the balls to get up and get involved, to the venues far and wide who’ve opened their doors to a new initiative, and to the people who’ve put so much effort into making this tour actually happen; the techies, the roadies, the staff, the promoters, the reps at the gigs and everyone who’s helped create a truly hard fought contest that genuinely reaches far to give real talent a real chance.
For information on every venue visited, and for reviews and pictures of almost every show and every band, please visit www.redstripe.net, where you will also soon see the full rundown on the winners, the judges and the industry renowned headliners who will take to the stage to tear off the roof and bring down the curtain on this genuine celebration of success grown from our grassroots.
We’ll leave the final words and pics from the tour to the people that matter – the bands who’ve turned up and fought out this year’s contest:
“Many thanks for a top night at Night And Day in Manchester last Thursday – we had a top night! If not a little worse for wear in work the next day.”
Strategic Intent, Night And Day
“I personally had a blast of a night; REALLY enjoyed the other bands, and, after some initial hiccups (i.e. the rest of my band getting lost on the way to the venue!), we really enjoyed our set.”
The Stations Of The Cross, The Charter Club
“It was a pleasure to play the gig, everything was smoothly organized and a near capacity crowd is always great to play to.”
“Thanks for giving us the opportunity! It’s a great chance for new bands like us to show what we can do.”
Nervosa, Mi Bar
“Thanks for giving us the opportunity! It’s a great chance for new bands like us to show what we can do.” Nervosa, Mi Bar
“Thanks a lot for the gig (and the free drinks!). We had a great night as I am sure everyone at The Underground did on Friday.”
My Auntie Sam, The Underground
“The gig in Sheffield that Dead World Leaders headlined was superb. We managed about 250 through the door. Thanks to Red Stripe for arranging it, and hopefully we’ll be hearing from you very soon.”
Dominic, Dead World Leaders
“Thank you so much for putting on the Red Stripe event at the HiFi club the other night. We really enjoyed it and felt it was a successful event. We look forward to hearing the results, whether we are successful or not!”
“The Spires had a fantastic time at last Friday’s gig at The Boardwalk. We managed to sell over our allocation of tickets, and had a support base of over 130, which added to the evening’s ambience. Naturally we’ll be keen to know the judges’ verdict.”
Alf, The Spires
“I just want to say a big thank you for having us play! Everyone really enjoyed the gig and the free Red Stripe went down very well. We hope you enjoyed The Ramblings and fingers crossed for the free tour bus!”
Debs, The Ramblings
“Thank you very much for having us! We had a brilliant night and really enjoyed the beer. We look forward to getting the results back.”
Way Tangent, Concorde 2, Brighton
“We loved it! It was a great night and over 160 people attended so it was a really good atmosphere too. We really hope we get through, as some festival slots would be amazing this summer. Thank you very much again for a great competition, great organisation and a great opportunity.”
Divide, The Chapel, Huddersfield