INTERVIEW: BBC Introducing's Alan Raw talks on new music night #360Raw
Leeds is a city known for it’s live music, particularly playing home to a number of emerging bands right now from Marsicans to Howl and The Hum. Alan Raw is one of Leeds’ leading tastemakers, presenting the local BBC Introducing show for West Yorkshire, as well as curating a monthly showcase #360Raw in collaboration with Leeds’ most popular indie venue, The Lending Room. This week, the showcase hosts an array of indie bands: Wuzi, Velvit, Jagged Moon, and a DJ set from Alan Raw himself.
Alan reveals all on the creation and output of #360Raw:
What can you tell us about the Northern music scene that’s special that a Londoner may not know about?
The Northern music scene is very exciting right now. I think that there are many small scenes creating original music without a lot of regard for the bigger national scene. And there are a lot of cross media projects with visual artists collaborating with musicians to create their own happenings.
Leeds itself is quite an intimate city, with a good number of venues. The close-knit community is obviously advantageous; how far do you think it gives the artists an advantage?
I think there are a lot of smaller venues in Leeds that couldn’t survive in a place like London, as they don’t make very much money, but they do a lot to nurture talent. The lower cost of living and the support of a creative close community makes it possible to dream bigger without the capital needed to do so in London.
What is special about the 360 Club that made you want to collaborate with them; and what does it add to the night?
The 360 Club is a hugely valuable resource to the artistic community of West Yorkshire. Richard Watson (360 Club’s Promoter) works his socks off to help local talent. He enables them to access the music industry with great advice and contacts and puts them on a great stage, through a quality PA, with a usually sold out crowd of music lovers. I couldn’t do that, and I consider myself lucky to be a part of something that is unusual and very exciting in Leeds.
This is the sixth #360RAW night; from witnessing the previous five, what do you believe that performing at one of these nights does for the artist’s career? For example, do they have a significant surge in fans and following, more industry interest…?
I have DJ’d and hosted all five nights and have seen the bands grow in confidence, get more press attention, and communicate with each other to form a network. And they have photos, recordings and new fans from the night to make the next steps easier.
What level of artist do you and Richard from the 360 Club look to book for these nights? Is it criteria such as they must be unsigned, or new, or is it a case by case and whether you like the band / artist?
360 Club shows new artists every week alongside more established bands. Richard watches closely to see who he thinks will benefit from the extra focus of #360RAW. I make suggestions from artists who I have encountered and introduce him to them. He then uses his wealth of experience as a promoter to combine artists to create a happening that the audience will love, and that the bands will all benefit from.
Raw summed up this week’s line up for us as to why you should come down. Wuzi create melancholic spacey atmospheres, sliced with catchy hooks and fuzzy bliss. Expect far more than a handful of winners in their set. Jagged Moon bring classic sunny riffs with a heavy underbelly to satisfy the hungriest crowd. And where mosh meets raving basement beats there’s Velvit. So make sure to grab your ticket HERE and head to the Lending Room this Friday night!
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