September 27, 2006 at 9:35 pm #1039397General LightingModerator
Thats one way of dealing with a lack of suitable live music venues I suppose…
…those of us lucky enough to have a roof beneath our feet… posted on Sat 23rd September, 2006 by Sam
Yesterday, members of the Fiddler Crab Musicians COllective, a handful of filmmakers and photographers, and an (at least)50 or 60 strong crowd took over the rooftop of the disused Odeon Cinema in Crouch St, Colchester and most of the road below as well to play a free live gig. Flyers were handed out with a statement of intentions:
We saw a stage, so we will step up on to it. It is becoming harder and harder to put on gigs in Colchester. Music venues are being replaced by swanky bars with no interest in giving anything back to the community.
We are tired of having to put on shows that are first and foremost about extracting money from people (usually through selling alcohol.) This show is free. No buying or selling is involved in this show.
Because of the above point, shows have to have age restrictions. Age restrictions and profits should have nothing to do with making good music. This show can be enjoyed by all ages.
On Friday nights, the streets of Colchester are turned in to a teeming mess of vomit and violence. Our council has turned down an application to convert the old Odeon in a nightclub, but that is currently under appeal. We wanted to raise awareness of the situation and demonstrate that the building could be used for a worthier purpose.
And we have subsequently posted this response:
First off, no end of thanks to everybody who came down to the old Odeon today and supported us in our somewhat haphazardly executed, but nonetheless divinely successful performance. Also thank you to the passers-by who stopped to appreciate what we were doing, or just scratch their heads incredulously at it. We hope you all liked the show, or if not, got some of the message of what we were trying to say.
To be honest, it started off looking like an utter failure, with slippery intimidating climbs up a shaky ladder, and the prospect of ruining a £600 double bass by trying to get it up onto a 16 foot high veranda. However, after some worry-stricken improvisation and quick thinking, we decided to perform the gig with some of us on the ground and some up on the overhang, inadvertantly taking a good chunk of Crouch street hostage in the process.
As we hoisted up our banner and shabbily got going on the first song, I suddenly realised what a great idea this really was, and any feelings of nervousness and discomfort immmediately dissipated. The crowd’s reaction as we rounded off our first song (which shares its title with the slogan we chose for the event, Colchester on Friday Night’s a Shame), was really much more welcoming than we ever could have anticipated.
After starting the second song, Jam, with much revived confidence, we noticed two community support policewomen making their way down the street in our direction, with somewhat baffled, estranged, yet semi-impressed expressions on their faces. We had agreed beforehand that if we were asked to come down, we would cooperate completely and wouldn’t make a big scene with them. But when they spoke to Sam and inevitably requested we cease our musings and dismount, he responded with “Okay, sure…. after this song”. Ha! What could they do but comply? They sure as fuck weren’t gonna climb that rain-soaked ladder which only barely provided us access to the roof.
Anyhow, we finished off Jam and precariously scaled our way back down the gigantic wall, and to our surprise and relief, the police officers told us they only asked us to come down for our own safety. Or something. They took our names and addresses for reference, and that was all. But the show didn’t really end there. The persisting presence of Jim’s double bass and Phil’s flute on the opposite side of the road incited an all-out jam session, eventually resulting in us finishing the whole set of songs we had originally intended to play. The sun finally shone through on the small congregation of people crowded around an empty parking space on a simple, small-town English street, just trying to create some kind of art without causing any trouble, or making any profit. Is that not a better use for the space in our town than having huge, disused buildings turning into nightclubs? We just hope that roads like Queen street won’t become a symbol of our town, with superclubs and their subsequent kebaberies popping up like weeds everywhere, encouraging the paralytically drunken people that spill out of them that this is a fun atmosphere to walk around in at night. But if more people demonstrate what they want the palce they live in to be like, and have their say, maybe Colchester on a Friday evening won’t turn out something to be ashamed of in the future.
A short film is being put together from various footage to document today’s events, and may be available for viewing in the near future.
Thank you and goodnight.
Mark, Jim, Dan, Sam, Matthew and Jacob.
The Fiddler Crab Construction Company.
There are some photos here:
http://www.myspace.com/curiousorifice but you do unfortunately have to have your own murdochspace.com to look at them. When we’ve edited the film we’ll put it up on a more easily accesible website.
The whole afternoon was a really positive time with everyone dancing and clapping and singing along in the street. We are concerned for our local music scene which is slowly being sucked further and further under the thumb of large brewery’s and age restrictions and we are concerned that with no public awareness of the situation, decisions are being made that encroach on local culture and are not in the best interests of the people of Colchester. This will be the first of many… See also: http://www.myspace.com/fiddlercrabmusic
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.orgSeptember 27, 2006 at 9:44 pm #1090937globalloonParticipant
dudesSeptember 27, 2006 at 10:17 pm #1090939chillidogParticipant
Nice,sounds like fun fairplay to them raaaSeptember 27, 2006 at 10:58 pm #1090938RajParticipant
well done guys raaaraaaraaaraaa
top notch idea :weee:
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