University of Huddersfield student Sam Hopkins is bringing a diverse line-up of music to the town, with a series of eclectic gigs.
Hopkins, a third year student, has organised the events as part of his final year project, with proceeds from the gigs going towards an accompanying series of lectures from industry figures. “For the last few years I’ve been working in live music in Leeds,” he said, “the Leeds music scene is such a great community and I see a lot of people travelling over to Leeds from Huddersfield, so I figured I’d bring some of my friends and favourites to play in Huddersfield, playing with local bands to try and expand it a bit. There’s a lot of great Huddersfield bands like the Orchid Family and Buenos Aires Metro that would suit playing with bands like Hookworms and Cowtown who both have a really dedicated fanbase.”
Under the banner of Nocturnal Me, two of the concerts will take place in St. Paul’s Hall, on the edge of the University of Huddersfield’s campus, while the other will be held in Huddersfield’s Bar 1:22 venue.
Of his choice to host concerts in St. Paul’s Hall, Hopkins says “Picking the venue was key – trying to put bands in a bit more of an interesting space – and St Paul’s concert hall was perfect. I also tried to make the gigs either free or as cheap as we could possibly make it. No one wants to spend money on the risk of seeing bands they don’t know, and I’m not looking to make any money off these, I’m just testing the waters to see what the reaction is. Hopefully it will continue.”
Tuesday 4th March sees Cottonwoolf, a five-piece psychedelic alt-rock band from Leeds, filling the beautifully spacious St. Paul’s Hall with their intense live show. The band are fronted by singer-songwriter Grant K Fennell, who has previously appeared at notable festivals like Beacons and Deershed. Support will come from university student William Stead. Free entry.
A week later, on Tuesday 11th March, St. Paul’s plays host again, this time to Swiss electronic folk songstress Nadine Carina. Nadine plays acoustic guitar with experimental looping, percussive instruments and electronic drum beats. Now residing in Liverpool, she has previously opened shows for Coco Rosie and MS MR. Nadine will be backed by a live visual show, with support from Jaedia. Free entry.
Finally, on Wednesday 26th March, in association with weekly alternative student night Street Spirit, the gig series comes to a close with a headline performance from Leeds electro post-punkers Cowtown. For fans of Devo, dancing, adrenaline, and The Simpsons, Cowtown released the DIY album of last year, and continue to constantly blow the lids off venues up and down the country. Huddersfield’s very own Forever Cult and The Orchid Family will support. £3 entry.
The lectures that Hopkins is planning to host with help from funds raised from the gigs have already been announced. “I’m also hosting a couple of lectures with people who have really helped me out in the music industry,” he said, “and hopefully give people an intro into some jobs and opportunities.”
The lectures take place around the same time as the concerts, giving a real conference feel to the event.
Colleen Lloyd will be talking about her 10 years of touring experiences with Marina & the Diamonds, David Gray, and Steve Aoiki on Wednesday 12th March in the Creative Arts Building of Huddersfield University. Colleen will be sharing her experiences and answering your questions about touring with big names and working within the live touring circuit.
Kate Stevens, an artist liaison manager who has done countless festivals both in the UK and abroad, will be giving an insight into how to deal with artists at different levels as well as advancing major shows and festivals when she speaks on Thursday 20th March, again in the Creative Arts Building.