David Gregg speaks out about live music in Shropshire

Albert’s Shed is delighted to have been invited to BBC Radio Shropshire to talk about our campaign supporting original artists in Shropshire and beyond.

David Gregg, General Manager of Albert’s Shed had the pleasure of joining Jonny Keeley in the hot seat to discuss the importance of creativity and the need for collaboration, ensuring tomorrows hits make it past the demo stage.

The worry is that many venues are disappearing

This is especially true for places that support original artists, helping them to cut their teeth in front of audiences. What we are talking about is not the local pub that puts the occasional band on at the weekend, but the mid-sized venues. The places that take a punt on young and upcoming musicians, investing time and money to develop homegrown talent. Many of those places lose money doing so.

The question is, what happens when we lose live music venues in towns and cities?

For a long time, Shrewsbury has been without a hub to nurture talent, although some pubs are holding the torch, it’s not been an easy road. Sadly, the town is strict on noise levels, restricting choices for landlords. Secondly, if you’re running a pub that is free entry then you need as many punters as you can, to make things viable. And so artists choose to play covers to get the paid gigs.

This isn’t just Shrewsbury, it’s happening in every town and city.

Covers and tribute acts are endemic to creativity. And the blame is not to be laid at their door either; musicians who are trying to get along any way they can.

Pathways are made through repetition

We’re exposed to the same music on the radio. In the pubs. In the shops. On the cover of magazines. Facebook adverts. Festival line-ups. The list goes on and on. So you can understand why the local punter in a pub wants to hear the songs they’ve heard before. And being a landlord is not a walk in the park either, pints mean pounds, and pounds mean survival.

Striving for change

By pressing play on the Soundcloud link below you can hear the radio interview along with performances by the wonderfully talented Jonny Keeley. Jonny has recently played at our Songwriters Showcase that happens every Wednesday from 8.30pm at Albert’s Shed. Many of the artists go on to perform on Friday evenings where we showcase the best original artists from across the UK and beyond.

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