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Support The Scene Begins In The School Yard

My name is Stuart, my son plays Bass in the band Moose Patrol. Like all parents I want to do the best I can to support my son, and so, like thousands of parents before me, I have ended up managing the band.

When I say managing I mean, driving them around, paying for stuff, booking gigs, paying for stuff, carrying equipment, paying for more stuff…you get the idea!

Supporting the scene goes way beyond being at gigs, people are supporting bands in all kinds of different ways, encouraging them to get started, helping them find rehearsal space, advising on equipment, studios, promoters etc

When I went to school (Wardle High School Rochdale) music was a big thing. If you wanted to play in a brass band that is. The school brass bands were successful, but hardly rock and roll. Us being disaffected youths were listening to Guns n Roses, ACDC and Chili Peppers not Jerusalem or the A-Team theme tune. Several of us wanted to learn to play guitars and drums, but the opportunity was not there.

Roll forward 20 odd years and my son decides to take up playing guitar. Things could not be any different from my time! His school offers several lessons in music as well as extra curricular music lessons and one to one tuition. Not only that but vocal coaching as well. They have lots of instruments for the kids to use and the staff, both internal and external tutors, are absolutely dedicated to helping the kids learn and most importantly have fun.

The school puts on an annual School Of Rock evening where pupils are encouraged to form a band and get up and play. It is suggested that my son and two other lads should have a crack at it. He switches to bass and Moose Patrol is born.

This year the lads left school and moved on to college, but the help does not end there. They are welcome to go back into school and make use of the facilities and tuition if they want. More than that the teachers, who are mostly musicians in their own rights, speak to other musicians and bands on the scene and put a good word in for the lads. This results in several offers of gigs in and around Manchester, which introduces them to other musicians and promoters. I think this is absolutely invaluable and is right at the core of #supportthescene

This year Moose Patrol was invited back to school to be the judges of this years School of Rock event. Going into the school which has undergone two years of renovations, is an astounding experience. The main hall is as far removed from back in my day as it is possible to get, gone are the hard wooden benches and faint smells of vomit, sawdust and cabbage, gymnasium equipment, ropes hanging from the ceiling etc. In their place are quite comfortable chairs, a raised tower at the back housing a mixing desk linked to the stage and to a pro tools setup. A full computer controlled lighting rig and no less than five projectors blazing individual graphics for each band. Moose Patrol has played proper licensed venues that don’t have this level of equipment!

The passion from the staff is still evident, they clearly love encouraging the kids to have a go at playing music, or learning the behind the scenes roles. They are also learly proud of having helped Moose Patrol get started as a band who has continued after leaving school.

There were some really talented performers taking part, you can see the bands of the future being formed right here! Even the less talented guys gave it 100% and it was obvious that they loved every second of it. This should be encouraged!!

But here is the thing, although Moose Patrol has not achieved greatness (yet!) the bands in school all looked up to them. Their music has been played on the school radio and lots of the pupils know who they are and have been encouraged to take up music because of them. It is the younger generation, those still at school or having just left, that we need to pick up guitars, mics etc for the live music scene to continue thriving.

In the same way, Moose Patrol look up to other, bigger bands on the local scene and enjoy nothing more than talking music with them. So I would suggest when at gigs, other bands take the time to listen to all the bands on the bill, and talk to the other musicians about their performances, even the younger bands and opening bands. Constructive feedback is always welcome. You may not know it but other bands look up to you and spending just a few minutes talking can mean a whole lot.

Stuart Hanmer
Manager - Moose Patrol



Want to know more about Support The Scene in Manchester - Click Here for the Manifesto


Designer Magazine are huge supporters of the All Ages Scene and still to this date run 14+ at Dry Bar and Roadhouse in Manchester City Centre

Keep checking back on www.designermagazine.org for a full catch up of what happened to the South Manchester All Ages Scene, but here's a few highlights

1. The Mandigans who came under our management arm are still the youngest band to ever have a national XFM live session

2. Findlay who was a regular at the Bar Amp All Ages Gigs with us supported The Courteeners at the Manchester Arena last month

3. Joe Banfi who yesterday was named New Band Of The Day in the Guardian used to be a regular fixture on our all ages bills in Sex Radio. He played a solo performance for us at Dry Bar 18 months ago

There are many more stories to tell in a full blog...

... but if you're over 18 or under 18 and in aband - contact us for Manchester Gigs Here

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