Big Red Rising is no longer a baby, reaching its first anniversary and with a special anniversary show on 6th October. The Big Red, one of London's finest rock bar and music venues, open their doors every month to showcase original rock bands from all across the UK. Red Hawk Rising have been integral to this, hosting the events and generally just being awesome to the up and coming, aspirational, new bands. Down The Front caught up with Rich Wearz from the band to chat about that first year and going into year 2.
"Hard to believe it’s been a year and a real success, a lot of work but worth unearthing some amazing talent. Being part of Big Red Rising is the best thing we’ve ever done. We can confirm that Big Red Rising will be ever present throughout 2019 so we hope to continue growing and showcasing more incredible original rock bands. Thank you, and thanks to Down The Front for being on the journey since day 1!" The country is at the moment in the midst of a flood of talented bands and artists across rock and alt music genres and Down The Front are delighted to be involved with Big Red Rising and getting these bands heard.
There has been some amazing talent hit the stage over the last year and it must be difficult to be inundated with applications and with only a few slots available; "We have over 100 bands, it’s very difficult to select everyone, especially when we limit the show to three bands only, but this enables the first band to go on at 9pm giving all the bands the best opportunity to perform in front of a good crowd. So many great bands, all professional and some who we never expected to rip up the stage with stunning shows. I’m not going to name any specific bands as there are so many *booo* but you will see a few bands coming back next year."
With venues closing left and centre as a consequence of low turnouts, it's important to champion live music. The Big Red on Holloway Road generally pulls a good crowd, and bands can help themselves by helping to promote the events; "the crowds can vary but a lot depends on how active our booked bands are with social media promotion, the more spread word on all media platforms then more people come, simples." Many will debate the role of social media but you cannot deny a little self-promotion online can go a long way.
The event is designed to promote live music and home-grown rock acts in a difficult climate. Big Red Rising goes some way in giving bands an opportunity to increase their fanbase, each event is live streamed via TotalRock Facebook channel which is subsequently uploaded to their YouTube channel, Down The Front add the bands to their weekly Podcast, and the events are heavily supported and well advertised. The bands who take this a step further and add their own buzz about the event tend to get bigger crowds; "We had Dirty ‘Ol Crow, Dead Man’s Whiskey and Stand Amongst Giants last month and they all peppered Facebook, Twitter and blog vids about the show and it was rammed on the night. We like bands who do this!"
Red Hawk Rising have been around a while now and it can be a balancing act between the band and 'real life', "transforming into rockers at the weekend"; "The main thing is, we’ve been around a fairly long time through different bands, we know the drill but we’re all mates – to think what an angry guitarist I was in my teens and 20’s! Now it’s more enjoyable, love what you do and who knows what rewards can come your way? 2019 is where people will see and hear Red Hawk Rising a lot more. Most importantly we have new music coming soon. Exciting times ahead. Heads down, horns up!"
As always, entry is free! "We want to encourage more people to get bums off seats, come along (it's FREE entry!) grab a beer and see the talent that is out there. Plus it’s an amazing venue, friendly staff, the whole Big Red Rising is an enjoyable experience, no ego’s, no pressure - just a lot of fun."
Happy anniversary! "It’s pretty damn cool! We took the front seat to drive the event for the first few months but now we take more of a back seat, we may perform if there is a last minute cancellation from one of the booked bands but I’d play on that stage every night given the chance! We don’t do birthday cake, we prefer liquid refreshments. I also have to mention our new sponsors Fender EVH who have supplied us with the most incredible cabs and heads, very very posh kit and brand spanking new. And any band who performs can run through these rigs (or play their own of course). "
Also on the bill in October are Death Valley Knights - "who will burn off your eyebrows" - and HRH Highway To Hell finalists Everyday Heroes.