Emily Walding (Label Manager, Acid Jazz Records) Discusses: The Boileroom & UK Live Music
With Guildford venue the Boileroom facing the possibility of closure, TMMP caught up with Acid Jazz label manager Emily Walding to discuss the Boileroom and the state of the UK’s live music scene.
This interview is part of a larger TMMP feature which can be read in full here.
What is your general opinion of the Boileroom?
I’ve been a big fan of the Boileroom since first going there in 2009. It’s a good-sized venue that offers a stage for both up-and-coming local acts but also larger, more established bands from inside and outside the UK. They seem to have nailed catering for all genres, which is nice to see. The gigs are usually reasonably priced, which is a huge selling point.
The sound is one of the best I’ve ever heard from a venue of such size and I have nothing but good things to say about the staff, the noodles, and the garden area.
What would happen if the Boileroom were to shut down? What impact would that event have?
For me personally, I’d be upset, for all the reasons I’ve listed above. But looking at the wider picture, it’d be a huge shame for the industry.
Not only for those local to Surrey and surrounding music colleges, but also for bands looking to tour outside their hometowns before London dates.
What is your favourite Boileroom-related memory?
I have two.
One was a 1990s hip-hop night put on by my good friend Ben Pollard (and friends) several years back. The other was last year when my friends in Dials topped off their first UK tour with a final date at the Boileroom. The supporting bands were all great friends of the bands and the room was packed out. Everybody just had a good time and after spending 7 days in a smelly van it was nice to come home to such positive vibes and be surrounded by friends in a familiar environment.
How do you feel about the state of the UK’s live music scene right now? What could be done to improve things?
People seem to forget that fundamentally, it’s about enjoying yourself. And you can do that if you’re watching a pub covers band with your mates in your hometown, or you can do it at a festival with thousands of other people losing yourself to David Guetta or whatever! I think it’s great to be able to have the live music scene listed up there as an activity. I think more people should embrace it and add it to their “What do you want to do tonight?” conversations. Let’s see: Cinema…Bowling…Or there’s a gig on down the local? …It fits right in, doesn’t it?
But it’s only going to work if everyone supports it and communities play a big part in that, I feel. I think people need to turn off their computers, turn off their TVs and get out there with their friends and enjoy some music.
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