Hanshotfirst Discuss: The Boileroom & UK Live Music

hanshotfirst bannerWith Guildford venue the Boileroom facing the possibility of closure, TMMP caught up with Hanshotfirst vocalist Zander Dale 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 love the Boileroom. Having a local music venue of that size so close to home is ideal! It’s the perfect size to see up and coming bands before they hit the bigger venues. It feels intimate but not squashed – and if you want, you can get right up close and personal with the band or stand 5 metres back and chill with a beer. It’s my favourite-sized venue.

Having seen larger bands such as Funeral For A Friend, Arcane Roots and Madina Lake among many others just proves it is a great venue and has the pulling power to book great bands. It supports the local music scene as well, giving local bands a chance to support the bigger acts travelling through. Having seen the other local bands and my idols tear up the Boileroom, I couldn’t wait to play it myself and it did not disappoint! So having been on both sides of the stage I’d definitely say it is one of my favourite venues and there is nowhere else like it in the local area. The bar is great as well, even stocking beers from local breweries and bands (including Subsource’s beer), and it has a damn tasty Chinese.

What would happen if the Boileroom were to shut down? What impact would that event have?

It would be such a shame, for the local scene and for the local music fans! As I said earlier, I’ve seen some great bands there and if a venue of that size wasn’t in Guildford then these bands wouldn’t be passing through. Local bands would also have to travel a lot further to play a venue of that caliber and size. It’s a serious leg up for local acts being able to support larger touring bands, getting them into the public eye and creating contacts. It would be really very detrimental for the local scene.

What is your favourite Boileroom-related memory?

I have two favourite memories of the Boileroom. Seeing Funeral For A Friend tearing up the stage was amazing. They are heroes of mine and massive influences in my music taste and on my band. Singing along to one of your favourite bands playing in your hometown has to be a highlight for anyone. Other than that, the first time we played the Boileroom springs to mind as it was my band’s biggest gig so far and the crowd were great!

How do you feel about the state of the UK’s live music scene right now? What could be done to improve things?

The local scene seems to be alive and kicking, at least for now. Despite rock being “dead”, it is there, but you just have to look for it. We haven’t been on the scene for very long but we have met so many local bands all aspiring to be the next big thing. Pop and house and all that crap may be dominating the charts but music tastes go in cycles; rock will be back on top again at some point.

Seeing bands such as Bring Me The Horizon, Young Guns, You Me At Six etc. etc. all being played on Radio 1 shows that it can be done but it just requires a lot of hard work. A few years ago, people were spouting off about how pop punk was dead…but recently bands such as Neck Deep have exploded and are making waves. The music taste of the masses may be vapid but when someone writes a good tune, everyone has to stop and listen. Without local venues such as the Boileroom, smaller bands, such as ourselves, and local scenes would have a bloody hard time getting anywhere…


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Posted on 10 September 2014

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