A while ago we happily announced that Band Of The Wall, a venue seeped in Mancunian music history was to re-open. This opening is fast approaching, so we thought it was about time we got down to the nitty gritty and questioned the people behind bringing this great venue back to life. So sit back, relax, and enjoy an interview, Band On The Wall style.
1. In essence, what happened to Band On The Wall, what’s its story?
The venue closed in 2004, needing significant investment to be able to continue.
The CEO Ian Croal and Operations Manager Gawain Forster tirelessly pursued, and were successful in raising the necessary finance for the venue to be renovated, refurbished, and able to open again in sept 2009.
2. What do you see as the most fascinating part of the venues history?
How the venue managed to be a part of many significant events and scenes, across the full spectrum of music genres over the years. No matter what music you are into, you will have seen all the major artists at some point, live at the Band on the Wall.
3. How would you describe the new Band On The Wall, and how does it compare to the old venue?
The new venue has been redesigned within the main structure, making it more punter friendly, with state of the art facilities. It still retains all the charm and history of the original structure that helped make the venue what it was. There’s a new balcony, and the addition of a new multi purpose arts space ‘The Picture House’. In essence, it’s the old venue but a million times better.
4. How important do you think it is to make music and music facilities accessible to the local community/music scene? How can people get involved in what’s going on at your venue?
It’s incredibly important and reflected in the education programme and the artist in resident scheme. Visit www.bandonthewall.org for full details.
5. If you could have anyone a) teaching workshops or classes or b) using your recording facilities who would it be?
We are hoping to offer workshops and masterclasses with many visiting musicians, and the same with using the recording and a/v studios.
6. With Band On The Wall previously being known for playing it’s part in the 1970’s Punk explosion, what do you hope it will be remembered for in the future?
The 1970’s punk explosion was the a case of the right place at the right time. Who knows what will happen next but whatever it is, the Band on the Wall will play a pert!
7. Is there anything scheduled at the venue you’d like to have a go at yourself?
I’m interested in Latin Percussion, so I might take the plunge and enrol on one of the Global grooves drumming workshops.
8. What are your views on the U.K/International music scene as a whole?
My views haven’t changed since I first got into music, there is always great music to be found if you look for it,and with the arrival of the Internet it has got easier. What’s missing are the tastemakers, and that’s how I see the Band on the Wall’s role to a certain extent.
9. What songs would be on the Band On The Wall playlist at the moment?
Just good music!
10. Finally what should we know about the team behind Band On The Wall, and what do you all like doing outside of music?
The team are a diverse and friendly bunch dedicated to the success of the Band on the Wall. We are all just really involved in many aspects of music outside of the Band on the Wall, including playing in bands and orchestras, dj’ing, presenting radio shows, There’s a couple of exceptions, including martial arts and photography, and of course trying not to be away from our families too much!.
Band on the Wall re-launches on September 25th. For more information on this event, and many others planned at the venue, visit the venues website (address above) or Click Here for our article on the re-opening.