One of the many things that I love about Bath is that it really is a city that respects and reveres music. Whether your tastes are for the Mozart Festival or for Moles, there is something in this city for everyone. It truly is a community paved with melodies.
But it is not just the opportunity to get out and hear lots of different styles of music that makes Bath come alive – for this is a city that positively encourages people to make music all of their own. So, if you are in any length of queue with locals in Bath, the chances are at least one of them is in a choir, gospel group, rock band, jazz outfit et al.
Yes, this is a city of music.
It is for that reason that I am particularly thrilled this week to launch our Song for Bath competition to try to encourage people to write a tune that will encapsulate the city as it is now.
Inspired by the very enthusiastic brains behind the project, Paddy Doyle, it didn’t take long for us to see this as a wonderful opportunity to turn the creativity that is so evident in the Bath musical community into a fun competition. So, whether your tastes are for light orchestra or, err, the Electric Light Orchestra, we hope you’ll think about creating a tune which could lead to some great prizes as well as the chance to perform in a grand final.
It seemed apt to me that we should be running this competition right now because I am personally thinking about doing that classical middle- aged thing – yes, I’m thinking of “getting the old band together” again.
As I grew up in the punk era where the ethos was “don’t go and watch bands, form them and do it yourself”, nearly all my friends and I found ourselves starting bands – and having a fantastic time doing so.
Some of those bands didn’t last very long – I once fronted a group called the Vatican City Dance Band which went no further than coming up with a spectacularly good name – but my longest-serving band was called The Classified Ads (somewhat apt considering I’m now in newspapers!) who were together for the best part of my secondary days.
It was a thrilling time – we only played to youth clubs and relatively small venues in our home town area but, if I say so myself, I think we penned one or two pretty good tunes along the way. Now, some 25 years since we split (millions of teenage girls were NOT heartbroken) there seems to be a yearning among us to do something again.
Inevitably, the five of us have gone down very different paths but we’ve sort of discovered each other again and now have set ourselves the goal of doing a one-off something in the year 2011.
Of course, there are many reasons why this could be an utter disaster – but whatever those fears, even the thought of getting back together again and seeing four of the most important people in my life is enough to get us somewhere.
So, if a jaded old punky “singer” from the ’80s is thinking about bashing out a tune again, there is no excuse for all of you out there not to enter our Bath song competition.And, to make it easy, I promise The Classified Ads won’t enter.
Or The Vatican City Dance Band.