Thursday, 17 February 2011

We built this city (Bath) on rock and roll....

As regular readers of this blog will know, I am, to put it mildly, something of a fan of modern music.

For much of my tender 46 years I’ve loved listening to music and attending live concerts and in many ways my love of rock music (in most of its shades) has been one of the most consistent, grounding facts of my life.

And that is why I was particularly thrilled this week to see the formation of a new group – Bath Music Plus – whose intention is to try to put the city on the rock map once again by bringing a number of high-profile concerts to The Forum and beyond.

The first announcement – that Queen guitarist Brian May is to appear at the venue and also that the much-loved Bootleg Beatles are to play an open air free concert on the day of the Royal Wedding – are an intriguing first course for what we hope will be a sumptuous banquet of music that will put Bath back in the minds of those who promote major rock and pop events.

As the organisers have said, this is the city that has already hosted bands such as The Beatles, Pink Floyd, The Who and Led Zeppelin and so why shouldn’t we once again start thinking big in terms of which acts we can bring to the city in the future?

That is not to say however that since those early ’70s halcyon days at The Pavilion that we haven’t had some great shows in the city, and if you doubt that then can I suggest you head to the website of our precious Moles to see who they have put on in recent years.

Massive indie rock groups such as Radiohead, The Cure, The Smiths, The Killers, James and Snow Patrol have all successfully trod the boards at Moles and probably the biggest commercial band of the ’90s, Oasis, also did one of their formative gigs there (receiving the princely sum of £150 for doing so I am led to believe).

And, for those who saw The Brits on Tuesday and wondered who this band were called Mumford & Sons who won the best album of the year award, well, you could have caught them at Moles not too long ago when they were first developing their now famous set.

With The Pavilion still putting on interesting concerts and Komedia also being able to stage decent size rock/jazz bands, all that we’ve really been missing locally is that slightly bigger venue for those who are probably beyond the audience base that Moles can handle but are not yet up to O2 status. And The Forum is a perfect venue to bridge this gap.

It is a lovely central venue where you can watch music in comfortable surroundings and is close enough to the bus and train links to ensure it can attract those from outside the city as well as music-hungry locals.

Therefore I really wish Bath Music Plus every success in attracting the sort of acts who can remind the wider rock and pop scene that Bath is a place that can cope with everything from Mozart to Motorhead.Bath is a great city of music. This is an opportunity to show the world it is open to all possible genres.

Rock on Bath.

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