Unconvention22: Where are Lancashire’s music blogs?

So a few weeks ago Unconvention22 happened in Preston.

A very inspiring experience for me but scary too because there’s a lot to do now to unite this county of musicians, promoters, venues and music lovers!

On the last session of the day we tackled this panel discussion title: “Local scenes; collaboration, co-operation and ways to make things happen.”

A few points came out of it but mainly that in Lancashire, music and creative businesses are in different towns and not in one place like Manchester with the obvious geographical consequences and pitfalls.

This area will be looked at shortly in terms of meet ups and possible online assistance too.

Some similar points came up at BBC Introducing’s break out meeting the Thursday after where, with two days notice, more than 60 people came to exchange ideas, to talk and to try and make Lancashire better.

It turns out that most people think blogging about the local music scene is a really positive idea for everyone. The blogger, the bands, the venues and the whole scene.

So armed with only a popular search engine and a laptop I went in search of Lancashire’s music blogs.

There must be more than I am finding surely! The obvious searches reveal… well some blogs but not very much. (I know people do blog but if they are not in the first three pages of a search then they are hard to find.)

Best of the blogs

So last week on Twitter and Facebook I asked who wanted to get involved with BBC Introducing Lancashire in a music-journalism-type way. I had a ton of responses and this is my response to those people.

The BBC Lancashire website has a BBC Introducing section and on there I’d like to feature the best writing about music across Lancashire.

So who is out there doing this already? Do you want to do a blog? Would you be interested in meeting up and discussing how we make something really inclusive and positive happen here in Lancashire?

If so please email intro.lancashire@bbc.co.uk and let us know. Or if you’re in touch with me via Facebook or Twitter just let me know there too.

My plan is in the next couple of weeks to set up a meeting or even two in a town somewhere yet to be organised and see how we can kick start the music blogging scene in the county.

Sorry in advance

If you are a music blogger already and are wondering why we have not been in touch it may well just be that we haven’t found you! We are going to do some hunting in the next week and will tell you more about what we have found and how we think we can make stuff happen around music blogs on the programme next week.

This blog thing is only the starting point. There were other ideas which we’ll explore in the coming weeks but if you have an idea that would link us all up more and make the music and creative scene better just get in touch.

Sean McGinty presents the BBC Introducing Lancashire programme on BBC Radio Lancashire from 8pm each Thursday.

BBC Introducing & #Uncon22

Email sent to delegates of Unconvention22 in Preston

You are welcome to get involved even if you didn’t go to #Uncon22 last Friday


Apologies for the intrusion! It’s Sean McGinty emailing you from BBC Introducing Lancashire and SPACE Blackpool CIC.

The #Uncon22 peeps kindly let me contact you so we can try and take forward some of the ideas that came up last Friday and make some more “joined up stuff” happen here in Lancashire.

Background: It was the last session of the day and it became clear that Lancashire’s big problem is that we are all over the place geographically. That makes it harder to work together for bands, managers, venues… everyone.

The starting point for taking this forward for us is tomorrow night at 8pm at the BBC Lancashire studios in Blackburn. I’d love it if you could come and get involved too.

The organisers and some guests from Friday’s Unconvention22 will be talking to me on the radio and I hope you will join us to throw your ideas at us and get involved with the conversation.

If you want to come down to the studios to chat, to give us your new tunes or just drink BBC coffee and talk about your experiences please email me back to let me know who you are and what you do please. You need to be there before 7.45pm.

If you can’t come then you can still email me back and ask a question or make a suggestion.

You can listen online from 8pm on Thursday 23rd June 2011 just click here! Or use one of those retro radio things.

Thanks for reading this… all I am trying to do here is help start the conversation that could lead to some solutions for bands, managers, promoters, service providers and venues alike.

I hear so many talented artists and bands every week as I put together the programme but artists tell me they need more opportunities to play live, work with promoters, producers, designers, video makers etc from all over Lancashire. If creative types across Lancashire could get together more and chat we could really build something here. That is what we are trying to achieve and I hope you can support that.

So if we can help make that happen then it is a winning/tiger DNA type scenario.

Muchos grassiass,

Sean McGinty
BBC Introducing Lancashire
SPACE Blackpool CIC



BBC Introducing Lancashire 28th October 2010


Idol Minds play live On this week’s BBC Introducing we had new live music in the studio from two Lancashire bands, and new music to open from Danny (Byrd is the word) Byrd.

First up we heard live music from Idol Minds. Originally from Morecambe (now all based in Preston) they gave an energetic performance and have a unique sound.

They chatted about their unique sound and how they’re hoping to fit into the new music scene, their upcoming gigs and recordings, and the mysterious man who is the elected water-boy. They play live next on the 2nd December at the legendary Blue Room in Blackpool.

Furtive Forty

Sean played a new track (which will feature in Sean’s Furtive Forty – the best 40 tunes from Lancashire which you’ll hear over Christmas) from the mysterious Zauwie Beamhead who is going to be hugely popular, check him out on youtube too.

On the phone tonight was Matt the front man from local band Sampras who got talking about the band’s festival appearances over the summer, the benefits of playing smaller, local gigs, and the recording that they’ve been doing recently. Matt told Sean about Liverpool’s lively music scene and their new song ‘Look Around’ which is going to be featured on a brand new EP.

Accrington collective Phrenic came down to the studio with their chaos pad, keyboards, mixers and a bucket of leads.  We agreed that the lighting in the studio wasn’t quite ambient enough to be in keeping with their set, or live production as they call it.

After we turned the lights to mellow lighting and Phrenic played another of their musical mashups. They talked about their mis-spent youth in clubs, their time spent in too many bands, and their collective musical background. They finished off the show with their subliminal, minimal, ambient sound… the track was Penguin.

Listen again to hear more from this unique musical collective.


High Contrast – In a Gadda Da Vida
Danny Byrd – Failsafe
Danny Byrd – Hot Fuzz
Revolter – Fades To Grey
Idol Minds – My World  (Live In Studio)
Dinousaur Pile Up – Traynor
Idol Minds – Summers Gone (Live In Studio)
Rae Morris – Day One
Idol Minds – These Vibrations (Live In Studio)
DeerstoneCounty- Little Lady
Zauwie Beamhead – Storm By The Vegetables
Superkings – Never Say Never
Rae Morris – Grounded
Rozkrypz – Concrete Crumble
Middle Finger Salute – Point The Blame
My Chemical Romance – Nanana
(After a phone calling pleading for it to be taken off we dumped it.)
Invisible Elephant – Wish
Phrenic – Sinatra (Live In Studio)
Japanese Pop Stars – Lets Go
Phrenic – Silence (Live In Studio)
Gorrillaz – Doncamatic
Phrenic – Penguin (Live In Studio)

My birthday, John Peel and his memory

Today is my 46th birthday… it is also the day 6 years ago we lost John Peel.

In his latter years I enjoyed John Peel more for his radio 4 outings and the lovely random, “I don’t give a shit that this is tele” broadcasts too. The way he undermined Top of the Pops and the cheesy DJ’s he worked with.


I could cliche this and wax lyrical about what his radio programme did for generations of young musos and creative types but every man and his dog does that.

But since his parting the world of new music has lacked a voice. A detached. Uncommercial. “I’m not trying to make a career for myself, I just like the music” type voice.

The reason John Peel was a legend is that not only did he pick up on some pretty good music in his time but the way he went about it was such a good example to all of us involved in whatever way in new music. You don’t like bands because it could be good for your career. You don’t hurl yourself at passing bandwagons in the hope of some reflected glory. Or book acts because it improves relations with a record company or manager you want voice over work from.

BBC Website for John Peel

So I look for BBC website stuff on John Peel… (click on heading above to see the site) how do we celebrate the man that brought this whole concept to the BBC?

The site that is his home (I think) hasn’t been updated since 2007… there is other stuff from BBC Introducing programmes, sessions, BBC 6Music etc around the BBC but the site really looks uncared for and this is a shame.

So wouldn’t it be lovely (as some of us think of him today) if he had a proper home that celebrates his life fully on the BBC website?

Also, I’d really like it if all people who work with new music would take a look at what John Peel was and understand it’s not about them and their career path it’s about the bands and the music.

Too many journos, presenters, wannabes and DJs now look at new music as a vehicle for them. Like it’s a staging post to a career on ITV 4.

It’s about the music… man

The music and the bands are the thing. It was for Peel and it should be for you if you are lucky enough (as I am) to get sent new music and have the privilege to play it on the radio.

So come on new music practitioners. All of you. Cut the crap and remember the opportunity here is for the artist not you.

Just press the buttons, support the music and occasionally talk some crap in between.