So long…and thanks for all the riffs

That’s it then. Every Sunday for the past two and a half years, we’ve enjoyed a brief look back at the bands, the music, the venues and the promoters which made up the Wigan Music Scene between 2004 and 2011, but no more. 

Truth be told, there was more content which could have been added to this blog. I clearly remember reviewing The Portlands’ last EP Noctilucent, writing a feature on Scott from Finding Emo and his newly launched live music nights, and putting together a handful of other posts about the goings on in ‘the scene’ between 2011 and 2012.

Haigh Fest 2010 (photo by Chris Skoyles)

Sadly, such features have been lost to the ruins of time (or at least gone to wherever old Internet posts go to die) and I haven’t been find the backup copies I was certain had been created. I was kind of worried that this might happen at some point or another, and this is one of the main reasons I began archiving as much material as I could back in 2012.

Sure, a bunch of old reviews and interviews featuring unsigned bands from Wigan might not be all that important to many, but I felt they were worth preserving anyway for the people who were there.

From the promoters who enthused about the vibrancy of Wigan’s live music scene and did their best to support it, to the bands who turned up, plugged in and played their hearts out, the people I met, watched, listened to and befriended during the years documented here believed in what they were doing. They were passionate about it to such a degree that -try as I might- I really can’t capture in just a few words.

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At some point or another, the gigs and recordings written about on this blog were important to them. Even to me, whose only small part in all of this was to sit on the side lines, documenting what I saw and heard, it was important.

It seemed a shame just to let all that disappear.

When I first started this, I didn’t expect that I’d do anything more than relive a couple of fond memories and rediscover some great music.

Looking back now, I see that something more has happened. The people featured over the past two and a half years’ worth of posts have told a story.

It’s a story of a group of talented, dedicated and incredibly passionate individuals working together to develop a scene from humble beginnings in a dark little room beneath the streets of Wigan to an enormous outdoor stage looking out onto a crowd of thousands.

Or maybe I’m being too sentimental about all of this. It’s only rock ‘n’ roll after all, right?

Still, I know for one thing for certain. It was fun, and I’m glad I was there.

So that’s the past, but what about the future?

Jeramiah Ferrari played Haigh FestThe Wigan music scene will keep on keeping on. New bands will emerge, new venues will crop up and new promoters will bring the two together.

This blog will continue to exist as an archive of all that went before. In time, I may look at adding new content, videos found on Youtube or old articles from other sources. It might be fun to explore ‘the scene’ before 2004, to delve back to the legendary Green Day gig from 1991, the early days of The Verve and beyond. Who knows, that missing Portlands’ review might yet turn up.

For now though, it’s time to put this baby to bed and move on.

See you at a gig some time,

Chris.

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AUGUST 2011: Bands for All video

Who: The Hicks, Jeramiah Ferrari, Pangea and more.
Where: Bands for All festival, Wigan Town Centre
When: August 20th, 2011

A word from the creator of the following video…

At the time it was created, I genuinely thought this video was awesome. Looking back with three years’ worth of hindsight on my side, I see now that it wasn’t very good at all.

Still, it exists as a very brief snapshot into a moment of the history of live music in Wigan, and so I shall post it here as a kind of prologue to the story of ‘The Scene’ documented on this blog over the past two and a half years.

Here goes.

AUGUST 2011: Gig preview – Bands for All

Who: The Hicks, Jeramiah Ferrari, Colour Me Blind and more
Where: Bands for All festival, Wigan Town Centre
When: August 20th, 2011

If you loved Haigh Fest this year, you’ll also love this year’s Bands for All event which takes place in Wigan Town Centre on August 20th.

Having stormed last year’s event as headliners, The Hicks join fellow Haigh Fest 2010 alumni The Portlands, Haigh ’11 stars Jeramiah Ferrari along with Colour Me Blind, Pangea and loads more.

Check out the poster and get it in your diaries.

June 2011: Haigh Fest ’11 Photo Gallery 1

Haigh came, Haigh saw, Haigh conquered. The last ever Haigh Music Festival in Wigan went out with a bang as some of the best local bands around at time went all out to make sure Haigh Fest ended with a bang. 

The likes of Second Son, Smitten Kitten, The Lottery Winners, Jeramiah Ferrari and Merry Hell all delivered first rate performances which will live on fondly in many people’s minds for years to come.

Photographer Matthew Cooper took these pictures of the event for The LINC magazine.

June 2011: Haigh Fest 2011 – An interview with The Lottery Winners

It’s doubtful that there could be a single music fan in the whole of Wigan Borough who hasn’t heard of The Lottery Winners.

Thanks to their combination of wildly-entertaining live shows and equally-as-enjoyable songs, the group have consistently been among the area’s most popular acts for the last several years.

The Lottery Winners

So when Haigh Fest 2011 came around, it seemed like a no-brainer that the Leigh-based outfit should play a large part in proceedings.

It was, and they did.

Some three years on, The Lottery Winners’ high-energy performance on the Haigh Stage remains one of our favourite memories of that festival.

In the weeks before it, the band teased at what was to come in this interview they gave to The LINC’s Chris Skoyles.

June 2011: Haigh Fest 2011 – An interview with Smitten Kitten

Among the countless indie bands, metalheads and punk rock rebels who applied to play Haigh Fest 2011, one band stood out from the crowd more than most. 

Combining the feel good nature of old-school 80s’ hair metal with insatiably catchy tunes and a penchant for the extravagant, Smitten Kitten immediately stood as favourites with the Haigh selection pannel.

haighfest_kitten

Weeks before they took to the Haigh stage with an epic performance, the band met up with The LINC‘s Chris Skoyles to talk about their music, their plans for the festival and more.