Sunday, 31 August 2014

Live review@OxjamNewcSund Fundraiser at @theCluny 29/08/2014

Oxjam Sunderland and Newcastle Fundraiser, The Cluny 29/08/2014
The night brought together an eclectic lineup to raise some money to help get the local  Oxjam Festival off the ground. The crowd was much smaller than hoped, Friday night gigs are a real hit and miss affair at the moment, although I would argue your money is better spent on a couple of pints and a few bands, than a few pints and a headache.
The first act to grace the stage was Greg Genre, with his Geordie take on acoustically driven hip-hop. At times he has a touch of the Jack Johnson about him, a wee bit Coldplay in the vocal delivery at times. His songs are honest and lyrically interesting, and I’d be happy to see him again.

Gingersnap and the Style Pile filled the stage with their various brass and stringed instruments and filled the Cluny 2 with funky jazzy and occasionally reggaefied goodness. Joanne Robson has a great distinctive voice that I think really shines live, and fits the music perfectly.

Good Friend impressed with their Therapy?-esque Irish flavoured punk. A larger crowd would have been bouncing, and I shall be seeking out opportunities to see them.

Finally, at the End..Appropriately enough for a band that definitely takes a nod in the direction of the Doors, The Agency took dark possession of the stage in the Cluny 2. The Agency (not a very Googleable name lads) have a new album out on the 29th September. If this gig is anything to go by Of Ghosts will be an epic if doomy film-noir affair, there was one song that had quite singalong chorus! The Agency do draw you into their world when they play their powerful and actually rather beautiful montage. Do make time to see them.

Back to the subject of Oxjam Sunderland/Newcastle – the event is on the 4th and 5th of October so keep your diaries clear for it..there’s a host of great acts all putting in a shift in aid of Oxfam, all they need is for you to turn up and bring your friends. It’s an opportunity to see all of the amazing acts on the website, and stay tuned..well, keep reading this blog because I'll be sharing more news about the spiffing festival very soon.….

Joanne Oliver writes live  reviews for The Crack magazine, NE Volume and NEMM. She is the CEO of Jowheretogo PR, providing PR and social media services to the creative industry. Joanne is also the A&R  Director for Music Panther and Sync Panther...artist management and music licensing services. Live photography provided at competitive rates or included as part of a PR campaign.

Call 07928078810 email

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Review: Λpex, @_SilentHouses_ and Hyde at Darlington Forum Music Centre 09/08/2014

Λpex, Silent Houses and Hyde at Darlington Forum Music Centre 09/08/2014

A Right Fruit Salad of a Gig!
Three completely different local bands on one bill, but all of the best quality. The Forum Music Centre in Darlington is a superb facility with a good sized venue and a stage of a scale you don’t often get to experience when you are at the early stages of your musical career.
Hyde were on first and they had a grasp of gritty alternative rock that belied their youth. They did throw in some covers but not obvious choices and their own songwriting proved to be of equal calibre. They should stick with their own material..not because they are bad at covers (they are great at them – Hot For Teacher was a gem), but because their own material deserves to be heard.

Silent Houses brought euphoric electronic-based pop to the mix, and the reaction was great. Hayley Mackay is utterly at home as a front-woman and has a crowd in her grasp with a genuine positivity and clear love of the music. The band gave the crowd a preview of their upcoming single One, which is a gorgeous waltz through the dawn of a loving relationship. It leaves you a bit emotional. Chris the guitarist and producer adds an edge to the sound which really brings it to life. A cover of Kate Bush’s Running Up That Hill was also very well received. Hayley has an uncannily similar vocal style at times.

­Λpex (Greek letters are not so clever if you want so be searchable online, lads) took to the stage and clearly had brought their fan club. This was lighthearted indie rock, and I witnessed dancing reminiscent of the Housemartins era (now I know this ages me). The jingling guitars and sometimes funky bass along with Harry Brockbanks’ vocals melded into a very appealing combination. A couple of covers were added to the set, from the Black Keys for example, in fitting with the band’s own style of music. The audience were gyrating throughout.

Harry of Apex: great fun.

The interaction between a bands fans and the other bands was very positive, and this shows that mixing genres at a gig can work out. It’s the quality not the pigeon-hole that matters.

Words and pictures by Joanne Oliver of Jowheretogo PR, providing social media management and PR campaigns to the creative industries.

Live performance photography specialists. "NO ONE SHOULD HAVE A MIC IN FRONT OF THEIR FACE!!" Our motto.

Friday, 8 August 2014

So what HAS been happening at @AmazingRadio ? Well..

Amazing Radio and U.S.

I blogged about Amazing Radio a couple of years ago, trying to explain to artists how it works for them. Since then, Amazing Radio disappeared from DAB, then reappeared in London and Dublin, much to the disappointment of us fans in the wrong regions. I knew things were happening stateside as I watch with interest the Twitter feeds of people such as Paul Campbell the Amazing Radio founder and CEO.

It's all been a bit of a mystery, however what has been happening. So I got in touch with Ian Winter: Product Manager for Amazing Media..the mother company of Amazing Radio:

"There have been a lot of changes for Amazing Media in 2014, most importantly we've acquired a company in the USA called OurStage.  We also have a new board in place featuring the likes of John Pearson (ex Shazam), Sting, and more.  All details of general Amazing Media news can be found at

Amazing Instore is building at a massive rate, providing new and emerging music to the likes of Maplin, Goldsmiths, Roadchef, British Red Cross and more in 2014.  You can keep up to date with all things instore at  Artists are regularly getting in touch with positive feedback after hearing their tunes in stores throughout the UK and Ireland.

Amazing Radio is also growing, with DAB in London and Dublin, online around the world, and our very own AmazingRadioNYC based in New York and featuring the newest and best talent from New York. is growing every day with around 150 new tunes uploaded daily, and 100s of new artist accounts being created every week.  There is a list of new features that will be coming very soon that will enhance the way you use the site and interact with fans.

The Twitter feeds are gathering pace, although have been actively on a more than daily basis, however here are the handles if you wish to keep up to date with our tweets:
  • @amazingradio
  • @amazingradionyc
  • @amazingtunes
  • @amazinginstore
  • @ourstage"
So, things have moved on somewhat. I "sold" Amazing Tunes to artists as a means to get on Amazing Radio, which sometimes led to a BBC 6Music play. Nothing in music radio plugging is guaranteed, whatever the mechanism. Amazing Radio started as a democratic system led by the listenership on I wonder how many people now listen to the Amazing Tunes website, and indeed, Amazing Radio online and the couple of DAB patches in the UK? Then there's America, new presenters from the US swelling the ranks of Amazing Radio staff off-site. Ourstage seems to have a massive 45k following on Twitter. It's a big new music discovery platform.

If you don't already know Amazing Instore provides music playing systems to commercial premises so that artists are paid for their music being played in shops...outside of the usual PPL system. Royalties were higher per play than those collected by PPL, I'm not sure if this is still the case. This system seems to be working, if it is showing good growth, and seems to be the major source of revenue for  Amazing Radio, with no advertising to provide income.

Where is this all going? Is it an effort to mirror or compete with the big labels for the loyalty of the music masses? What does this all mean to an independent unsigned band in northeast England, which, despite Amazing Radio's global outreach, is its home. And why is it I still meet artists who have never heard of the station? More so now there is no DAB for us here. And, finally, can there be a Jowheretogo Show on Amazing Radio? Too parochial? Two hours of gig news in the UK? A live show, why not? Had to come back to me eventually, sorry.

I am sure more news is about to come out about the station, and the Amazing Tunes platform. Watch their website for information:

Bunnypoo Salad: The Movie Needs You!


Described as a "genitally fixated zero budget sketch comedy series", The YouTube -based comedy sketch show Bunnypoo Salad is aiming for the big screen. After 8 episodes of variously random, abstract, downright rude, very silly and chuckelworthy sketches, the Bunnypoo team want to create two whole hours of this madness, watch the trailer:

With the claim (that I doubt would stand up in court) :“Be an EXECUTIVE PRODUCER for just $50!! (37 euro) Extensive scientific studies have PROVEN that having an EXECUTIVE PRODUCER credit on your résumé will increase your chances of banging your fellow human by a whopping 759%. Get SMART!! Get CREDIT!! Get LAID!!” , The Bunnypoo Salad team have launched an Indiegogo campaigne to get this masterpiece made.

 If you are  obsessed Monty Python, The Goodies, and the likes of The Goon Show, you should perhaps get out more. This is comic anarchy for the err..”teenies” (have we decided what to call this decade yet?).

Become an executive producer and help make this thing happen by going to Indiegogo and pledging some money...I might even consider it myself. Maybe.

Bunnypoo Salad Episode 1: enjoy.

Lame attempts at filmic comedy like the Harry Hill film get the funding and famous backup they need, just to disappoint us at the cinema. It’s just not fair *stomps feet* that creative people like Duncan Skinner, Steve Revel, Seán James Sutton, Joel Soetendorp, Mark Scrimshaw and Jerry Christofilis have to beg you, yes BEG you for your help. Watch some more of their creations, and consider being part of this. Like these people thought possibly they might:

“The best reason I can think of for reading a book.”
 Horse & Cabbage Magazine
“Get that microphone out of my damn face!!”
 Wilberforce Clooney
“Erm, I’m sorry, I’m only here to clean the windows.”
 Scabby McKnobcake
“Almost brilliant!! Not quite sensational!!”
 The Lord God Almighty
“I was actually looking for a salad recipe.”

 Dot Chlamydia

Monday, 4 August 2014

#quickreview @GiggleBeats comedy quiz at @standnewcastle

We were the Fringe leftovers
Lee Kyle with the ice cube tray I won.

A small but eager crowd of quizgoers came to see Lee Kyle host this month's comedy quiz. There are so few teams, in fact, that everyone was a winner! This was a side effect of the Edinburgh Fringe draining most of the comic talent and the usual comedy-savvy teams. this meant we, the Loon Band, were in with a chance of winning. But, no, we were so poor we were second to the bottom, so we didn't even get the coveted wooden spoon. However, my amazing effort at the caption competition won me some DVD's, a Ron Burgundy wobbly head man and moustache ice cube tray, and other bits and bobs, which  I will find very useful...I was very chuffed!

A comedy spot was filled by the sweetly intimidating (if you are right at the front) Nicola Jane Mantalios-Lovett.. change your name to Nickie Lovett and it will make life so much easier for introductions etc. I decided not to take a picture of the delightful Nicola as she was already a bit in my face, and I didn't want to excacerbate the situation. Nicola is very funny as she quizzes audience members about their views and turns them round, creating some mildly awkward situations. One audience member  tested Nicola with his random interjections, I think she came out of it quite could have gone a lot worse!

Lee Kyle was a relaxed and amusing quizmaster, a likeable bloke with a gift for the funnies. He gave me the change out his pocket as our team was the only one that didn't win a quiz prize...not awkward at all!

You can win some pretty great prizes in this quiz and have a laugh in the process. Comedy night tickets for Josie Long, Tony Law and Craig Campbell, a three course meal for two and comedy merchandise from Baby Cow Productions were given out this month. It's only £3 to get in the quiz, and The Stand can provide tasty bar food. check out for details of all their comedy events. 

Words and picture ©Joanne Oliver

Want some PR or social media management? Contact Jo on and ask about photography for your live events.

Latest Launch Event Line-Up   Launch Event Volunteers   We could do with some volunteers on hand over the...