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Village Music & Drama

Erin brings top musicians to village venue

Posted on September 25 2011 at 12:33:17 0 comments

Erin Green

Avid readers of our What’s On section will have noticed that we’ve been advertising a series of live music events at Rowney Green Village Hall – with some surprisingly big names from the acoustic roots scene appearing at the intimate venue.

The fact that internationally acclaimed musicians such as Phil Beer and Steve Knightley are playing to crowds in a tiny Worcestershire village is testament to the determination and downright cheek of 23-year-old Erin Green, proving once and for all that if you don’t ask, you don’t get.

Erin, who lives in Redditch but went to playgroup at Rowney Green Village Hall before attending school in Alvechurch, set up her own music promotions company at the start of this year, having quit university in order to follow her dream of working with her favourite bands.

And already she has attracted a great response from locals as well as from artists keen to perform.

Erin describes the events that led to her new career as “a mid-life crisis!” She was in her first year at Birmingham University (studying zoology) when her grandfather was diagnosed with terminal cancer.

“I went to see him and we had a real heart-to-heart, and he told me to be happy with whatever I did in my life. I realised that I really wasn’t happy at the moment – so I decided to leave uni! My parents were not impressed at first…”

At this point Erin had only recently been introduced to the acoustic roots scene by a friend, but she knew this was something she wanted to get involved in. “I’d never been into folk before - I liked R’n’B and hip hop!” she confesses.

“But then a friend told me about Show of Hands, and invited me to a gig. I was meant to be revising for exams but I just thought ‘sod it’ and went along! I had never experienced live music before and it was just unbelievable.

“Afterwards, I was a bit cheeky and told the band that if they ever needed a hand, I’d be happy to help…”

That opportunity soon arose, and Erin set off for Devon to work with the band for four days. She then spent some time working for a promoter in Bristol.

“Then I thought I’d better sort myself out and decide what I was going to do permanently… so I set up Bright Side Music Promotions,” she says. The name is a tribute to her granddad, because Always Look on the Bright Side of Life was played at his funeral.

“I wanted to do something in memory of him – it was either that or get a tattoo, and I’ve got enough already!”

Erin looked around for somewhere suitable to host gigs, and was on her way to see a place in Redditch when fate intervened in the shape of two stray dogs in the road…

“By the time I’d made sure they were all right and returned them to their owner, I’d missed my appointment. I was due to visit Rowney Green Village Hall later, so I went along – and as soon as I saw it, I knew it was the right place.”

This wasn’t just due to nostalgia value – the hall recently underwent a huge refurbishment thanks to a lottery grant.

“It has changed a lot since playgroup!” smiles Erin. “I’m really glad they kept the original wooden stage, because Phil Beer got very excited and insisted on using it for his gig. I had to get up to introduce him, and realised that last time I was on that stage, I was a sheep in the nativity play!”

Erin says the artists really appreciate the intimacy and rural feel of the hall, especially Steve Knightley, whose songs are often about English countryside life. “The musicians are big names on the acoustic scene, but not so big that they are up themselves,” she adds.

“It’s also great to bring this music to people in the local area who may not otherwise get to experience it.”

The next gig is on Sunday October 30, when mandolin expert Rex Preston and folk/jazz singer Miranda Sykes (whose voice Erin describes as “amazing”) will perform. Tickets cost £8, and are available via http://www.brightsidemusic.co.uk.

If you are planning on attending, please let Erin know in advance via email at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or by calling or texting 07543 889758.


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