Welcome Stewart to Decoding Static. Stewart is the brains behind Get it Loud in Libraries. Lancaster Library has been holding gigs for the past 5 years and is an excellent venue to see bands. I have been lucky enough to see Polly Scattergood, Bats for Lashes, Esben and the Witch, I Like Trains and Noah and the Whale to name a few there.
What inspired you to start Get it Loud in Libraries?
An urgency to do something fresh and original with two things dear to my heart: music and libraries. A need to present the future today and to allow young people of all ages to enjoy the bands and get involved.
Was it plain sailing or where there obstacles in the way?
Always obstacles…not all people necessarily embrace new ideology but enough people with passion and purpose and a love of great pop music made it succeed…sometimes you have to take a fresh look at the work environment and expand the boundaries accordingly to make great things work.
How do you come across the bands that play?
Complete addiction to music!
What has been your favourite gig?
Hmm tricky. New Young Pony Club a few weeks ago is right up there, Professor Green was fun and exceeded all expectations and the Dum Dum Girls were amazing. Long Blondes was thrilling all those years ago. Probably my favourite still is Bat For Lashes. Every hair on my head stood up for the whole show. (Andy: Aye Bat for Lashes were amazing, the mingling of voice, sounds and atmosphere created something special.)
Has there been any disappointments when trying to book bands? Any bands you would have liked to have seen play?
Kate Nash slipped through our fingers recently. Plan B was intended to do 4 UK libraries and ended up only doing Rugby Library back in March. Mystery Jets fell through at the last minute and Duffy we missed by inches. Paloma Faith was close. But bands are like buses… here comes another one right this minute!
What would be your fantasy line up for a gig in the library?
Oh God, give me a minute on that one. There are so many ways of looking at that one!
What do you think make the library a good gig venue?
Books, a lovely retro air, good acoustics, all ages audiences and a feeling of cultural subversion. It is libraries come alive.
How is it working out with involving other libraries?
Brilliantly. The whole GILIL template has been replicated smoothly and to the letter. It’s important that young people lead on the project with artwork, promo, ticket sales, hospitality and all the libraries involved (25 in all) are doing so well in that regard.
Any plans for a Get it Loud in Libraries festival?
Yes, watch this space!
Outside the library gigs, what has been your favourite gig?
Arcade Fire at MEN Arena –sheer bliss. (Andy: yes an excellent gig, the concepts in their songs just suit such a large venue, though they would be excellent in the library, their layers of sound, voice and lyrics would melt the place).
Any favourite bands? Any tips on future bands to watch out for?
I love lots of old classic rock bands and lots of the new..Dum Dum Girls are amazing, but keep an eye out for Foster The People and The Chakras
Anything else you’d like to add?
That’s all, folks!
Cheers for your time Stewart. I am particularly looking forward to seeing what happens regarding a festival!
To find out more pop over to Get it Loud in Libraries.
Posted: 3 March 2019.