COSMIC ROUNDUP: ALASTAIR MELLOR OF THE OTHER WINDOW
There wasn't many gigs weird/heavy gigs in Leicester, then Alaistair took a stand and now there's a healthy scene. Thank fuck for people like him, he's a nice guy too.
Here's what he thinks about things and stuff.
Hi Alastair, how are you?
I’m good thanks bud. Looking forward to taking a break over the Christmas period. How are you?
Tell us more about ‘The Other Window’, how did it start and what have you been up to?
So for years I’d been travelling the length and breadth of the country to listen to the type of stuff that I enjoy. Leicester has never really catered for it on a consistent basis. For sure there were times when something tickled my fancy but not enough. I’d been threatening to do it for years but never went through with it. It was getting a bit knackering travelling 200 plus miles sometimes 2-3 times a week and then going into work the following day to do my 9-5 day job so I just thought screw it! Let’s give it a bash! The name comes from a song by Wire on their album 154. I began doing it on my own, totally DIY from creating the posters (to the best of my limited abilities) to cooking the food for the rider. From doing the door to accommodating the bands. The first gig I did was The Cosmic Dead in conjunction with a friend who’s been a long term promoter. We only had two weeks to set it up as they were looking for a gig having had one cancelled at the last minute. It was on a Sunday and I’d sold no advance tickets. I was shitting bricks and thought it was going to be a complete disaster. I couldn’t have been much further from the truth. Loads of people turned up and we ended up losing twenty quid between us. I was so full of joy! After a while my good friend and music aficionado Andy Kew joined me and then this year we became three when we linked up with Ben Moore. Ben does some solo synth work under the pseudonym Early Remains. He had previously provided support for the JuJu and Gum Takes Tooth gigs.
Have the people of Leicester been loving it?
They have! We get a lot of regular support from likeminded people but also have people visit from neighbouring places like Nottingham, Derby and the West Midlands. Leicester’s a small city and whilst it has it’s scenes such as Hardcore, Progressive Rock and Drum N Bass it can be a tad too Indie (ugh). But we’re trying to change that!
What would be a dream line up for one of your gigs? If we were to talk about yesterday’s music heroes, whether they’ve since passed away or still around then I would say;- The Fall, Suicide, Wire. But if we’re talking about my heroes of the here and now then I would say;- Gnod, Circle and Teeth of The Sea.
What advice would you give new promoters based on what you’ve learned so far?
You’re not going to make much money out of it, if any at all so try to do as much stuff in house to keep your expenses to a minimum. Accommodation and food for the bands rider can be expensive so if you’re able to, put the band up and cook for them yourself. Do the posters yourself or if you have friends who can help with this then reach out to them. Our ethos is that we will only put stuff on that we like, we are non profit organisation and if we ever turn over a profit we make sure the local support acts receive payment too. Respect the artists and always make sure they get paid - even if you’ve not had a good turnout and it costs you a bob or two. These guys put their heart and sole into what they do and touring is tough work. When you think what it takes for a band to get on the road -the hire of the van, the cost of the fuel, the time on the road, the amount of people in the band etc. The fee really doesn’t justify what goes in to it all.
What was the best gig you put on in 2019?
I could go with the obvious and say Teeth of The Sea. I’ve been a fan of them since their early days and have had the pleasure of putting them on a few times. But I’m going to say Gum Takes Tooth was the best one we did this year. How Jussi and Tom combine to make the sounds they do is truly mesmerising. It was a cold February weekday evening with a small intimate crowd. But those who were there really fed off the sounds that GTT created. It was a great vibe, full of energy and I think it was reciprocated by GTT.
Best gig you attended?
Oh geez, that’s a tough one! There’s been so many! I would say Deaf Kids and RAKTA at The Lexington. Petbrick joined in with Deaf Kids towards the end of their set and it was insane!
Best festival you attended?
Easily Raw Power. It’s permanently marked in the calendar -Two/three days of pure magic. Great venue, great bands, great people - just an all round good vibe. I’m a diehard Gnod Fan and have seen them so many times than I can recall but that set at Raw Power! The best yet - Face Melting!
What are your favourite releases from 2019?
At the end of each year I do a mini round up of my favourite albums on Instagram. Due to Instagrams photo formatting I do a top nine but I base it solely on albums I have purchased. Clearly I listen to much more and if I had the cash I’d certainly buy more albums so here’s my list in no particular order;- The Ecstasy of Infinite Sterility by Krause, I by Petbrick, The Limit Experience by Errant Monks, Arrow by Gum Takes Tooth, Metamoros by USA/Mexico, Wraith by Teeth of The Sea, Gentle Persuaders by Sly & The Family Drone, 5 by Pharaoh Overlord, Passionate and Tragic by Cocaine Piss.
What the hell are you up to next year?
Hopefully more of the same. We have a few gigs lined up for 2020 but we haven’t announced them as they’re not set in stone yet. One gig that is confirmed is 72% which I’m really looking forward to indeed! They sound immense and I understand their latest album was produced and recorded by Wayne Adams - in my book you can’t get much better than that at this current moment in time. I’ll also be getting around to the usual haunts and festivals and I’m giving some serious thought to attending Roadburn. I’m also trying to help a local band called The People Assembly to get on the road and playing out of town. We’re hoping to do a mini tour around the UK early next year and so far there is a bit of interest. So if there are any promoters reading this and would like to facilitate then please hit me up!
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