Exploring the Creative Quarter: A Guidigo Tour of Nottingham

http://www.picturedbylamar.co.uk/

Picture ©Lamar Francois http://www.picturedbylamar.co.uk/

These days Nottingham has thriving art and music scenes, independent shops, decent coffee and even the first independent UK book shop to be opened this century, Five Leaves Books.

Working in association with Walking Heads, my colleagues based in Glasgow, we realised that these two great post-industrial cities have much in common as they re-invent themselves for the challenges of the 21st century.

The tour looks at the history of the area of Nottingham now designated as The Creative Quarter and meets some of the people who work in the varied creative industries in the area.

Lace Market Square (CQ), The Adams Building, Back Door Detail, Broadway & Birkin Building (Geograph.org.uk),

Lace Market Square (CQ), The Adams Building, Back Door Detail, Broadway & Birkin Building (Geograph.org.uk)

The tour takes in The Lace Market, Hockley and Sneinton Market including New College Nottingham, where students of art and design learn their trade, and established independent craft practitioner Debbie Bryan who takes inspiration from the Nottingham’s lace heritage. There is art from leading gallery Nottingham Contemporary and curator Jennie Syson; Find hidden gems in unexpected places, like a Morris & Co window in the largest pub in town. Dig down to the caves and secret passageways of The Galleries of Justice, one of Nottingham’s top tourist attractions and discover some remarkable stories from the history of St Mary’s, Nottingham’s oldest and largest church and find out how it is used as a creative venue today; Learn about local cultural magazine Left Lion, who bring Nottingham musicians, actors and writers into the limelight. Explore the regenerated Sneinton Market and the thriving gallery scene around St Ann’s and Sneinton.

Unitarian Church Morris & Co; Nottingham Contemporary detail (geograph.org.uk), St Marys on Light Night (Kevin Marston); The Galleries of Justice (GoJ).

Unitarian Church Window by Morris & Co; Nottingham Contemporary detail (geograph.org.uk), St Marys on Light Night (Kevin Marston); The Galleries of Justice (GoJ).

Celebrate 25 years of Nottingham media and cinema, at Broadway and find out about the “playable building” that is home to the National Videogames Arcade. Finally step through the gate of the transformed Cobden Chambers to find independent businesses getting established with the help of Creative Quarter, not to mention tales from Dawn of The Unread, where Nottingham’s literary past is woven with the many layered history of the textile and lace industries which built the grand architecture of The Lace Market…

The tour is narrated by Nottinghamshire-born Dorothy Atkinson, who you may know from her work in films made by Mike Leigh… we recorded at JT Soar, a nearby studio & music venue which used to be a Fruit and Veg warehouse.

Dorothy Atkinson at Sneinton Market

Dorothy Atkinson at Sneinton Market

The tour features archive photos from Picture The Past, who have kindly let me use images as a pilot scheme.

Photos from Picture The Past courtesy NCC. The Adams Lace Brown Room; Old Town Hall (Nottingham Historic Film Unit); High Pavement; Sneinton Market 1937.

Photos from Picture The Past courtesy of NCC. The Adams Lace Brown Room 1914; Old Town Hall c.1870s (Nottingham Historic Film Unit); High Pavement pre 1960s; Sneinton Market 1937.

The tour is available to download free on Guidigo (which is also free) on iPhones, iPads and Android devices.

Feature image photo credits: Sneinton Market Fountains Daniel Hodgett; Broadway at Night by Ashley Bird; National Videogames Arcade by Eve Bentley; Cobden Chambers courtesy of Bildurn.

GSoY Tutors

The Glasgow School of Yarn

I’m working remotely at the moment, but I’m still in touch with what’s happening in Glasgow, including the forthcoming…

The Glasgow School of Yarn

This weekend (Friday October 17th  & Saturday  18th) sees the fourth annual Glasgow School of Yarn knitting and yarn crafts event at The Mackintosh Church, Queen’s Cross. It marks the anniversary of the opening of The Yarn Cake – Glasgow’s knitting cafe and is also part of the Creative Mackintosh Festival.

The Glasgow School of Yarn

I’ve been helping to promote the event sending out press releases and tweets while Antje at The Yarn Cake has appeared on STV’s Riverside Show. The Herald have also featured it on their fashion blog. 

 

Here’s details of the event on the What’s on Glasgow page. And look out for the event on STV next Friday…

Here’s Antje on STV Glasgow’s Riverside Show:

This year The Glasgow School of Yarn will offer workshops with expert knitting tutors Jon Ballam-Dunn of Easyknits, Rachel Coopey of Coop Knits and Emily Wessel of Tin Can Knits (pictured at the top of the page). The Yarn Cake team will also be on hand to teach a range of mini tutorials on a wide range of subjects including introductions to crochet, spinning and lace, as well as a chance to learn more about the online knitting community Ravelry.

The marketplace will welcome independent vendors, including Abstract Cat, A Peppermint Penguin, Ginger Twist Studios, Debonnaire and Owl Print Panda. The Yarn Cake stand will also be selling Drops yarns, local yarns including New Lanark and Jamieson & Smith, Ashford Spinning Wheels and supplies, along with a wide range of needles and notions.

Full details of The Glasgow School of Yarn are on The Yarn Cake‘s website.

Get in touch with me if you’d like the press release or photos of last year’s event. Follow The Yarn Cake on Twitter or join The Glasgow School of Yarn Facebook event.

Top Tips for Band Promo (from a PR perspective)

I’ve had a great response to this post, which I published on my old blog Little Raindrops, so I’m going to re-host it here.

I’ve been putting together information on the line up for a festival’s new website, collecting photos and what I’d call bios (i.e. short informative descriptions of each band) to go with an external web link for each artist on the bill. I thought this would be a straight forward task…

A lot of bands make this easy and have PRs to deal with requests for such things, or have great websites with all the material someone who is trying to spread the word about an event that the bands are involved in might need, but there are some who seem to need a bit of help…

Here’s some important things I’ve noted, if you want people to find out about your band:

  1. Have a name that is Googleable! 
  2. If you use MySpace (really?), Bandcamp and Facebook they will likely show up top of a search,  so make sure they’re up to date. If you don’t want me to listen to your old demos, take them down. If it’s the first time I’ve heard of you I won’t know which page you want me to use, so…
  3. Have your own website – even if it’s just a place to cluster all your links. It would be better if it were more than that – you’ve got a great opportunity to control your image, please use it.
  4. Unless you’re super well known and too cool, write something about yourselves. How do you want to be presented? Please God, not just “indie rock”. I don’t have time to listen to your entire back catalogue, watch all your videos, read all your press. Condense it.
  5. Have an easy to find contact email. If you have a PR working for you, lucky you! Why not make it easy to find them so they can do their job!?
  6. Even better, have a nice high res picture that is downloadable from your website.
  7. While you’re at it, name that picture file with your band name and if the photographer wants a credit, stick their name in there too. 
  8. When replying to emails that are requests, please check that you’re sending what’s being asked for – a list of hot shot record company flunkies who might be interested in your band, a list of platforms where you’re releasing your single and some gigs you might have coming up ARE NOT THE SAME AS A BIO!
  9. A bio is this: Who are you? Where are you from? What do you sound like? What’s your website?
  10. That photo – is it a picture of three or four disinterested blokes standing against a wall (or worse, train tracks)? IT DOESN’T SAY ANYTHING ABOUT YOUR BAND and you’re wasting an opportunity to make me interested. 
  11. When I Google you, do I find your best, most representative song? WHY NOT?
  12. On Facebook, which shouldn’t be your only web presence, have you filled in the contact details in the ‘About’ section? This is a quick reference and should help people to describe you (yes even if you’re so wildly and fantastically original that your music defies categorisation sometimes it’s necessary to use, you know, WORDS). Failing that it should let me email the people you pay (or owe favours to) to do this for you. OR let me email you and ask you for what I need.  
  13. Nominate a band member to deal with this stuff, bass players often have a lot of time on their hands…
  14. Finally, when you’re emailing someone who is obviously dealing with a lot of artists sending them stuff, remember to mention the name of your band in your message so they know who you’re talking about.

 

Nickelback against the wall

Come on, you’re not all like Nickelback are you?

There’s tons of advice out there from places like HypebotMusician Coaching and Fresh On The Net


Anyone got any more to add? I’d be interested to hear what you think. And don’t get me started on gig listings!