Club Velocity 9th birthday
Club Velocity, the bandnight run by Velocity Records founder and Guide columnist Steve Siddle, turns nine tomorrow (Friday). We caught up with Steve to find out what's in store for the birthday bash - and to discover some of his favourite memories of running the popular Rising Sun Arts Centre-based club.
"Before 2003 I had been promoting gigs in London, mainly at the Water Rats in Kings Cross," said Steve. "There was a change in management at the venue, who increased the venue hire by 50% and made changes that I was not happy with. Also I really got bored of getting the last, very slow, train back from Paddington to Reading on a Saturday night/Sunday morning.
"Then I had an 'eureka' moment that I should do what I was doing in London and bring the concept to Reading. No one was really doing what I started to do here."
Steve told The Guide that supporting small, community venues like Rising Sun Arts Centre was important to him: "It is vital, it's more than important. RSAC has been very, very good to Club Velocity.
"Without the volunteers and the venue, Club Velocity couldn't exist.I have put on shows in other places in Reading, but my spiritual home will always be 30 Silver Street.
"It is a one-off place. No where else in Berkshire is like it. It is purely run by volunteers, it is a charity. In 2012 that is great - very inspiring. I have had some of my best times in that room and made friendships for life. It is a magical place, it really is."
The birthday bash, taking place tomorrow (Friday) at RSAC, will feature Union Starr, grunk faves Screama Ballerina and Fat Mike's new favourite band, Launch Control - and '"lots of cake and balloons!"
So what does he think of the oft-maligned in Reading music scene?
"It is very diverse! From full-on metal to beard-stroking folk and everything in the middle," he said.
"When I started in 2003, the local music scene was not very good at all - but since then, sure it has had its ups and downs, but there are more ups than downs these days.When I first put on shows here it was definitely not to nuture local talent.That has completely changed now and 95% of all the bands I put on are from Reading or Berkshire."
And who are his top three Reading bands, if he had to choose?
"Kinky Boot Beasts. My faithful actually got them before me, it took me four shows before I got them. They need to nail their live sound on cd and then they really could get people excited. Shoot For The King are great on cd and have great songs. For fans of Teenage Fanclub, The Shins and any half decent Sub Pop band from 1988-1994.
"13D released their DIY debut album last year and I loved it. They rip up the hip-hop rulebook, they throw in punk, rock and even country. I can't recommend their recorded output enough."
Entry to Club Velocity's birthday bash tomorrow (Friday) at RSAC is £5. Doors at 8pm, over-19s only.
This article appeared in Reading Chronicle 30 Mar 12